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Archive for February 28th, 2013

2005’s ‘Crash’ may well be worst Oscar Best Picture winner ever

by Sam Juliano

One of the most popular ongoing Oscar games is to identify the absolute worst choices ever made for Best Picture over the 86 year history of the awards.  Some takers will always choose to name what they feel are the worst films to win, while others prefer to cite the films that won over far more deserving winners.  On the latter front a popular choice will always be 1941’s How Green Was My Valley, a John Ford masterwork that had the temerity to top the film that many consider the greatest of all-time: Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane.  Yet, How Green Was My Valley would be a legitimate winner practically any other year, so the strong indignation for 1941 seems misguided.  It would be safe to contend that roughly half of the films named Best Picture over eight decades plus are unworthy of the ultimate designation for either of the two reasons, or a combination of both.  Of the remaining half we could discount another 50% or so that are acceptable, but uninspired.  That leaves us with maybe one-quarter of the actual selections that can be regarded as valid and worthy of the Oscar.  Needless to say, the Academy Awards, by their very make-up rarely show the proper attention for foreign-language cinema, so even in the minority instance where they did get it right there is a significant asterisk next to the choices.  Ironically enough the last time the Academy got it right was just a year ago, when the critically-venerated The Artist earned the top prize after nearly every critics’ organization worldwide made the same call.  There are a number of other instances over the years where movie lover are nearly unanimous in their belief that justice was served: Lawrence of Arabia, All Quiet on the Western Front, No Country For Old Men, The Return of the King, West Side Story, Midnight Cowboy, The Godfather, The Godfather Part 2 among them. (more…)

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