Shoulda Coulda

With this year’s Oscars come and gone, it got me thinking about Best Picture winners. In my lifetime, I’ve seen several movies win the award that I just couldn’t stand behind. I love movies that are enjoyable, unique, and innovative. Does the movie say something new? Or does it say something old but in a new way? Could this movie be enjoyed across gender, race, and generation? Will this movie influence others that come after? Here are some Best Pictures winners I disagree with and the films I think should have won (or should at least have been nominated).

1990 Winner: Dances with Wolves — My Pick: Edward Scissorhands
The fantastic, gentle, and unlikely hero in Edward Scissorhands beats John J. Dunbar anyday. And I love wolves, so that’s saying a lot.

1994 Winner: Forrest Gump — My Pick: The Shawshank Redemption
This is a tough one, since I love Forrest Gump. Both are extraordinary tales of common men, but I do believe Shawshank is a truly perfect movie.

1999 Winner: American Beauty — My Pick: Fight Club
Both films are dark and feature supremely talented casts, but that’s where their commonalities depart. Fight Club is one of the very few movies I like more than its book version.

2001 Winner: A Beautiful Mind — My Pick: Amélie
Not sure this one needs any explanation. The kind of movie that perfectly captures the essence of Paris, loneliness, romance, and joy.

2002 Winner: Chicago — My Pick: Gangs of New York
Catherine Zeta Jones and her amazing voice shouldn’t have beat out Daniel Day Lewis and his Bill the Butcher.

2004 Winner: Million Dollar Baby — My Pick: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Eternal Sunshine is one of the most unique love stories I’ve ever seen. Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet were a joy and the storytelling perfect.

2005 Winner: Crash — My Pick: Anything but Crash
Crash was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. I desperately wish I had never seen it. When it won the Oscar, a part of me died inside.

2006 Winner: The Departed — My Pick: Stranger than Fiction
A “you’re going to die, so live” tale with a twist and lovely performance from Will Ferrell. The kind of film that makes you happy about life.

2007 Winner: No Country For Old Men — My Pick: 300
Another example of the Academy picking movies that crush my soul. 300 was inspirational and visually stunning. I’d love if more actually enjoyable movies won the big award.

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3 thoughts on “Shoulda Coulda

  1. Good list! But…

    1990 – Should have been Millers Crossing.

    1994 – Total tossup. They both win. But Forrest was a more uniquely executed concept, so I guess I go with the academy.

    1999 – Agreed, a 1000 times, agreed.

    2001 – Agreed.

    2002 – Agreed.

    2004 – Toss up. Clint Eastwood directing MDB brought a level of craftsmanship that ESOTSM is lacking maybe? Better story with ES tho.

    2006 – Disagree. Loved, but forgot about Stranger than Fiction a day after viewing. Can still feel the tension from The Departed.

    2007 – Total disagree. No Country for Old Men is, perhaps, one of the most perfect pieces of cinema ever crafted. Sometimes it’s not just about the story (they have separate awards for that, after all) it’s about the execution. The film has literally NO SOUNDTRACK yet the suspense is border line panic inducing. That’s a sign of masters working. Could go on all day on this one.

    🙂

    • The Departed is burned in my memory, but everyday I wish I could forget it. Lolz. Same with No Country For Old Men. I felt awful the entire time I was watching it.

      Glad to hear a good defense of them though. I can appreciate our disagreement. 🙂

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