Monthly Archives: February 2011

The Best Picture Project – 2010

Loyal readers of this site are no-doubt familiar with my quest to see all 82 Best Picture winners, otherwise known as The Best Picture Project. So far I’ve seen 33 of the 82, with The Deer Hunter and Gandhi the next on tap.

Because this is the Best Picture Project it only makes sense that at Oscar time I weigh in on this years nominees for Best Picture.  And, in the spirit of the Academy’s move towards the preferential voting system I’ll go ahead and rank my choices as well, from highest to lowest. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – You Can’t Take It With You (1938)

Directed by Frank Capra

Written by Robert Riskin

Based on the play by George Kaufman and Moss Hart

Starring Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold and Lionel Barrymore

Somewhere in the history of this project – probably here – I was a bit incredulous that It’s A Wonderful Life did not win Best Picture of 1946.  After all, the movie was everything the Academy loves: it’s sappy, with charming acting, humor and grandstanding speeches, and a sense of nostalgia for a bygone time.  Plus, with the Harry Bailey winning the Medal of Honor storyline, it also tapped into nationalistic fervor.  In all, it seemed like a natural to win, except the Academy had other plans, giving the award to The Best Years of Our Lives, another William Wyler movie that I just don’t get. Continue reading

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February 11, 2011 · 10:10 pm

The Best Picture Project – The Godfather (1972)

File:Godfather ver1.jpgDirected by Francis Ford Coppola

Written by Coppola and Mario Puzo

Adapted from the Puzo novel of the same name

Starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire and John Cazale

I like The Godfather.  I don’t love it, I like it.  It seems reasonable to me that it’s routinely hailed as one of the best films ever made, because I can see how it’s loved, it’s just not a film I’m all that passionate about.  For all the good things said about it the thing that keeps me from loving it is the incongruity of a pulp novel adapted as opera.  Perhaps if The Godfather had followed the lead of Psycho – pulp novel becomes pulp film – I might have had a bigger thing for it.  Still, just because I don’t love it, doesn’t meant it’s bad either, because it’s not. Continue reading

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