Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Best Picture Project Oscar Ballot 2010 – UPDATED

About a week before the Academy Awards I posted my Oscar ballot – at least, the one I would submit if anybody in the Academy cared to give me a vote.  But since my ballot is only for my own fun, I didn’t take it quite so seriously, at least when it came to seeing all the nominated films.  Sure, I saw nine of them, but at the time of my ballot hadn’t seen The Fighter and justified the omission with some sort of flippant, “Nobody else has seen them all excuse.”   Well, by now, I have seen The Fighter, and I’m ready to amend my ballot for inclusion of The Fighter. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – The Deer Hunter (1978)

The theatrical poster features Robert De Niro pointing a gun to his head. It is a black and white image with red highlighting his bandana.Directed by Michael Cimino

Screenplay by Deric Washburn, Story by Deric Washburn, Quinn K. Redeker, Michael Cimino and Louis Garfinkle

Starring Robert DeNiro, Meryl Streep, John Savage, Christopher Walken and John Cazale

The Deer Hunter might be the darkest film to ever win Best Picture, and if not the darkest, then at least the bleakest.  Certainly, over the years the Academy has recognized pictures that were not of the sunniest disposition – after all, Hamlet is several hours of brooding, followed by Hamlet’s death – but on the whole, the Academy has shown a decided tendency towards films that could either be called heartwarming, uplifting, or hopeful.  Think about Gigi, Around the World in 80 Days, Rocky, et al.  And even some of the darkest to win Best Picture haven’t been all that dark. Continue reading

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Sorry I’m so Slow…

Sorry I’m so slow about getting a new post going this week but it seems like everything on earth has intervened to prevent a proper one.  First, there’s my real job – lawyer to broken families.    Then there is the work I’ve been doing on three projects, racing them towards various levels of completion. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Chariots of Fire (1981)

Directed by Hugh Hudson

Screenplay by Colin Welland

Starring Ben Cross, Ian Charleson, Ian Holm, Alice Krige

After I watched Chariots of Fire I didn’t know how to approach it for this project.  Should I trash it?  Should I love it?  Should I go sideways and talk about some aspect of the movie that leads me down another path onto another topic and ignore the movie altogether, which seems to be exactly what I’m doing now?  Even as I’m writing this, I’m still not quite sure how to approach it. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Gandhi (1982)

Directed by Richard Attenborough

Screenplay by John Briley

Starring Ben Kingsley

Is a movie – or any work of art – about a great man inherently a great movie? The answer is clearly no. There are many terrible films about great men – how many times has Jesus been on the big screen in a steaming pile of crap? Similarly, there are films about despicable men that are not automatically despicable themselves. For example, see A Clockwork Orange, or Taxi Driver. Both films are about morally bankrupt individuals, and yet, they are great films.

Clearly, a great subject does not naturally make a great film, just as a reprehensible subject doesn’t naturally make a reprehensible film. Continue reading

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