Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Best Picture Project – The French Connection (1971)

Directed by William Friedkin

Screenplay by Ernest Tidyman, based upon the book by Robin Moore

Starring Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider and Fernando Rey

The Oscars have been known to follow the latest trends, gleeefully heaping awards on the latest flash-in-the-pan – those films or filmmakers that show promise, or even brilliance, but who never rise to the same level again.  The earliest of the bunch that comes to mind is Delbert Mann for directing Marty.  Like any next best thing he shot to the ultimate top of his profession, winning an Oscar for directing the film, only to fall immediately back to earth.  Even if he wasn’t exactly never heard from again, it seemed pretty close to it. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – The King’s Speech (2010)

Directed by Tom Hooper

Screenplay by David Seidler

Starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter and Guy Pearce

I’m torn when it comes to evaluating The King’s Speech and it’s victory in the Best Picture race.  After all, I’ve been kind to past Best Pictures winners solely because the film had an outstanding lead performance, the type of performance where the film would have failed should it have not been outstanding.  In essence, I made the tacit argument that a strong central performance which carried the burden of the film somehow justified it being seen as ‘best’.   Unfortunately, though, while I might have tacitly argued this, I never explicitly did so and so I feel comfortable hiding behind a bit of semantics. Continue reading

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