Directed by Tom McCarthy
Written By Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer
Starring Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci and Bryan d’Arcy James
In 1976, All The President’s Men competed for Best Picture with Network, Taxi Driver and Bound for Glory and of that group, Bound For Glory is the one I’d argue isn’t a suitable Best Picture winner. Sure, it’s got the period look, and seems to capture the flavor of the time and place, but ultimately it’s missing that indefinable something a Best Picture winner should have.
The other three films thought – All The President’s Men, Network, Taxi Driver – are completely timeless and any of the three could have, and should have, won. No surprise, they all lost to the flagship of the Rocky franchise, a film some people consider a ‘classic’, but is one I just don’t get.
Well, while All The President’s Men didn’t win, but at least it can take solace in the fact that 40 years after it’s loss, it’s most direct offspring, Spotlight, scooped the big prize.
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Directed by John Schlesinger
Written by Waldo Salt, based upon the novel by James Leo Herlihy
Starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman
Midnight Cowboy seems an unusual choice to win the Oscar – after all, until it’s win in 1969, no movie with any real, honest-to-goodness grit to it, save for maybe Marty, managed to snag the top prize. And those that did have a tinge of grit to it – or darkness, if you prefer another word – were about big, important things, e.g. The Best Years of Our Lives. In other words, if a dark movie, rooted in real life, wanted to win Best Picture, it had to go big and make epic statements about important topics (anti-Semitism, WWII), because, aside from that sweet little film about the lonely butcher – Marty – you couldn’t win.
(NOTE: This post has been slightly modified to serve as the Best Picture Project entry for 2012)
Since I started the Best Picture Project – so many years ago now it’s becoming somewhat pathetic how long it’s taking me to complete it – I’ve posted every year at Oscar time about the Best Picture race and my preferences for the films in the race. In some ways, the post behaves very much as a true Best Picture Project post behaves and in that it tends to evaluate all the films and stands as my take on all the films. Since that’s the usual plan, I’ll do my best to make sure that this one can be seen that way.
So here it is, the Best Picture Race 2012, as seen through the eyes of the Best Picture Project. Continue reading