Who Cares About the Oscars?


The 85th Oscar nominees came out last Thursday. Your big winners thus far include Lincoln (12 nominations), Life of Pi (11 nominations), and Les Misérables and Silver Linings Playbook (8 nominations each). As I read the nominations list, I found myself getting incredibly upset which, at this point, is becoming an annual tradition every year the Oscars are announced.

You see, like a bunch of people who are more than likely 60 years old, I think the Oscars are a big deal. When a movie I love isn’t nominated, I feel a sense of rejection. However, when a movie I loathe is nominated, I find myself getting simply infuriated. While 9 movies are up for best picture (Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Les Misérables, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty), you can automatically eliminate four of them from Best Picture contention (Argo, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, and Zero Dark Thirty) because the directors weren’t nominated for Best Director (only three times in 84 years has a movie won Best Picture and not even been nominated for Best Director).

When we look at the remaining five movies, we’ve got Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Lincoln, and Silver Linings Playbook. I’ve seen Beasts of the Southern Wild and loved it so much that the only movies I graded lower in 2012 were Safe House, Battleship, and Rock of Ages. I’ve been kind of wanting to see Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook, but from what I’ve seen, they all look somewhat… dull. Lincoln just finally showed up in my neck of the woods, so I’m hoping to check that out shortly. Amour is a foreign film that isn’t playing anywhere, so it’s almost impossible to have an opinion on that.

Based on what I’ve seen in 2012, I thought it was a tremendous year for movies. Argo was fantastic as was Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty (check for reviews on both later this week). The Dark Knight Rises is much better than I think most people are giving it credit for. Looper was a fantastic film that kind of came out of nowhere. Ted was one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in years. Bully and Searching for Sugar Man were wonderful documentaries. Even some big name “popcorn movies” such as The Bourne Legacy, The Hunger Games, and The Avengers were really, really good.

A few years ago, I made a bunch of lists for what my favorite movies were from each year. I can’t find them right now, but I can just about guarantee you if I gave you a list of movies nominated for Oscars versus movies not nominated for Oscars, you’d be really tempted to take the “no Oscars” list.

Jalen Rose was asked on his podcast if he was upset his Michigan “Fab Five” squad never won an NCAA championship. He, of course, wishes they would’ve have won one, but also has a quote (which I’m going to butcher) that says something around the lines of “you can win the game of basketball or you can win the game of life… we won the game of life.” Meaning, of course, the team is memorable and it’s members have profited some 20 years later.

Take a look at the last 20 years. I’m going to give you the Best Picture winner along with my favorite movie from that year and see which list you’d rather take (my favorite in italics)

1992 – Unforgiven – Reservoir Dogs
1993 – Schindler’s List – Schindler’s List
1994 – Forrest Gump – Pulp Fiction
1995 – Braveheart – Braveheart
1996 – The English Patient – Jerry Maguire
1997 – Titanic – Good Will Hunting
1998 – Shakespeare In Love – Saving Private Ryan
1999 – American Beauty – Toy Story 2
2000 – Gladiator – Almost Famous
2001 – Beautiful Mind – Memento
2002 – Chicago – LOTR: The Two Towers
2003 – LOTR: Return of the King – Return of the King
2004 – Million Dollar Baby – Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (not even kidding)
2005 – Crash – Walk the Line
2006 – The Departed – The Departed
2007 – No Country for Old Men – No Country for Old Men
2008 – Slumdog Millionaire – The Dark Knight
2009 – The Hurt Locker – Inglorious Basterds
2010 – The King’s Speech – The Town
2011 – The Artist – Drive

While awards are nice, I’m fairly certain movies like Saving Private Ryan, Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, and Back to the Future have went on to have a perfectly nice shelf life even though they weren’t deemed award worthy during the year of their release.

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01 2013

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  1. Tracy Bieger #

    Love this list. Totally with you, especially “Anchorman”…..with a couple exceptions, I totally agreed with ‘Gladiator’, and in 2007, I would have chosen ‘Juno’ or ‘Michael Clayton’ over ‘No Country’. Keep it up Brent, I LOVE to read people’s movie critiques & thoughts!

    • brentnet #

      Thanks Tracy! No Country is my favorite first 95% of a movie in a long time. Terrible ending, though. I didn’t think that was a super strong year in movies (didn’t really like There Will Be Blood), but I did like really like Juno, too. Thanks for reading!


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