The Oscar Quest: Best Picture & Best Director – 2004

If there were ever a corollary year for Best Picture to this one, in the last decade (because 1998 is obviously the best) 2004 is it. Obviously 1998 fits better, as the film that won is a big, lush period piece campaigned for hard by Harvey Weinstein that beat a film that was regarded at the time, and still is regarded, as a modern classic. The jury is still out on whether the film that got beat is a modern classic, so, that’s why I go with 2004. A film that plays right into the Academy’s sensibilities, using emotion to mask a general blandness, instead of brilliant filmmaking. That much can’t be denied. As it stands, the film that is going to lose Best Picture, despite being the critical and social (based more on the pun than the actuality. I really don’t know what the idiots like or don’t like) choice, will be great filmmaking losing to a film that’s meant to be “emotional” (which, it didn’t make me cry, which, I cry at Speed Racer — love that movie).

Makes no goddamn sense. But, the only thing that matters is personal opinion, and that’s theirs. Now I get to have mine.

Best Picture – 2004

And the nominees were…

The Aviator (Warner Bros., Miramax)

Finding Neverland (Miramax)

Million Dollar Baby (Warner Bros.)

Ray (Universal)

Sideways (Fox Searchlight)

The Aviator — How’d the Academy miss the boat on this one? Have you seen the film? Aside from being a treasure trove of cinematic techniques — including the fact that the entire first two reels are shot in recreation two-strip Technicolor (fucking brilliant) — it’s a great film on top of it. Sure, it has its problems, but it’s really better than the film that beat it. And even if they wanted to vote Best Picture, did they really need to slap him in the face and not vote him for Best Director either? Terrible. This was the Best Picture of 2004 based on this list.

Finding Neverland — Fine movie, not a Best Picture nominee. Never a threat to win, so, I don’t care that it’s here. It’s about the dude who wrote Peter Pan, so, I can see why it would get on here. Unnecessary plot about the dying woman. No vote. Fine film. You know, film-wise.

Million Dollar Baby — Yeah, I like it and all, but, it really doesn’t stick with you past being a fine film. Definitely an unworthy Best Picture winner. Great film. One of those, after you watch it, you get swept up in it enough to think that maybe, just possibly, it was worthy. And then like four years later you think back and go, “How good was that movie, again?” and you can’t remember.

Ray — Really good film. I liked it better than Baby just because of the performance. That shit is amazing. I mean, they’re a close 2 and 3, and I haven’t seen them recently enough to be able to narrow it down that specifically, but, in the case of the film having won Best Picture, I’m going to feel spiteful and put it lower. It’s just what I do. But, this film I remember as being good. How good, I don’t know. I’ll need to go back and see it. But, for the performance alone, it’s worth it. I’m glad it got in.

Sideways — Fuck this movie.

My Thoughts: In the words of a great man, Million Dollar Baby, Imma let you finish, but The Aviator is one of the best movies of all time. All time! Man, I love quoting Gandhi.


5. Sideways

4. Finding Neverland

3. Million Dollar Baby

2. Ray

1. The Aviator

Best Director – 2004

And the nominees were…

Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby

Marc Forster, Finding Neverland

Taylor Hackford, Ray

Alexander Payne, Sideways

Martin Scorsese, The Aviator

I have nothing to say here. In a year where Martin Scorsese is clearly the winner and doesn’t win, there is nothing to say.

My Thoughts: Fucking really?


5. Payne

4. Forster

3. Eastwood

2. Hackford

1. Scorsese

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