I fucking love 1956. There’s something great and terrible and yet okay about this year, all at the same time.
First off, I feel this is a particularly strong year for movies. I’ll tell you why in a second but first let’s go over the Oscar films. Around the World in 80 Days wins Best Picture in what some consider to be a terrible decision. It’s routinely listed among the worst choices of all time. Personally I don’t feel that way. Because the film — yes its long, yes it’s overdone, yes its kinda boring. But, the film is epic. There are cameos galore, which is kind of amazing. So many fucking famous people are in this movie, some of them for like, a second. That’s part of the fun of this movie. Also, is is perhaps one of the greatest scales of pictures I’ve ever seen. They shot the film in like, thirteen different countries. I understand why it won, even though I’d have much preferred the film that won Best Director (for George Stevens, his second), Giant, instead. But you know, shit happens. It’s not a bad decision, no matter what everybody says.
Now, for the other categories. Best Actor went to Yul Brynner for The King and I, which I do consider one of the worst decisions of all time. It’s not that I don’t like Yul Brynner (I fucking love Yul Brynner), it’s just that, it’s not a lead role. Dude’s basically a supporting character in the film, and the way I can prove it is that, when he won the Tony Award for the broadway version, it was for Supporting Actor in a Musical. The reason I consider it a terrible decision is because he was up against both James Dean and Rock Hudson for Giant, which were two vastly better performances than his. Similarly, and I’ll get to that in a second, I consider this Best Actress category to be just as bad if not worse than Best Actor. Best Supporting Actor for this year went to Anthony Quinn for Lust for Life, which I consider a poor, but not bad, decision, mostly because of a weak category, and Best Supporting Actress went to Dorothy Malone for Written on the Wind, a decision I love to death. (more…)