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Archive for January, 2012

The Oscar Quest: Best Directors Who Didn’t Win Best Director

Earlier today, I posted a “Best Pictures That Didn’t Win Best Picture” list, as a way for people to see some stuff that might not get as much press as the stuff that won. Of course, much of the list is populated with great films that everyone knows about. But the real point there is to show you the films that you might not recognize at first glance. The idea is: If I’m putting those films in the same category as the ones you do know, then maybe you should check them out.

Now I’m moving onto Best Director. Many of the efforts here are here because they’re great films. However, in many cases, they’re also here because the directorial effort is really strong. In fact, as I scroll down the list, I notice that all of the efforts I put on are really good in some way. These are efforts that, if you watched the films solely for their direction, you’d get quite a lot out of them, because they’re really well made. That’s how you should view this list — films to see if you want to learn what good directing is (that didn’t win an Oscar for directing).

As I said earlier when I posted the Best Pictures list, this is simply a list of all the great nominees for Oscars that never won. There’s no conjecture about whether or not it should have won — it’s simply, they were nominated, they didn’t win, they were great. Here they are: (more…)

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The Oscar Quest: Best Pictures That Didn’t Win Best Picture

I think the title is pretty self-explanatory. This is about as close to Santa Claus Conquers the Martians as I’m gonna get.

People talk all the time about what won Best Picture, but no one really spends any time talking about what didn’t win. There are a lot of great pictures that didn’t win Best Picture. Remember when Steven Spielberg presented Best Picture this past year? He said the film that won Best Picture would “join a list that includes On the Waterfront, Midnight Cowboy, The Godfather and The Deer Hunter,” and that the rest would “join a list that includes The Grapes of Wrath, Citizen Kane, The Graduate, and Raging Bull.”

Here is that second list. A list of all the films that didn’t win Best Picture (but were nominated) that are legitimately great films. This list DOES NOT take into account whether or not they should have won, or any of that conjecture. It’s simply what I consider the best films that were nominated for Best Picture but didn’t win. I want to give some press to the bridesmaids. Some of these films are practically forgotten today.

Some of them are classic films that we all know are great, some of them are great films that nobody knows about. Some of them are just amazingly good films to watch. Put it this way — if a film is on this list, you should check it out. I tried to restrict it to only the very best or the most entertaining. You’ll see what I mean. I don’t think you can go wrong with anything you find here. (Though some are personal choices.)

I’ve decided to limit the list to what I consider the top 100 films. (I’m also keeping the pas decade (2002-2011) off the list. I like letting a decade pass before making any decisions on the films). Another 50 films will also be at the bottom. (more…)


Pic of the Day: “Don Corleone, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your home on the wedding day of your daughter. And may their first child be a masculine child.”

The Godfather - 9


Ranking the Best Pictures

Here we are — the big magilla. Ranking all the Best Picture winners.

Again, let me remind you:

  • The rankings are irrelevant. They’re just personal preference. The goal here is to help you discover more movies.
  • Don’t get hung up on the numbers, focus on the fact that it’s about getting people to see more movies. (And if you want to criticize, I require that you’ve seen at least 50 of the performances, otherwise you’ll be completely ignored.)

This list, unlike the rest of them, will be based solely on personal preference. It’s really the only way to do it. It’s simply a list of the order in which I enjoyed each Best Picture winner. And, like all of the lists, it’s irrelevant to category. It doesn’t matter if it should have won or shouldn’t have — it’s simply, “Here are all the winners, here’s the order in which I enjoyed them.”

Also, I’m not gonna break them down into tiers like I did for the other ones. It’s just a good, old-fashioned list.

The one question I have here is whether or not to include Sunrise. Since the Academy really doesn’t include it on its list of Best Pictures, I won’t. Just know that if I did, I’d put it right between 12 and 13. Or maybe 11 and 12. (more…)


Ranking the Best Directors

Today we reach the big two. Over the past two days, I’ve ranked all the Best Supporting Actress winners, the Best Supporting Actor winners, the Best Actress winners, and the Best Actor winners. Now — Best Director, and later, Best Picture.

Again, let me remind you, as always:

  • The rankings are irrelevant. They’re just personal preference. The goal here is to help you discover more movies.
  • Don’t get hung up on the numbers, focus on the fact that it’s about getting people to see more movies. (And if you want to criticize, I require that you’ve seen at least 50 of the efforts, otherwise you’ll be completely ignored.)

There are 84 here because the first Best Director category was split into Comedy/Dramatic categories. (more…)


Pic of the Day: “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word … Plastics.”

The Graduate - 5


Oscars 2011 Update: SAG Awards

The Screen Actors Guild Awards were just handed out, and — gotta tell you, only one real surprise in the bunch. I’m not really gonna spend too much time on it. Just a quick rundown of the awards in the order they gave them out.

First was Best Supporting Actor (since when has every award show adopted the “Best Supporting Actor first” rule?), and Christopher Plummer winning again for Beginners. The train doesn’t end, folks. He’s on it all the way to Oscar station. (Or, The Last Station, if you will. Congratulations to the 30 people who got that joke.) The Academy skews older, which is how Alan Alda beats Eddie Murphy, and Morgan Freeman beats Clive Owen. But when SAG goes veteran — it’s over. Plummer is your Oscar winner, folks. As we suspected from New Year’s.

Second award was Best Male Actor in a Comedy Series, which went to Alec Baldwin for 30 Rock, which is not surprising at all. Alec wins this every year.

Next was Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series, which went to Modern Family. Totally expected development. Pretty ho-hum night to start. (more…)