Oh, I hate having to talk about this year. This is one of the most contentious Best Picture choices of all time. It really is. Everyone has an opinion.
Generally considered one of the strongest Best Picture categories ever — Rocky takes the win. Fortunately, the film has become iconic, so the win doesn’t look as bad as something like Chariots of Fire does. It also wins Best Director for John G. Avildsen (talked about here). That actually helped the decision seem stronger, since it helps when they show it more support than just the Picture win. Best Actor was Peter Finch for Network (talked about here), and while he was more of a strong supporting role in the film, he was actually a good decision, since William Holden had an Oscar already and De Niro would win his later. Faye Dunaway also won Best Actress for the film (talked about here), which actually was a great decision, since she was so overdue by this point. And Beatrice Straight won Best Supporting Actress for the film (talked about here), after giving a 5 1/2 minute performance. I don’t really think she should have won, but hey — Jodie certainly came out okay from it. And Jason Robards won Best Supporting Actor for All the President’s Men (talked about here), which was an amazing decision. He’s so good in that.
Now, let me say — there’s a lot of contention here. And everyone is entitled to their opinion. I see why Rocky is considered a “lesser” film to at least three of the other nominees. But, honestly — I love the film so much, and knowing that it won — it actually makes it a lot easier for me to vote for it, guilt-free. I probably could have said that for any one of four films if they had won this category. In a year like this, I personally just marvel at the films rather than quibble about what should have won.
BEST PICTURE – 1976
And the nominees are…
All the President’s Men (Warner Bros.)
Bound for Glory (United Artists)
Network (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, United Artists)
Rocky (United Artists)
Taxi Driver (Columbia) (more…)