Archive for May 18, 2012

The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1974

Oh, I love 1974 so much. (This will be, and has been, a recurring theme of the 70s with me.) Look at all five of these choices. And look at what won! Man, what a year.

The Godfather Part II, I think we can all agree, is one of the top five or ten best Best Picture winners of all time. Francis Ford Coppola winning Best Director for it (talked about here) is one of the top five Best Director decisions of all time, especially considering the Academy passed over him for the first Godfather. Robert De Niro also won Best Supporting Actor for the film (talked about here). I think we all know how good he was. Now, outside of those three — Art Carney wins Best Actor for Harry and Tonto (talked about here), which is one of the single worst Best Actor decisions of all time. Seriously Bottom five. Simply because Carney beat Al Pacino (in Godfather), Jack Nicholson (in Chinatown), Dustin Hoffman (in Lenny) and Albert Finney (in Murder on the Orient Express). None of these actors had an Oscar at this point, and this decision is what prevented Al Pacino from getting his Oscar until 1992 (and then prevented Denzel from getting his until 2001. Not to mention also potentially keeping Robert Downey Jr. and Clint Eastwood from an Oscar as well). I think we can agree it was bad. Best Actress was Ellen Burstyn for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (talked about here). It was a good decision. Burstyn was great in the role, but I can’t help but feel that Gena Rowlands deserved it more for A Woman Under the Influence. And Ingrid Bergman won Best Supporting Actress for Murder on the Orient Express (talked about here), which is clearly a veteran win, because she’s only on screen for five minutes and does next-to-nothing in the film.

Overall, 1974 is a huge success, and is in a way, the heart of the 70s. I’m seriously in awe of this decade.


And the nominees were…

Chinatown (Paramount)

The Conversation (Paramount)

The Godfather Part II (Paramount)

Lenny (United Artists)

The Towering Inferno (20th Century Fox, Warner Bros.) (more…)

Pic of the Day: “Release the Kraken.”