With the Oscars just around the corner I wanted to talk about a few moments in Oscar history that have baffled me, irritated me or just made me laugh in disgust. The Oscars have had more than their fair share of slights in the past and have let the “politics” of film muddle the whole process. Deciding that grand standing and “sympathy awards” (aka awards given to someone because they were slighted in the past, even though they might not deserve it that year) trumped the celebration of great film. It was nice to see with this years field that we are getting back to what makes award shows enjoyable. The true appreciation of some of 2007’s best movies and actors. But I digress, the true meaning of this post is to highlight some of the low-lights of Oscar’s past.
Biggest “Sham” List:
1998 – “Shakespeare In Love” winning Best Picture over “Saving Private Ryan” (this was the year in my mind that started the downfall of the Oscars into their current state)
2005 – “Crash” Winning Best Picture (here is to giving the award to the least deserving film among the group: “Capote”, “Munich”, “Good Night and Good Luck”, “Brokeback Mountain”. A “PC” award if I have ever seen one)
1964 – The Utter love fest with “My Fair Lady” is sick. (Peter Sellers deserved the award for best actor. And how was George C. Scott not even nominated for his role in Dr. Strangelove?)
1994 – “Forrest Gump” wins Best Picture over “The Shawshank Redemption” (I truly think “Forrest Gump” is a highly overrated movie.)
2006 – “Pan’s Labyrinth” not nominated for Best Picture (either Babel or Little Miss Sunshine should have been given the boot)
2001 – Best actor goes to Denzel Washington for “Training Day” (this was the biggest joke of an award in some time. Don’t get me wrong the guy is a great actor, but his job in this film was less then stellar. )
1999 – “American Beauty” wins Best Picture (yikes, what a bad decision. An ok movie, but not worth of this award at all.)
Greatest Oscar Moment:
George C. Scott gets this honor for not just once but twice rejecting a nomination from the Oscars. First for his role in “Anatomy of a Murder” in which he said this: “Actors are the world’s oldest, underprivileged minority – looked upon as nothing but buffoons, one step above thieves and charlatans. These award ceremonies simply compound the image for me.”
His second great moment came when he refused his Best Actor Oscar for his role in “Patton” with this clever line: “The whole thing is a goddamn meat parade. I don’t want any part of it.”
Worst Oscar Moment:
Hands down it has to be in 1999 when Roberto Benigni won the Best Actor Oscar for “Life is Beautiful”. When his award was announced, he hurdled over chairs and audience members on his way to the stage, making a complete ass of himself. He than preceded to ramble in broken English (which seemed sincere) for way too long, and it made me uncomfortable. It is forever scared into my brain.