Best Picture Marathon… An Introduction

An actual Oscar statuette to be presented during the 79th Annual Academy Awards sits in a display case in Hollywood

Let me just preface this by saying I will never be doing two themed months in a row ever again. If I ever say I’m going to, please stop me. I’m dead serious. Sometimes during the past month or so I’ve been wanting to watch and write about random films that don’t necessarily belong to these categories. For example, ever since I saw Django Unchained I’ve been wanting to get into Tarantino’s filmography but I haven’t had time because I scheduled these things. Don’t get me wrong: I had fun with Hitchcock and I’m excited for this too, but I have a feeling that two months in a row of pre-determined film watching and reviewing is going to get on my nerves a bit.

Nevertheless, I am excited for this February marathon which is based on the Oscars. Leading up to 85th Academy Awards, I’m going to be looking back on the films that have won best picture in the past. I’ve seen about thirty of them last time I counted; I’ll be doing some rewatches and viewing some films that are new to me as well. I don’t have all of them decided on yet, but I’m going to try to get a range of time periods as best I can (though I already discovered on looking back on the ones I’ve already seen that I really like the 60s and the 70s I guess). I’ve actually recently reviewed one, Rebecca. I also reviewed The Lost Weekend back in November I think, but it got mysteriously and ironically lost.

These are some of the films I have planned: Grand Hotel (1932), Casablanca (1943), From Here to Eternity (1953), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), The Sting (1973), Terms of Endearment (1983), Unforgiven (1992), The English Patient (1996), Gladiator (2000), The Departed (2006), No Country for Old Men (2007), and last year’s winner The Artist. Hopefully I’ll get in some more as well; I’m aiming for twenty but I’m not sure I’ll quite get there.

I myself have only been paying attention to the academy awards since last year, and it was kind of halfhearted because the only film I saw that year that was nominated for anything was The Muppets (and it won best original song, as I impressively predicted ha ha!). I only watched half of the show; I’m more of the type of person who just wants to know who won already. Plus it was a school night (oh I was so cute back then…). This year I made a point to see more some oscary films, and I will be predicting the winners soon. I’m also excited because it’s supposed to be James Bond themed! Assuming I get to actually watch the ceremony that is; I don’t actually have a tv and work on Sunday nights. It’s a double impediment that I’m still trying to rise above.

The Oscars are kind of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s nice to have a way to recognize the best films of the year. But even if you ignore all the political stuff at play, they still might not even be a good indicator of what the best films of all time are. Many great films were not recognized as great when they were actually made, and besides that a film that was nominated but lost a previous year might be better than all the nominees the next year. Even though the system is not perfect, it’s nice to have some sort of benchmark when you’re talking about a film. If you know a film won an academy award, you know it has a better chance at being a “good” film. Along with opinions of critics, I find them helpful when trying to decide if a film is “good” or not. I don’t know a lot about film; I’ve learned a lot but I still only really know what I like. Not that I’ve liked or thought all of the best picture winners were good (I stopped watching the 1936 winner The Great Ziegfeld halfway through because I could simply not stand it), but I’ve liked and/or appreciated the quality of many of them.

It’s also pretty fun to interact with them. Most people that get into the Oscars I think seem to have a pretty fun time disagreeing with the Academy. (I’m still really mad that my favorite film of all time didn’t win, and whenever I get to discussing the Oscars I always bring this up). I’ve been having a lot of fun debating who/what should win this year, and I’m excited to see who does. The thing is, the Academy is just a really big group of people who also have opinions about movies. I’m excited to hear what they have to say, even if it’s really political and I’m going to disagree with them anyway.

8 responses to “Best Picture Marathon… An Introduction

  1. I look forward to your Oscar and Tarantino marathon. I recommend starting with his Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs. If you like them, you really enjoy Kill Bill. I’ve been thinking of writing a post about ranking some recent Oscar Best Picture winners myself.

    • Awesome! But I have to warn you it’s not going to be a straight up Tarantino marathon, it’s going to be more sporadic. I’m thinking of doing one a week, actually. I don’t know if I could handle all of his films at once, to be honest. I do have Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs planned, as well as Inglorious Bastards which I have been meaning to watch for the longest time ever. Not sure about Kill Bill though, the idea never really appealed to me. If it goes well I’ll get it for the sake of completeness though.
      I’ll keep an eye out for your oscar rankings though, that should be cool!

  2. You’ve got some impressive films lined up! You’re gonna have a blast watching/rewatching all of those and writing them up!

    But I do have to say, predicting winner of Best Song last year wasnt that hard in a field of two. LOL

    • I know it’s not that impressive. It was meant as a joke. 🙂 I was still a bit proud of myself though, and I was happy that it won. I listen to that song probably more than I should…
      Anyway, yeah, I am still excited for this marathon though. I have liked most of the new ones that I’ve seen so far! Hopefully I will get to fit in some more as well.

  3. I wish I could watch the ceremony but chances are I will not be able to. Its sucks because I love that stuff.

    • I know… I’m still not sure if I will be able to see it, or if I will only be able to see part of it, or not be able to see any of it… But I’m more interesting in the outcomes than what anybody wears or says or anything. Don’t care to much about that.

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