Thursday, February 19, 2009

Academy Award Winners

This Sunday marks the yearly festival where ridiculously rich Hollywood types gather together for a mutual love fest, handing out statues of a little golden man. That's right it is time for the 2009 Oscars. I have never been one to watch the award shows on TV. Like most people I have seen some bits and pieces over the years but it is certainly not must see TV.

Recently I have found some use for the Oscars. By viewing the nominations I hope to find a movie or two that I have missed out on because it flew under my radar. The awards for 2006 helped me out in that arena. I had not heard about "The Last King of Scotland" until Forrest Whitaker was nominated for best actor, which he won. I watched and loved that movie. I have seen it several times and Whitaker gave a powerful and scary performance as Idi Amin the Ugandan dictator. Another movie I found from that year's awards and enjoyed to a slightly lesser degree was "Little Miss Sunshine." It was nominated for several awards. Alan Arkin won for supporting actor. While I always enjoy him I am not sure how he won for that performance. Nonetheless, the movie had that enjoyable independent low budget feel while remaining clever and funny. It was a nice movie. Last year I watched and enjoyed "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Men" in part due to their Oscar buzz.

Most of the time I don't agree with the Best Picture winners. Sometimes I disagree on merit, believing a movie just wasn't deserving or maybe another movie was more deserving. Other times I am just not interested in whatever documentary or independent type film the Hollywood elite are pushing that particular year. Once in a while they agree with me.

The new dad spin on this post is wondering which Academy Award Best Picture winners are worthy of passing down to my son. My regular readers know that I wonder what type of interest Braden and I will share quite often. I have already wondered will he fish with me? Will he watch Seinfeld with me? Will he play a musical instrument? Today I am asking myself which movies I will choose to share with him. My DVD collection is well over 100 movies so I have many favorites to choose from. I am sure the best way is to watch movies and allow him to show interest as he pleases, but for the sake of this discussion I am going to choose movies to share. I am limiting it only to the Best Picture winners in honor of the Academy handing out some new hardware this weekend.
Below is my list of worthy films compiled from the list of winners found here. There are some others that just barely missed the final cut like "No Country for Old Men." I enjoyed the old war movies "Patton" and "The Bridge on the River Kwai", but I didn't quite feel strongly enough about them to merit their inclusion. While on the subject of war movies it is inexplicable that "Saving Private Ryan" did not win even though Spielberg did win best director. Without further ado I give you my list.
  • 2006: The Departed - Thank you Scorsese for going back to your gangster roots
  • 2003: The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King - Unbelievable trilogy. I don't care if it makes me a dork or not.
  • 2000: Gladiator - ....I will have my vengeance in this life or the next. (I actually tried to recite this entire quote standing in the middle of the Colosseum. That settles it. I am a dork)
  • 1995: Braveheart - Epic battle scenes are awesome
  • 1994: Forest Gump - Hilarious with a mix of hope, destiny, and chance floating on a breeze
  • 1992: Unforgiven - Clint Eastwood. Enough said.
  • 1988: Rain Man - Dustin Hoffman is unreal
  • 1986: Platoon - I love war movies and they rarely make the cut for Oscar
  • 1976: Rocky - Rocky is one of the greatest movie characters of all time
  • 1975: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Jack Nicholson at his best
  • 1974: The Godfather Part II - I think Godfather I & II combine to form the greatest movie of all time.
  • 1972: The Godfather - see above


Brian o vretanos said...

That's an interesting list. My (10-year old) daughter Helena and I have watched the following ones together:

1931/2: Grand Hotel - a few days in the life of a group of hotel guests. Better than it sounds ;-)

1936: The Great Ziegfeld - I'm not into dancing and shows, but the set pieces in this are astounding.

1956: Around the World in 80 Days

1973: The Sting - She loved the music.

And looking at this list reminds me we've got to watch Rebecca (1940: tale of love, loss and lesbians), and The Apartment (1960: Jack Lemmon + Shirley MacLaine).

My personal favourites would be On the Waterfront, The Sting, The Godfather and American Beauty.

Gladiator was just too sad...

Big Papa said...

Love the inclusion of Unforgiven, too many people forget about that one. Every time I watch it I wish they would make more quality westerns.

New-Dad-Blog said...

I was up with my little girl the other night and Unforgiven was on. . .

"You just shot an unarmed man."
"Guess he should have armed himself."

That's so gritty it leaves a little sand in your ear. . .go ahead check. . .

AMC played that movie back to back and it's so damn good I watched it twice. . .even though I have it on DVD!