Friday, February 13, 2009

Oscar countdown: Day 9

In my first Oscar countdown post, I alluded to past injustices that still get my teeth to gnashing when I think about them.

Let's start with one that turns 10 this year: the Best Picture Oscar race for 1998.

"Saving Private Ryan" was the best movie of the year, hands down. I don't think there's very many people today who would argue with that. And yet "Shakespeare in Love" took the trophy in a huge surprise to everyone except studio chief Harvey Weinstein, who lobbied ferociously for his film.

Now, "Shakespeare" is a very fine movie, and I enjoy it every time I see it. But it's a trifle -- a piffle, an incandescent thing of wondrous beauty and little substance. Whereas "Ryan" is, I dunno, the best war movie of the last 30 years.

"Brokeback Mountain" also lost in an upset to "Crash" a few years ago, and I think people are already regretting that one. In that case, I make no illusion toward begrudging respect: I found "Crash" wildly uneven and contrived. Parts of it sang, and parts of it stunk.

But "Ryan" is the one that always gets me going. Well, there is another one...


  1. Crash + Best Picture = Biggest Travesty Ever.

  2. Say it, brother. Not only did it not deserve to win, it did not deserve a nomination.