Thursday, February 27, 2014

Best Picture Winners 2009 - 2013

The count is now 46 out of 80 (and I think I've been quite generous to the Academy all the way through.)

But the rules change starting in 2009, going back old school when there were more nominees. (Spoiler - The new system does not work wonders.)

2009 - The winner was The Hurt Locker, and it's a good film. But not as good as nominees Inglourious Basterds, A Serious Man or Up. It's better than The Blind Side, District 9, An Education and Up in the Air (good films all.) It's quite fortunate that the two bad nominations, Avatar and Precious, didn't win. An Academy fail, but the best pick so far of the revamped system.

2010 - Now the picks start getting really weak, with The King's Speech winning Best Picture. Nominees that were far better - 127 Hours, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, Toy Story 3, True Grit and Winter's Bone. I did like KS better than only one other nominee, The Kids are Alright. (It is a rare thing in this year that I like all the nominees to some degree.) I think nominee, The Social Network, is the film that will be remembered as the year's best. Time will tell. But I really doubt time will tell us The King's Speech.

2011 - As I said, I liked all the nominees in 2011, but 2011 has some real stinker. I like the winner, The Artist, but it shouldn't have won. It won because the Academy likes films about Hollywood. Bad films nominated for Best Picture this year - The Help, Midnight in Paris, War Horse and especially, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Decent nominees - The Descendants and Hugo. But the prize should have gone to Tree of Life or my favorite, Moneyball. (Moneyball is about the Oakland A's, which clearly makes it one of the best films ever.)

2012 - Again, I like the winner, Argo. And the Academy clearly like that it made movie makers into life saving heroes. But the best films among the nominees were Django Unchained, Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln (which would have had my vote.) I do though like Argo better than nominees Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, and The Silver Linings Playbook. So the new era has not been promising.

We come to the 2014 Academy Awards with an Academy record of 46 out of 84 good picks. Over fifty percent, but that's with generosity. Tomorrow, before looking at this year's films, I'll look at the extremely rare times when the Academy may have actually picked the Best Picture of the year for Best Picture of the year.

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