The Oscar is probably the most important award that a movie, producer, director, screenwriter and actor can win. It’s what sets a movie apart from all the others, and what turns an actor into a star. And since it is such an important award, it’s only natural to raise comments and debates. Not anybody can be happy with the movies that win. And I, for one, feel that the movies that won the Oscar for Best Picture in the past 5 years were not really the best choice.
1. The Artist
This year’s winner was The Artist, as expected. But, now, really, would any of you have even bothered to see The Artist if it wasn’t nominated? Everybody keeps saying that it really deserved to win. But was it really better than The Help, Midnight In Paris or Hugo? Besides being so well done and played, The Help brings up a really interesting story concerning racial discrimination. While Midnight in Paris and Hugo are such creative movies, that you can only envy the screenwriter and the director’s imagination that led to these beautiful and original stories. And I think that it’s a shame for these stories to get overlooked, and a silent, black and white movie to win Best Picture. It’s like saying that you’d rather carry a 1 pound cell phone in your purse instead of an iPhone, and spend all day washing your clothes in the river, using homemade soap, instead of throwing them in the washer.
2. The King’s Speech
Last year’s winner was The King’s Speech. And I must admit that it was a great movie. But this had nothing to do with the plot, because, let’s be serious, who wasn’t expecting it to end exactly as it did? What made it a really good movie was Colin Firth. But is great acting enough for a movie to be considered the best? If so, why didn’t 127 Hours or Black Swan go home with the prize? After all, these were also movies where the actors made the plot interesting, and not the other way around. The King’s Speech is, without a doubt, a good movie. But I wouldn’t watch it more than once. And when I hear Best Picture, I think of a movie that’s so good that I would want to watch it over and over again. Like Scent of a Woman, The Godfather, Seven, American Beauty or Inception…the latter being, in fact, nominated for this category, along with The King’s Speech.
3. The Hurt Locker
The most disappointing winner of the past 5 years is, by far, The Hurt Locker. If I can understand nostalgia as a reason for The Artist to be considered Best Picture, or the great acting for The King’s Speech to win, I really can’t see any reason why The Hurt Locker should even be nominated. And to compete against movies like Avatar or Inglorious Bastards and win…that’s just unbelievable. Creatively speaking, Avatar can even pass for a masterpiece. And Inglorious Bastards is the living proof that there are still enough things to be said about one of the darkest periods in history, and there are still other sides to the stories that we’ve heard about and seen hundreds of times before. Why would anybody think that soldiers detonating bombs for hours is more interesting, creative or more dramatic than these movies, or the other that were nominated for this category, will forever be a mystery.
4. Slumdog Millionaire
Looking back at the nominees for Best Picture at the 81st edition of the Academy Awards, it looked like anything could happen. Because there were at least 4 great movies nominated. And which one of these won? The fifth, of course. The movie that in no other world would have been considered better than Milk or The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. And this was Slumdog Millionaire. Don’t get me wrong, the story is touching and the message regarding destiny, and how some things are meant to be, gives you something to think about after watching the movie. But it kind of makes you wonder. Why was Colin Firth’s impeccable acting enough for The King’s Speech to win Best Picture 2 years later, but Sean Penn’s amazing acting wasn’t enough for Milk to win?
5. No Country For Old Men
5 years ago, when No Country For Old Men won the award for Best Picture, I must admit that I didn’t get it. It was a pretty weird movie and, most of the time, nobody was saying anything. Plus, I find background music as a must for a movie to get me in the mood where I can say that I actually feel what the character is going through. But now, seeing how a silent movie could win Best Picture in an era when communication and technology are so powerful that they can be used as weapons, I am no longer amazed. I must admit that I found Juno to be a much more touching and realistic story than No Country For Old Men. However, I can accept that No Country For Old Men is a good movie, but not the best. However, all this has got me thinking: if 5 years ago a half silent movie won, and this year a silent, black and white movie was the winner, does that mean that 5 years from now we can expect the award for Best Picture to go to a black, silent dot on a black screen?