3/5/05

Oscar 'losers'

He's (Scorsese) in excellent company, side-by-side with American filmmakers who've never won a competitive Oscar like Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock (who was nominated six times, incidentally, and lost all six times--and wasn't even nominated for his masterpiece, Vertigo)

Klause Weaseley: Orson Welles won an Oscar for SCREENPLAY, Noel. Unless of course you're talking about DIRECTING Oscars.

Shared, with Herman Mankiewicz.

Yeah, I mean directing. And not honoring Welles for Magnificent Ambersons, Macbeth, Othello, Touch of Evil, Chimes of Midnight, F is for Fake, among many, many others.

Was looking at the 1966 best picture winners at the Oscars--Sound of Music, ugh. A better film than, say, Chimes of Midnight? I think not.

Funny tho, Chimes was nominated, at the Cannes Film Festival, and lost to--A Man and a Woman! Would you believe Welles losing to that 90 minute cigarette commercial? Sometimes Cannes has its off days, too.

wedge: Hehe. Remember getting the dvd of Un Homme et Un Femme merely because the blurb says "Winner of Cannes Palme D'Or". Got me there. Yeah. Also remember branding the film an overextended Heno de Pravia ad.

Klaus Weaseley: Oh, btw, Noel, Alfred Hitchcock is NOT an American. He's British.

Oh, jeez, you mean Hitchcock wasn't speaking in a Southern accent?  Shocked

He made American films later in his career; some of them were nominated for best picture and best director. One of his pictures won best picture--Rebecca, not one of his better films, I think--but he's never been honored for the really great films he's made (Notorious; Psycho; Vertigo; Rear Window; North by Northwest, etc., etc.).

halvert: have the oscars ever gotten it right? like godfather?

Godfather 1 and 2.

And I think they gave a special award to Murnau's Sunrise.

That's about it.

Klaus Weaseley: What about How Green Was My Valley? Or any one of John Ford's works? Roman Polanski for directing The Pianist? All About Eve? The Lost Weekend? 8 1/2, The Shop on Main Street, Rashomon, Fanny and Alexander and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeouisie all won Best Foreign Language Film. Talk to Her won for Best Original Screenplay.

Y'know who lost to How Green is My Valley, right?

Polanski's award was a mercy Oscar. He deserves one, but he deserved one long ago, for Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby.

All About Eve and Lost Weekend are overrated.

The foreign winners are good films, but there are others that same year, or films by the same directors, that were better and weren't honored.

Talk to Her is way overrated.

indie boi: Oscars mean nothing. They are not the Nobel Prize for movies; they are an industry giving prizes to itself. Oscar Night is a big convention that, for reasons beyond my ken, 800 million other people feel obliged to watch. It's a long, stuffy party, and the Oscars are the party favors.

-- Richard Corliss, Time Magazine

Yeah. Looked up a few things, here's what I found:

Great films of 2002: Spirited Away (2001, but it reached the US 2002); Sokurov's The Russian Ark.

Spirited Away deserved its 2003 animation Oscar, but I thought it deserved more--that it was the best of that year.

8 1/2 is a great film, but that's the same year as The Leopard.

The Shop on Main Street--the same year as Chimes of Midnight? No way, Jose. Deserves its Oscar over A Man and a Cigarette Commercial, though.

Rashomon is a great film, but hardly Kurosawa's best (I'd say that's Ikiru, or Seven Samurai), and that same year was Welles' even greater and more beautiful black-and-white Othello--again, ignored by the Academy.

I like Fanny and Alexander but it's hardly Bergman's best (that would be Shame, The Seventh Seal, Smiles of the Summer Night among many others). And that year was Scorsese's King of Comedy, Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, Geoff Murphy's Utu and Bresson's L'Argent.

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeouisie is a lovely late film, but again, not Bunuel's best (Los Olvidados, Viridiana, Simon of the Desert).

Anyway, I've said before I find the idea of a Best Foreign film absurd--what, the rest of the world only makes five great films a year? Hollywood could barely manage one a decade.

halvert: i like 'allabout eve' and 'talk to her'.
chacun a son gout, i guess.
what about sophia loren's win? or jodie foster? or brando?did anyone deserve his/her acting oscar?

Actually I enjoyed All About Eve, (and Bette Davis was great in that one; also George Sanders), and even Talk to Her (it had maybe one outrageous moment, where Almodovar used to have five or six). I just think there are better films around, if the Academy bothered to actually look.

Sophia's a wonderful comedienne, tho I thought Silvia Pinal was better in Viridiana. Jodie Foster is about as empathic as a mousetrap, plus I thought Glenn Close acted circles around her in Dangerous Liaisons (she was villainous and sympathetic).

Brando should have won for Streetcar Named Desire (they were busy clearing up their backlog re: Humphrey Bogart) and Last Tango in Paris (I don't know what they owed Lemmon, but his was definitely not the best performance that year--yeah, I saw Save the Tiger), not for the films where he actually won (Pacino should've gotten Brando's Oscar--and it should have been for lead actor, not supporting). As always, the Oscars get it all mixed up.

2 comments:

gypsytrader49 said...

You really know your movie stuff. I totally agree. Sometime I think Hollywood is populated by a bunch of coke-heads with their heads up their butts.. Not a pretty sight.
Any way I LOVED The Russian Ark,too,  Got it out of the public library and watched almost everyday for a week incl. with  the director's commentary.

noelbotevera said...

Thanks. I do my best. Only seen Russian Ark twice, myself.