This Best Picture slide show, which I saw a little while ago on Sasha Stone‘s Oscarwatch, is, for starters, technically substandard with its cavalcade of muddy desaturated third-generation poster images. And the music that plays with the images is trite and tedious. But the main import is one of vague depression as the thing that hits you most if how “meh” a good percentage of the Best Picture winners now seem to be, particularly those from the late ’20s and ’30s. The best decade by far was the ’70s, no question.
Why is it I can’t seem to make myself rent a DVD of Dances With Wolves, which took the 1990 Best Picture Oscar. I’ve said to myself time and again, “Why don’t I rent the long version?” There’s a part of me that wants to, but I never do it. That’s because the Wolves-friendly part of me is a fairly small part — the much larger and stronger and more passionate part would rather watch Goodfellas for the 17th time. This is what much of the Best Picture Oscar legacy feels like to me — something I nominally respect but don’t really want to get into all that much.
I can watch Gone With the Wind, Million Dollar Baby, The Best Years of Our Lives, On The Waterfront, From Here to Eternity, The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Apartment, The Godfather I & II, American Beauty, Unforgiven, All About Eve, Ben-Hur and The French Connection over and over again, but will I ever actually sit down and watch Wings again, or You Can’t Take It WIth You, Gigi, Marty, Driving Miss Daisy, Mrs. Miniver, Around the World in 80 Days or any of the other not-too- bad-but-really-not very-goods, which, after watching that video, seem more plentiful than the former group?