It’s time once again to measure the year’s Best Picture nominees against the famous Howard Hawks criteria for a good film — “one with three great scenes and no bad ones.” Which of the 2017/2018 Best Picture contenders meet Hawks’ definition of a quality-level film and which don’t?
You need to do two things: (1) List the three good scenes in Call Me by Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and (2) answer honestly if any of these films have any bad scenes.
HE nitpickers have tried to dismiss the Hawks criteria, but a movie that delivers three great scenes and no shitty ones is always a very good film. Because people always tend to remember those extra-powerful or poignant moments. Because they always sink in.
HE’s list of Hawks’ seven best films (in this order): Red River, Only Angels Have Wings, The Big Sleep, Bringing Up Baby, His Girl Friday, Air Force, Scarface.