Oscar Movie Watch: Update

Last May I wrote about how I was on a ‘mission’ to watch all the oscar best picture winners . I’m still doing it, even though I haven’t written about it in a while. Here is an update (again, I’m listing all the winners just for ease of understanding) with the new reviews having a picture next to them. The titles in bold are the movies I have seen.

  1. Wings
  2.  The Broadway Melody
  3. All Quiet on the Western Front
  4. Cimarron
  5. Grand Hotel
  6. Cavalcade
  7. It Happened One Night
  8. Mutiny on the Bounty
  9. The Great Ziegfeld
  10. The Life of Emile Zola
  11. You Can’t Take it With You
  12. Gone with the Wind
  13. Rebecca
  14. How Green Was my Valley
  15. Mrs MiniverMrs. Miniver I’m quite torn about this movie. It was slow and despite the fact that there was a war on the stakes didn’t seem very high. There was more conflict between a woman (Mrs. Miniver) and an old lady about a rose competition then there was about anything else. Which kills me mainly because this movie is so clearly a military propaganda piece. Or commercial might be the better term, it flat out advertises war bonds at the end of the film. I don’t know if I’ve seen movies from this year before or not but I think the fact that since it was during the war had a big emphasis on it winning. Perhaps I’m cynical though, if you take all the politics out of this review the only downside (in my eyes) to this movie was the lack of pacing. They couldn’t very well have the war hero coming home victorious since the war was still happening and that, perhaps, was the actual point.
  16. CasablancaCasablancaThis movie was a clear case of having unsubstantiated high expectations. I’ve always heard this is a phenomenal movie, and while I enjoyed it (who doesn’t like a good Humphrey Bogart flick) it wasn’t the blow out epic I was expecting. I find this is more and more true the more classics I see, like Breakfast at Tiffanys. I did really like the unexpected ally that appeared in the end (not going to spoil it if you haven’t seen it). I truly wasn’t expecting that person to put themselves out there so much, sure they had been helpful when they could be in the film, but that was a new level. In that regard, way to go script writer, you got me. 
  17. Going My WayGoing my way  – Oh Bing, what did you get yourself into? I saw both this and the sequel, The Bells of Saint Mary’s. Although the acting and everything was fine the stories themselves were very disjointed. The premise of these films is that Father O’Malley comes in to the various established systems (be it church or school) and shakes things up. However that wasn’t really shown. There would be one or two scenes at the beginning showing that O’Malley butt heads with the person in charge but then they both work to get along. Isn’t that just how it is when two personalities meet? Both movies had several story lines woven together, but some of them didn’t really seem to make sense, more so in Going my Way then in the Bells of Saint Mary’s. In that sense they got better as the continued the series. Anyway all that aside I did like this movie, especially when compared to some of the past winners I’ve watched. Would I watch it again? Not likely, but a little time with Bing is always enjoyable. That crooner just knows how to turn a musical phrase (yes there was singing in these movies).
  18. The Lost WeekendThe Lost Weekend Never again. Dislike doesn’t quite do my emotion toward this movie justice. It’s about a hardcore alcoholic who can’t kick the habit (despite the insistence/help from his brother and girlfriend. He decides to runaway/hide/is abandoned for the weekend which by the end of the long weekend nearly commits suicide. That really is all you need to know about this movie. Just don’t watch it, however if you have seen it and find some redeeming qualities please share them with me, perhaps I can be brought around. I think what annoys me the most is I can’t just outright hate it because I want to empathize or root for the main character. I want him to turn it around so he can have the good life he would otherwise have. However these feelings aren’t based in any good qualities the character actually exhibits.
  19. The Best Years of Our LivesThe Best Years of Our Lives Just finished this one and it was long and probably could be condensed but all in all I did like it. It was nice to have on while I multitasked. It was about three returning veterans from World War II. I did come to care about the three guys and to root for them to make it. It was interesting to see how they adjusted to civilian life. One was a successful banker who was put in charge of GI loan bills, however he seemed destined to always side with the vets despite it not being lucrative for the bank. A situation where the banks theory of having a returning solider be in charge of such things was good in theory, but in practice perhaps not the best idea. The second guy, who had really excelled in the air force, was in experienced in working practices and fell into his old job which was better suited for a younger person (he was a soda jerk, so I guess it’d be like having a job typically held by a high school/college kid). He was having issues with that, add to that a wife he met and married right before he left and he had a recipe for disaster on his hands. The third guy and had both of his hands amputated in the war and was adjusting to life with hooks, a difficult task indeed.
  20. Gentleman’s Agreement
  21. Hamlet
  22. All the King’s Men
  23. All about Eve
  24. An American in Paris
  25. The Greatest Show on Earth
  26. From Here to Eternity
  27. On the Waterfront
  28. Marty
  29. Around the World in 80 days
  30. The bridge on the river Kwai
  31. Gigi
  32. Ben-Hur
  33. The Apartmentwill rewatch though
  34. West Side Story
  35. Lawrence of Arabia
  36. Tom Jones
  37. My Fair Lady
  38. The Sound of Musicwill rewatch though despite the fact I’ve seen it a hundred times
  39. A man for all Seasons
  40. In the Heat of the Night
  41. Oliver!
  42. Midnight Cowboy
  43. Patton
  44. The French Connection
  45. The Godfather
  46. The Stingwill rewatch though
  47. The Godfather Part II
  48. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  49. Rockywill rewatch though
  50. Annie Hall
  51. The Deer Hunter
  52. Kramer vs. Kramer
  53. Ordinary People
  54. Chariots of Fire
  55. Gandhi
  56. Terms of Endearment
  57. Amadeus
  58. Out of Africa
  59. Platoon – haven’t seen yet
  60. The Last Emperor
  61. Rain Manwill rewatch though
  62. Driving Miss Daisy
  63. Dances with Wolveswill rewatch though
  64. Unforgiven
  65. Schindler’s List
  66. Forrest Gumpwill rewatch though
  67. Braveheart
  68. The English Patient
  69. Titanic – will rewatch though
  70. Shakespeare in Lovewill rewatch though
  71. Gladiator – will rewatch though
  72. Chicagowill rewatch though
  73. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – will rewatch though
  74. Million Dollar Baby
  75. Crash
  76. The Departed
  77. No Country for Old Men
  78. Slumdog Millionaire
  79. The Hurt Locker
  80. The King’s Speech
  81. The Artist
  82. Argo

All in all, 28 down – 57 to go (plus 12 I’m going to rewatch). I’m rather leisurely with this particular pursuit but seeing as how I’m doing it for fun I don’t mind. Maybe I can finish by the time I’m 30. The review for The Broadway Melody, All Quiet on the Western Front, Cimarron, Grand Hotel, It Happened One Night, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Great Ziegfeld, The Life of Emile Zola and You Can’t Take it With You is here, while Gone with the Wind and Rebecca have their own pages.

Until next time
~ Q