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Jewish World Review
Feb. 24, 2011
/ 20 Adar I, 5771
Readers pick their worst Oscar winners
I thought I was the only one.
It turns out that I am not alone in believing that the best movie of the year doesn't always win the Oscar as the best motion picture of the year.
Last week's list of the 10 worst best pictures generated a huge response among readers, who were not shy about letting me know what they thought of my selections, as well as which movies they thought I forgot to include on my list.
Who knew you were so opinionated?
Here is a recap of last week's column:
I suggested that "Shakespeare in Love's" win over "Saving Private Ryan" was the greatest travesty in the history of Oscar voting. I then added the names of nine other films that I didn't believe should have won the best picture Oscar, including "The English Patient," "Chicago," "No Country for Old Men," "Oliver!," "Out of Africa," "Rain Man," "Driving Miss Daisy," "A Beautiful Mind" and "The Hurt Locker."
It is a testament to the power of movies that each of my selections inspired at least one reader to call me out for including it on a list of undeserving Oscar winners. I was called "dumb," "out of touch" and "idiotic," and that was just my family.
Many people agreed with my list, but other readers disagreed with all or some of my picks. Even "Shakespeare in Love" and "The English Patient" had its fair share of supporters, which still baffles me.
"Oliver!" drew the most supporters, many of whom regaled me with accounts of how much they loved that movie when they were kids. "Rain Man" apparently means a great deal to many people, while "The Hurt Locker" was evenly divided between people who loved and hated it. Some readers were passionate supporters of "No Country For Old Men," while detractors gave me a collective pat on the back.
Based on the response to that column, I have compiled a new list of movies that readers feel were not worthy of an Academy Award for best motion picture. They are in order, although I want to point out that a true list of readers' picks would include some films from the previous week. However, I don't want to repeat myself, so here are the 11 (there was a tie for 10th place) movies that you didn't think should have won.
By the way, some of you made what I considered to be outrageous suggestions for unworthy films. There were a few people who mentioned "Annie Hall" and "The Godfather, Part II," and I can't go along with that, even though the former beat out "Star Wars" (the "Citizen Kane" of Geekdom), and the latter deprived "Chinatown" and "The Conversation" of the prized statuette. Both are great films, but I'm not taking an Oscar away from "The Godfather, Part II."
The 83rd annual Academy Awards telecast is coming Feb. 27, and I suspect that the new best motion picture winner might end up on next year's list.
The clear favorite this year is "The King's Speech," which many people love. But I still think that "True Grit" should win, and judging from your correspondence this past week, many of you will be really annoyed if "Black Swan" or "The Social Network" gets turned down at the big dance.
I want to note that it was a real battle among the top four finishers of the readers' list of the worst best movies. There are people (like me) who really hold a grudge when it comes to the Oscars.
Unfortunately, the only votes that count are cast by the 5, 755 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Here is your list, with each selection followed by the nominated films that were beaten for the Oscar that year:
1. "Crash": "Munich," "Brokeback Mountain," "Capote" and "Good Night, and Good Luck."
2. "The Greatest Show on Earth": "High Noon," "The Quiet Man," "Ivanhoe" and "Moulin Rouge."
3. "Ordinary People": "Raging Bull," "Coal Miner's Daughter," "The Elephant Man" and "Tess."
4. "Chariots of Fire": "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Atlantic City," "Reds" and "On Golden Pond."
5. "Terms of Endearment": "The Right Stuff," "Big Chill," "The Dresser" and "Tender Mercies."
6. "Around the World in 80 Days": "The Ten Commandments," "The King and I," "Giant" and "Friendly Persuasion."
7. "Gigi": "Auntie Mame," "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "The Defiant Ones" and "Separate Tables."
8. "Kramer vs. Kramer": "Apocalypse Now," "All That Jazz," "Breaking Away" and "Norma Rae."
9. "How Green Was My Valley": There were 10 nominees, and these were the best of the pack: "Citizen Kane," "The Maltese Falcon," "Suspicion," "Sergeant York" and "The Little Foxes."
10. (tie) "Gandhi": "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," "Missing," "Tootsie" and "The Verdict."
10. (tie) "Dances With Wolves": "Goodfellas," "Ghost," "Awakenings" and "Godfather III."
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