Round Four Least Favourite Oscar Winning Best Picture
We are about to hit Oscar season and what better than to pick our Least favourite Oscar Winning Best Picture because let’s face it we do love some more than others, this time it is the ones we have less love for.
If you want to take part in the next round which is Favourite Action Hero (non-Superhero/comic book) to celebrate the release of London is Fallen. if you want to take part end your pick to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday the 6h March 2016.
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
I have decided to pick a film from the modern era because I really do struggle to enjoy or give the real credit to a lot of older work deserves. I am going to go with a pick that many people will hate because I really just didn’t enjoy this one, I did enjoy the first one, I enjoyed the second one but I found this one boring, I had lost interested in what is happening because I felt that this is the same as the last one with the ring being tossed in. I know people will hate this choice but to me I just am not a fan of this genre of film.
Drew – Drew’s Movie Reviews
I can’t claim to have the most extensive history with Best Picture winners. But I can say that of the few I have seen, Hurt Locker is my least favorite. I haven’t seen the film in years, probably not since it was released on home video, so I can’t exactly remember much about it. However, I do remember thinking “That’s it?” after it was all done. I remember Jeremy Renner’s character but not really anyone else. So I guess that speaks to me how memorable the characters actually were. Considering it currently has a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes (84% with the audience), there are many people out there who liked it. I am just not one of them.
Kim – Tranquil Dreams
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
My line draws at sequels for Oscar Winning Best Picture. Sure, I’m not a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy but they are no doubt beautiful films to watch. The cinematography and score are mesmerizing and enchanting. I can sit down to watch the trilogy and not really mind it. Some even argue that the Academy Awards was honoring the trilogy as a whole. I honestly don’t have issues with it but The Return of the King is nonetheless the finale of a trilogy and its hard to honor that as an independent title alone. That makes its it my least favorite Best Picture winner
J – Film & Nuance
The King’s Speech
This is without a doubt the weakest film to win Best Picture. Now let’s break this down. It’s a safe period drama which doesn’t go beyond showing Prince Albert’s speech impediment and how he tried to overcome it. It’s predictable. Most of all, it’s the sort of film that panders to Oscar voters and doesn’t pack much substance or ingenuity. It’s safe. What I dislike the most though is due to the fact that it fielded alongside absolutely brilliant and riveting films. It’s not like a Forrest Gump, where even if you had been rooting for Pulp Fiction or Shawshank Redemption, you still kind of respected it because it was great in its own right. The King’s speech pales horribly in comparison to the critically-loved The Social Network, the mind-bendingly introspective Inception and even the tragically beautiful Black Swan. These films were stylish, provocative and wonderfully directed. Simply put, it wasn’t even in the same level as the other films. Sadly, The King’s Speech had an inspirational story at best but didn’t connect as much as it would have liked to. It’s becomes a film more obsessed with royalty and decorum, and whatever true grit it tried to convey was lost early on. As The King’s speech prevailed on Oscar Night, there wasn’t a doubt that it had lowered itself as the worst Best Picture winner in my mind.
The English Patient
What’s my least favorite Best Picture Oscar Winner? I immediately thought “Oh, it’s definitely Shakespeare In Love or Slumdog Millionaire!”. I hated Slumdog (which sucked as the story really had potential but I thought the film was a mess) and EVERYONE hates Shakespeare In Love just because it really didn’t deserve to win. When you think about it, though, I suppose it’s not a BAD film but it will forever be known as that mediocre & not-very-memorable movie that beat Saving Private Ryan. But if I were to choose the Oscar Win that most pisses me off, it might either be Ordinary People (beat The Elephant Man) or Forrest Gump (beat The Shawshank Redemption). But, no, those films aren’t BAD….
However, this question isn’t about wins that pissed us off. So, I looked at a list of all the Best Picture Winners to see if I’d forgotten any real stinkers & I was reminded of The English Patient. UGH! The English F*%^ing Patient! But I may be cheating as I don’t THINK I actually finished watching that. I must have either turned it off or slipped into a coma because all I remember now is lots of brooding. I’m not even sure who the English patient WAS (Ralph Fiennes? Is he English??). Maybe it got really brilliant halfway through or something but I’ll never find out because I have no interest in wading through that twaddle again.
Oh, and if you’re curious: The English Patient beat Shine, Secrets & Lies, Jerry Maguire, and Fargo.
Rob – Movie Rob
When looking at all of the 87 BP winners since the award’s inception in 1927-8, there are many films that are really boring and it’s easy to say that they don’t deserve to be on the list of the “Best” Films ever.
On the other hand, it’s quite hard to actually judge the merits of many of those movies, because the awards remain contemporary to their own times and movies that we hail nowadays might not have been appreciated or loved 70 years ago and vice versa.
I have therefore chosen a more contemporary Best Picture winner that I feel was not very deserving of that lofty award… Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Unfortunately, the best movie of that year, The Dark Knight wasn’t able to get a nomination, but it WAS able to shake up the Academy’s system and allow for more than 5 nominees plus a new way of voting.
The 5 nominees that year were: Slumdog Millionaire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Milk, Frost/Nixon and The Reader and the choice of SM is just atrocious because all 4 of the other are clearly better and more entertaining movies than this one was.
I’m still in shock that the Academy gave this movie 8…yes, 8 Awards.
Guess I’ll never be able to understand why there was so much love for this very silly movie.
Damien Riley – Riley Central
Chicago is my least favorite Oscar Award Winner for Best Picture. Aside from the obvious issue of the problems in bringing stage to cinema, I find the film boring and not captivating in any way.
Let’s be honest, if one were to go to a burlesque or other live dance show, would one want to see actors like Catherine Zeta Jones strutting their scantily clad stuff? Not me. I’d want new faces, hungry to sing and dance. That’s what makes the stage more gritty and entertaining.
In this case, Richard Gere and the rest of the top billed cast should have left the stage to the stage actors. It makes them appear “self important.” I’ll admit, I couldn’t finish watching this film, it’s that bad. I don’t know how it won for Best Picture.
Summer – Serendipitous Anachronisms
Over-saturation can kill a movie. By the time l saw Forrest Gump, I knew it would be lame, why? Because if someone said, “Life is like a box of chocolates” ONE.MORE.TIME. I can’t stand those corny quotes.
So how in the heck did this film which conveys its messages in bumper stickers rather than traditional dialogue get 13 Oscar nominations and win six awards including Best Picture? I wish I could tell you 1995 was a bad year, but it wasn’t. Forrest Gump beat Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption, and Quiz Show for best picture.
But lest you think I am being unfair, let’s dissect why Forrest Gump is so terrible. Forrest just “happens” to be at every major event in the US for 30 years straight.
Why is this man so important?
Attending one of these events is significant enough for any film, move away from the 4th grade history book.
Then there’s Jenny. I like Jenny, now her story would be entertaining. Until she dies! Lesson learned? Don’t mess around, or you will die! And Jenny’s death is reduced to yet another important event in the late 20th century that Forrest just “happens” to be at.
Okay, now let’s talk about Lt. Dan. The guy gets his legs amputated and how does Forrest respond? By acting like a doofus with ice cream cones. Because you know ice cream fixes everything, right? Right? I am not sure what they were trying to do with Forrest here, but they certainly did not endear the character to this audience member!
Then there is Bubba, sweet simple Bubba. I know writing coaches say, “Kill your darlings”– but they didn’t mean Bubba! It just felt like someone said, you know what? We need something sad, let’s kill off the only mentally challenged character the audience can stand and see how the film progresses.
I guess the problem is that I love a good tear jerker, but I hate being manipulated. Forrest Gump makes you cry thanks to a well-placed score. Dude, that’s just so wrong.
Run, Forrest, Run! And never come back!
Daniel – A Tale of Two Dans
For some reason beyond me Academy voters decided to vote for Chicago as the Best Picture of 2002. Somehow a musical that you saw barely any dancing in beat out Gangs of New York, The Pianist and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (one of my favourite of all time). For any of you don’t remember Chicago had many of the problems that The Great Gatsby had. It was trying too hard to dazzle you that in the end your mind really can’t take the urgency any longer and break down. The play itself I’ve heard is wonderful and the choreography is up there with the best in the world. But in the movie director Rob Marshall relies on trick editing and CGI to add slickness. This puts you off in a big way and in a way you never really return to a place of comfort after that. It’s perfectly fine as a musical made into a movie, but for some reason Hollywood likes anything even remotely related to itself so Chicago won the Best Picture to the surprise of everyone.
Emma – Emma Explains It All
Forrest Gump (1994)
I know this won’t be a popular choice but I’m in last place at the moment anyway so who cares. And I really do not like this film! I didn’t like it when I was younger and I didn’t like it when I tried re-watching it a few years ago. I’m guessing that some of you won’t be that surprised anyway.
I don’t hate it exactly but I find it tiresome, too well-meaning and very twee. It’s boring! It’s long! It just doesn’t appeal to me at all. What else can I say? Life is like a box of chocolates? Well I prefer CRISPS.
Jen – Combustible Reviews
This was really hard to decide on! Either because I haven’t watched some of the best pictures or because I liked them. In the end, I decided on Gladiator.
I do like this film and think it was well made, but, I don’t know, it’s a little on the dramatic side, nor would I think it’s very historically accurate, (not that it matters), and Russell Crowe is one of those Actors that I’m just not a fan of. We all have some that you just dislike for no reason. (If you say you don’t then you’re LYING!)
S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason
Shakespeare in Love
I haven’t seen every Best Picture winner, but the very title implies that they are not bad films. Thus, the only way I can approach this battle’s topic is to compare the winners I’ve seen with their competition, and the one that comes up most lacking for me is 1998’s Shakespeare in Love. This was the year of Elizabeth, The Thin Red Line, Life Is Beautiful (my favorite), and Saving Private Ryan. How did a romantic dramedy top competition like that? The film itself is a ravishing romance with incredible production values, but far too many characters complicate the plot and the Shakespearean dialogue doesn’t help. (I’m not big on Shakespeare anyway.) The whole plotline would mean more too if it weren’t mostly fabricated history. Ultimately, Shakespeare in Love is the kind of film that deserves a Best Picture nomination (like Sense and Sensibility or Hugo) but isn’t really meant to win.
Dan – Slip/Through
KRAMER vs KRAMER
Sure, Dennis Hoffman and Meryl Streep deliver amazing performances in KRAMER VS KRAMER, but this custody battle movie gets a little melodramatic. When you watch it today, this Oscar winner almost feels like a Made For TV movie. The Best Picture victory is all the more sour for what film lost in the category. 1979 was the same year APOCALYPSE NOW hit the silver screen. Francis Ford Coppola’s legendary war film still holds up decades later. It’s still just as challenging. Timeless themes and philosophy get explored, digging much deeper than the sappy drama that won the Academy Award. From the acting to the cinematography, everything fires on all cylinders. Most importantly, APOCALYPSE NOW pushed the envelope, whereas KRAMER VS KRAMER is rather bland and generic in retrospective. Toss in a career best performance from Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall “loving the smell of napalm in the morning,” a massive treeline explosion, with Marlon Brando’s scene-stealing role, and you can see how Hoffman vs Streep pales in comparison.
Benny – What About Movies
Danny Boyle’s has been one of the most exciting directors early on in his career creating visually exciting and kinetic films like Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, and 28 Days Later. He has been a master of mining the dark corners of the human psyche and translating them into films. It is no wonder then that when he descends into feel-good and melodramatic territories that he fails (at least for this viewer). Which makes, in my opinion, Slumdog Millionaire one of his failures. Notwithstanding the unique framing device, Slumdog Millionaire is an exercise in sentimentality, naïveté, and innocence that was not executed well by a director whose debut feature involves a group of friends hacking a man limb from limb. Plus it ends in a massive dance number. A massive dance number, people!