I would disagree with the original list on the following films:
(1980): Admittedly, this film hasn't held up so well over the years, and lots of folks would say that Raging Bull
should have received the Oscar. But Ordinary People
is still a good film with a powerfully understated performance by Mary Tyler Moore, while Raging Bull
, in my humble opinion, just isn't as good as people think it is. In the end, I don't think that Raging Bull
(or some other film) was so obviously superior to Ordinary People
that this choice should rank as one of the worst.
Shakespeare in Love
(1998): Again, what was better? Saving Private Ryan
? Sorry, I don't think SPR
is all that superior. Once the action leaves the beach at Normandy (which, if you think of it, isn't really important to the story), it becomes A Walk in the Sun
(1940): OK, this may not be the greatest Hitchcock movie ever made, but what was it up against? Of the nine other films nominated that year, the best was The Grapes of Wrath
, and I don't see that as so vastly superior to Rebecca
to make it a bad selection.
(2005), or "One Damned Thing After Another in LA." Not a great movie, but not so markedly inferior to the competition that its selection can't be defended.
(1994): I disagree with the author: I think Forrest Gump
still holds up pretty well. And the competition? I think Pulp Fiction
and The Shawshank Redemption
are good films but flawed, and Quiz Show
just isn't even a serious choice (although it features one of the worst accents in film history -- Rob Morrow's attempt at a Baaahston accent).
A Beautiful Mind
(2001): I think this is a really good film. The notion that it's just another "disease of the month" movies misses the point: there are good disease movies and bad disease movies, just as there are good sports movies (e.g. The Natural
) and cliche-ridden, formulaic sports movies (e.g. Rocky
). Far from being a bad choice, I think this was a pretty good one.