erik lundegaard

Movies - The Oscars posts

Friday February 24, 2012

From 'Godfather' to 'Crash': My Rankings of Most Every Best Picture Winner Since 1927

Meh.

That's what surprised me most. Not that I loved or hated most of the best picture winners since 1927 but that I didn't have much feeling one way or another. “The Departed”? “The English Patient”? “Rain Man”? “The Deer Hunter”? “In the Heat of the Night”? “From Here to Eternity”? “Lost Weekend”? Did I even see “Lost Weekend”? What do I really remember about it? Maybe better put that in the NOT SEEN group. Only fair.

In his discussion yesterday on the New Yorker site, critic Richard Brody said the switch from five best picture nominees to 10, or 9, or what have you, was a good thing, because it inspired passion among moviegoers. Which is something the Academy is generally good at tamping down. These films are sometimes an example of that.

I certainly have passion for my top 10. I have a different kind of passion for my bottom five. But the middle took a lot of rejiggering and soul-searching. How to rank this movie? By my feeling upon first watching it? By my feelings now? By how much I'd like to watch it again? By how deep it is, or how well it tells its story, or exemplifies its genre?

I wound up choosing an awkward mix of all of these criteria and it was still tough. I kept going back and forth. Am I putting this one low because so many people like it? Am I putting this one high because so many people don't? It's hard to separate your feelings from society's but you give it a go. In the end I thought “Would I rather watch 'Lord of the Rings: Return of the King' right now or 'Driving Miss Daisy'?” I may be the only person this side of Bruce Beresford who would answer the latter. Probably not him, either.

Revelation: I like big and boldly drawn: “My Fair Lady” and “Gone with the Wind” and “Patton” and “Titanic.” Yes, “Titanic.” A friend of mine, a songwriter, always runs across contemporaries who disparage middle-of-the-road work, but he says that's what he strives for. He thinks of it like a mountain, where the middle is the highest point, and the hardest to attain. Some of these big movies do that.

Lesser revelation: I dig the '70s. It was the glory period of American filmmaking, easy riders and raging bulls and all that. It was also the period I first became aware of the Oscars. I was coming of age then. The Academy seemed important then. Maybe it was. Maybe it honored more important movies. And even when it didn't, as in '76, choosing “Rocky” over “All the President's Men,” “Network” and “Taxi Driver,” well, its choice was still a good movie. “Rocky” is another boldly drawn story but finely defined along the edges. It has patience and grit. It tells its tale really, really well. It's not its fault it had so many awful children.

Sometimes the titles get in the way. They're so storied, I think, “Shouldn't this be higher?” Then I think about what the film is, what it lacks, and go, “Meh.”

But, really, you can make your argument for No.s 25 through 60 and I'll probably buy it. To do this properly, I'd have to watch all of these movies again but who wants to do that? They're only best pictures.

Final note: I've also included a column on the greatest disparities between my opinion and the mass opinion on IMDb. No surprise: The movies I love and they didn't tend to be musicals. There's a +63 variance for “An American in Paris,” +41 for “West Side Story,” and +35 for “My Fair Lady.” The next one is “Titanic,” which feels like a musical. On the other side of the equation, movies they loved and I didn't, we have the recent and the blockbusty: “Forrest Gump” at -57, “The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” at -52, and “Braveheart” at -50. We agreed on exactly two: “The Godfather” and “Cuckoo's Nest.”

Enjoy. Your results will vary.

MY RANK
MOVIE IMDb RANK IMDb RATING IMDb VOTES ME v. IMDb
1 The Godfather (1972) 1 9.2 535,083 0
2 Annie Hall (1977) 25 8.2 87,916 23
3 Casablanca (1943) 6 8.7 209,989 3
4 The Godfather, Part II (1974) 2 9.0 336,575 -2
5 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) 5 8.8 300,314 0
6 On the Waterfront (1954) 12 8.4 52,369 6
7 Amadeus (1984) 12 8.4 128,078 5
8 Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 11 8.5 98,407 3
9 All About Eve (1950) 12 8.4 43,955 3
10 An American In Paris (1951) 73 7.2 11,808 63






11 Unforgiven (1992) 22 8.3 135,496 11
12 My Fair Lady (1964) 47 7.9 35,262 35
13 Gone With the Wind (1939) 25 8.2 106,428 12
14 The Bridge On the River Kwai (1957) 12 8.4 76,003 -2
15 No Country For Old Men (2007) 25 8.2 274,692 10
16 West Side Story (1961) 57 7.7 37,371 41
17 The Sting (1973) 12 8.4 85,891 -5
18 Rocky (1976) 34 8.1 143,362 16
19 The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 6 8.7 344,094 -13
20 Patton (1970) 38 8.0 49,384 18






21 The Sound of Music (1965) 47 7.9 68,810 26
22 The Last Emperor (1987) 54 7.8 33,160 32
23 American Beauty (1999) 10 8.5 389,392 -13
24 Schindler's List (1993) 3 8.9 375,193 -21
25 Hamlet (1948) 47 7.9 6,557 22
26 The French Connection (1971) 47 7.9 42,667 21
27 All Quiet On the Western Front (1930) 34 8.1 28,205 7
28 The Deer Hunter (1978) 25 8.2 117,540 -3
29 Midnight Cowboy (1969) 38 8.0 42,805 9
30 It Happened One Night (1934) 22 8.3 32,375 -8






31 Titanic (1997) 64 7.5 336,027 33
32 The Apartment (1960) 12 8.4 49,785 -20
33 Dances With Wolves (1990) 38 8.0 94,144 5
34 All the King's Men (1949) 62 7.6 5,597 28
35 A Man For All Seasons (1966) 38 8.0 14,614 3
36 Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979) 57 7.7 40,353 21
37 Platoon (1986) 25 8.2 145,818 -12
38 The Hurt Locker (2009) 57 7.7 137,683 19
39 In the Heat of the Night (1967) 38 8.0 26,928 -1
40 Rain Man (1988) 38 8.0 165,428 -2






41 Driving Miss Daisy (1989) 66 7.4 30,411 25
42 Gandhi (1982) 34 8.1 71,833 -8
43 Rebecca (1940) 12 8.4 45,011 -31
44 Million Dollar Baby (2004) 25 8.2 204,335 -19
45 Slumdog Millionaire (2008) 25 8.2 269,582 -20
46 Chariots of Fire (1981) 73 7.2 20,114 27
47 Chicago (2002) 73 7.2 99,936 26
48 Terms of Endearment (1983) 70 7.3 21,085 22
49 The English Patient (1996) 70 7.3 72,322 21
50 Gladiator (2000) 12 8.4 397,268 -38






51 You Can't Take It With You (1938) 38 8.0 10,500 -13
52 Shakespeare In Love (1998) 70 7.3 97,391 18
53 The Departed (2006) 9 8.5 368,308 -44
54 The King's Speech (2010) 25 8.2 155,972 -29
55 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) 3 8.9 501,289 -52
56 How Green Was My Valley (1941) 47 7.9 8,993 -9
57 Ordinary People (1980) 54 7.8 20,192 -3
58 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 22 8.3 21,793 -36
59 From Here To Eternity (1953) 47 7.9 19,141 -12
60 A Beautiful Mind (2001) 38 8.0 202,651 -22






61 Gentleman's Agreement (1947) 66 7.4 5,688 5
62 Braveheart (1995) 12 8.4 327,548 -50
63 Forrest Gump (1994) 6 8.7 446,991 -57
64 Out of Africa (1985) 76 7.0 25,363 12
65 Going My Way (1944) 66 7.4 4,143 1
66 Tom Jones (1963) 77 6.9 4,857 11
67 Oliver! (1968) 64 7.5 12,026 -3
68 Around the World In 80 Days (1956) 80 6.8 9,129 12
69 The Greatest Show On Earth (1952) 81 6.7 5,186 12
70 Crash (2005) 38 8.0 217,777 -32







HAVEN'T SEEN IMDb RANK IMDb RATING IMDb VOTES

Wings (1927) 54 7.8 3,792

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1928) 12 8.4 15,384

The Broadway Melody (1929) 82 6.4 2,466

Cimarron (1931) 84 6.1 1,744

Grand Hotel (1932) 62 7.6 7,300

Cavalcade (1933) 83 6.3 1,426

Mutiny On the Bounty (1935) 47 7.9 9,276

The Great Ziegfeld (1936) 77 6.9 2,583

The Life of Emile Zola (1937) 66 7.4 2,376

Mrs. Miniver (1942) 57 7.7 6,058

The Lost Weekend (1945) 34 8.1 14,287

Marty (1955) 57 7.7 8,028

Gigi (1958) 77 6.9 7,472

Ben-Hur (1959) 25 8.2 76,925
Posted at 08:10 AM on Feb 24, 2012 in category Movies - The Oscars
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Thursday February 23, 2012

From 'Godfather' to 'Cimarron': The 84 Best Picture Winners as Ranked by the Nerds of IMDb.com

I realized too late that yesterday's post about IMDb rankings of every best picture winner since 1927 should've included the entire list as sorted by ranking. Here it is, with my notes:

RANK MOVIE IMDb RATING VOTES NOTES
1 The Godfather (1972) 9.2 535,083 But of course.
2 The Godfather, Part II (1974) 9.0 336,575 But of course II.
3 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) 8.9 501,289 NERDS!

Schindler's List (1993) 8.9 375,193 Overrated. Is it just me and David Mamet on this one?
5 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) 8.8 300,314 Yep.
6 Forrest Gump (1994) 8.7 446,991 Wow. Most people are as dumb as Forrest — and not nearly so nice.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 8.7 344,094 It's not bad but not top 10.

Casablanca (1943) 8.7 209,989 Tied for sixth. I'd have it higher.
9 The Departed (2006) 8.5 368,308 Way lower. Sorry, Marty.
10 American Beauty (1999) 8.5 389,392 Lower. Sorry 1999 me.
11 Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 8.5 98,407 About right.
12 Gladiator (2000) 8.4 397,268 Lower.

Braveheart (1995) 8.4 327,548 Should've been Apollo 13.

Amadeus (1984) 8.4 128,078 I could see this again right now.

The Sting (1973) 8.4 85,891

The Apartment (1960) 8.4 49,785

The Bridge On the River Kwai (1957) 8.4 76,003

On the Waterfront (1954) 8.4 52,369 Higher.

All About Eve (1950) 8.4 43,955 This one, too.

Rebecca (1940) 8.4 45,011 Hitchcock's only best picture winner. And it's Selznick's.

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1928) 8.4 15,384 Never seen it. Bad me.
22 Unforgiven (1992) 8.3 135,496 I'd say it deserves to be higher, but I keep hearing Clint's voice saying “Deserve's got nothin to do with it.”

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 8.3 21,793 Hasn't aged well. Unfortunately.

It Happened One Night (1934) 8.3 32,375 To be honest, this neither.
25 The King's Speech (2010) 8.2 155,972 This one will go down.

Slumdog Millionaire (2008) 8.2 269,582 You, too.

No Country For Old Men (2007) 8.2 274,692 This one will go up.

Million Dollar Baby (2004) 8.2 204,335 I liked the ending.

Platoon (1986) 8.2 145,818 Haven't seen since 1986.

The Deer Hunter (1978) 8.2 117,540 Tied with Deer Hunter. Appropriate.

Annie Hall (1977) 8.2 87,916 “Alvy Singer! Am I right?” This is top 5 for me.

Ben-Hur (1959) 8.2 76,925 Have I ever seen this? Without commercials?

Gone With the Wind (1939) 8.2 106,428 Once the mightiest. Now kinda like its title.
34 Gandhi (1982) 8.1 71,833 Gandhi ...

Rocky (1976) 8.1 143,362 ... and Rocky duking it out at 8.1.

The Lost Weekend (1945) 8.1 14,287 Money's on “Gandhi.”

All Quiet On the Western Front (1930) 8.1 28,205 The highest-ranked pre-GWTW movie. I need to see it again.
38 Crash (2005) 8.0 217,777 Oh, fuck you.

A Beautiful Mind (2001) 8.0 202,651 Really?

Dances With Wolves (1990) 8.0 94,144 Eh.

Rain Man (1988) 8.0 165,428 Meh.

Patton (1970) 8.0 49,384 Yeah.

Midnight Cowboy (1969) 8.0 42,805

In the Heat of the Night (1967) 8.0 26,928

A Man For All Seasons (1966) 8.0 14,614

You Can't Take It With You (1938) 8.0 10,500
47 The French Connection (1971) 7.9 42,667 Definition of 'gritty.'

The Sound of Music (1965) 7.9 68,810 Oh, Julie. Higher.

My Fair Lady (1964) 7.9 35,262 Oh, Audrey. Higher.

From Here To Eternity (1953) 7.9 19,141 Oh, Burt. Eh.

Hamlet (1948) 7.9 6,557 O that this too too solid film should melt...

How Green Was My Valley (1941) 7.9 8,993

Mutiny On the Bounty (1935) 7.9 9,276 The third Gable on the list.
54 The Last Emperor (1987) 7.8 33,160 Colors. I remember exquisite colors.

Ordinary People (1980) 7.8 20,192 For a while I was Tim Hutton.

Wings (1927) 7.8 3,792 Never seen.
57 The Hurt Locker (2009) 7.7 137,683 Is this the pro-“Avatar” vote or something?

Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979) 7.7 40,353 What's this movie like now? Anyone?

West Side Story (1961) 7.7 37,371 Git your ass up there.

Marty (1955) 7.7 8,028

Mrs. Miniver (1942) 7.7 6,058
62 All the King's Men (1949) 7.6 5,597

Grand Hotel (1932) 7.6 7,300
64 Titanic (1997) 7.5 336,027 Great spectacle. I'd have it higher.

Oliver! (1968) 7.5 12,026 Consider yourself/ About right.
66 Driving Miss Daisy (1989) 7.4 30,411 A better movie than people remember.

Gentleman's Agreement (1947) 7.4 5,688 Movies about prejudice don't age well, do they?

Going My Way (1944) 7.4 4,143

The Life of Emile Zola (1937) 7.4 2,376
70 Shakespeare In Love (1998) 7.3 97,391 Will never live it down.

The English Patient (1996) 7.3 72,322

Terms of Endearment (1983) 7.3 21,085 Wasn't this better that this?
73 Chicago (2002) 7.2 99,936 Shouldn't the fishnets alone boost its rating?

Chariots of Fire (1981) 7.2 20,114 “Chariots of Eggs”

An American In Paris (1951) 7.2 11,808 So, SO wrong to be down here.
76 Out of Africa (1985) 7.0 25,363
77 Tom Jones (1963) 6.9 4,857

Gigi (1958) 6.9 7,472

The Great Ziegfeld (1936) 6.9 2,583
80 Around the World In 80 Days (1956) 6.8 9,129 So dull.
81 The Greatest Show On Earth (1952) 6.7 5,186 Yep. But where's its buddy, “Crash”?
82 The Broadway Melody (1929) 6.4 2,466
83 Cavalcade (1933) 6.3 1,426
84 Cimarron (1931) 6.1 1,744

 ........

TOMORROW: My choices....

Posted at 07:15 AM on Feb 23, 2012 in category Movies - The Oscars
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Wednesday February 22, 2012

How Do Best Pictures Rate on IMDb?

My recent post about the IMDb ratings of current best picture nominees, along with the usual slew of “worst best-pictures” articles, or revisionist or do-over Oscar picks, made me wonder how every best picture winner has fared with IMDb users—or at least those IMDb users who bother to rate films.

Which are the highest-rated best picture winners? Which are the lowest-rated? Which pictures get votes and which are ignored?Oscar Oscar Oscar

No big surprise: Recent best picture winners get rated more often, way more often, than older best picture winners. In the past 20 years, there are only three films that haven't been rated by more than 100,000 users: “Chicago,” “Shakespeare in Love” and “The English Patient.” Meanwhile, of the first 45 best picture winners—i.e., from 1927 to 1971—only two films, “Casablanca” and “Gone with the Wind,” have generated more than 100,000 votes. Most people can't be bothered with what's old. Those who can, like me, can't be bothered to rate them on IMDb.

The films with the lowest vote totals also tend to have the lowest ratings. That was a bit of a surprise to me. I thought that the few fans of, say, “Cavalcade” (1933), would skew its results up, but it's simply logic. Lesser movies just don't get watched, and thus don't get rated, particularly if they're older. Among best picture winners, “Calvacade,” from 1933, has the fewest votes: 1,426.

A note to IMDb: Isn't it time to increase the decimal? Ten of the 84 films are tied with an 8.4 rating. Nine are tied with an 8.0 rating. That's too many ties. Give us that hundredth already.

Now on with the countdown.

Here are the highest-ranked best picture winners on IMDb:

MOVIE
IMDb RATING
VOTES
The Godfather (1972) 9.2 535,083
The Godfather, Part II (1974) 9.0 336,575
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) 8.9 501,289
Schindler's List (1993) 8.9 375,193
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) 8.8 300,314
Forrest Gump (1994) 8.7 446,991
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 8.7 344,094
Casablanca (1943) 8.7 209,989
The Departed (2006) 8.5 368,308
American Beauty (1999) 8.5 389,392
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 8.5 98,407

Again, it skews recent. Of the top 11, more than half were released in the last 20 years. Only two—“Lawrence” and “Casablanca”—were released prior to 1970.

Here are the bottom 10:

MOVIE

IMDb RATING

VOTES
Cimarron (1931) 6.1 1,744
Cavalcade (1933) 6.3 1,426
The Broadway Melody (1929) 6.4 2,466
The Greatest Show On Earth (1952) 6.7 5,186
Around the World In 80 Days (1956) 6.8 9,129
Tom Jones (1963) 6.9 4,857
Gigi (1958) 6.9 7,472
The Great Ziegfeld (1936) 6.9 2,583
Out of Africa (1985) 7.0 25,363
Chicago (2002) 7.2 99,936
Chariots of Fire (1981) 7.2 20,114
An American In Paris (1951) 7.2 11,808

It skews old. We get the forgotten BPs of the 1930s, the bloated spectacles of the 1950s, plus a few recent head-scratchers. But “An American in Paris” at 7.2? Really? IMDb's voters don't like musicals, do they? The great musicals of the early sixties, “My Fair Lady” (7.9), “The Sound of Music” (7.9) and “West Side Story” (7.7) all get less love than the abyssmal “Crash,” which is somehow still perched at a lofty 8.0.

Something is even more apparent when you look at each decade's highest- and lowest-ranked films:

Decade Highest-Ranked Rating Lowest-ranked Rating
1930s It Happened One Night 8.3 Cimarron 6.1
1940s Casablanca 8.7 Gentleman's Agreement 7.4
1950s The Bridge on the River Kwai 8.4 The Greatest Show on Earth 6.7
1960s Lawrence of Arabia 8.5 Tom Jones 6.9
1970s The Godfather 9.2 Kramer vs. Kramer 7.7
1980s Amadeus 8.4 Out of Africa 7.0
1990s Schindler's List 8.9 Shakespeare in Love 7.3
2000s Lord of the Rings: Return of the King 8.9 Chicago 7.2

It's the dude angle, the fanboy angle. The highest-ranked films above are testosterone-heavy. From the 1950s on, in fact, it's tough to find a leading woman in the mix. Diane Keaton in “The Godfather” maybe? Mozart's wife in “Amadeus”? Cate Blanchett in “LOTR: ROTK”? On the lowest-ranked side, it's all female-centered stories (“Chicago”) or empathetic male stories (“Kramer vs. Kramer”), or both (“Shakespeare in Love”). It's hardly a scoop that IMDb's users are young and male but it is sad. The Academy is historically dismissive of female-centered stories. IMDb's voters turn out to be worse.

As I was compiling the above, I noticed that the highest-ranked of the highest-ranked movies was “The Godfather,” while the highest-ranked of the lowest-ranked movies was “Kramer vs. Kramer,” both from the 1970s. It led me to break down the ratings by decade:

Decade Avg Rating
1970s 8.35
1990s 8.16
2000s 8.13
1940s 7.94
1960s 7.88
1980s 7.72
1950s 7.66
1930s 7.48

The 1970s, with its great slew of American films, is rightly in first place. The 1950s is weighed down by a few of the Academy's tepid choices (“Greatest Show,” “Around the World”), as is the 1980s (“Ordinary People,” “Chariots of Fire,” “Driving Miss Daisy”). The '90s and 2000s are obviously too high but what are you gonna do? They'll come down.

For completeists, here's the entire list:

MOVIE IMDb RATING VOTES
The King's Speech (2010) 8.2 155,972
The Hurt Locker (2009) 7.7 137,683
Slumdog Millionaire (2008) 8.2 269,582
No Country For Old Men (2007) 8.2 274,692
The Departed (2006) 8.5 368,308
Crash (2005) 8.0 217,777
Million Dollar Baby (2004) 8.2 204,335
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) 8.9 501,289
Chicago (2002) 7.2 99,936
A Beautiful Mind (2001) 8.0 202,651
Gladiator (2000) 8.4 397,268
American Beauty (1999) 8.5 389,392
Shakespeare In Love (1998) 7.3 97,391
Titanic (1997) 7.5 336,027
The English Patient (1996) 7.3 72,322
Braveheart (1995) 8.4 327,548
Forrest Gump (1994) 8.7 446,991
Schindler's List (1993) 8.9 375,193
Unforgiven (1992) 8.3 135,496
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 8.7 344,094
Dances With Wolves (1990) 8.0 94,144
Driving Miss Daisy (1989) 7.4 30,411
Rain Man (1988) 8.0 165,428
The Last Emperor (1987) 7.8 33,160
Platoon (1986) 8.2 145,818
Out of Africa (1985) 7.0 25,363
Amadeus (1984) 8.4 128,078
Terms of Endearment (1983) 7.3 21,085
Gandhi (1982) 8.1 71,833
Chariots of Fire (1981) 7.2 20,114
Ordinary People (1980) 7.8 20,192
Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979) 7.7 40,353
The Deer Hunter (1978) 8.2 117,540
Annie Hall (1977) 8.2 87,916
Rocky (1976) 8.1 143,362
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) 8.8 300,314
The Godfather, Part II (1974) 9.0 336,575
The Sting (1973) 8.4 85,891
The Godfather (1972) 9.2 535,083
The French Connection (1971) 7.9 42,667
Patton (1970) 8.0 49,384
Midnight Cowboy (1969) 8.0 42,805
Oliver! (1968) 7.5 12,026
In the Heat of the Night (1967) 8.0 26,928
A Man For All Seasons (1966) 8.0 14,614
The Sound of Music (1965) 7.9 68,810
My Fair Lady (1964) 7.9 35,262
Tom Jones (1963) 6.9 4,857
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 8.5 98,407
West Side Story (1961) 7.7 37,371
The Apartment (1960) 8.4 49,785
Ben-Hur (1959) 8.2 76,925
Gigi (1958) 6.9 7,472
The Bridge On the River Kwai (1957) 8.4 76,003
Around the World In 80 Days (1956) 6.8 9,129
Marty (1955) 7.7 8,028
On the Waterfront (1954) 8.4 52,369
From Here To Eternity (1953) 7.9 19,141
The Greatest Show On Earth (1952) 6.7 5,186
An American In Paris (1951) 7.2 11,808
All About Eve (1950) 8.4 43,955
All the King's Men (1949) 7.6 5,597
Hamlet (1948) 7.9 6,557
Gentleman's Agreement (1947) 7.4 5,688
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) 8.3 21,793
The Lost Weekend (1945) 8.1 14,287
Going My Way (1944) 7.4 4,143
Casablanca (1943) 8.7 209,989
Mrs. Miniver (1942) 7.7 6,058
How Green Was My Valley (1941) 7.9 8,993
Rebecca (1940) 8.4 45,011
Gone With the Wind (1939) 8.2 106,428
You Can't Take It With You (1938) 8.0 10,500
The Life of Emile Zola (1937) 7.4 2,376
The Great Ziegfeld (1936) 6.9 2,583
Mutiny On the Bounty (1935) 7.9 9,276
It Happened One Night (1934) 8.3 32,375
Cavalcade (1933) 6.3 1,426
Grand Hotel (1932) 7.6 7,300
Cimarron (1931) 6.1 1,744
All Quiet On the Western Front (1930) 8.1 28,205
The Broadway Melody (1929) 6.4 2,466
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1928) 8.4 15,384
Wings (1927) 7.8 3,792
Posted at 06:59 AM on Feb 22, 2012 in category Movies - The Oscars
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Saturday February 18, 2012

The Best Picture Nominees by Current IMDb Ranking

  • The Artist: 8.4
  • Hugo: 8.2
  • The Help: 8.0
  • Midnight in Paris: 7.8
  • Moneyball: 7.7
  • The Descendants: 7.7
  • War Horse: 7.3
  • The Tree of Life: 7.1
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: 6.4

I'm a bit surprised that “The Help” is that high but I shouldn't be. I'm a bit surprised that “The Tree of Life” is that low but I shouldn't be. I should revisit in a year and see what's changed. Someone remind me. Vinny? Reed?

“The Help”: It's funny cuz it's untrue.

Posted at 03:26 PM on Feb 18, 2012 in category Movies - The Oscars
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Friday February 17, 2012

The Bechdel Test, Stein, Hemingway and Woody Allen

“What's even more embarassing about this film [Midnight in Paris] is that one of the more important historical figures that Gil interacts with is Gertrude Stein. For those of you who aren't familiar with her, Stein is one of the most famous writers, and lesbians, in American history. And Woody Allen has the nerve to not have her speak to another female character in the entire film?”

--Anita Sarkeesian, in her video, The 2012 Oscars and the Bechdel Test, below, at the 3:30 mark. (But keep reading beyond the video.)

“Miss Stein was very big but not tall and was heavily built like a peasant woman. She had beautiful eyes and a strong German-Jewish face that also could have been Friulano and she reminded me of a northern Italian peasant woman with her clothes, her mobile face and her lovely, thick, alive immigrant hair which she wore put up in the same way she had probably worn it in college. She talked all the time and at first it was about people and places.

”Her companion [Alice B. Toklas] had a very pleasant voice, was small, very dark, with her hair cut like Joan of Arc in the Boutet de Monvel illustrations and had a very hooked nose. She was working on a piece of needlepoint when we first met them and she worked on this and saw to the food and drink and talked to my wife. She made one conversation and listened to two and often interrupted the one she was not making. Afterwards she explained to me that she always talked to the wives. The wives, my wife and I felt, were tolerated...

“'I said to my wife, ”You know, Gertrude is nice, anyway.“ ...

”'I never hear her,' my wife said. 'I'm a wife. It's her friend that talks to me.'“

--Ernest Hemingway, ”A Moveable Feast"

Posted at 07:32 AM on Feb 17, 2012 in category Movies - The Oscars
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