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2004 Oscars: Million Dollar Baby vs. The Aviator

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  • Emil Petrov
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    #138824

    In 2004 (one of the best Oscar years) Million Dollar Baby won Best Picture, but The Aviator won the most awards – 5. 

    Who was the worthy winner?

    Million Dollar Baby – DGA
    The Aviator – PGA, HFPA, BAFTA 

    Million Dollar Baby was very emotional movie with some fine performances, but the Aviator was pure Best Picture. The movie was an achievement in every tech field, it had amazing performances and was just very memorabale. It was the rightful winner.

    What do you think?  

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    Renaton
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    #138826

    Over the years, I started swaying towards The Aviator, even though it has that tone shift in the middle. When it works, it’s just so precise and strong. But MDB was a deserving winner as well. None were really the best film of the year though for me (although both were close). 2046, Tropical Malady, La Niña Santa, Kill Bill Vol. 2, Eternal Sunshine, Oldboy, Man On Wire, House of Flying Daggers, Birth and The Incredibles were all stronger films. Hell, Mean Girls might actually be a better film. But yeah, it was strong competition between those two. When I think about it, 2004 was a better year for film than I remembered it being.

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    Troy
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    #138827

    I prefer Million Dollar Baby.  Something about The Aviator has always rubbed me the wrong way.

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #138828

    Never liked The Aviator.  MDB was very good.  Out of the buzzed-about movies, it should have been Sideways vs. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

    Even though we ALL know that MEAN GIRLS was the best picture of the year.  Let’s get real.  The fact that it didn’t get a screenplay nomination is a disgrace.

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    TomHardys
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    #138829

    Mean Girls is easily miles better than any of the Best Picture nominees of that year. Pure brilliance. But between the two I’ll give the edge to The Aviator. It’s a masterpiece.

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    Renaton
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    #138830

    Mean Girls’ cultural contribution is certainly bigger than Finding Neverland or Ray or even Sideways. But once again, straight-up comedic films get screwed. One about teenage girls written by a TV writer (remember this was before 30 Rock) never stood a chance. But it should have defintely had a nomination for Screenplay at least.

    Best american films that year for me were Kill Bill Vol. 2 and The Incredibles. Again, I didn’t really remember how good that year was for mainstream american cinema and filmmaking in general.

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    Beau S.
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    #138831

    Million Dollar Baby, a movie I like a lot, is far better than The Aviator, a movie I dislike with the exception of a few scenes that were very well-done. I find the film to be very tonally inconsistent and the script treats certain aspects of the story with less attention than others (again, very inconsistent). It is Scorsese’s worst film by far.

    My favorite of the Best Picture nominees was Sideways which is to date Payne’s best film. Eternal Sunshine and Kill Bill (both parts, both years) should have been nomianted. Frankly, my personal winner is a tie between Eternal Sunshine and Sideways (though Payne is my director winner).

    And yes, Mean Girls should have been nominated and received a boatload of supporting actress nominations (I debate in my head every day whether or not Lohan should have been nominated, usually leaning toward no because of competition) and I wouldn’t have nominated it for directing.

    And of course Fey’s screenplay should have won every screenplay award that season (it’s technically adapted though I’ve read the book it’s based on and her script is about 98% original). She received a WGA nomination so she was on the radar, though Renaton is right that Fey just wasn’t famous enough yet. If she had wrote that script today she’d win in a landslide (okay, maybe not, but she’d be a lock for a nomination).

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    Icky
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    #138832

    Non English language films aside Before Sunset, Eternal Sunshine, Sideways, Spiderman 2, The Incredibles and Kill Bill Vol 2 stand out from that year. M$B and The Aviator were two movies I saw and never wanted to see again. I think I’ve ranted about M$B the most out of any movie in these forum over the years. It’s not because it’s a bad flick but because there are great deal of people that feel it’s truly a great movie, and while I’m used to not siding with the consensus I was really taken aback by the acclaim it received. It has the pressed against your nose sentimentality, horrible cinematography, a cliche and unness narration and a final act that doesn’t connect to the rest of the film. The Aviator is hardly special, but the first hour and a half is breezy and bright and entertaining. I preferred it more then and even more so now.

    As far as Mean Girls is concerned it’s better than Ray, Finding Neverland, M$B and is probably a bit better than The Aviator. But there have been a lot of great comedies that’s been overlooked by the academy over the years, most were better than Mean Girls, which for me just remains a decent homage to Heathers. I get its cultural impact, but beyond a few great lines and scenes it’s not anything special, and its odd amd tonally awkward final act undoes a lot of the first hour.

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    Gabriel
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    #138833

    Before Sunset was the best English-language film of the year for me. Just stunning. The screenplay loss is still painful to this day, Julie Delpy should have been nominated, and it deserved a best picture nomination too.

    Also, it has one of the best endings in cinema history.

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    CAROL-CHANNING
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    #138834

    As far as Mean Girls is concerned it’s better than Ray, Finding Neverland, M$B and is probably a bit better than The Aviator. But there have been a lot of great comedies that’s been overlooked by the academy over the years, most were better than Mean Girls, which for me just remains a homage to Heathers. I get its cultural impact, but beyond a few great lines and scenes it’s not anything special, and its odd amd tonally awkward final act undoes a lot of the first hour.

    Mean Girls defined a generation.  Heathers was for girls in the 80’s.  Clueless was for girls in the 90’s.  Mean Girls was for girls in the 00’s.

    Not anything special??

     

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    Renaton
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    #138835

    I forgot about Spider Man 2. Another great blockbuster that year. Certainly one of the best films of the year, no matter the nationality.

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    Gabriel
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    #138836

    Spider-Man 2 remains the best superhero film from 2000 onwards.

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    endaugust
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    #138837

    MDB was just wrenching.  Eastwood’s best directorial work.  Aviator was a mess.  Brilliant Scorsese rarely get things completely right.  And even though with multiple nominations, he never really gets it right with AMPAS, never really makes a true BP contender, no matter how well-received it might get critically.

    The Departed was just a consolation prize in a pretty weak year.  WoWS is probably his best work to date, IMO. 

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    nkb325
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    #138838

    God Before Sunset was that year too???? Wow this really was a great year for movies with Eternal Sunshine, The Incredibles, Finding Neverland (yea I liked that movie), Mean Girls, Garden State, The Notebook (yea I liked that too, I’m a sap, Harry Potter and Prisoner of Azkaban, and I haven’t even seen Aviator or MDB

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    pacinofan
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    #138839

    “Million Dollar Baby” was my choice as the best film of its year. I was torn between “Baby”, “The Incredibles” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless” but even though I had the most fun with the Pixar film and found “Sunshine” intellectually stimulating it was “M$B” that haunted me. I believe I saw it three times in the theatre.

    “The Aviator” had a lot of flash and I liked its sleek visual design but I literally could not have cared less what was going on in the film. I did not find its plot or characters interesting. For the most part it was a drama relatively free of any drama. “M$B” on the other hand moved me deeply, I also found its understated photgraphy quietly poetic and beautiful, and I thought it would do the same for Oscar voters which is why I predicted it to win best picture over “The Aviator”. I rarely predict Oscar wins based on my own feeiings for a film, if I did I would be wrong most of the time, but in this one race I felt I would not be alone in finding “M$B” moving and “The Aviator” well crafted but soulless and not very stimulating viewing.

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