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Which Weinstein-Backed Film Is The Most Deserving Best Picture Winner??

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  • KT
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    #545475

    OK, here’s the second poll topic I wanted to make.  I know that many if not all of these wins are controversial in these parts, and for good reasons.  Was Harvey responsible for bringing awards acclaim to films less than deserving of the recognition?  It’s an interesting question people have debated for several films, including Chocolat and The Cider House Rules, for example, for getting Best Picture nominations.  And it’s interesting that he couldn’t go all the way with films like The Crying Game and Pulp Fiction.  But what about the films that did win the top award?  The English Patient, Shakespeare in Love, and Chicago with Miramax, and The King’s Speech and The Artist with the Weinstein Company.  These films were hot in their respective years, but don’t seem to have the best replay value, when compared to their competition, and are seen by many as uncool and Oscar bait.  In the Oscars forum, there is an interesting topic on Fargo and how it performed at the Oscars, for instance—a film that has a very high reputation on the Internet and in best of 90s lists.  Now, the Internet does tend to gear younger and hipper, and I think there is more value in these films than some people are willing to admit.  I’m interested in which of these films you think is most deserving of the Best Picture title.  Essentially, that’s asking what is the best film of the five, in your opinion, or stacked up best in its respective year.

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    Laactingnyc
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    #545477

    1. The English Patient
    2. Chicago
    3. The Artist
    4. Shakespeare In Love
    5. The Kings Speech

    I wouldn’t have picked any of these films to win best picture.

    The Rightful Winners:

    1996 – Fargo
    1998 – Saving Private Ryan
    2002 – The Hours
    2010 – Black Swan
    2011 – The Tree of Life

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    Riley
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    #545478

    The Artist was my fourth favourite film of the year, but I get that The Tree of Life is not for everyone, that Drive is not an academy film and that something weird happened with Harry Potter 8 between its reviews and the year-end top ten lists.

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    Beau S.
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    #545479

    1. Chicago (would have picked The Pianist)
    2. The English Patient (would have picked Fargo)
    3. The Artist (would have picked Hugo)
    4. Shakespeare in Love (would have picked The Thin Red Line or The Truman Show)
    5. The King’s Speech (would have picked any other film released that year) 

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    BrokenFan
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    #545480

    I reluctantly would have to say Chicago.

    Chicago – Should have been for LOTR or the Pianist
    The King’s Speech – Should have been The Social Network or anyother film…..
    The Artist – Should have been Drive or Melancholia, but they weren’t even nominated
    English Patient – Should have been Fargo
    Shakespeare in Love – Should have been Thin Red Line or Saving Private Ryan

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    babypook
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    #545481

    I picked The King’s Speech, naturally. My gratitude to that film, and Tom Hooper, for defeating the smarmy, arrogant, whining, pedantic Social Network fans will live on and on…..and on. Lol.

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    CanadianFan
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    #545482

    Silver Linings Playbook… but it didn’t even win. 

    In terms of quality:
    5) Chicago
    4) Shakespeare In Love
    3) The English Patient
    2) The Artist
    1) The King’s Speech

    But… I can’t stomach The King’s Speech beating The Social Network, so I suppose, when considering their competition, “The Artist” deserved to win. 

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    Halo_Insider
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    #545483

    Of these, I would say that I probably admire Chicago the most as an experience and a piece of filmmaking. However, I love The Pianist quite a bit more than it, so I’d officially choose The Artist, as I don’t really mind its selection. It’s just not one I’m too passionate about.

    1) The Artist (would have picked The Descendants, Hugo, or the unnominated Drive)
    2) Chicago (would have picked The Pianist)
    3) The King’s Speech (would have picked The Social Network)
    4) The English Patient (would have picked Fargo)
    5) Shakespeare in Love (would have picked Saving Private Ryan)

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    KT
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    #545484

    Here’s how I rank the five films.  I wrote kind of a lot, but I did start the thread:

    5. The King’s Speech (2010) – I wasn’t crazy about this film when I saw it in theaters and surprisingly found myself bored on first viewing.  After rewatching it several times, I really don’t think there is much replay value at all.  It’s a buddy movie.  It’s a crowd pleaser.  Colin Firth is very good, but there’s not much more in the film to mine technically or in its storytelling.  A lot of the aesthetic choices on the part of the director are there for style more than for substance or tone.  Thus, in my opinion it’s missing a strong vision and is a film that succeeds only at face value.  In winter 2011, as much as The Social Network had dominated the critics awards, I don’t think any film came close to beating The King’s Speech.  There was no BP-BD split, even for David Fincher.  I don’t find it a very worthy winner and didn’t after seeing the films in the very strong 2010 Best Picture lineup.

    4. The Artist (2011) – This film had Best Picture pretty much sown up.  Weinstein went back to back, and it was amazing he saw that this was not only an Oscar player, but that he also could sell a silent, black and white film to a global audience.  My problem with this film is everything feels so trite.  It’s not particularly ambitious, and while the package may have seemed like a novelty, it didn’t really contribute anything new, or provide a postmodern version of the silent film.  I’m in the camp that believe the Bernard Herrman’s Vertigo music did not belong in the film.  I know it works for that impactful moment, but I couldn’t help but be taken out of the film and reminded of Alfred Hitchock’s masterpiece.  That score is irreplaceable and one of the best examples of effective scoring in cinema. Isn’t it rather funny that Vertigo couldn’t win a single Oscar and then the film that rips its music wins Best Picture?? I think Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo were great, and Uggy too—but like The King’s Speech (and many other Best Picture winners), it doesn’t reach past the surface.  But that’s fine, that’s what the film is.

    3. Chicago (2002) – I think this year was very close, and The Pianist very likely came in a near second.  Chicago was on Showtime a few months ago and I was glad it caught my attention.  I think it is a marked step up in quality from The King’s Speech and The Artist, and is a strong directorial achievement on the part of Rob Marshall.  The editing is brisk and vibrant, making the entire film rich with excitement; the pacing too makes it easy to watch song after song.  The film plays very well, though I understand that for many it’s not the most exciting winner.  I thought the color scheme was wonderful, especially in the darker numbers, i.e. “I Can’t Do It Alone.”  And the package of “All that Jazz” at the beginning is stunning, setting up the dynamic between Velma Kelly, Catherine Zeta-Jones in the role of her life, and Roxie Hart.  Richard Gere is also very good and so at ease as Billy Flynn.  I do think this was a deserving win, as I do for the next two films as well, but it’s definitely not the best film of the five nominees.  I prefer The Hours, though I understand it is very dark, and The Two Towers, which is simply an incredible achievement.

    2. The English Patient (1996) – I put my thoughts about The English Patient in the Fargo thread.  I hated this movie when I was younger, calling it the sex movie.  But when I rewatched it a few times over the past two years, it resonated much more.  Of the five nominees in 1996, I would have voted for The English Patient.  Fargo didn’t do much for me, and the colloquialism and tone made it hard for me to take seriously.  I appreciated the scope of the storytelling in The English Patient, which may be one of the last epic films made without computer technology.  The editing and sound by Walter Murch are very well done.  If you don’t know who he is, he was Francis Ford Coppola’s go-to-guy for The Godfather, The Conversation, and Apocalypse Now.  Here he does wonders in weaving the different storylines and flashbacks.  Gabriel Yared’s music is beautiful, from the opening shot of the “Cave of Swimmers” figure drawing superimposed over the undulating sand dunes of the desert.  The love story isn’t for everyone (Ralph Fiennes’ character is not likeable in the slightest) and the film itself is a bit bloated, but there is love in this movie, seen most clearly in Juliette Binoche’s wonderful performance and Minghella’s attention to detail in his adaptation, making a very cerebral novel cinematic.

    1. Shakespeare in Love (1998) – Where to begin… I think this is the most undeservedly hated Best Picture winner in recent memory.  I saw this film last year on the big screen to a packed audience and it was fantastic.  It not only plays well—people were cracking up and gave the film applause at the end—but Tom Stoppard’s script is so good and intellectual, really, it functions as a hybrid comedy and period drama.  There are so many riffs on Shakespeare and puns in the dialogue it’s fantastic for an educated audience.  Also, people tend to forget this film becomes more drama at the end, with a wonderful final sequence and the shot of Viola walking to the New World.  There really is no film like it, honestly.  I love that everything builds to the performance of Romeo and Juliet, during which there is a wonderful shot-reverse shot captured of Shakespeare looking at Viola onstage.  Paltrow nails the part; Fiennes is good, though his career never really took off after this year; and the supporting cast stellar (Yes, even Ben Affleck fits his character. Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson, and Imelda Staunton are my favorites).  I think Steven Warbeck’s score is great (the theme at the end of the film is incredible), as is of course the production design and costumes.  What an achievement to recreate the Globe Theater.  But without John Madden, it would not have worked; it’s really a great directing effort, especially in how the actors were directed, and probably would have been recognized as such if he was a bigger personality.  My opinion: the race was between Shakespeare in Love and Saving Private Ryan and the right film won.  Ryan, while technically unsurpassed, really comes up short in its storytelling and lacks a clear vision from Spielberg—one that I’d argue makes The Deer Hunter, The Hurt Locker, and Platoon far superior war movies.  For users who have never seen this film or dismissed it when you were younger, I suggest you give it another try.

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    Laactingnyc
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    #545485

    I agree people in these forums make it seem like Shakespeare in love should have won the razzie…… It wasn’t that bad. In fact i really liked it, it just wasn’t the best that year.

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    KT
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    #545486

    ^^ The only film I haven’t seen of the five nominees that year was The Thin Red Line.  For me, Shakespeare is a better film than Saving Private Ryan, and also surpasses La Vita e` Bella and Elizabeth.  I know The Thin Red Line wasn’t even in the conversation—no one was talking about it as THE war film.  It was all Saving Private Ryan.  It’s fascinating that two films took place in Elizabethan England and the other three Best Picture nominees were WWII films—I’m not sure that’s ever happened before and probably makes it easier to compare the films.

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    Anthony
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    #545487

    I like The Artist and I really liked Chicago and even Shakespeare in Love…but was bored to death by The English Patient and felt The Kings Speech was solid to good at best. I voted for Shakespeare but I doubt if it would even make my personal lineup.

    The irony IS that he couldn’t get wins out of The Crying Game or Pulp Fiction but it makes since with the two sure things from that year…although those two films deserved to win.

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    Anonymous
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    #545488

    1. the artist
    2. the english patient
    3. chicago
    4. the kings speech
    5. shakespeare in love 

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    FilmGuy619
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    #545489

    I would say The Artist. I loved how the Academy recognized a film made from another country and not just our own, so that film winning BP is quite cool with me. Still haven’t seen Chicago, but all the other ones I am not crazy about. I still say The English Patient is the worst winner for Best Picture. Yes, worse than Shakespeare in Love. At least Shakespeare in Love was a good movie. Yeah, it shouldn’t have beaten SPR, but it at least was a good movie. The King’s Speech is another winner I just can’t get behind. Mostly because of the films it beat. In particular, The Social Network, Inception, and Black Swan would’ve been much more worthy winners. It’s actually quite ironic that the films by Harvey Weinstein that I love like Silver Linings Playbook and The Master, don’t do as well in terms of nominations or wins. I know that SLP won Best Actress, but it would’ve been my personal choice for Best Picture and I would’ve loved to see The Master get nominations across the board, including BP and especially Best Director.

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    vinny
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    #545490

    5) Shakespeare in Love
    4) The English Patient
    3) The King’s Speech
    2) The Artist
    1) Chicago    

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