Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BEST PICTURE SHOWCASE: "A Beautiful Mind" (2001)

Back when I started this Best Picture Showcase, I remarked on how there were "x" number of films that I'd either not seen, or only seen parts of.  Being as ridiculously-obsessed with movies and the Oscars as I am, I've made it a point to see every Best Picture nominee before each year's Academy Awards.  This started in about 1994, and in those first several years I probably only caught two or three of the nominees at best until somewhere into the new century.  Today's blog topic is to my knowledge the last movie that won Best Picture before I'd seen it, the Ron Howard-directed A Beautiful Mind.  When I rented it some time after it had won Best Picture, I remember being bored and confused by it.  I didn't even finish watching the film.  Maybe that was a mistake?  Maybe I just couldn't grasp the story 14 years ago?  I may as well just fess up now and say both of those "maybes" can be switched to "yes".  Upon viewing it yesterday, I did understand it, thanks in great part to watching it with my wife, who helped explain a lot of the psychological aspects.  So what we'll have within the synopsis is a combination of mine and her notes, both summarizing the film and delivering observations, and I'll thank her in advance for having the keen eye she did on catching a lot of plot elements I missed!  Let's dive in.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

BEST PICTURE SHOWCASE: "The Godfather Part II" (1974)

This will be a blog like no other in this series, because it is for a Best Picture winner that is a sequel to an earlier Best Picture winner (The Godfather, 1972).  Coming just two years after the first film, Godfather fever was still raging across moviegoing America, and fortunately the film continued the high quality of its predecessor.  Many even feel the second film is better, but everyone agrees that both films remain to this day the measuring stick for any movies about the Mafia.  Paramount gave director Francis Ford Coppola complete control over the making of the film, but star Al Pacino nearly derailed the entire thing in preproduction because he was unsatisfied with the script.  Coppola rewrote it overnight and sent Pacino a copy.  As you can probably surmise, he liked the revised version.  Most of the story in this sequel was written specifically for the movie, but some elements were adapted from Mario Puzo's original novel.  At 200 minutes, this is the fifth-longest Best Picture winner in history, so this blog means we'll have half of the 10 longest Best Picture winners taken care of.  Let's dive in!

Friday, April 10, 2015


So...yeah, it's been awhile.

This Best Picture Showcase was supposed to be completed in 2014, but due to a variety of reasons (including that I just got lazy with it), that didn't happen.  Sorry about that.

When this started, there were a planned 86 blogs to come covering all the winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture.  That number has now become 87.  And yes, we'll be covering the newest member of the club down the line.

So with 27 movies left to finish the BPS...I say it's about damn time we got back into it.  Shall we?