Yeah, kids. For this month's movie playlist, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane to all the Oscar-snubbed films that throw me into a blind fury for not achieving the recognition they so deserve. But, really, I shouldn't care so much - the Oscars are, after all, total bullshit. No, really, check this out- the majority of the academy's voters are rich old white dudes, and it's just getting more and more obvious as they grow older and whiter with each passing year. After hearing enough stories (like how people voted for Crash to win best picture just because they were tired of hearing about Brokeback Mountain - yeah, that win wasn't about you, Crash, sorry) you've got to take these awards with a grain of salt. So join me, if you will, on this tour of Academy folly, to better brace ourselves for this year's batch of disappointment.
I should note that this playlist is primarily about snubs in the Best Picture-y categories (including Documentary and Foreign Film) - so I left off stuff like Jungle Fever, in which I'd love to point out Samuel L. Jackson's fucking amazing not-even-nominated supporting performance, but the film itself is pretty uneven. Jackson did eventually snag a supporting actor nomination for Pulp Fiction, but he lost to... Martin Landau in Ed Wood... Yeah. Old white dudes.
Times are included if you want to marathon this, as always. This marathon's just over twelve hours. ENJOY!
Noon - Hoop Dreams (1994, 170min)
I've always found the Best Documentary category to be a fun one to get all worked up about, because every time I've been disappointed in it, it's because I only actually saw one documentary that year, and that's the one I wanted to win. Still, Hoop Dreams not even getting a nomination caused a fair amount of media outcry, in which film critics more or less accused the Academy of not even bothering to watch the film. To be fair, a three-hour documentary about two inner-city Chicago kids trying to make it to the NBA is a pretty tough sell, but the movie delivers a seriously rich narrative. The weight of each game and event's real-life consequences is riveting, making Hoop Dreams an exemplary documentary. So it's kind of fucked up that you wouldn't even call it the best documentary of 1994, Academy, come on. And don't even get me started on The King of Kong not taking the gold in 2008. Ugh.
3:00 pm The Social Network (2010, 120min)
Well, have fun not hating every privileged yuppie brat in this flick after watching those poor kids in Hoop Dreams! Still, it's a great movie. I'm less pissed off that it lost Best Picture to The King's Speech and more pissed off that it lost Best Director to The King's Speech, but those two awards tend to go hand-in-hand. The King's Speech was a good movie, but it was nowhere near as interesting and innovative as this one. David Fincher's superpower of being able to make anything visually interesting is on full display here, but instead of being the only reason to watch it he's actually supporting a textured project that works for many different reasons (I'd argue this has only really happened for Fincher once before, with Zodiac, but a Fincher's-best debate is a real can of worms). At least Aaron Sorkin got a well-deserved oscar for his brilliantly structured screenplay, but that almost felt like a dismissive nod from the Academy to all the film's other aspects. The King's Speech was the safe choice, but that was really The Social Network's year. There's also something I love about a Facebook movie made by old men who clearly don't know how to use it, especially when shit happens like that old british guy at the post-race party saying "Can you believe they talk on their computers?" But the film kind of admits to that in the scene between the Winklevoss twins and the president of Harvard, also probably the best scene in the movie. Fuck, it's good.
I'd be remiss to not include this screenshot of a text conversation I had with my friend Zog the morning after the Oscars that year. His referring to Tom Hooper, director of The King's Speech, as "british dweeb" notwithstanding, it's a pretty brilliant analogy.
Indeed, Zog, well said.
5:00 pm - Fargo (1996, 98min)
Where was ol' Marge Gunderson to tell those Social Network kids that money isn't everything? Speaking of interesting movies that lost to much safer movies, it turns out Fargo lost best picture to The English Patient back in 1997. As with Hoop Dreams, I was far too young at the time to have cared at all, so I'm not nearly as angry about this one. That said, Fargo is probably one of the best movies I've ever seen. It snagged a couple Oscars (Original Screenplay for the Coens, yes, and Best Actress for Frances McDormand, yes) but didn't quite take Best Picture or snag a statue for William H. Macy (who lost to Cuba Gooding Jr.) The characters are all unique and memorable, and the story unfolds at the perfect possible pace. It's also one of the great really-cold movies.
6:45 pm - City of God (2002, 130min)
Melt Fargo's residual snow with this really-fucking-hot movie from Brazil. I'd call this a crime epic, but it kind of covers a lot of topics - basically it's a bunch of cool-ass stories in the same scary town, directed with frenetic energy by Fernando Meirelles. Children with guns and drugs run the place, and shit gets out of hand a lot. It got nominated for Directing, Cinematography, Adapted Screenplay and Editing, but for some reason was denied a "Best Foreign Language film" spot (let alone the award, which went to The Barbarian Invasions).
09:00 pm - Network (1976, 120min)
I'm kind of being glib here, because Network did get a bunch of Oscars (including Peter Finch's supporting actor win, making him the first dead Oscar winner YEAH HEATH LEDGER YOU DIDN'T START THAT SHIT). Still, it lost Best Picture to Rocky, which I'd argue is another safe-bet flick. It's actually pretty surprising that this movie got awards love at all, because it kind of tears the entertainment industry a new one, though I guess its focus on television softened the blow for the film industry. This should help to inspire your Academy anger a little, though, as there's a lot of good screaming in this movie. Have yourself a scream, too. Peter Finch's deranged newsman literally tells you to.
11:00 pm - Goodfellas (1990, 146min)
I was three years old when Goodfellas lost Best Picture to Dances with Wolves, but I'm still pretty pissed off about it. Dances with Wolves is not even a fun movie to watch, at all, and Goodfellas is one of the most watchable movies ever made. The film spans three decades of life in the Mafia, condensed into two and a half hours, that flies by like fifteen minutes. The editing in this movie picks up speed like a locomotive roaring to Great Movieton Abbey, and watching it is like getting cinema-drunk. But, hey, Scorsese, you didn't do as good of a job directing this movie as Kevin Costner did on Dances with Wolves, are you fucking serious you guys i dont even
Okay, sorry, but Goodfellas is toe-to-toe with Robocop for my favorite film of all time, so I'm kind of invested in this one. I saw it at the tender age of twelve and had no idea movies could even be that good. Good God, Academy, what the fuck is wrong with you. You should be slapped.
Well, that's a good note to end on. Fuck you, Oscars.
THANKS FOR READING GUYS!!!!