Friday, February 10, 2012

Artistic Perspective

Considering the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from certain corners over the likely prospect of an Artist Best Picture win on the 26th you would think the Academy was poised to bestow their top honor on Gnomeo and Juliet. Sure, The Artist wasn't anywhere near the top of my list either, but it is not like this choice is some unprecedented lapse in taste for the Academy. I think if people would drop the scorched Earth indignation they would find that The Artist is actually a pretty standard winner, if not slightly on the better side of Academy choices.

Here is where I would rank The Artist among the last two decades of Best Picture Winners:


No Country For Old Men
The Hurt Locker
The Silence of the Lambs 
Schindler's List
The Departed
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Shakespeare in Love 
Million Dollar Baby

*The Artist*

American Beauty
Slumdog Millionaire
The King's Speech
The English Patient
Forrest Gump
A Beautiful Mind


The Artist lands smack dab in the middle of the Academy’s respectable, if not spectacular, choices, well above the egregious lapses in taste that begin around Gladiator and increase in severity until you reach the psychotic break that was the Crash win.

But of course in the heightened emotion of Oscar season a lot of people plant their flag with a certain film and proceed to give any and all competition a Billy Bats in Goodfellas-style beatdown. Again, The Artist is nowhere near my idea of the best 2011 had to offer, but it’s a solid, B+, golf clap choice, especially considering the anemic competition and the ghastly taste of which the Academy has shown themselves capable.


  1. The Artist was really enjoyable, even though, like you say, it's not the best of the year. I'd be perfectly happy to see it win, especially considering some of the other nominees in the category this year!!!

  2. I just love your top 3!! The same as mine (I would order it just the other way - 1 Lambs, 2 Locker, 3 No Country-). Sad you hate The English Patient so much, it would make my top 5 easily! But I hate both Eastwood movies and The Return of the King. I think I'd rank them like this:

    1. Silence of the Lambs
    2. The Hurt Locker
    3. No Country for Old Men
    4. Shakespeare in Love
    5. The English Patient (sorry!)
    6. The Departed
    7. Chicago
    8. Titanic
    9. Schindler's List
    11.The Artist
    14.American Beauty
    15.Forrest Gump
    17.The Return of the King
    18.Million Dollar Baby
    19.The King's Speech
    20.Slumdog Millionaire
    21.A Beautiful Mind

    And to me, since Chicago they start being unworthy winners. Since Forrest Gump, they are embarrassing movies to me. But, if The Tree of Life wins, it would be directly my number one of this list and probably even in Oscar History. Love your blog!

  3. So glad to see SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE in that top 10! :)

  4. Deivith - I don't hate English Patient so much as I remember being bored silly by it, although In fairness I have not seen it in years and years.

    Kelli - Absolutely. We always hear people complaining that the Academy doesn't honor comedy enough and yet when a Shakespeare or The Artist does well it gets bashed way of proportion because it is perceived as a frivolous choice.