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Thursday Movie Picks: Oscar Nominated Movies That Should Have Won

Thursday Movie Picks is hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Head over to her site and join in! This week is about Oscar nominated works that should have won. For this I am going to assume that this covers Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Feature, and Best Animated Feature. This is going to be a tough one since I haven't watched all nominated films for a specific year, so my choices will be narrowed down to Best Picture winner that I have seen, and what I think should have won in its place. Honestly, my main reason for why the movies should have won is because I thought it was better than the winner. Here are my picks this week.

Mad Max: Fury Road - Fury Road was a feat of a film. It has a strong and powerful performance by Charlize Theron, and a subtle but strong performance by Tom Hardy. The visuals and effects were amazing, perfect for a film in its setting. 

Black Swan - Granted I only watched bits and pieces of The King's Speech, but I think Black Swan should have won because it was more memorable than the winner. It has a very twisty story, with a performance that I wasn't sure Natalie Portman was capable of giving but she brought it. 

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - Not that I didn't like Chicago, but the achievement of this installment is what made this one of the best film trilogies I have seen. I feel like this is everyone's least favorite Lord of the Rings movie, but this is where the story picks up and tests the characters' strength since they end up divided in the last movie. I'm also biased for this one because this is my favorite movie of the trilogy.

Comments

  1. I definitely agree with these picks. I always felt The Two Towers never get enough love but I really loved the battle scenes and the material in the extended version of the film.

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    1. The Two Towers is often overlooked in the trilogy, but that was an amazing film.

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  2. Can't argue with those picks. I also picked the year The King's Speech won as one of mine, but I chose Inception.

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    1. Inception is a great choice! It's one of Nolan's best.

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  3. Mad Max: Fury Road was a decent film but I didn't think it was the best of its year. I was pulling for Bridge of Spies but was okay with Spotlight taking it.

    Black Swan for me was mostly memorable for the performances though it's inky photography and intensity make it a good film but again I don't know about it winning. Of the nominees that year I was leaning towards Inception but as long as anything but The Social Network, which I hated, won I was good.

    I know I'm in the minority but I detest the LOTR trilogy and found them insufferable and endless.

    So rare that the best film wins so the choices this week were very rich, almost every year has a possibility.

    I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)-Just after the end of the First World War vet James Allen (Paul Muni) decides to ramble around the country working odd jobs before settling down. Striking up a casual acquaintance with another drifter he is implicated in a robbery and despite his innocence sentenced to several years on a Southern chain gang. Faced with intolerable conditions he manages to escape and over time build a new and successful life but fate intervenes. Powerful indictment of prison conditions and man’s inhumanity to man with brilliant work by Muni and a haunting ending. There is no way in hell this should have lost to the ponderous Cavalcade.

    A Tale of Two Cities (1936)-Solid extremely well-acted version of the Dickens story of the French Revolution and some caught in its web. Handsomely mounted with Ronald Colman a strong Sydney Carton, Blanche Yurka a terrifyingly unhinged Madame De Farge and a lovely small performance by Isabel Jewell as a doomed seamstress. Again vastly superior to the corny and lumbering winner of its year-The Great Ziegfeld.

    Grand Illusion (1938)-Eloquent treatise on the futility and senseless of war defies easy synopsis without sounding trite but the basic story is of two French fliers shot down during WWII and their relationship with their cultured German captor. Gripping and profound.

    The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)-Spirited, lively, colorful and flat out fun version of the legend pulsates with vivid colors and a sense of joy. Masterfully lead by director Michael Curtiz with performances full of joie de vivre from Claude Rains, Basil Rathbone, the Warner’s stock company and Olivia de Havilland but driving the entire enterprise is the perfectly cast Errol Flynn who is obviously having a great time. You will too. Either this or Grand Illusion should have emerged triumphant over the ultimate winner, the scattered and foolish You Can’t Take It With You.

    Double Indemnity (1944)-Rapacious Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) ensnares hapless insurance man Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) into killing her husband in such a way that they can collect the double indemnity policy on him. As Neff’s boss and mentor Barton Krebs (Edward G. Robinson) begins to suspect foul play things spin out of control and the depths of Phyllis’s maliciousness rise to the surface. Seminal noir that is expertly written and directed by Billy Wilder and memorably performed by Stanwyck and MacMurray in huge breaks from their established personas at the time. The winner this year was the genial but flyaway Going My Way, a pleasurable watch but nothing compared to this trendsetting masterwork.

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    1. I haven't seen any of the films you mentioned, but they sound interesting.

      Bridge of Spies was okay; I remember liking Mark Rylance there. Inception would be a good winner over The King's Speech; it's a memorable piece of film.

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  4. The majority of the nominees were better than Spotlight. It wasn't bad but it wasn't that good either. I also picked Black Swan. That was a very strong year though and they awarded the weakest film. I haven't seen Chicago but I loved The Two Towers.

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    1. I think I would have been fine with any other movie taking it besides Spotlight. I was curious though as to how religious congregations received Spotlight, as it sheds light to issues that are deemed to be "taboo" in religion. I haven't heard a priest speak out against allegations like this, nor does it really make media rounds so in some way, Spotlight was an eye opener for something like this. I would think that they had something to say about this but no buzz about it - at least from where I'm from.

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  5. Mad Max Fury Road.... fck.. it deserved all the awards! Can't believe I didn't mention it myself this week.

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    1. I was rooting for this; I really wanted Fury Road to win.

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  6. Mad Max is crazy as, well, you know and I enjoyed watching it but I’m glad it didn’t win and am glad Spotlight did which I found amazing. Hate Pyscho Swan and am glad The King’s Speech did win although I know I am in the minority. I agree with you that LOTR should have won. All 3 were the best for each year honestly.

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    1. The LOTR trilogy was one of the best trilogies made, in my opinion.

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