Amph Most Overrated Best Pictures Winners: "The English Patient"

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Nevermind, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Nevermind Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    A Man for All ­Seasons (1966)

    "This tasteful period piece about the power struggle between Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More is the cure for what ails you. That is, if you suffer from insomnia. And for a movie about Henry VIII, there's not nearly enough drumstick eating. We'd much rather watch Liz Taylor screaming and swearing at Richard Burton in 1966's also-ran, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

    Hmm. 1966 was a pretty lousy year, and the noms were these two, "The Russians Are Coming", "Alfie" and "The Sand Pebbles". Both AMFAS and HAOVW were adaptations of plays, and both were rather stagebound. Just because HAOVW's subject matter was somewhat more modern doesn't mean it was more interesting--I'm not sure either of these films worked. They do contain some good performances--Robert Shaw is probably the best realization of Henry VIII ever on film (cliche-free!), and Burton is good in HAOVW, while Taylor treats us to the first instance of embarrassing reality television. Paul Schofield, who won an Oscar for it, is a charisma-free black hole, which is probably why the film seems dull to this guy. Though I am no fan at all of Thomas More, and don't think he deserves this film's title, the film has interest to me, maybe because More's moronic stubbornness contributed to the English Reformation, a historical event of great signifigance.

    Overrated as compared to what?
  2. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 8
    The Russians Are Coming was nominated for Best Picture? Brother.
  3. corran2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2006
    star 4
    "A Man For All Seasons" is fantastic; if anything, it's underrated. Paul Schofield is fantastic as the titular character, a man who will stick by his ideals no matter what the cost. The scenes where he is on trial at the end are wonderfully haunting as John Hurt's Richard Rich false testimony ends More. Its only competition this year seems to be "Virginia Woolf", which is itself a fantastic film. Either one would be the right winner.
  4. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Virginia Woolf? is better, but both are utterly superb. Hardly overrated at all.
  5. Nevermind Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Oliver! (1968)

    "That exclamation point in the title is easily the most exciting thing about this Dickens musical. Folks like to complain about how square the Academy is now, but the movie shows just how hopelessly geriatric and mothbally it used to be. Oscar voters swooned for this cavalcade of singing, dancing, pocket-picking ragamuffins and didn't even nominate Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey or Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby."

    A good musical is one of the hardest things ever to direct, guys, as a lot of talented directors have found out. Reed is a very good director, and this musical, if it doesn't have the high points of Lean's non-musical version, doesn't have the low points, either. (They very sensibly simplify the story). Moody's the best Fagin I can remember, and the same goes for Oliver Reed as Bill and the kid who plays the Artful Dodger. The score is good musically, and not so good lyrically; luckily the Nancy has a helluva voice.

    So, no; I don't agree with this. Yes, "2001" should have been nominated, I suppose, but there's a strong possibly that the voters didn't watch it while stoned. That's a problem. Or perhaps they didn't have an affinity for Kubrick, which is entirely possible. Despite his undoubted talent, there's something off-putting in his work for me. YMMV.

    "Rosemary's Baby" is indeed very good, but that doesn't mean "Oliver!" is bad.
  6. corran2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2006
    star 4
    The movie is too saccharine, too sugary, and the acting of Mark Lester is rather terrible in the titular role. I will say Oliver Reed is the best film Bill Sikes I have seen, and Ron Moody is pretty fantastic as well. But this doesn't save the film from being rather mediocre and certainly not deserving of Best Picture. Besides all this, I would have liked to seen 2001 take home the award; one of the two or three best films of the 60's.
  7. Nevermind Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Involves unmarried parenthood, death of the mother in childbirth, child labour, child abuse and exploitation, organized crime, beating death of a woman in front of a child, theft, break and enter, a fence, etc. etc.

    Very saccharine indeed.
  8. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Reed, Moody, and Wild are awesome. But I think it's pretty tiresome. And in no way better than The Lion in Winter or 2001: A Space Odyssey or Romeo and Juliet.
  9. Nevermind Jedi Knight

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    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    "A Lion in Winter" is pretty terrible, as is "Romeo and Juliet"...
  10. corran2 Jedi Master

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    May 16, 2006
    star 4
    "A Lion in Winter" terrible? Give me a break. And "Oliver!" is saccharine when compared to Lean's vastly superior original and the Dickens novel.
  11. Nevermind Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    It's loaded with silly anachronisms for one, and a bad script for two.
  12. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master

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    star 5
    Who cares about anachronisms? And the script is beautiful.
  13. Nevermind Jedi Knight

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    star 6
    :rolleyes:

    James Goldman was no hell as a scriptwriter. The rest of his oeuvre is resoundingly mediocre, and so it this.
  14. corran2 Jedi Master

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    May 16, 2006
    star 4
    Nevermind, I'll take brilliant verbal sparing between two of the finest actors of all-time over "Consider Yourself" every day of the week.
  15. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Robin and Marian disagrees. Violently.
  16. Nevermind Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    "Robin and Marian" is more pseudo-medieval stuff. Same as "Lion in Winter"...great cast. Terrible script. Medieval types don't speak Noel Coward style (on a very, very bad day, Coward was usually witty.) The dialogue especially is off in ALIW. That might have worked on the stage, I suppose. Not off it.



  17. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2005
    star 5
    Why, because they're not talking like they would have in that time period? Regardless of how crisp and punchy the dialogue is, and how thematically rich those works are?
  18. Havac Former Moderator

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    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    The Lion in Winter and Robin and Marian are both brilliant. They're art, not museum exhibits.
  19. Nevermind Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    *shakes head*

    ^Same reaction I have when people assure me that "A Song of Ice and Fire" is well written. On what planet? Though I didn't realize how really terrible it is until I read it carefully in the chapter-by-chapter thread.

    Is (a) "The night is pocked with stars" better than (b)"HA! What shall we hang... the holly, or each other?" or (c) Are they both camp?

    Correct answer: (c)
  20. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    I'm shaking my head right back. I'll maybe put my face in my hands too.
  21. Nevermind Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    It *is* quite disconcerning when people whose opinion you otherwise respect believe a crappy movie is a good one. (Of course, there are all crappy movies we love). I have that feeling about "JFK", "Braveheart", "Arsenic and Old Lace", "Dances With Wolves", "Reds", Capracorn of just about any description, etc. etc.

    Rogue can't stand "The Wizard of Oz" and "Forrest Gump" among two that I can remember.

    We will have agree to disagree on this one. Though I grant you the score is good.
  22. Nevermind Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Ordinary People (1980)

    "In which director Robert Redford looks deep into the heart of the American dream and discovers... it's a Lifetime movie! Okay, maybe I'm being unfair. Because, seriously, how else would I have learned that rich, white suburban folks are as screwed up as everyone else? The biggest outrage, of course, is that Ordinary People beat Raging Bull ? to this day, the biggest headscratcher in Oscar history."

    I am not a giant fan of "Raging Bull", either, but Scorsese had a run of being beaten for best picture by acting directors, none of which, with the exception of Eastwood, for whom you can make an argument, are worth a rat's ass. IMO. I know Rogue is a great admirer of this particular movie, but I agree with the list this time.
  23. corran2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2006
    star 4
    Ordinary People is a great movie that isn't nearly as soapy as you might think. Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland and Timothy Hutton all are career-best here. The overrated part would be Redford winning the Oscar for Best Direction over Scorsese, which is a tragedy. But the film itself is a worthy Best Picture, even if I consider Raging Bull the better film.
  24. JohnWesleyDowney Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2004
    star 5

    The scene where Donald Sutherland tells Mary Tyler Moore why he's crying is one of
    the great acting moments in movies of the 1980s. He's awesome.
  25. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 9
    I've seen both films, and I think it's Raging Bull that's overrated. Ordinary People is a tremendous film, with Mary Tyler Moore going heavily against type in the role (except that she lost her son for real in an accident not long after filming, unfortunately). Sutherland is criminally underrated in his role. Timothy Hutton garnered his Oscar because the film's executives had the sense to steer him away from the runaway train that was Robert De Niro that year. He was the real leading man of the film, yet won for Best Supporting Actor.

    The book is almost as good, though the film stands as one of the best examples of cinema bettering literature.