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

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

  1. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis

    The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Scorsese should have won Best Director, no doubt. Redford's work is very good, but Scorsese's actually pushing boundaries there and coming up with all sorts of new stuff. But I agree with Ordinary People for Best Picture.
     
  2. drg4

    drg4 Jedi Master star 4

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    Jul 30, 2005
    I place Ordinary People in the same category as Titanic: Superb movie that gets unfairly ripped because its chief competitor happens to be one of the greatest films ever made (Raging Bull, L.A. Confidential, respectively).

    Hopefully someone mentions the mediocrity that is Gladiator winning over the lyrical, emotionally shattering Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I'm still not over that. :mad:
     
  3. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Chariots of Fire (1981)

    "If I said that a movie about a bunch of pasty British dudes running in slo-mo to Muzak for two hours was the greatest cinematic experience in the year of our Lord 1981, you'd say, ''You're an idiot!'' But the Academy said it was better than Reds and Raiders of the Lost Ark. So who's the idiot now?"

    "Reds" is Oscar bait if I ever saw it; but "Raiders" is the exact opposite. I suppose the voters thought they were hitting the middle. It was the score.
     
  4. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Gandhi (1982)

    'It's said that Gandhi slept beside naked women to test his willpower. Well, sitting through Richard ­Attenborough's three-hour-plus biopic isn't that torturous, but it's close. Ben Kingsley is amazing, yet wouldn't you rather watch E.T. or Tootsie?'


    Well, not "Tootsie".
     
  5. corran2

    corran2 Jedi Master star 4

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    May 16, 2006
    Personally, I'd take Gandhi over E.T. Ben Kingsley gives a tour-de-force performance here, Attenborough's direction is solid, and it has one of those great British supporting casts that always lifts a film. A shout-out must be given to Edward Fox's performance here, where he shows no emotion to a court martial after he murders hundreds of protesting Indian civilians. Chilling.
     
  6. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis

    The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Mar 3, 2005
    Gandhi is superb. It takes a lot of skill to pull together a production of that size together and yet maintain the dramatic intensity and intimacy of the performances by the likes of Kingsley, Roshan Seth, and Rohini Hattangadi. It is not mere worksmanship, it's executed with care and perhaps more complexity than most people give it credit for, while owing a heck of a lot to Lawrence of Arabia in that regard. E.T. is marvelous, but I'd honestly rather watch Gandhi again and again.
     
  7. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Out of Africa (1985)

    "There isn't a better ­actress on the planet than Meryl Streep. But even she can't fake any believable chemistry with Robert Redford in this Ralph Lauren?goes?to?­Lion Country Safari ­advertorial. It had the good fortune of going up against weak competition like Kiss of the Spider ­Woman and Prizzi's Honor. Talk about a pillow fight."

    Robert Redford's only believable chemistry/love affair is with himself--which is why I haven't seen this one. I gave up on movies featuring him, though I would like to see Streep's performance. Haven't seen "Kiss of the Spider Woman" either. Thoroughly enjoyed "Prizzi's Honor", though.
     
  8. The_Four_Dot_Elipsis

    The_Four_Dot_Elipsis Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Mar 3, 2005
    No argument from me. This is a terrible, terrible film. Brandauer is the only good thing in it.

    From that year's crop, The Color Purple all the way.
     
  9. quiller

    quiller Jedi Master star 2

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    Jun 1, 2005
    I thought Prizzi's honor was very well done and should have won that year, there is not much I can say against it even to it's non conventional Hollywood ending.
     
  10. JohnWesleyDowney

    JohnWesleyDowney Jedi Master star 5

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    Jan 27, 2004
    I heard a funny joke about why Gandhi won Best Picture Oscar:

    Gandhi got so many votes because Gandhi is everything Hollywood wishes it was:

    thin, tanned and moral.
     
  11. Todd the Jedi

    Todd the Jedi Mod and Soliloquist of SWTV star 6 Staff Member Manager

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    Oct 16, 2008
    I remember Out of Africa for two reasons: the amazing soundtrack (listen to the CD all the time) and the beautiful landscapes. That's it.
     
  12. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    The Last Emperor (1987)

    "Bernardo ­Bertolucci's stately epic about the life of China's boy emperor, Pu Yi, is visually intoxicating (if a little flashback-heavy). But the main character is a dull cipher. You know who isn't? Everybody in Broadcast News and Moonstruck, both of which lost."

    Haven't seen any of these films. The other 2 noms were "Fatal Attraction" and "Hope and Glory", which I have seen (the latter is very good.)

    Also released that year: "The Princess Bride", "Raising Arizona", "Au Revoir, Mes Enfants", "Babette's Feast", "Housekeeping", "Empire of the Sun" (which I didn't much like, but you could make an argument for), "Good Morning, Vietnam", "Full Metal Jacket", "My Life as a Dog", "Pelle the Conqueror", "The Untouchables", etc. etc. Some of these are better than others, but this was a good year. "Raizing Arizona" is one of my fave comedies. (If you want to see how funny Cage could be once upon a time, see it.)
     
  13. DarthBoba

    DarthBoba Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jun 29, 2000
    FWIW, Attenborough was quoted in The Making Of Jurassic Park that he felt ET should have won.
     
  14. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Well, he was starring in a movie made by Spielberg at the time, which might have something to do with it.
     
  15. Obi Anne

    Obi Anne FF manager Celebrations star 8 Manager

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    Nov 4, 1998
    I think The Last Emperor is a magnificent film. Is at a lot better than the other contenders? I don't know I haven't seen them all. I wouldn't call it overrated though, it is a very good film.
     
  16. DarthBoba

    DarthBoba Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jun 29, 2000
    Eh, sure, but I feel inclined to take the quote at face value.
     
  17. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Feb 16, 2010
    Oh, I totally agree with that, Obi Anne! It certainly seems to me that it's the most epic of all movies made that year, and a singular achievement for Bernardo Bertolucci. Especially given that it was the first Western movie ever to be allowed to film in the real Forbidden City!

    The cinematography by Vittorio Storaro was also superb, really spellbinding stuff.

    And while I can see that it wouldn't be for everyone, I certainly think it deserved to win that Oscar.

    Not overrated at all, imho.
     
  18. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Dances With Wolves (1990)

    "It's a good thing Martin Scorsese won Best Picture for The Departed in 2007. Otherwise, the guy might've pulled a Travis Bickle. First Raging Bull loses. Then GoodFellas gets whacked by this endless, preachy Kevin Costner ego trip. Look, I can get behind an inspirational movie about Native Americans, just as long as it ain't this one."

    Costner, Gibson and Beatty all won best director Oscars in this period. They all directed the same movie, essentially--the historical freedom fighter trope. None of those movies are worth a damn, IMO. Full of lingering beauty shots of themselves, the requisite masochism, homoeroticism, poorly understood (or downright stupid) history and/or politics, great length, plodding pace, etc. etc. I did like Eastwood's effort, but then I think an argument could be made for him being a genuine director, which none of these other doofuses are. Redford is more pretentious and arty; he makes the types of pictures you usually see in second generation Hollywood directors--Charles Matthau, Danny Huston, etc. before they move on to another branch of the profession.
     
  19. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Feb 16, 2010
    Honestly, I don't think "Dances with Wolves" is overrated, at all. Actually, it seemed to be a very underrated movie right up until the time it opened. Not many people expected it would do well, given its 3-hour running time and the fact that much of the movie had subtitles.

    Nor am I sure that I would consider it an "ego trip", unlike some later Kevin Costner movies. This one seemed pretty genuine in its earnest revisionist effort, in which the Native Americans are the good guys and the white invaders are, aside from Costner's characters, the unsympathetic bad guys.

    To watch this movie back in 1990 was an absolute breath of fresh air. The movie never seemed too long, from what I remember, and it really felt like it had taken you to another time and place. The movie's message was absolute in tune with the changing times, now that diversity and respect for people of color are so much more valued than they were for much of the 20th century in America.
     
  20. Merlin_Ambrosius69

    Merlin_Ambrosius69 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Yes, I agree with MandalorianDuchess. Dances with Wolves is an epic, gorgeously realized film with a sweeping score by the master of the art, John Barry, and an extremely compelling character study. I don't understand the hate it's getting here.

    The same can be said for Out of Africa. I've loved that film since I caught it on cable in the 80s and have seen it many times since. It's a beautiful character study, the chemistry between the leads is palpable, the film-making is topnotch, the score (again, Barry) is one of the greatest in cinema history. And again, I don't get the hate. Marvelous film.
     
  21. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Feb 16, 2010
    Agreed - and I'd forgotten to mention the score, which I agree, is very beautiful.

    It's really kind of hard to underscore how wonderful an experience this was when it first came out. Remember, at the time, Kevin Costner could do no wrong - that in itself isn't a reason to have liked the movie, per se, but it sure helped that he'd developed such a winning streak at the box office.

    My guess is that because KC was later on identified with such failures as "Waterworld" and "The Postman", the revisionist thinking is that somehow "Dances with Wolves" doesn't really deserve all the accolades it got upon its release in 1990.

    But it does... it really does.
     
  22. drg4

    drg4 Jedi Master star 4

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    Jul 30, 2005
    I concur. After reading books like Buried My Heart At Wounded Knee and American Holocaust, I couldn't help but embrace Dances With Wolves. A near-masterpiece. The genre needs more films centering on the victims of Manifest Destiny.

    Oh, and anyone who even thinks of denigrating Costner's subsequent Western, Open Range, is gonna get a whuppin'.
     
  23. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    It's a zeitgeist movie, nicely shot, ploddingly directed, with a bad actor in the lead (the rest of the performances are okay when they have real people to play, which is very, very seldom) and full of the sort ofreverse-PC that's terribly condescending. IMO.
     
  24. MandalorianDuchess

    MandalorianDuchess Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Feb 16, 2010
    Some of those things seem to be a matter of opinion, imho. What is a "zeitgeist" movie, exactly? What makes you think "Dances" qualifies? I don't think it was "ploddingly directed"in the least, and I don't see anything bad with Kevin Costner's acting in this one (though that might not be the case with some of the stuff he was in in the late 90s).
     
  25. Nevermind

    Nevermind Jedi Knight star 6

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    Oct 14, 2001
    Noun 1. Zeitgeist - the spirit of the time; the spirit characteristic of an age or generation