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

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

  1. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    Feb 16, 2010
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    Well, I'm still curious what you thought made it a zeitgeist movie, to me it seems to have really timeless quality - at least assuming we've progressed past the point of taking white privilege as a normal status quo, of valuing white experience as being somehow "superior" to the experience of people of color.

    To me, "The Graduate" or "Wall Street" seem like obvious zeitgeist movies, "Dances with Wolves", not really. But it's an interesting perspective.
  2. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    I see why someone described it as a movie they were not allowed to dislike.

  3. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

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    Dances is a magnificent film. I hadn't watched it in a long time when I saw it some years ago and was stunned by how good it was. It's a true epic film, and it has a score to match it as well.
  4. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

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    You're "allowed" to dislike it, it just doesn't make any sense (to the rest of us) to dislike it because it is magnificent, moving and beautifully crafted.
  5. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Well, let me amend that; you can't dislike it without the risk of being deemed a racist. I won't say whether I am or I'm not, since I consider it irrelevant. A film can have a message of brotherhood for all mankind, kindness to wild animals, and recycling to the max, and still not be good.
  6. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    Agreed. I've always been in awe of how good it is.

    It's not that anyone thinks that Nevermind (or anyone) is pining for the good ol' days of white male privilege trumping everything, and of white men taking advantage of women and people of color (esp. Native Americans, but also of people brought over from Africa and African-Americans born here).

    It's not because of that.

    It is because, as Merlin said, it is a magnificent, moving, and beautifully crafted movie. I don't think anything else has even come close since, at least in terms of mainstream Hollywood moviemaking.
  7. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Oct 14, 2001
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    Okay, this is what you said:

    This is more honest that usual, because people always deny they like it because it is a paen to political correctness. I despise political correctness because it and racism are two sides of the same coin; that is, it is the reverse without being the opposite.
  8. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    But I don't see it as being about "political correctness". I see it as an honest, sincere, deeply-felt acknowledgement that we've moved past the point of unquestioned white male privilege and the oppression of people of color and cruelty towards animals (among other things) as the "normal" thing to accept in our society. That, to me, is not "political correctness". It is humanity starting to reach a more mature stage in our evolution as a species.

    If anything, the era of white male privilege as the norm was marked not only by racism, but also by sexism, ableism, and heteronormativity, and gross negligence in regards to issues like cruelty to animals, damaging the environment, etc. To be against those things, imho, is not to be for "p.c.ness", because to me, that term has a rather phony ring to it, as in "Let's pretend like we don't care less about women, people of color, animals, and the environment, but don't forget we're just paying lip service to all that stuff".

    But to be a true believer in genuine equality among all human beings, and in respect for all animal species and for Mother Nature, is not the same thing at all. It is what we need to have a better world, for ourselves and for our children (future generations in general)
  9. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    If you genuinely believe that's possible, I admire your optimism, though I think it's misplaced. Nor do I think that's what the film says.
  10. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Forrest Gump (1994)

    "You know that guy who stole your girlfriend, then turned out not to be a jerk after all? That's how I feel about Forrest Gump. It's not an aggressively bad movie (well, aside from all of the Southern-fried Foghorn Leghorn homilies); I'll just never get over the fact that it broke Pulp Fiction's heart."

    It's not an aggressively bad movie I suppose; it's not good, either.
  11. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    Feb 16, 2010
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    There's a huge difference between what's possible - and what's achievable in our lifetime. Already, we have seen a lot of progress in so very many different ways. And, no, I wasn't talking exclusively about what "Dances with Wolves" was about in my previous post, but rather about the difference between true forward-thinking values and what some people consider "political correctness'.

    Now, as for the next movie... "Forrest Gump", I think again you may find this one also having far more fans than critics...
  12. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    Everybody used to think the earth was flat, too.
  13. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    Ah, but even then, some forward-thinking people were challenging conventional wisdom.

    Though I'm not sure what that's got to do with "Forrest Gump".

    For what it's worth, I think I enjoyed "Forrest Gump" and "Pulp Fiction" about equally, when they were first released theatrically. Revisiting them on home video has also been a fairly pleasant experience. :)
  14. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    To hear you equate political correctness with 'forward-thinking' made me laugh and laugh and laugh.
  15. darthdrago Force Ghost

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    In its own way, I think it's more applicable to say Forrest Gump is a zeitgeist movie.

    I'm pretty sure I've said this before in another thread, but I've always figured a large part of Gump's success was due to the Baby Boom generation audience that it depicts. Don't get me wrong, I liked the movie. And I don't think the film in and of itself is a zeitgeist film, but I think its reception by American audiences is what made it "zeitgeist".

    The movie was released in the summer of 1994, which was an election year in the USA (a mid-term election, but an important election when the Republicans took total control of Congress for the first time in 40 years). Clinton had taken office the year before, and so I remember all the talk about how Baby Boomers had finally come into their own, now that a Baby Boomer was finally President, with many others being elected to Congress and as governors. So the early 90s saw a lot of the "culture wars" talk in America--old school liberalism of the 1960s & 70s versus the Reagan-Bush conservatism of the 1980s.

    When Forrest Gump took off at the box office, I remember hearing duelling arguments as to why the film was so popular. Boomers on the Left loved it because they saw it as a warts-and-all love letter to their generation and how far they'd come since the mid-1950s. Boomers on the Right loved it because they saw it as a morality tale of conservative vs. liberal values (Gump himself as the "conservative", who survives all the changes of history without compromising himself).

    Either way, Baby Boomers were IMO a big reason why the film had legs. Sure, it had cross-generational appeal, but I've always felt it was the Boomers who put it over the top. I still like the movie, but I do wonder how successful it would have been had it been made in, say, 2005 or 2010. Which is to say, I wonder how it would have done in a post-9/11, post-Great Recession America. I figure it would have done well, but I wonder if today's 18-25 generation would enjoy it as much as their Boomer parents. (My personal answer to that is no.) A different generational audience with little to no ties to the eras that Forrest Gump portrays could have seriously changed its box office receipts, which just might have changed how it's perceived in film history.

    YMMV.
  16. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    Feb 16, 2010
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    Would it be too much to ask if you would please not twist my words? I have never said I believe in "political correctness", to attribute a comparison to me that I never made is pure misrepresentation on your part.

    For the last time, please understand this: "Dances with Wolves", for me, is not about "political correctness", and never has been. It has been about values that can go a long way towards making the world a better, more equitable place - not for the sake of this so-called "political correctness", but for the sake of a true belief in equality and living in harmony with all of God's creations.

    "Political correctness" always seemed to me to imply somehow putting on a phony facade to pretend that one wasn't doing stuff that anyone could find offensive. To me, that is a totally separate thing... it's like comparing honesty with diplomacy.

    Well, I can see how in hindsight, some people could come to see it as a zeitgeist movie. To me, it seemed a bit more about a certain kind of nostalgia, coupled with some sort of revisionist thinking. Kind of like TV's "Mad Men" is right now, in a way.
  17. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    No it won't, because it merely switches the old trope to a new target.
  18. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

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    Feb 16, 2010
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    Uh... what won't? Which is the "old trope"?
  19. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

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    You asked that question re: zeitgeist when you knew the answer.

    Next:

    The English Patient (1996)

    "With the notable exception of Seinfeld's Elaine, this khaki-colored Harlequin romance managed to put a catnip-like spell on people. I have no clue why. It's so shameless about wanting to win Best Picture (right down to its epic slowness) that it should've been called For Your Consideration. Honestly, which movie would you rather watch again: this or the Coen brothers' Fargo? The prosecution rests."
  20. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    My, oh my! We're on to "The English Patient" already? And we'd only barely started to talk about "Forrest Gump"!

    Oh, well. I guess "The English Patient" may be one of those that I do consider to be generally overrated. I haven't even bothered to revisit it since the theatrical release.

    In regards to your other comment, Nevermind, no, it is not true that I knew the answer to the question I had asked earlier. It seems to me there's a pretty big difference between a movie that just happens to reflect the zeitgeist of its time, and one that the filmmakers deliberately make to try to reflect the zeitgeist. That is the clarification I had asked of you earlier, sorry if that wasn't completely clear. :)
  21. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    I've seen English Patient twice. I decidedly do *not* like it. For all the hype and awards, it simply isn't any good.
  22. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

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    Aug 4, 2008
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    Ah, well. I guess one is either a fan of big, sweeping, slow-moving, gorgeously-photographed tearjerkers... or one isn't. As I said above I love Dances with Wolves and Out of Africa, and I love The English Patient too. Forrest Gump is a decent happy-ending crowd-pleaser in my book, with some good 60s-era music, but parts of it are embarrassing, or dumb, and I don't love it like I love the other three we've been discussing.
  23. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

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    Aug 4, 2008
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    Yeah, this. I love Dances because it's a well-made and emotionally affecting film. Part of that emotion derives from the fact that the hero is good and moral and treats people with respect and kindness. If a certain cynic here wants to name that "PC" and reject it as some kind of veil for guilt, be my guest! I know the film's heart is in the right place, and as part Native American myself (as are many Americans, perhaps without knowing it) I feel I have a stake in both sides of the story.
  24. Cushing's Admirer Chosen One

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  25. Merlin_Ambrosius69 Force Ghost

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    The drama wasn't done well in EP? It not only failed to meet your expectations or standards, it "failed miserably"? Can you name one scene that doesn't work as scripted? Can you provide some rationale as to why it should have been nominated for, let alone won, Best Picture? Mass hysteria, perhaps?