Most Overrated Best Picture Winners…

…at least according to Entertainment Weekly:,,20311937_20572218,00.html

What I like about this list is that they offer you the winning Oscar motion picture and then note which films it beat out.  I tend to agree for all the mentioned films.

This, of course, puts me in the mind of something I posted a little while back (Oscar talk is slowly but surely building as we close in on the event) wherein Slate magazine offered ways to fix the Oscars, in this case Lowen Liu felt we should have a 10 year “re-vote”:

As I mentioned back then, the Oscar awards should be looked at as what they are:  A snapshot of personal tastes at that time.  Often, we may watch a film and have a reaction to it but, as time goes by, we may re-examined and revisit it and form a completely different opinion, to the better or to the worse, about what we’ve seen.  As is the case with many of the films listed in the first link, while successful when first released, the films simply don’t stand the test of time.

On the other hand, one of the more delightful things that could happen is that you see a film you don’t like and over time you come to understand it and it becomes a favorite.  This has happened to me on at least two occasions and both with horror films:  Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.  I can’t deny it, when I first saw both films (the former during a television airing and the later when it was first released to theaters) I didn’t like them.  At all.

I found The Birds, frankly, dull and pointless, building to a bizarre, equally pointless ending.  I was especially disappointed because I was a fan of Mr. Hitchcock’s work and wondered how audiences could have viewed this film as anything approaching “good”.  Or so I felt then.  One day, I happened to see it on TV once again and gave it another try.  And for some reason, that second attempt did the trick.  While watching it I understood exactly what Mr. Hitchcock was up to.  He was doing his version of those almost endless “creature feature” films of the 1950’s, but he was turning the genre completely on its head.  Instead of an attack of some huge bird/fish/octopus/grasshopper(!)/spider/etc. etc., Mr. Hitchcock has a town attacked by birds.  Ordinary, common birds.  And in those 50’s creature feature films, where the horror is usually caused by some kind of nuclear or scientific accident, there are no answers given.  Nature has simply run amok.  The ending, too, made perfect sense.  In the creature films, a brilliant scientist and the military through diligent work come up with a way to defeat the menace.  In The Birds, we are the ones that are ultimately defeated.

As for The Shining, as mentioned I saw it in theaters when it was first released and I really, really didn’t like it.  As with The Birds, I thought it was pointless, not all that scary, and way, waaaay too long.  And then the movie started appearing on TV and I’d catch glimpses of it here and there.  Then more.  Then more.  Gradually, perhaps over a period of a few years, I “got it”.  To this day, I think this is one of the best horror films every made, a brilliant piece that literally transports you to a world of darkness and isolation, a place where there is nowhere to run.

Brilliant, brilliant stuff.