Alternate Universe Oscars for Best Picture

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djross
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Alternate Universe Oscars for Best Picture

Post by djross »

Let's assume that only non-documentary feature films in the English language can win the Academy Award for Best Picture. That means no TV shows and no short films and nothing in languages other than English. With these conditions, what should really have won this award for each year of the past twenty years? My list would be as follows:

    1998: The Thin Red Line (Malick; score: 100; nominated)
    1999: Being John Malkovich (Jonze; score: 85; not nominated)
    2000: Dancer in the Dark (von Trier; score: 91; not nominated)
    2001: Mulholland Drive (Lynch; score: 92; not nominated)
    2002: Gangs of New York (Scorsese; score: 85; nominated; for me, this film continues to be underrated, even if it isn't Scorsese's greatest)
    2003: Dogville (von Trier; score: 93; not nominated)
    2004: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry; score: 75; not nominated; quite a weak year)
    2005: The New World (Malick; score: 92; not nominated; score is for the extended cut)
    2006: The Fountain (Aronofsky; score: 70; not nominated; a very weak year, with alternative possibility Children of Men, neither being convincing though)
    2007: There Will Be Blood (Anderson; score: 93; nominated)
    2008: Synecdoche, New York (Kaufman; score: 91; not nominated)
    2009: A Serious Man (Coen brothers; score: 85; nominated)
    2010: Black Swan (Aronofsky; score: 91; nominated)
    2011: Margaret (Lonergan; score: 85; not nominated; score is for the extended cut)
    2012: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (Hyams; score: 80; definitely not nominated; admittedly oddball pick, more conventional would be my second choice, Moonrise Kingdom)
    2013: Her (Jonze; score: 85; nominated)
    2014: Nymphomaniac (von Trier; score: 90; definitely not nominated; score is for the director's cut)
    2015: Love (Noé; score: 85; definitely not nominated)
    2016: Manchester by the Sea (Lonergan; score: 65; nominated; a very weak year based on the few films seen thus far, this being in only Tier 7)
    2017: Mother! (Aronofsky; score: 85; not nominated; potentially significant that this viewer has yet to see Phantom Thread).

So, Darren Aronofsky and Lars von Trier top the list, both with three wins. Aronofsky is somewhat of a surprise, considering that I really only think two of his films are very good. They are followed by two each for Jonze, Malick and Lonergan. Single wins for Anderson, the Coen brothers, Gondry, Hyams, Kaufman, Lynch, Noé and Scorsese.

And so, none of the twenty films selected here won for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The nineteen films that did win (2017 not decided yet) are the following:

    1998: Shakespeare in Love (haven't seen)
    1999: American Beauty (score: 35; vastly overrated movie)
    2000: Gladiator (haven't seen)
    2001: A Beautiful Mind (haven't seen)
    2002: Chicago (score: 45)
    2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (haven't seen)
    2004: Million Dollar Baby (haven't seen)
    2005: Crash (haven't seen)
    2006: The Departed (score: 65)
    2007: No Country for Old Men (score: 80; a good film but a travesty that There Will Be Blood did not win)
    2008: Slumdog Millionaire (haven't seen)
    2009: The Hurt Locker (score: 30; vastly overrated)
    2010: The King's Speech (haven't seen)
    2011: The Artist (haven't seen)
    2012: Argo (score: 45)
    2013: 12 Years a Slave (score: 45; vastly overrated)
    2014: Birdman (score: 65)
    2015: Spotlight (haven't seen)
    2016: Moonlight (haven't seen)

Once again, the picks of mine that were nominated but didn't win were: The Thin Red Line, Gangs of New York, There Will Be Blood, A Serious Man, Black Swan, Her and Manchester By the Sea. I guess seven out of twenty isn't so bad, really.

Hawkins
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Re: Alternate Universe Oscars for Best Picture

Post by Hawkins »

Are you telling me the Universal Soldier series actually gets good? That is the last thing I would have expected

paulofilmo
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Re: Alternate Universe Oscars for Best Picture

Post by paulofilmo »

Can I choose a committee to come up with the answers for me?

i imagine you would just overrule anyone else at the rosscars

paulofilmo
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Re: Alternate Universe Oscars for Best Picture

Post by paulofilmo »

i have genuinely never heard of the film Spotlight. I just assumed mad max won that year

3dRevelation
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Re: Alternate Universe Oscars for Best Picture

Post by 3dRevelation »

Mine is probably pretty mainstream:
1998- American History X (not nominated)
1999- Magnolia (not nominated)
2000- Requiem for a Dream (not nominated)
2001- Donnie Darko (not nominated)
2002- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (nominated)
2003- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (nominated and won)
2004- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (not nominated)
2005- A History of Violence (not nominated)
2006- The Departed (nominated and won)
2007- There Will Be Blood (nominated)
2008- The Dark Knight (not nominated)
2009- The Hurt Locker (nominated and won, Inglourious Basterds very close second)
2010- Inception (nominated)
2011- Moneyball (nominated)
2012- Django Unchained (nominated)
2013- 12 Years a Slave (nominated and won)
2014- Birdman (nominated and won)
2015- The Revenant (nominated)
2016- Arrival (nominated)
2017- Get Out (nominated; I've only seen a handful of films from 2017 though)

djross
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Re: Alternate Universe Oscars for Best Picture

Post by djross »

Hawkins wrote:Are you telling me the Universal Soldier series actually gets good? That is the last thing I would have expected


Well, it hasn't exactly received "universal acclaim", as they say in pictures. And I was as surprised as anyone at how good I thought Day of Reckoning to be: even those who perceive its virtues are perhaps unlikely to score it as high as I ended up doing. But on the other hand, it's not just me either: for example, writer Nick Antosca wrote an article in the Paris Review arguing that it was the best film of 2012: https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2013/12/24/masterpiece-theatre-universal-soldier-day-of-reckoning/. It seems that director John Hyams figured no one is really looking, so he may as well throw everything he can into it rather than following generic dictates, and the result, in the opinion of myself and Antosca, if few others, is a remarkable work of low-budget cinema.

If you do see it, bear in mind that the standard US version is cut for violence, and that it is worth obtaining the full version.

Hyams directed a previous entry, Universal Soldier: Regeneration, which is competent but not very interesting, and if you understand the premise of the series, it is possible to skip straight to Day of Reckoning, which does not much concern itself with previous instalments. It is also advisable not to watch trailers or read about the plot, and just go in unprepared.

paulofilmo wrote:i imagine you would just overrule anyone else at the rosscars


Now you're talking.

CosmicMonkey
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Re: Alternate Universe Oscars for Best Picture

Post by CosmicMonkey »

I already posted a list of all my Oscar picks going back to 1927 in an older thread in the forum, which I'm not going to repost in its entirety here, but going back to 1990:

1990 - GoodFellas (nom) - Martin Scorsese
1991 - The Silence of the Lambs (Oscar) - Jonathan Demme
1992 - Unforgiven (Oscar) - Clint Eastwood
1993 - Schindler's List (Oscar) - Steven Spielberg
1994 - Pulp Fiction (nom) - Tarantino
1995 - Toy Story - John Lasseter
1996 - Fargo (nom) - The Coens
1997 - Boogie Nights - P.T. Anderson
1998 - The Thin Red Line (nom) - Terence Malick
1999 - American Beauty (Oscar) - Sam Mendes

2000 - Gladiator (Oscar) - Ridley Scott
2001 - Mulholland Dr. - David Lynch
2002 - Far From Heaven - Todd Haynes
2003 - Lost in Translation (nom) - Sofia Coppola
2004 - Sideways (nom) - Alexander Payne
2005 - Brokeback Mountain (nom) - Ang Lee
2006 - The Departed (Oscar) - Martin Scorsese
2007 - No Country for Old Men (Oscar) - The Coens
2008 - Wall-E - Andrew Stanton
2009 - The Hurt Locker (Oscar) - Kathryn Bigelow

2010 - The Social Network (nom) - David Fincher
2011 - The Tree of Life (nom) - Terence Malick
2012 - Zero Dark Thirty (nom) - Kathryn Bigelow
2013 - 12 Years a Slave (Oscar) - Steve McQueen
2014 - Boyhood (nom) - Richard Linklater
2015 - Mad Max: Fury Road (nom) - George Miller
2016 - Moonlight (Oscar) - Barry Jenkins


I haven't seen enough 2017 films to feel comfortable picking one yet, but I'm currently leaning towards Call Me By Your Name, although that will most likely change as time goes by. Overall, my picks are more mainstream than the Rosscars, and generally I tend to agree more with the real-life Oscars, with us sharing 10 winners out of the past 27 years, and only 5 of my picks not being nominated at all. I also have two Animated films on the list, both of which I will defend to my last breath as masterpieces regardless of genre. However, if Animated films weren't considered to be eligible for Best Picture I would replace Toy Story and Wall-E with Casino (Scorsese) and The Dark Knight (Nolan), respectively, neither of which were nominated for Best Picture irl.

Assuming each Best Picture winner, would also win Best Director, than Since 1990, I'd have 2 Oscars a piece go to Scorsese, The Coen Brothers, Terence Malick and Kathryn Bigelow

djross
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Re: Alternate Universe Oscars for Best Picture

Post by djross »

CosmicMonkey wrote:more mainstream than the Rosscars


I'd be tempted to make the Rosscars an annual event, if it weren't for the fact it takes me years to see, in any great numbers, the films released each year (for instance, I only have seventeen 2017 rankings for "release type films", according to Criticker's method of categorisation). Also, there are two other Rosses on Criticker (but they don't indicate this in their user-name), so it would perhaps be rather presumptuous of me to appropriate the family name all for myself.

hellboy76
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Re: Alternate Universe Oscars for Best Picture

Post by hellboy76 »

I also tend to lean mainstream and am surprisingly lacking in Universal Soldier representation.

My picks, with the caveat, that several years none of the films felt like a Best Picture winner, so I went with my favorite/film that stood out the most to me.

1998: The Big Lebowski
1999: Being John Malkovich
2000: Requiem For a Dream
2001: The Royal Tenenbaums
2002: Adaptation
2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2005: A History of Violence
2006: Children of Men
2007: There Will Be Blood
2008: Let the Right One In
2009: Mary and Max
2010: Black Swan
2011: Take Shelter
2012: Life of Pi
2013: Her
2014: The Grand Budapest Hotel
2015: The Big Short
2016: Arrival
2017: Blade Runner 2049 (have seen almost none of the actual contenders)

djross
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Re: Alternate Universe Oscars for Best Picture

Post by djross »

hellboy76 wrote:I also tend to lean mainstream and am surprisingly lacking in Universal Soldier representation.


And yet we picked five of the same winners. Maybe I'm not as unmainstream as alleged. Take Shelter is a good pick for 2011, too (I just happen to think Margaret is a better one).

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