By now you have probably seen, or heard, the list of this year’s Best Picture nominees. I’ve only seen two of them, “Argo” and “Lincoln”, with “Django Unchained” on my to-do list. And while any of the nominees would no doubt be a worthy winner; why is it that so many Best Picture winners, are, IMHO, “great films”-with all that implies, as opposed to “great movies”?
Think “Goodfellas”, “ET”,”Vertigo”, and yes, “Mary Poppins”!
Think Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan”, with Tom Hanks & Matt Damon. Gen. George Marshall reading Lincoln’s “regrets” letter and giving orders to find Pvt. Ryan. The Normandy battle sequence; finding Pvt. Ryan (Damon) and Captain Miller’s (Hanks) dying admonition “Earn This”. The closing sequence of an older Pvt. Ryan asking his wife to “tell me I’m a good man”. A film about the brutal realities of war, and the good intentions and heroic actions of those who served.
I saw it at a weekday matinee, and many in that audience were clearly of “The Greatest Generation”. My parent’s generation. One couple left during the invasion sequence, crying. You could hear quiet sobs during the screening. At the end of the film, we all had tears in our eyes. It wasn’t a pretty movie, but it was a GREAT film.
“Saving Private Ryan” LOST to “Shakespeare In Love”.
Good luck to this year’s nominees!