Someone I know recently posted the following link on Facebook:
It’s a great clip. Emma Thompson (who has definitely been the highlight of the awards shows THIS year just by being her outrageous, humorous self) is funny and wonderful, but what I really thought the first time I watched it was “My god, all those films came out the same year!?” The films nominated for best screenplay (in case you didn’t bother to watch the clip, which you really should) were: “Mr. Holland’s Opus”, “Get Shorty”, “Dead Man Walking”, “The American President”, “Sense & Sensibility” and “Braveheart”. With the exception of “Get Shorty” which I have only seen twice, I’ve seen every one of those films on multiple occasions.
Which to my mind is the mark of a really successful film – when you want to see it more than once; when it makes you happy or sad in a way you want to experience again and again.
Unfortunately, this years nominees fall far short in that sense.
The screenplay nominees for 2013 were “Her”, “12 Years a Slave”, “American Hustle”, “Nebraska” and “Philomena”. I haven’t seen “Nebraska” yet, so I can’t comment on that one. “Philomena”, “12 Years” and “Hustle” were very, very good, but I have no desire to see them again. I appreciated and enjoyed them, but once was enough. I despised “Her”, mostly because I knew exactly what was going to happen at about the 30 minute mark – and I never know what is going to happen. Also, this movie wins the worst costume design award. Between that and Scarlet Johannson, it could have been titled “Bad Pants and the Breathy Voice”.
The only film in the running this year for awards this year that I can envision myself watching more than once, though probably not as often as those from 1995, is “August: Osage County”. (Not counting Disney’s “Frozen” which we have already watched 5 or 6 times.) “Osage” didn’t get a nod in the screenplay department. Come to think about it, that’s an odd oversight, considering the screenplay was written by Tracy Letts, who wrote the Pulitzer winning play.
It is very possible, of course, that this is more a reflection of my own – perhaps somewhat romantic, bourgeois – tastes, than it is the overall quality of these films. Still, I miss an awards season full of the kinds of films that make me want to buy them all and watch them so often I can recite the dialogue word for word.
Who knew 1995 was such a very good year?