, Ang Lee Brokeback Mountain
Usually, in my system, the best picture Oscar gets a film an automatic number one spot, at least in the near future. However, it seems
- Crash, Paul Haggis
Crash did win best picture and had an intense following, that included nation’s top film critic Roger Ebert who ranked it #1. It did win the best picture and secured its place in history and while people refer back to Crash’s “upset” as a debate between what should’ve won between “Crash” or “
- Good Night and Good Luck, George Clooney
The debate over rankings 3-5 of the best picture nominees is tough, but Good Night and Good Luck was considered a lock for best picture early on and was recognized by more groups including National Board of Review which gave it the top award, the Golden Globes. It also placed 3rd on movie critic’s top 10.
, Stephen Spielberg Munich
The debate between
- Capote, Bennett Miller
Capote had an incredibly high rottentomato rating going for it, and it was a frontrunner for the SAG ensemble award, but just because it was garnering praise for an ensemble shouldn’t be equated with best picture buzz, and it appealed to writers like Stephen King who put it high on his top ten list. Was a possible upset contender for screenplay nominee. Its top 5 status was solidified with a directors guild award and Oscar nomination for its director in addition to its picture nomination, considering its director is an unknown.
- Walk the Line, James Mangold
Walk the Line was considered the just-missed the nomination category. It won best musical/comedy and acting prizes for both of its leads. It’s box office returns and word-of-mouth popularity was stronger than any other also-ran. This might have been in part due to it being comparable in quality to last year’s nominee Ray. Slight indications like the hosts of Good Morning America asking “Why not Walk the Line?” and winning “EW’s who got snubbed” poll. It also appeared in place of
- Constant Gardener, Fernando Meirelles
Seven is a tight race between History of Violence and Constant Gardener. Between the two, Constant Gardener was received just a little better based on the more popular reputation of Meirelles (although Cronenberg is going more mainstream, his fan base is very much a small niche). The marriage of Meirelles and novelist La Carre led to a screenplay nom. Constant Gardener was an almost universally liked film with powerful performances that garnered more oscar buzz and better results (including walking away with an Oscar for the film) than History of Violence. It also garnered more total noms than some of the other films with editing and score noms. Its golden globe nom and director nom at the golden globes help its case as well. Also on Rolling Stone’s top 10.
- History of Violence, David Cronenberg
History of Violence didn’t do as well at the Oscars as Constant Gardener squeaking a best supporting actor and screenplay nod. It also didn’t have as much word of mouth, hype, or box office draw as any other top ten contender but those who saw it liked it plenty. It was ranked 2nd on moviecritictop10.com for the year and finished a top one of the entertainment weekly top ten lists. It was just one of three films to get an A- on Entertainment Weekly’s newspaper sampling, made the top ten on Rolling Stone and Premiere’s top 10. It also appeared on 2 of the 3
- Syrianna, Stephen Gaughan
The general critical response was the film was good but a little confusing. Looking at it in more detail, Syrianna did quite well and got a lot of top ten nods. It was Roeper’s top film of the year and Ebert’s 2nd, it placed 10th on moviecritictop10.com, 3rd on Peter Traver’s list and it was on both NBR and AFI’s top 10 nods with NBR’s screenplay award. It also was one of a handful of films to walk away with an award on oscar night and it merited an ensemble nod at the SGA’s and a WGA nod
10. King Kong, Peter Jackson/Match Point, Woody Allen
This is a virtual tie between the two. The main arguments for Woody Allen’s inclusion are its high number of 4 star reviews and overall satisfaction of viewers, the fact that that it’s considered a return to form for Woody Allen and its golden globe nod.
King Kong did walk away with 3 Oscars and transcended the blockbuster genre to get oscar buzz. With the saturatuation of big-budget blockbusters as of late, that is an increasingly hard task to pull off. It’s rotten tomato rating was very high and it placed 5th on moviecritictop10.com’s top 10 list. It’s box office take was pretty high and fitting for a blockbuster.