Every Best Picture Winner Since 2000, Ranked

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.48.18 PMSo here is a dumb little exercise I decided to tackle for no reason. Following the end of the Oscars on Sunday, I started to look back on the Best Picture winners of recent years. And, honestly, I was pleasantly surprised. As much as we like to complain about the movies that win Academy Awards, the truth is that the winners are rarely genuinely bad. If anything, we get angry because they choose the wrong kind of good movie, consistently showing affection for solid, inoffensive, B-plus material while passing by more ambitious, bolder fare. Anyway, for kicks and giggles, I decided to rank every Best Picture winner since the turn of the century, explain my verdict, and then provide my choice for the nominee that should have won that year. I’ve also decided to divide the winners into three tiers: the years when the Academy chose well, the years when the Academy chose a good movie instead of a great one, and the years where they just plain blew it. Now, let’s get started. Continue reading

The Same Old Song: An Oscar Postmortem

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The Oscars are, of course, incredibly predictable. They have been for a long time, and it’s hard to see that changing in the foreseeable future. There are too many guild awards, too many prognosticators, and the months (months!) leading up to the ceremony have become a deafening buzz machine full of stupid, desperate campaigning and even stupider smear campaigns. As Oscar season rolls on, various movies are placed on a pedestal only to be violently torn down. Selma, Boyhood and even American Sniper had moments on that pedestal, and once all the mud-slinging is done, what are we left with? Birdman, another film that ostensibly pokes fun at show business, but does so politely for two hours before coming to the conclusion that it’s actually awesome and important. Continue reading