Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Great Films that Were Snubbed for Best Pic

The Envelope has compiled a list of great films that were not nominated for Best Picture in an attempt to place Dreamgirls in their company:
"The African Queen"
"Being John Malkovich"
"Being There"
"The Big Sleep"
"Breakfast at Tiffany's"
"Bringing Up Baby"
"Carrie"
"Charade"
"City Lights"
"Close Encounters of the Third Kind"
"Easy Rider"
"8 1/2"
"The Empire Strikes Back"
"Gods and Monsters"
"His Girl Friday"
"Inherit the Wind"
"Intruder in the Dust"
"King Kong"
"The Lady Eve"
"The Manchurian Candidate"
"Manhattan"
"Mean Streets"
"Meet Me in St. Louis"
"The Miracle of Morgan's Creek"
"Modern Times"
"A Night at the Opera"
"North by Northwest"
"Notorious"
"The Producers" (1968)
"Psycho"
"Rear Window"
"Rebel without a Cause"
"Rosemary's Baby"
"Sabrina"
"The Searchers"
"Serpico"
"Shadow of a Doubt"
"Singing in the Rain"
"Snow White"
"Some Like It Hot"
"Strangers on a Train"
"Sullivan's Travels"
"Sweet Smell of Success"
"Thelma and Louise"
"The Third Man"
"Touch of Evil"
"Toy Story"
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
"Vertigo"
"The Wild Bunch"

Are they really putting Dreamgirls in the company of 2001, Psycho, Vertigo, and 8 1/2? They can't be serious. No matter how you spin it, Dreamgirls is nothing more than an entertaining, rousing musical extravaganza. But is it on the level of Singin' in the Rain or Busby Berekely's Footlight Parade, or even for that matter, Moulin Rouge? No. If you want to start putting a 2006 film in the pantheon, the only one that really deserves such immediate classic recognition is Children of Men, and perhaps Clint Eastwood's Iwo Jima films. Time will tell about the others (although I could see Pan's Labyrinth being remembered for years to come).

Yes Dreamgirls was a surprising snub, but to compare it to a brilliant, timeless masterpiece like 2001: A Space Odyessey is just reckless. I guess that's what separates Oscar pundits and serious film critics and historians. They mistake Dreamgirls for classic, groundbreaking material when it is really nothing more than a well made, entertaining crowd pleaser that doesn't really cover any ground we haven't seen before.

It didn't get nominated. It's time to move on and focus on the ones that did. There are some damn good films in that Best Picture list this year.

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