Up the Academy

17 Jan

The Academy Award nominees were announced today, but in our humble opinion, the only awards that really matter are not given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They’re not given by by the Golden Globes, either. In our view, the only awards that matter are conferred by the Academy of Time.

Motion picture history is replete with examples of movies that were all the rage at the time of their release, only to fade into obscurity with time. We could cite many examples, but we’ll cite just one that strikes us as a particularly egregious omission. Which film won best picture in 1968? If you don’t know, we’re not surprised. We had to look it up ourselves. The answer is of course Oliver! directed by Carol Reed.  That year, Reed also took home the Oscar for Best Director. We’re not going to knock Carol Reed; after all, he directed The Third Man (1949).  Oliver! may even be a fine film (we’ve never seen it in its entirety, but it’s got Ron Moody as Fagin and we like Ron Moody.)  Our beef is that whatever the film’s merits, it just hasn’t passed the test of time.

One film that wasn’t even nominated that year was Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Love it or hate it, we think that you’ll have to agree that when it comes to passing the test of time, 2001 leaves Oliver! in the dust.  Remember the scene in the spacecraft where the astronaut jogs 360 degrees while the camera follows him?  Impressive, wasn’t it?  We defy you to cite a scene in Reed’s film that visually compares to that scene from 2001 (and we’re citing only one example, there are many visually impressive scenes in 2001.)

Of course, you may argue that Oliver! is more accessible than 2001 (it is after all, a musical) and that some find 2001 pretentious.  Nonetheless, the Academy of Time has now weighed in and given its award to 2001: A Space Odyssey.


Oscar Statue

Sorry, Oscar. Time has the last word.


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