Academy Award History, Part One: An Overview

Academy Award History, Part One: An Overview

LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: Replicas of Oscar statues are lit in the night outside the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 19 March 1999 in Los Angeles ahead of the 71st Academy Awards to be held 21 March 1999 at the Pavilion. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
(Photo credit TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

For several years now I’ve wanted to undertake a year-long viewing of all of the Best Picture Winners in order. There are numerous blogs and lists that rank the Best Picture winners, but that is something I’m not really interested in. Comparing a CGI-infused fantasy epic based on a best-selling trilogy to a World War II drama centered on “the problems of three little people” is ludicrous at best. To say it’s like comparing apples and oranges doesn’t even apply here because at least those are both fruits; it’s more like comparing houses to cars. All of the films on the list are Best Pictures, but that is where the comparison ends. To simply rank Lawrence of Arabia, It Happened One Night, 12 Years a Slave, and All About Eve in relation to each other doesn’t consider the history, innovations, and competition of any particular year. When we throw in the politics of the time, both on a national scale and within the industry itself, the exercise becomes even more pointless. Read more

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