Dear Oscar, Here’s How It’s Done . . .

I plan to watch the Academy Awards show tomorrow, even though I’m largely disiniterested in the results, given the lame slate of films competing this year. As much of an epic jerk as director Lars Von Trier is, the Academy voters’ collective decision to leave his Melancholia (and its star, Kirsten Dunst) out of the running is a mind-boggling creative snub to me, since I consider it not only the best movie of 2011, but also one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Here’s my updated faves list (in alphabetical order), which I will mull and ponder while watching lesser fare feted on the idiot box tomorrow. Feh.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972)
Black Swan (2010)
Blade Runner (1982)
Brazil (1985)

A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Dead Man (1995)
Do the Right Thing (1989)

Don’t Look Now (1973)
Eraserhead (1977)
The Fountain (2006)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Melancholia (2011)

Mulholland Drive (2001)
Network (1976)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
The Piano Teacher (2002)
The Princess Bride (1987)

Seconds (1966)
WALL-E (2008)
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
When We Were Kings (1996)
A Zed and Two Noughts (1986)

2 thoughts on “Dear Oscar, Here’s How It’s Done . . .


    Since landing in a foreign land with no employment, I have been watching a lot of movies – “going to the cinema” as the natives say. I have to say, the cinema is a much more pleasant experience here than at home. First, it is a quick walk or even quicker bike ride. You can book tickets on-line in advance, for no extra charge, and just show the confirmation on your smart phone as you enter. There are ushers to show you to your seat and all the seats are assigned – no hoping not to stuck on the front row, you get to choose, and then there’s the excellent choices of beer and wine to go with your popcorn which is served either salty or sweet. Sorry – I digress. So, I have actually seen several of the movies (for the first time in ages) that are nominated. The Artist is worthy of the nominations and the wins it received last night. I had the pleasure of seeing it in a restored 1920’s theater that added to the allure and enjoyment of the film. It was an all-around delightful return to romantic entertainment. On the other hand, I have to disagree with your assessment of Melancholia. I found it tedious and boring – though, I admit, beautifully shot. I joked with my husband, who was much less critical than I, that he found it all worthwhile because Kirsten Dunst did get completely naked, though her portrayal of a depressed, selfish loon was a bit unconvincing. The opening montage was incredible, but the actual movie did very little to develop the characters beyond that. Maybe, I also had a difficult time believing that Jack Bauer would simply off himself and not figure out a way to save humankind.

    As for your list, thanks for including it. It has helped me develop my Netflix line-up. – you left out The Unbearable Lightness of Being (my favorite movie of all-time) I applaud your inclusion of The Princess Bride – which gets quoted in my circle of family and friends with frightening frequency…especially, “The cliffs of insanity” and like today – “He’s been mostly dead all day.”


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