My Overall Thoughts:
Great year of nominees because each and every one of them has reasons for being considered among the best films of the year.
Once again, it came done to choosing between the Best Drama and the Best Musical and the voters chose to go with the best drama in the end.
- 5. – A Clockwork Orange – A movie that needs too much to be deciphered to even attempt to enjoy. Kubrick was a genius, but he tried here to leave too much for the viewer to guess. When you watch a movie, you want to be drawn in, but here I only felt that it was trying to repulse me the whole time.
- 4. – Nicholas and Alexandra – Nice epic depiction of what possibly transpired behind closed doors right before the Russian Revolution in 1917. The royal family is seen as quite human, flaws and all and we can appreciate the way they lived their lives before the coming storm. A bit long despite needing to cover much ground.
- 3. – The French Connection – Film that helps define the detective genre for films and TV shows. Hackman is excellent as the main character and deserved his Oscar for the role.
- 2. – The Last Picture Show – Slow, but very good story that says so much about how youth want to get older and how older people reminisce about their vibrant youthful days. Great script that is portrayed expertly by its cast. Bottoms, Bridges and Shepard made names for themselves here. Johnson, Leachman and Burstyn are great in supporting roles that earned each of them an Oscar nomination with Johnson and Leachman taking home supporting actor gold for this movie.
- 1. – Fiddler on the Roof – This film is not only my favorite musical but its also one of my all-time favorite movies. The idea of dealing with a changing world is such a universal concept that is even relevant to people in today’s world. I have seen this film so many times and despite the fact that it’s three hours long, I could watch it over and over and never get tired of it. The songs and themes depicted here are superb and I cry at some of the simple moments in the film because its so powerful. Topol is an amazing lead actor and gave this film a more lofty and serious tone than his on-stage predecessor Zero Mostel was ever able to do. This film was clearly the best film of 1971 and should have beaten The French Connection (1971) for the Oscar for Best Picture.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! I think Fiddler is a much better movie that has more of an emotional impact, but due to it’s subject matter, it didn’t have much of a chance at getting the top award.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!