My Overall Thoughts:
Of the films Ive seen, this was truly the year of the biopic since the two best films are from that genre and are much better than the other nominees.
The two adaptations are both decent, but better adaptations were make later on.
Capra, who made a name for himself in the 30’s as the film maker with hope in his films also managed to once again make a film that landed in the list of nominees.
(As of now, I have seen each and every Oscar nominated film from 1946 thru the present. Starting with 1945’s nominees, there are movies that I have yet to see, so I will only rank the films that I’ve seen so far and will update as I see the missing films.)
Updated 3 Jan ’18 – Watched Three Smart Girls
- 10.- Anthony Adverse
- 9.- Libeled Lady
- 8.- San Francisco
- 7. – Romeo and Juliet – Somewhat mediocre adaptation of The Bard’s famous work. None of the actors really stand out here but it is clear that the leads should have been younger than Howard and Shearer were. It’s cold reception led to a drought in Hollywood when it came to adapting Shakespeare’s work until Olivier proved that it could be done a few years later.
- 6. – Three Smart Girls – Nice premise that is complicated by adding too many side events. The girls seem much older than they are suppose to be and that makes part of this story seem even stranger. The music is nice but seems tacked on and extraneous. Another film that probably shouldn’t have warranted a Best Picture nomination.
- 5. – Dodsworth – Huston is really great here because we can feel both his yearning to return to his busy old life yet also explore the freedom that one has when retired. His wife has the opposite opinions and is more concerned with exploring the world she didn’t know as a millionaires wife in a small town in middle America. The themes discussed here are still relevant 80 years later because it begs to ask the question of what people really want in life and whether they are even aware themselves of their own desires.
- 4. – A Tale of Two Cities – Great adaptation of Dicken’s novel that really helps the characters jump off the pages. Visually, this film looks amazing and not having known the full story beforehand, I found it all very intriguing to watch unfold.
- 3. – Mr. Deeds Goes to Town – Another great Capra tale that tries to show that even during the depression, there were stories of hope. Cooper is great as the lead here.
- 2. – The Great Ziegfeld – Great idea, just not followed through well enough. Too many musical numbers and too little of a real plot and it’s all a bit uneven.
- 1. – The Story of Louis Pasteur – Great biopic for its time. Muni was amazing in this role and although it’s 80+ years old, it’s very interesting to watch how science was perceived and changed just over 150 years ago
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No. TGZ is definitely a biopic that came before it’s time due to its epic scope, but TSoLP is a slightly more interesting tale. Further proof as to how much the Academy members have always loved films about themselves.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!