My Overall Thoughts:
I’m still in shock that of the nominees this year, Cavalcade was chosen as the Best Picture among the bunch.
The story could have been presented much better and it rushes through the story too quickly.
(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 Smilin’ Through and She Done Him Wrong
Updated 14 Jan ’18 – Watched Lady for a Day
- 10.- Little Women
- 9.- The State Fair – Pretty boring film. Not much actually happens and it moves along extremely slowly. None of the characters are that memorable and I was quite happy when it was finally over. Another film that I have no idea how it managed to receive a nomination for Best Picture. It also was nominated for Best adapted screenplay and also didn’t manage to win that award either.
- 8. – Cavalcade – I am in shock that this movie won Best picture since it is so bad. I didn’t much care for the characters that much and the acting was too over the top (granted it’s 1933 acting). The ONLY think nice I can say about this movie was that it seems to be the precursor for epic movies that span many years of its characters. Many great movies since follow that idea and this at least gave us a glimpse into what the future of movies had in store.
- 7.- Lady For A Day – Really enjoyable film that highlights one of Capora’s favorite themes of down on their luck characters trying to make it during the Depression era. The facade works quite well and we get to see how they switch things around by showing the lower class characters being much more intelligent than the upper class ones. The dialogue is great and they manage to keep things both serious and slightly comedic at the same time since they are trying to show a social phenomena. Not Capra’s best, but still very entertaining to watch.
- 6. – 42nd Street – Has some great choreography and songs, but the story feels quite simple. Loved the way they used so much innuendo for a classic film. Goes to show that is doesn’t seem as if much has changed behind the scenes in the 80 years since this came out. Great dialogue.
- 5. – She Done Him Wrong – Fun film that has great dialogue and an interesting story. West does such a great job here balancing everything all by herself. She made such an impact on the industry eventhough she only made a dozen films during her career. Loved the way that her character is given the ability to be such a powerful female role which was rare for that day and age.
- 4. – A Farewell To Arms – Great love story, but it feels a bit too short and rushed. It’s easy to believe the chemistry of the characters and both Hayes and Cooper are great here.
- 3. – Smilin’ Through – Very interesting idea for a film because it’s a romance that is layered with so much exposition. Shearer and March are great as the young lovers and Howard is wonderfully paternal as the girl’s guardian. The issues brought up again and again in this film about sins of the fathers being connected with a son way heavily as the characters try to make the right decisions. The supernatural aspects of this film can be taken literally or from a purely psychological perspective and both choices are plausible.
- 2. – The Private Life of Henry VIII – Laughton is what makes this movie worth watching. He does a spectacular job as the King and he gives such a powerful performance and was definitely deserving of winning Best Actor for this role. The story itself seems quite tame for the biopics that now are made because the censors wouldn’t let so much through and this was a story which really needs to be able to defy the censors.
- 1. – I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang – Amazing film that was one of the first social commentary films that was able to bring change just by disclosing the horrors of the chain gang penal system. Muni is amazing in this film and despite being made in 1932, this film is done so well.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not At All! Any of the other nominees would have been a better choice than Cavalcade.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!