Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Oscar Retrospective: The Real Best Pictures of 2011

Welcome back to a weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Wednesday Oscar Retrospective. The Real Best Pictures is the seventh in a series of projects looking back at the past eight years of the Oscars, dating back to the first ceremony I watched and closely followed.

For this feature, imagine that an Oscar nomination for Best Picture was cumulative rather than based on votes in just that category. That means taking into account how well a film performed in other categories, and how many Oscars it eventually took home. Like the other series before it, this one is highly speculative, but the point is just to have fun, so chime in with your thoughts in the comments!

And the nominees were… The Artist, The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, The Tree of Life, War Horse

The keepers, no questions: Best Picture winner The Artist is an obvious keeper, as are Hugo, The Descendants, and Midnight in Paris. Though it didn’t take home any Oscars in the end, Moneyball would have made it too.

The question marks: Though Best Director and Best Screenplay nominations seem like necessary prerequisites for this imagined eligibility, I think that both The Help and War Horse had enough acting and technical nominations, respectively, to merit them a Best Picture placement.

The losers: This doesn’t bode well for The Tree of Life, which just barely made it in with directorial and cinematographic mentions. Ditto Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, an incredibly deserving but equally surprisingly nominee that objectively wouldn’t have figured in if it had to stack up its one acting mention against other films’ totals.

The new inclusions: Though it also performed less strongly than expected, in some respects, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo still netted five nominations and a crucial win for Best Film Editing, which seems substantial enough to put it in the top race.

The new nominees: Since this year’s ceremony stipulated anywhere from five to ten inclusions, I say there would have been eight rather than nine: The Artist, The Descendants, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Help, Hugo, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, and War Horse.

Come back next week for a look at the Real Best Pictures of 2010!

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