The Fourth Annual Ethel Awards

ethelWelcome back to another installment of the Ethel Awards, in which I fix Oscar’s past mistakes by sorting out egregious, Academy-committed errors. This year we’re tackling the 78th Academy Awards, which were held in 2006 to honor movies from 2005. AKA the year Crash won Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain, a decision which looked ridiculous by the end of that night, let alone eight years later. (This is why I hope American Hustle doesn’t win Best Picture. It was perfectly enjoyable but entirely forgettable and no one will remember it five seconds after the Oscars end.) Usual Ethel rules apply—the year in question must be at least five years past and wherever possible, I’ve chosen the more deserving winner from the available pool of nominees. Continue reading “The Fourth Annual Ethel Awards”

The Third Annual Ethel Awards

ethelA semi-annual tradition here on Cinesnark, the Ethel Awards are our chance to time travel and fix the more egregious of the errors committed by the Academy. In the first Ethel Awards we went back and straightened out the 71st Academy Awards, held in 1999 for movies released in 1998. That was the year Shakespeare in Love beat Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture, but really it should have been The Thin Red Line. For the third Ethels, we’re revisiting the 72nd Academy Awards, held in 2000 for films released in 1999. That’s the year that contains one of the single greatest Oscar blunders of all time. It’s also the year that everyone ran wild over American Beauty and The Cider House Rules, two films that have not aged well, and thought The Insider got screwed. But you know what two movies were released in 1999 that were barely a blip on Oscar’s radar? Fight Club and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Hoo boy, do we have some fixing to do. Continue reading “The Third Annual Ethel Awards”

The Second Annual Ethel Awards

ethelLast year I introduced the Ethel Awards (so called because “Oscar” sounds like a grumpy old man and “Ethel” a grumpy old lady), in which we revisit Oscars past to correct the Academy’s many errors in giving out the little gold man. There are only two rules: 1) At least five years must have lapsed before the ceremony is eligible for revision, and 2) as much as possible, I try to make the corrections from the available pool of nominees, but if the oversight was so egregious that the deserving film wasn’t even nominated, I reserve the right to award non-nominated films. Last year, I revisited the 1999 Academy Awards and this year we’re taking a look at the 73rd Academy Awards, honoring movies released in 2000, or, The Year of Gladiator. As before, we’re redoing all the categories except the shorts, song and documentary. Please note that 2000 was before Best Animated Feature was introduced as a category. That happened one year later for 2001 films. Continue reading “The Second Annual Ethel Awards”

The First Annual Ethel Awards

ethelDo you ever feel like the Academy gets caught up on one or two movies each year and it (or they) end up winning all the awards come Oscar time, but then even a year later you can’t remember who won what, or even who was nominated? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. While the Oscars can be fun and/or entertaining while they’re happening—or a dead bore, depending on your tolerance for masturbatory exercises in self-congratulation—increasingly the winners are less and less memorable. I don’t think it’s because “bad” movies or the “wrong” movies are winning, I just think it’s because everyone gets hung up on one thing and the real gem(s) of the year slip through the cracks, only to re-emerge later, when the fuss has died down. Continue reading “The First Annual Ethel Awards”