01 March 2011

DVD Talk Academy Awards Challenge - Looking Back

I really only had one goal and that was to finally see Saving Private Ryan. I didn't. Again. Fortunately, June brings us the second annual Historical Appreciation Challenge so my new plan is to postpone the movie until 6 June to commemorate D-Day. We'll see how that goes.

Tom Hanks knows I still haven't seen this movie.
You can see that it hurts him, and makes him sad.
I failed to complete the checklist, strangely enough missing Animated Feature and Short Film (Animated), 1920s and PG rated. (The jury's still out whether I get to count Battle for Midway for Documentary [Short Subject].) Of the 29 movies I watched (one more than last year), 20 were first time viewings including eleven of this year's nominees! I finally got to see Fellini's 8 1/2One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest and the original True Grit. One of the things I appreciate most about the Academy Awards Challenge is that, as a rule, anything I choose to watch is going to be pretty good. Even most of the movies that only get nominated in "lesser" (read: technical) categories are generally enjoyable. It's nice to be able to take a break from high art with Transformers.


This movie was about crazy people.
This was the first year that I was able to make use of Netflix streaming, and I found it extremely helpful; twelve of my selections were viewed that way, the most of any format (one more than Blu-ray).  Two of my streaming selections were nominees for this year's Best Documentary (Feature): Dogtooth and Exit through the Gift Shop.  I was curious about both, but they probably would have languished on my To See list had it not been for the challenge (and their immediate availability via Netflix). Some of my selections were ones that I'd wanted to see anyway (The Constant GardenerHotel Rwanda,One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest). The only movie I can say I only chose to see for the purpose of this challenge that I had no intention of seeing was The Cowboy and the Lady, because I'd never heard of it until it turned up in my research of eligible titles available for streaming from Netflix.

This movie was about a demented family.
I was also fortunate this month in that my guts were much more cooperative than they were in January and my wife and I were able to get out to see a few movies at the theater. That's how I got to see Black Swan and The King's Speech.
This movie was about a lot more than this kiss.
Next year, I think I'm going to try to select specific categories and watch all of a given year's nominees. For instance, maybe I'll try to watch all of the 1967 Film Editing nominees, the 1988 Documentary (Best Feature) and 1945 Actress in a Supporting Role nominees. I just think it'd be nice to have that kind of concentration with my selections. (It's an idea I got when I realized I had seen all five of this year's Cinematography nominees.)


All told, I watched 29 movies that won a collective 49 Academy Awards.  You can see my entire list, including a list of award nominations and wins, in my DVD Talk list thread post here.

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