Taking Back Best Picture Oscars

I don’t normally do stories about polls but this one is too good to let slip by.

Entertainment Weekly is doing a “take back” the Oscars special – essentially looking at the last 25 years of Best Picture winners and asking if the selected film stands the test of time and if it doesn’t, which of the other nominees was more deserving.

Along with reader polls, they’re sending out ballots to 7,000 film industry professionals (many of them Academy members) and in early 2009 will combine the results of both readers’ votes and industry professionals’ votes.

The first poll is up and considers probably the single most famous upset of that past 25 years – 1998’s win by “Shakespeare in Love”. Was “Saving Private Ryan”, “Elizabeth”, “The Thin Red Line” or “Life is Beautiful” more deserving – many would say all four were.

Much as I admire all five of the films, and can understand why ‘Ryan’ is still the one everyone says was robbed, to me “Elizabeth” is the only one I enjoy revisiting.

Some should be left well enough alone as the choice are generally agreed on – namely 1984’s “Amadeus”, 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs”, 1992’s “Unforgiven” and 1993’s “Schindler’s List”.

Other famous upsets to be potentially revised include:
1990’s “Dances with Wolves” over “Goodfellas”
1994’s “Forrest Gump” over “Pulp Fiction” and “Shawshank Redemption”
1996’s “The English Patient” over “Fargo”
2005’s “Crash” over “Brokeback Mountain”