March 4, 2004

Viewer Discretion Advised

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Every year, the world’s biggest and brightest stars gather at The Academy Awards, or as its known in my house, “We Love Billy Crystal” Night. In the 76 years that the Oscars have been broadcast, they seem to continually have gotten longer, while the acceptance speeches have gotten shorter. This is, of course, thanks in part to the music that chimes in whenever stars get political or choked up. As Jack Black and Will Ferrell illuminated for us all at Sunday’s show, the chorus goes: “You’re boring.”

Perhaps the only thing that’s more annoying that the pontificating of mother-daughter duo Joan and Melissa Rivers on the Red Carpet (I’d like to thank the Academy for not letting them inside) are the films that the Oscars overlook. For every Casablanca, there are at least 5 Modern Times, the 1939 Chaplin film that was not nominated for a single Academy Award, though it has influenced countless filmmakers. Ladies and Gentlemen, here they are, the films that should have won. Yes, we like you … we really like you.

The Shawshank Redemption

I was surprised to find out that, while nominated in 1994, The Shawshank Redemption did not win a single oscar. Both Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman give great performances in the movie, which is the story of a man confined to Shawshank State Prison after being convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. But more than that, it is a touching depiction of the possibility of friendship in the worst of conditions. Shawshank was nominated for seven Academy Awards and took home none. While a great film, it went against Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump, and when it comes to the Oscars, no one beats Tom Hanks.

The Princess Bride

Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride became a cult classic when it was released in 1987. This off-beat fairy tale has got it all: drama, comedy, and a bit with Billy Crystal, the Oscar-God. Though not honored by the Academy, it’s certainly one of my favorites, if only for the presence of Andre the Giant and Fred Savage (in his Kevin Arnold days) in the same film. Inconceivable.

A Hard Day’s Night

You say you want a revolution? Well this was it. Besides inventing the music-video genre with its oft-copied shots, and putting vibrant personalities of John, Paul, George, and Ringo on film, The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night was overlooked at the Oscars in 1964. The movie Premiere Magazine even hailed it as one of the 100 Most Daring Movies Ever Made.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Though it grossed higher than The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the first in the trilogy that produced this year’s winner, and arguably has as much of a following, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was not a winner at the 2001 Academy Awards. I guess Harry’s wizardry couldn’t make an Oscar appear. But at least it got its author JK Rowling to go from millionaire to multi-millionaire.

Archived article by Logan Bromer