It is timely, in this awards season, to recall that Aristotle suggested the three bad forms of governance were tyranny, oligarchy and democracy. With these matters in mind, let us roam at random over some of the choices (for best picture) of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
To judge film awards, you presumably have to have clear criteria and then see everything. This is not feasible or even sensible. To make an appraisal, you have to be a ‘stakeholder’ in the proper sense of the word – in other words, be completely disinterested. This is not feasible or even sensible.
Here are some ‘winners’ for best picture Oscars, with some competitors in brackets:
1938 You Can’t Take it With You [Pygmalion; The Adventures of Robin Hood; Grand Illusion]
1941 How Green Was My Valley [Citizen Kane; Here Comes Mr Jordan; The Little Foxes; The Maltese Falcon]
1952 The Greatest Show on Earth [High Noon]
1965 The Sound of Music [Darling; A Thousand Clowns]
1973 The Sting [Cries and Whispers; American Graffiti]
1976 Rocky [All The President’s Men; Bound For Glory; Network; Taxi Driver]
1980 Ordinary People [A Coal Miner’s Daughter; Raging Bull; The Elephant Man]
1989 Driving Miss Daisy [Born on the Fourth of July; My Left Foot; Field of Dreams]
1990 Dances With Wolves [Goodfellas; Awakenings]
1991 The Silence of the Lambs [JFK]
1994 Forrest Gump [Quiz Show]
1996 The English Patient [Fargo; Jerry Maguire; Secrets and Lies; Shine]
1997 Titanic [doesn’t matter]
1999 American Beauty [The Insider; The Cider House Rules; The Sixth Sense]
2001 A Beautiful Mind [In the Bedroom; The Fellowship of the Ring]
2002 Chicago [The Two Towers; The Pianist]
2007 No Country for Old Men [Juno]
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