Sunday, October 10, 2010

Battle of The Oscar Stars: Best Picture 1946

It's offically Fall when the inside becomes your domain to survive Washington's powerful wind and rain storms and for me, suffering through my first bought of sickness (in the cold and flu variety). Here comes prime movie watching season, where there is absolutely no guilt about sitting inside. We all miss the sun, but for these reasons we can live without it for a bit.

After spending a lovely afternoon lifting my sickly spirits thinking about movies involving amazing eats, I decided to once again force my attention towards the lonley white Netflix sleeve sitting on the table. Yes, I had to (once again) force myself into watching the next Best Picture winner. I'll pretty much watch anything, but when I look at the disc and I see any number above 120 min (say 175) it's a deal breaker.

The Longest Years...excuse me, I mean The Best Years of Our  Lives is at times an astounding time capsule, capturing how American citizens and our country were feeling in the years following World War II.

Three troops (one actor, and the best part of the movie in my opinion, was an actual vet who lost both of his hands in the war) return to find, with much sadness, that time has continued moving back in their home town as they were out fighting. Their families have grown, and they have trouble adjusting to their old life. I didn't do much research on this movie, but many things must have made this story a true controversy in its time. Most notably all the mentions of the "d-word" (divorce) even made me turn into a 1940's dame and gasp, "can they say that?"

For historys sake, and judging by the seven Academy Award wins, this movie was important in the time it was released. Although, that doesn't mean that the appeal resonates now.

The plot moves slowly, and within the first fifteen minutes I declared, "If the writers for Leave It To Beaver (or fill in with your favorite 50's stereotypical sitcom) decided to create a war film, this is what would have come out." Too cheesy and even awkwardly written for most of the running time. Two hours in, as I was struggling to stay awake because of the boringness and after the bad decision to take cough medicine, there was a tone shift and the movie improved into something more serious and interesting. Can I honestly recommend a movie because the final 45 are worth it? No, I just can't do it.

Sorry IMDB, but I don't agree with you on this one, as users have ranked it in the Top 250 movies of all time. I mean, It's A Wonderful Life was also up for a ton of Academy Awards this year and got trumped in every category. Maybe I'm just partial to the glory of Jimmy Stewart and Clarence the Angel, and I didn't have to fight in a war. So, people of 1946 you probably made the right choice and I will support you on that.

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