Friday, May 6, 2011

Battle of The Oscar Stars: Best Picture 1966

From conquering life-changing speeches, to the notorious beheading of multiple wives, cinema goers have always been riveted by the lives of royalty.

The Best Picture winner of this past year, The Kings Speech, brought the historical drama into the new era, and did so in such a fantastical manner, that it is nearly impossible to find someone who was not completely swept up by that story.

It is exciting, compassionate, and heart-wrenching-and yes, it's just about a guy making a speech.

Forty years before Colin Firth and Co., A Man For All Seasons was King in 1966. Henry VIII, obviously, had his own bouts of drama, but this movie on his royal misgivings, was somehow anything but exciting.

Sure, the movie presents a classic story, about one of the most notorious men in history, as he cycled through all kinds of wives (six to be exact) and in the process disobeyed the church, but somehow an epic period of history just becomes boring. Sometimes classy doesn't always transfer into an interesting movie.

Generally, the story focuses on Sir Thomas More who is at odds with Henry over his wishes to divorce his wife, Catherine of Aragon, so that he may marry Anne Boleyn. More, who is highly respected, disagrees with Henry VIII-and the wrath of the King ensues.

The only film to win an Oscar, that was first a Tony award winning play, actually feels like it should have just been left as a play. This is saying a lot from a person like me, who, lets just say, prefers musicals. The movie format doesn't add anything, except for beautiful outdoor scenery.

Movies don't need to be filled with fires and guns in order to be worth watching-plenty of simple, slow films can also be compelling. The Kings Speech, followed a man conquering his fears, where the only explosions were F-bombs, but audiences were gripped to their seats anticipating where the story would go.

With such an exciting, historical taking off point, it still surprises me that A Man For All Seasons only merits sleepy time on the couch. It is possible, as we are not perfect beings, this is one of those movies that I didn't "get"-however, I'm just talking from the gut, trying to be honest.

Forgettable, essentially, the second after hitting "stop", A Man For All Seasons once again shows that some Oscar winning movies can stay kept in the vault.

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