Time again to deliver my verdict. This time, you will also have a chance to make your voice heard. Below my assessment of the contest is a poll in which you can vote for your favourite from 1976's crop of Best Picture nominees.
The nominees for Best Picture of 1976 are:
All the President's Men
Bound for Glory
Four of these nominees have stood the fabled test of time, each holding quite an important place in film history. The fifth, Bound for Glory, while an impressive film in its own right, clearly has a smaller stature. At the risk of seeming like a pompous film connoisseur, I tend to concur with history's interpretation. Thus, it is a relatively easy decision to knock it out of the running.
So that leaves four very well crafted and affecting films. Not an easy task to separate them. But you know I'm about to do just that, so I guess it wasn't that difficult. There are definitely two that I enjoyed more than the other two. Rocky, the Academy's choice, is certainly inspirational, but its lapses into melodrama, albeit infrequent, are enough to remove it from my list also. Similarly, Network, with its heavily satirical tone, will not be walking away with my blue ribbon due to its brief forays away from naturalism, something the final two nominees have in spades.
Taxi Driver and All the President's Men, although very different cinema experiences, share a brilliantly captivating use of realism. Either would be worthy, in my opinion, of taking the top prize. However, I must be brutal, so because it manages to make even the most extraordinary events believable and enthralling, Taxi Driver will be named my favourite of the 1976 nominees.
Best Picture of 1976
Don't forget to vote for your favourite. See how you all compare with my decision. For our next journey into Best Picture land, we're moving a little closer to the present as I take a look at the year 2001. There are only a small number of films whose sequels were also nominated for Best Picture and it would be nice to be able to view them in the right order. Hence, I'll begin the Lord of the Rings trilogy now and get to the nominees from 2002 and 2003 later on. A similar strategy shall be employed for the Godfather films.
And the nominees for Best Picture of 2001 are:
A Beautiful Mind
In the Bedroom
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Check back soon as we visit the 21st century for the first time...