So it was back to year one for Matt vs. the Academy as I looked at the very first contenders for Oscar's main prize. Not having been an avid viewer of silent films, I must say, I have grown a fond appreciation for them from these fine examples. Choosing my favourite from the trio is another story.
The nominees for Best Picture of 1927/28 are:
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
Watching pictures from the silent era certainly requires a different mindset. The images are regularly interrupted by the white on black titles. On the other hand, this procedure does force the film makers to be economical with the dialogue, creating simple and accessible storylines. Still, one wonders why it never occurred to them to use subtitles instead.
The three classics nominated for the first Best Picture award, then known as Outstanding Production, are all worthy of their citations. In selecting my favourite, I managed to remove The Racket from contention early on, not through any major flaws, but simply because the other two were particularly engaging.
That leaves us with 7th Heaven and Wings. A tough pair to separate. The former has an intimately captivating story, but the latter's epic spectacle is hard to ignore. I'm still deciding as I write these words. I think perhaps I'm going to side with 7th Heaven, maybe because it seamlessly manages to incorporate some elements of slapstick and action alongside the drama. But Wings is a very close second.
So, once again, I will be disagreeing with the Academy's choice by selecting 7th Heaven as my favourite from the Best Picture nominees of the 1st Academy Awards.
Best Picture of 1927/28
I suspect not as many of my readers are familiar with those three films, but in any case, the poll for your selection is above for those who are so inclined. For my next year of review, I have chosen one of my favourite years of film in the last few decades: 1999. Even though only one of my actual top five from that year was nominated for Best Picture, the Academy's shortlist is still an admirable one.
And the nominees for Best Picture of 1999 are:
- American Beauty
- The Cider House Rules
- The Green Mile
- The Insider
- The Sixth Sense
See you soon...