As I venture further and further into this project, I am consistently blown away by the enormous quality of film-making that I am experiencing. 1950 is certainly no exception. Another year filled with spectacular cinema, including a number of fine classics.
The nominees for Best Picture of 1950 are:
- All About Eve
- Born Yesterday
- Father of the Bride
- King Solomon's Mines
- Sunset Boulevard
It's an entirely unfair consequence of comparing films of different genres, but if they are each of similar artistic and creative quality, the drama will more often than not emerge as superior to the comedy ... or the action or the science fiction or the western or the adventure ... and the list goes on. I suppose it is the drama's greater potential for emotional stimulation. Other genres thrill and amuse and generally entertain, but at the end of the day, powerful subject matter tends to more effectively stick in the audience's minds. Like I said, entirely unfair. (It even occurs within sub-genres of the drama category. Just look at how successful epic dramas have been with the Academy.)
Three of 1950's Best Picture nominees fall prey to this unfortunate disadvantage. They are immensely enjoyable films, accomplished examples of their respective genres, but they are overshadowed by the other two nominees for no other reason than they are not dramas. King Solomon's Mines is an exhilarating adventure. Born Yesterday is a whimsical comedy. Father of the Bride has its moments of poignancy, but is still at its heart a comedy, and a delightfully charming one at that.
All three are solidly entertaining films that find themselves up against two dramatic pictures that have both since become classics - All About Eve and Sunset Boulevard. I bounced back and forth between these two intensely personal and moving films. The former won the Academy's top honour, but I eventually came down on the side of the latter. So, I now officially name Sunset Boulevard my favourite of 1950's Best Picture nominees.
Best Picture of 1950
All About Eve
Vote for your own favourite with the poll above. Next up, we will be travelling to a more recent era to take a look at Oscar's picks from 2002.
And the nominees for Best Picture of 2002 are:
- Gangs of New York
- The Hours
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
- The Pianist
Another diverse bunch to sink our teeth into.