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Academy Awards: Best Picture winners that would make us cringe

Academy Awards: Best picture winners that would make us cringe
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Academy Awards: Best picture winners that would make us cringe
Text: Yusuf Begg, ET Bureau

The Academy Awards is the annual high point of Hollywood for sure.

Over the years some great films and actors have been recognised. However, ET on Sunday presses the rewind button and finds that some of the Best Picture winners, since 1975, would make us cringe.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
2/14
Slumdog Millionaire (2008)
Cinematic Con Poverty porn at its Hollywood best. And any film that has Anil Kapoor breaking into a jig should be immediately banned.

Our Choice A much more serious film was Milk. Forget Sean Penn’s acting; the film tackles a subject that is still condemned with a rare sensitivity.
Chicago (2002)
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Chicago (2002)
Cinematic Con Did anybody see a scriptwriter’s name when the credits were rolling? Do the producers know that a film needs a script (unless you are JL Godard)? Is this really a film? Or is it excellent choreography strung together?

Our Choice The sheer energy and Martin Scorsese’s sweeping vision should have made Gangs of New York a shoo-in for best picture.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
4/14
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Cinematic Con This had everything an Oscar jury wants — a schmaltzy, simplistic and historically selective plot. And if scribbling on blackboards means great mathematician then…

Our Choice Gosford Park is absolutely brilliant. Using a murder, Robert Altman takes a quirky look at the British class system.
Gladiator (2000)
5/14
Gladiator (2000)
Cinematic Con An historical costume drama as best picture? Give us a break, dude. Shallowness and the lack of punch in the story-telling doesn’t help either.

Our Choice Traffic, Steven Soderbergh’s colour-coded thriller should have been the obvious choice. It is stylistic, technically brilliant and takes a sweeping look at a contemporary issue with an objective eye.
Titanic (1997)
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Titanic (1997)
Cinematic Con Nothing could get worse than Titanic. If you haven’t seen it, you don’t know how lucky you are. Even teens are likely to throw up. Schmaltz at its apogee.

Our Choice Anything edgy and Hollywood refuses to acknowledge it. LA Confidential is a noirish exploration of the crime in and around Los Angeles. Gritty and smart.
Braveheart (1995)
7/14
Braveheart (1995)
Cinematic Con What is it with historical dramas that get Oscar jury drooling. This patchy, historically flawed film should have been trashed after the first screening.

Our Choice Nice, wholesome, simple romantic story, Il Postino is unpretentious in its structure and narrative.
Dances With Wolves (1990)
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Dances With Wolves (1990)
Cinematic Con We thought Rousseau and his idea of “noble savage” was dead and buried. Well Kevin Costner takes three hours to tell us that they are alive and living in Hollywood studios.

Our Choice Do we have to look further than Godfather 3?
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
9/14
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
Cinematic Con An Uncle Tom redux. But then Hollywood loves feel-good films that are superficial, especially with minorities.

Our Choice Surely My Left Foot. It’s honest, no syrupy story-telling and preaching about how one should respect the differently abled. Superb film.
Terms of endearment (1983)
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Terms of endearment (1983)
Cinematic Con Yet another tear-jerker that loses focus midway. There is so much family bonding one can take.

Our Choice The Right Stuff treats history seriously. Seamless mix of the personal and professional lives and how they affect each other.
Rocky (1976)
11/14
Rocky (1976)
Cinematic Con Let’s get this clear: no film with Sylvester Stallone can win an Oscar. Caveat: unless there is an Oscar for mumbling. And with All the President’s Men, Network and Taxi Driver in contention? Was the jury on mushrooms?

Our Choice Surely the all-time classic Taxi Driver? Even so many years later, the film strikes a raw nerve and can be extremely disturbing.
Oops! they did It- David Niven
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Oops! they did It- David Niven
Not really a gaffe, but the David Niven one-liner, when a streaker ran across the stage, would remain a classic. With a straight face Niven said the man would be remembered for “showing off his shortcomings.
Angelina Jolie
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Angelina Jolie
In 2000, Angelina Jolie, after winning the Best Supporting Actress, kissed her brother on the lips
Sir Lawrence Olivier
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Sir Lawrence Olivier
Sir Lawrence Olivier, in 1985, forgot to read out the names of the nominees and simply announced the winner of Best Picture
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