Oblivion and Glory: this is How Oscar-winning Films Have Aged

Getting the Oscar for the best film does not claim to have a prominent place in history. This is how Oscar-winning movies have aged

Getting the Oscar for the best film does not claim to have a prominent place in history. This is how Oscar-winning movies have aged

Frames of 'Titanic' and 'Shakespeare in Love'

Photos: Filmaffinity

LatinAmerican Post | Luis Ángel Hernández Liborio

Year after year a film wins the award for best film at the Oscars, more than 90 films have won the award, however, not all have "aged" in the same way. Some are great classics despite the passage of time, while others, amid controversy over their choice, have been almost forgotten.

Does “best” movie always win the Oscar?

Without a doubt it is a difficult question to answer, the decisions in film festivals or of the academies in awards are subjective and, therefore, subject to differences of opinion and controversies. So establishing a parameter for the "best" film must be a difficult thing for those who have the final decision. At the Oscars, we have all been left with the feeling that another film should have won, or that the winner did not deserve it, although normally that opinion is based on personal tastes rather than cinematographic reasons.

Thus, the motivations of the Academy to award the prize respond to the historical moment and the social context of its time, for example, "Parasite" (Bong Joon-ho, 2019) would hardly have won in the 40s with marked racism towards Asians, but neither would a film from that era fit into modern awards. The Oscars have been criticized for being politically correct rather than honoring the year's best productions, actors and actresses, adding to the sense that the "best" movie doesn't always win. Of course, it should also be noted that there are films whose quality makes their victory indisputable, especially when they sweep the ceremonies. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (Peter Jackson, 2003) and “Ben-Hur” (William Wyler, 1959) are excellent examples.

The most outstanding films since the 70

The '70s were a decade full of classics in the award for best film at the Oscars, if we can choose the best these would be the two winning parts of "The Godfather" by Francis Ford Coppola. The performances of Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Robert De Niro have allowed the film to be a referenced classic for decades, and it also remains one of the most sought after on streaming.

In the 1980sChariots of Fire”, Hugh Hudson's won the best picture, multiplying by ten its small budget of 5 million dollars. Beyond the box office, it became a classic about sportsmanship and Vangelis's music is certainly known by all.

“Titanic” has no rival in the 90s, despite the success of films like “Schindler's List” and “Forrest Gump”, the film about the shipwreck is one of the biggest grosser in history, its advanced effects for the time and its enormous budget were crowned by winning 11 awards, a feat only achieved by “Ben-Hur” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”.

This last film, by Peter Jackson, achieved the feat of "Titanic" by winning 11 awards in the 2000s, his trilogy continues to be a reference for fantastic cinema, he continued with the "The Hobbit" and now with an Amazon series Prime soon to be released. Despite the passage of time and the new productions, the original trilogy is still the most acclaimed.

The 2010s were characterized by the opening of Hollywood, we saw award-winning films about slavery, silent movies, in other languages, ​​and even award-winning Latin American directors, among all we can highlight "Parasite" by Bong Joon-ho, for being the first of non-English speaker to win the category historically.

Also read: This is how Latin America stood out at Sundance

The great winners are forgotten by time

The fact that they are "forgotten" does not mean that their quality is lower or that they are "bad", but for some reason, they did not become classics as strong as the previous ones. In some cases, the films that did not win were more successful than those that did win the award, as was the case with Stanley Kubrick's “ A Clockwork Orange” which lost the Oscar to “The French Connection” in 1971. William Friedkin's film, despite its awards, is difficult to find on streaming.

In the 80s “Ordinary People” by Robert Redford, was “relegated” to “The Elephant Man” that did not win the category, David Lynch's film has been praised and referenced in culture more than the Oscar winner. For the 1990sShakespeare in Love", John Madden'sElizabeth" and "La vita è Bella". Over time, Madden's bold proposal has aged poorly, especially in the face of “La vita è Bella” which has become a classic.

In the last two decades, social networks have allowed the public to express their likes or dislikes for award-winning films. If we can highlight any controversy, it would be that of "Birdman" in 2014, which generated criticism, since González Iñárritu's comedy was not the favorite.