Apocalypse Now is the greatest American film of all time. Don't believe me? Watch.
I mean, it was SO good, that even The Animaniacs had to get in on that.
But you know what beat it in 1979 for best picture? Kramer v. f'in Kramer. Now, don't get me wrong, KvK, is an excellent film. It has great performances in it by both Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep, who both deserved their Oscars, but seriously, who's talking about KvK today? Besides the occasional joke on Family Guy, the answer to that is nobody.
You want to know the real reason why Francis Ford Coppola's other master work didn't get Best Picture? Because The Deer Hunter, which is another Vietnam epic, won it the year prior.
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Now, The Deer Hunter is another great film, albeit, really slow, but it is in no way anywhere near the masterpiece that Apocalypse Now is. But the folks at the Academy probably said, (And please hear this in the stuffiest voice that you can imagine), "We cahn't have another Nam film win after The Dear Hunter wahan last year. We simply cahn't! Let's give it to that deevorce flim." Or something like that.
So, why am I bringing this up now? Well, because, here we go again with the Academy on the path to making another dumb decision. For those who don't know, the Academy consists of many people, from writers, to producers, to actors, and directors, who vote on the various films that are up for the title. Many times, certain films pull ahead of the others and are the top contenders that can't be beaten. This year, those top two films are The Social Network.
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and The King's Speech.
Personally, I'd much rather see The Fighter or Black Swan, or even Toy Story 3 be the top contenders, because frankly, I think their better films, but you get what you get. That said, if either of the two aforementioned locked films should win, I think it should be The Social Network. Why? Because it speaks to these times. If ever there was a zeitgeist picture, then this is it. But now, there's word that the stuffy, old (And boring, when Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth aren't on the screen together) picture, The King's Speech might have pulled ahead, and all I can say to that is why? Why would a film like this, which, while it has its merits, be the top contender for best picture? How is it better or even more memorable than The Social Network? How could any in their right mind think that? Really, The King's Speech is one of those familiar, dusty films that the Academy used to fawn over before No Country For Old Men took it home. It's like Amadeus or The English Patient, but not nearly as yawn-inducing as those two snooze-fests.
Honestly, the only time I think the Academy truly got it right for best picture was in 1969 for Midnight Cowboy, mostly because it's one of those films that still holds up magnificently today. And that's because it's a time capsule, really, for the late 60s, early 70s, that whenever it's unlocked, reveals a genuine truth about society and the times that something like Anne of the Thousand Days or Hello, Dolly! never could.
And just like that picture, I think The Social Network will be looked back upon fondly as a film that really spoke to a generation. So, please Academy, don't make this another The English Patient year. I'd love to see The Fighter take it all, but I know that that's never going to happen. So, please consider the impact The Social Network will have in the years to come. But of course they won't. Why? Because as the title of this article says, the Academy sucks when it comes to picking the best picture of the year.