Nolte: Dreadful Decade of Best Picture Winners Marches on Into 2021

Netflix/Plan B Entertainment/Caviar/Participant
Netflix/Plan B Entertainment/Caviar/Participant

Even with a pandemic locking us all down, including most of our movie theaters, pretty much no one is even aware of, much less watching, this year’s Best Picture nominees. Oh, and the ratings for all the award shows celebrating these nominees have sped right past humiliating into dreadful.

Last year, a whole bunch of these award shows were hitting all-time lows. This year, the audience drop off has been 50 to 60 percent lower than those all-time lows, lol.

You would think, most especially during a pandemic year, America would be starving for any kind of fresh entertainment, and we are, just not these dreadful award shows celebrating a bunch of dreadful-looking movies, not to mention deeply unlikable actors and actresses.

Here are this year’s nominees and their public awareness scores:

  • Something Called Mank –18 percent
  • Something Called The Sound of Metal – 23 percent
  • Something Called The Father – 24 percent
  • Something Called Minari – 24 percent
  • Something Called Promising Young Woman – 34 percent
  • Something Called Nomadland – 35 percent
  • Something Called Trial of the Chicago 7 – 39 percent
  • Something Called Judas and the Black Messiah – 46 percent

Depressing, preachy, overrated, woke…

Where’s the magic? Where’s the universal theme? Where’s the majesty and grandeur? Where’s the inspiration and aspiration? Where’s the trip to a fascinating and wondrous time and place? Where are the movie stars? Where’s the erotic charge? Where’s the thing that grabs holds of your guts and doesn’t let go for a few days?

The Oscar telecast is two weeks away and one of those above titles above is gonna walk away with Best Picture, and just like all the other movies that have won Best Picture over the last decade, we will never think about, much less watch it, again.

Here are this decade’s winners along with their domestic gross…

  • The King’s Speech (2010) – $139 million
  • The Artist (2011) – $44 million
  • Argo (2012) – $136 million
  • 12 Years a Slave (2013) – $57 million
  • Birdman (2014) – $42 million
  • Spotlight (2015) – $45 million
  • Moonlight (2016) – $28 million
  • The Shape of Water (2017) – $67 million
  • Green Book (2018) – $85 million
  • Parasite (2019) – $49 million

Granted, I enjoyed The King’s Speech, Spotlight, and Green Book, but I have no desire to see them again. They’re basically well-made TV movies. I did watch Argo a second time, only to discover I enjoyed less than the first.

The Artist, 12 Years a Slave, and Birdman left me cold, to say the least.

Parasite, The Shape of Water, and Moonlight are movies I have not and will never watch.

Compare that to the decade prior, where there are a bunch of best Picture winners people enjoyed and still re-watch. I could sit down right now and re-watch Gladiator (2000), Million Dollar Baby (2004), The Departed (2006), and No Country for Old Men (2007). Plenty of people still love Chicago (2002) and Return of the King (2003).

Crash (2004), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), and The Hurt Locker (2009) are stinkers, but I’ll probably give Beautiful Mind (2001) another look someday.

Now, take a look at the Best Picture winners in the decade prior to that…. Dances with Wolves (1990), Silence of the Lambs (1991), Unforgiven (1992), Schindler’s List (1993) Forrest Gump (1994), Braveheart (1995), Titanic (1997), American Beauty (1999).

Only two disappointments: Shakespeare in Love (1998) and The English Patient (1996), but I would re-watch both of those before any Best Picture winners from this decade.

Everyone laughs at the 80s, but Ordinary People (1980), Gandhi (1982), Amadeus (1984), Platoon (1986), Rain Man (1988), and Driving Miss Daisy (1989) are all terrific. They all strive. They all aspire. They transport and move us.

Without grown men in spandex, modern-day Hollywood is stuck producing preachy, pretentious, small, depressing, self-involved indie movies no one wants to see.

What a shame. What a waste of an extraordinary medium with an extraordinary history and legacy.

Thank God for DVD and Blu-ray.


Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.



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