Tuesday, June 28, 2011

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Out with the Old, In with the Older

As you can see on the right, the poll is closed and the people have spoken. But before I officially unveil what you can already see, one last mention of 1974: my Top Ten of the Year.

1. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
Our winner for Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay. Also nominated for Director, Actor and Editing. This outstanding film was ignored by audiences, bashed by critics and snubbed by the Academy. I have righted a wrong.

2. Lenny
Contained my favorite performance of the year in Valerie Perrine's Honey Bruce. Wins for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Editing. With an additional Supporting Actress nomination, plus nods for Adapted Screenplay, Ensemble and Best Picture of the Year it led the pack with nine nominations and five wins. It should have won Oscars for Picture, Director, Actor and Cinematography as well.

3. Young Frankenstein
Winner for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Ensemble. Nominated for Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Best Picture of the Year. Thank goodness this was nominated for its screenplay at the Oscars, too, though it should have won over The Godfather: Part II.

4. Chinatown
Although it can boast no wins, it at least was runner-up for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay. Also nominated for Costume Design and Best Picture of the Year. Oscar awarded the film Best Original Screenplay, and since they failed to nominate Alfredo Garcia, I have to agree: it's one of the greatest scripts ever written. Man, Dunaway should have that gold, too.

5. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre
Well, we all knew this would affect me more than Oscar. Besides its surprising wins in Best Art Direction and Best Sound, the horror classic was also nominated for Director, Editing and Best Picture of the Year. Yeah, I said it. BEST PICTURE.

6. Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
A movie so great that it has inspired men of its era, my era, and in between. It didn't win any of my nominations for Best Ensemble, Best Original Screenplay or Best Actor...but the category confused Academy should have given Jeff Bridges the Supporting Actor Oscar.

7. Phantom of the Paradise
Like Young Frankenstein, this is a movie I've grown up watching and adoring. So, yeah, I think it totally should have won the Oscar for Best Adapted/Song Score. I had no such category, but it did tie with The Conversation for most nominations without a win. Six, if you're wondering: Supporting Actor, Editing, Song (twice), Costume Design and Art Direction.

8. The Island at the Top of the World
One of the more pleasant surprises of this experiment was discovering this hidden Disney gem, a magnificent adventure in the tradition of Jules Verne. Hell, I even nominated it for Ensemble, Art Direction, Costume Design, Adapted Screenplay and Score! Oscar also nominated it for Art Direction, and it should have won...but it didn't, alas.

9. Black Christmas
Two horror films on my top ten? We all know I love the genre, but really... Ah, I can't help it. 1974 just had the fortune to have two cinematic greats that happened to be gory. Five nominations here: Ensemble, Sound, Cinematography, Original Screenplay and Actress.

10. The Tamarind Seed
Had me from its first frame. Nominated for Actress, Adapted Screenplay and Score.
Well, now, let us look to the future, by which I mean we should look to the past. Our next cinematic adventure takes us through that great decade of political thrillers, spy flicks, costume dramas and studio musicals. Of course, I'm talking about...


Only this time, I'll be updating y'all on each movie I see. They won't be full reviews, but capsules, giving a brief synopsis, a short reaction, and who I consider Best in Show. Maybe even a FYC thingie.

So get ready, folks! Because I know we'll meet again some sunny day, and wouldn't it be loverly to spend a jolly 'oliday with...eh...Becket? The Greek?

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