Best Picture! / Best Picture…?

Because we are living in what D.H. Lawrence would surely deem a “tragic age,” in a world in which Bohemian motherfucking Rhapsody is a Best Picture nominee at the Academy Awards, and because making lists soothes me, I’m taking a jaunt through recent Best Picture history and selecting my thirty favorite BP nominees since 2000, and my twenty least favorite. My greatest takeaway from this exercise has been that, though a lot of films I love have been egregiously snubbed in this category, I do like the vast majority of Best Picture nominees quite a lot. Good movies! It was certainly difficult for me to narrow down my list of favorites to only thirty, but it was also surprisingly difficult to come up with twenty I don’t think are deserving. In fact, most of the films I’ve included in my bottom twenty are not ones I consider bad (though some I definitely do), but merely ones that didn’t work for me personally and that I don’t think merit a spot in the Best Picture category. That said, I think it’s pretty clear I have a certain…sensibility when it comes to films, and am definitely predisposed to like certain types and dislike others. But, I’m not apologizing for that. I like what I like! I hate what I hate! Objectivity is overrated.

Here are my choices, for better or worse:

Best of the Best:

A Star Is Born

An Education



Brokeback Mountain


Call Me By Your Name



Erin Brokovich

Gosford Park


In The Bedroom



La La Land

Lady Bird



Moulin Rouge!


Silver Linings Playbook

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

The Favourite

The Help

The Hours

The Kids Are Alright

The Reader

The Shape Of Water

Up In The Air

Worst of the Best:

127 Hours

American Sniper


Black Panther

Black Swan

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bridge of Spies


Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Hacksaw Ridge

Letters from Iwo Jima

Manchester By The Sea


No Country For Old Men

The Big Short

The Hurt Locker

The Martian

The Revenant

The Tree of Life

There Will Be Blood

Cheers to trying to focus on the positives, in movies and in life, this awards season and beyond.