Remember Crash?: Past Best Picture Winners That Time Forgot
Each year, there are Best Picture winners at the Oscars. Some of them go down in history as some of the most beloved and re-watched films of all-time, like Forrest Gump, The Silence of the Lambs, Rain Man, Rocky, Annie Hall, the first two Godfather pictures and even Gone with the Wind.
1996's The English Patient
But then there are the films that enjoy a white-hot intensity of critical love and box office success, only to fall by the wayside as the years go on. Two thousand nine's techno-marvel Avatar would go on to make nearly three billion dollars worldwide, but I do not personally know anyone who has seen it since its release, or even owns it.
It was nominated for Best Picture in 2010, but lost out to The Hurt Locker. There was a point that year when Avatar was almost a lock to win Best Picture honors too, but Locker's gritty war story won the day.
This phenomenon is probably a reflection on what some would call our short-attention-span society, which can only explain why films with obvious merit -- and a great studio campaign -- can win top honors and devolve into afternoon broadcast station fodder, the kind of movies that you know were good but don't remember why.
This feel-good weeper enchanted viewers at the time of its release, and did even better on DVD, but a second glance proves it to be simplistic, corny and formulaic, though it's not without its thrills. The racial tolerance message -- however needed -- came off as Hollywood trying to preach from a gilded pulpit to middle America.
As life-affirming as this one may have been, with the underdog tale and the mainstreaming of Bollywood, it just doesn't hold up to repeated viewings. Director Danny Boyle took a great leap here, and that should be applauded.
Even as Broadway adaptations go, which are notorious for getting a long shelf life after home release, this one sank. Among the other films nominated for Best Picture in 2003, only Gangs of New York and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers are still catalog favorites. Maybe it just needs another decade to marinate, once things like Glee run their course.
Once the ending of this Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank boxing flick was spoiled for everyone, it wasn't as fun, and sort of cheapened the rest of the movie for some. Damned Internets.