January 30, 2009 by MK
I’m about to fall in shit.
The Academy is high. Three of the movies nominated for Best Picture would have a tough time getting picked up as an HBO film, let alone be honored as the best of the best. Frost/Nixon, The Reader and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are flat-out mediocre. And the likely winner, Slumdog Millionaire, is not the best film of the year.
In honor of these Best Picture poseurs, here is a breakdown of like-minded films that got [far] more praise than they deserved. Because there are so many of them, we’ll stick to the last 30 years. And now for, The Overrated…
15. Slumdog Millionaire  Everyone involved in this movie’s production should kiss the ground that Danny Boyle walks on. He made something visceral and kinetic out of bad acting and a rote storyline. When 4-year old children out-act everyone else in the movie, you know you’re in trouble. Special shout-out to the Slumdog himself, Dev Patel, for really bringing the nothing.
14. Ordinary People  Not a bad movie but this one has to be included just for the fact that it beat Raging Bull. Marks the first of three times that a Martin Scorsese picture was beaten out by a first-time film director. Yes, it’s true.
13. The Godfather Part III  aka the moment a bottle of Coppola wine outperformed a Godfather movie. At least one of them gets you drunk.
12. Crash  We’re all connected. We can all get along. And somehow we win Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain.
11. The Dresser  Say, who now? I don’t know what this is either but it stars that guy who died and Billy Crudup put him in the ocean and he turned into a big fish.
10. The Color Purple  You can almost hear Spielberg trying to win the Oscar for this movie. Made me long for the subtlety of 1941.
9. Driving Miss Daisy  My heart was warmed. And my ass fell asleep. If ever an old lady deserved a right hook, it was the one yammering on about the Piggly Wiggly.
8. Chicago  Even if you are a fan of musicals, this is a sluggish ride to be [barely] tolerated, let alone win Best Picture. Even Bob Fosse would have given it a “Meh.”
7. Scent of a Woman  Hoo Hah! At least it introduced [most] of us to Philip Seymour Hoffman. Unfortunately, it also introduced [most] of us to Al Pacino’s new and improved FLAMETHROWER scenery-chewing disguised as acting. What a treat to see a man with sight playing a blind guy. “You see, I look straight ahead all the time. Because I’m blind.” Acting!
6. Dances With Wolves  Tatonka! You know the drill on this one. Costner beats Scorsese, Wolves beats Fellas. Enough said.
5. The English Patient  I defer to Elaine Benes:
4. Million Dollar Baby 
You see, Morgan Freeman was there the whole time. Hiding. Watching. Just so he could narrate exactly what was going on. We have to prove he’s the narrator so he must pull off superheroic feats like always being around Clint Eastwood in case he does something like pull the plug on Hilary Swank.
3. Juno 
“Honest to blog.” If it weren’t for the presence of true pros Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner, it’d be a candidate for Top 15 Worst Movies period. I checked out at the sight of the Hamburger Phone. It’s a phone that flat-out proves the character is quirky! There’s no need to write anything after that!
2. Life is Beautiful 
Come on everyone, the Holocaust isn’t all bad! Not if it introduces us to a born charmer like Roberto Benigni. He can make humor out of anything! When this walking-clown-college climbed over the chairs to get onstage Oscar night, Spielberg should have cut his Achilles, Murder in the First style.
1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy [2001, 2002, 2003] Awful hatred for myself that I gave away (just gave away) 9 hours of my eyes for this Peter Jackson fanboy syrup. The following parody sums it up: