For Your Consideration

Article by Dave Herbelin

Perhaps this article comes in at the 11th hour of Academy Award nominations, or perhaprs the 13th or even 48th. It doesn’t matter. Chances are you’ll find this when Googling for strudel techniques five years from now and it will be after the facts. Who cares about that? What matters is the heart of this and not the syntax. Stop judging already and read!

I watched a movie the other night at the discount theatre. Two days later, I can’t stop thinking about it with a smile on my face. I, and those with me, enjoyed it. There was a thirty-four year age gap between myself and the person next to me, and I’m certain the age gap was wider with others in the theatre, yet we all enjoyed it. I want to go back and see it again. I want to own it. I want the soundtrack. I was touched and inspired by the message of the movie. The movie had heart, and it touched mine.

Isn’t what I experienced the mark of a good movie; dare I say…no I have to say, the mark of a Best Picture Nominee? I would think so. But those who vote on the nominations, I fear, feel different.

Each year the nominations come out, and some are right on, while many others are politically or socially charged. And the winner of the award is seldom the Best Picture. It’s merely the picture that had a message pertinent to the environment at that time. It’s dated, and quickly forgotten. But the Academy gets behind those pictures to show they can change the world. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins come out flashing peace signs, and they get in trouble for inserting their politics into the process. But at the same time, the Academy flashes their own peace sign by awarding a politically-charged movie, and not the movie that stays with us generation to generation – the real Best Picture.

If you don’t believe this, then tell me which movies won Best Picture to beat out: “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, “E.T.”, “Dead Poets Society”, “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”, “Moulin Rouge”, “Avatar” or “Toy Story 3”.

Many of you will not agree that the movies I listed above deserved Best Picture. But put them through this test. If you were channel surfing and saw these two movies as options, what would you rather watch: “Avatar” or “The Hurt Locker” (the Best Picture winner)? Same question, five years from now. Same question twenty-five years from now? Same question with ages 13 to 99 watching it with you? Am I saying “Avatar” was a great film? NO! It sucked. It was Pocohontas in Space with UnObtainium. Just like Space Ace was a bad future version of Dragon’s Lair. But most people would watch “Avatar” than “The Hurt Locker”. And if “Avatar” sucked, what does that say about “The Hurt Locker”, huh?

Timelesss – that’s the quality missing from most Best Pictures. Movies that can be enjoyed again and again. It’s why we love Shakespeare, and not that other guy who wrote political dramas at that same time – what’s his name? See, we can’t even remember his name or the names of his plays (and if you can, then be quiet, I’m not talking to you anymore). Movies that can entertain and capture a timeless quality are the movies that should be awarded Best Picture. You may ask, “How can you tell if a movie is timeless other than hindsight?” You can tell when you’re watching it. You feel it and know.

It’s with the quality of timelessness (I hope that’s a word) that I nominate “The Muppets” for your consideration. “The Muppets” is a movie that just isn’t made anymore. It touches and entertains every age group, and it inspires us to make a change in our hearts. There are messages of believing in something, heroes, jaded cultures, friendship and love. Messages that will remain strong a hundred years from now. You can even say the message of the movie is the same as this article: the message of entertaining, inspiring and reaching generations. I was moved. I was laughing. And I enjoyed the story. I will watch it ten times over and share it with my children, grandchildren, and my parents. It was the Best Picture I’ve seen in quite some time.

So for your consideration, consider what really makes a true Best Picture. Then examine the Awards and the movies out there. Decide if the Best Picture you’re watching is good for now, or good forever.

I hear “The Artist” is pretty good, too, so consider that one as well. I haven’t seen it. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen “The Hurt Locker” either.

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