When it came—thirty cents—he pinned it up in his trailer, brass-headed tack in each corner. Below it he drove a nail and on the nail he hung a wire hanger and the two old shirts suspended from it. He stepped back and looked at the ensemble through a few stinging tears. “Jack, I swear—” he said, though Jack had never asked him to swear anything and was himself not the swearing kind.

My Top 10

  1. Brokeback Mountain
  2. Munich
  3. Pride & Prejudice
  4. The Constant Gardener
  5. The History of Violence
  6. Batman Begins
  7. Downfall
  8. Capote
  9. Proof
  10. King Kong

note:  An excellent Top 5 and Top 10. (more…)


This is a companion piece to three different series.  The first is The History of the Academy Awards, in which I covered each category in individual posts.  This was originally done in 2009 (nominees through 2008) and additions were included in 2010 for the 2009 nominees.  You can find links to all of these pieces in each individual category.  I have grouped all of the categories together for the same reason that I did so originally – because most pieces on the Oscars don’t approach the awards through the categories, but through the years.  This specific piece is designed to take a closer look at the decade and how I think the Academy did in those years.

The second series is my Year in Film series.  That is mentioned here because in those pieces I included paragraphs about the Oscars as a whole for each year and included a considerable amount of trivia.  Since I had based my Year in Film series and eligibility as such on the Academy calendar, it all seemed very relevant.  Also, I include various prizes (Worst Oscar, Worst Nomination, Worst Omission, etc) and I didn’t want to repeat myself, so following the links will bring you there.  Those links are at the end of this piece, where I do a brief summation of each year and how the Academy did. (more…)

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees but I also wrote more about the year, originally, here.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 20 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Good Night and Good Luck  *
  2. Munich
  3. Brokeback Mountain  **
  4. King Kong
  5. Kingdom of Heaven
  6. A History of Violence
  7. Batman Begins
  8. The Constant Gardener
  9. Pride and Prejudice
  10. Downfall
  11. Cache
  12. Syriana
  13. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  14. Saraband
  15. Match Point
  16. Twin Sisters
  17. Corpse Bride
  18. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  19. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  20. Kung Fu Hustle

Analysis:  A truly fantastic year.  Brokeback ranks among the best ever #3 films, King Kong among the best #4 films and Kingdom among the best #5 films.  A History of Violence would be a nominee in most years.  The Top 5 is tied for 10th all-time.  The Top 10 is second all-time behind only 2002.  Downfall is the third best #10 film ever.  The Top 20 is the best all-time as is the 11-20.  Not only are all 20 of these films **** films, but there are actually a record 26 (the others are Sin City, Capote, Proof, Cinderella Man, Don’t Move, Elizabethtown).
I feel a little weird about this year.  Brokeback is a brilliant film and I have thought so since I saw it in the theater, but except for the stretch from when I saw it to when I first saw Munich, it has never been my #1 film.  It was Munich for years then eventually moved to Good Night and Good Luck.  But all three films are just about a tie and they come one right after the other on my grand list of all Best Picture nominees.  There’s no question, given how the year went, that it should have won Best Picture.  It won three of the six critics awards and the other four awards groups.  Only three films have more Consensus points without winning the Oscar and all three of those (LA Confidential, Social Network, Boyhood) lost the PGA and DGA and the first two also lost the Globe while Brokeback won all of those.  It was the first film ever to sweep the other four awards groups and lose the Oscar (La La Land would later do it but it would lose to a film that won more critics awards and won the Globe – Drama).  It joined The Aviator as only the second film to this point to win both the Globe and the PGA and fail to win the Oscar.  It is the only film to win the PGA, DGA and WGA and fail to win the Oscar.  Yet, it would lose to Crash, the film with the lowest Consensus point total to win the Oscar since 1995 and the first film since 1973 to win the Oscar without a Globe nomination and only the second Oscar winner to fail to be nominated for a Globe.  In fact, ironically, the most comparable year to this one is 1995, when Ang Lee’s film also looked like it should have won but lost to a film that had not done nearly as well with earlier awards groups, though at least that year had been more telegraphed when Lee failed to earn a Best Director nomination at the Oscars.
Crash, at #101, becomes the fourth Oscar winner to fail to make the Top 100 for the year.  It also finishes a period of twelve years when the Oscars awarded the worst of the five nominees a whopping seven times; it has not done so again since (through 2016).  It joins 1989 and 2000 as years where the Picture winner isn’t in my Top 50 but the Director winner is my #2. (more…)

Pay no attention to the bunnies in the door.

The 78th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2005.  The nominations were announced on January 31, 2006 and the awards were held on March 5, 2006.

Best Animated Film:  Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

  • Corpse Bride
  • Howl’s Moving Castle

Most Surprising Omission: Madagascar

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Steamboy

Rank (out of 16) Among Best Animated Film Years:  #1

Oscar Score:  100

Alternate Oscar Score:  100 (more…)

Still the best animated film of this or any other decade.

Still the best animated film of this or any other decade.

2000  –  2009

Total Films I’ve Seen:  1296

Films That Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  48

Best Film Not to Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  No Country for Old Men

Film of the Decade:  The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Worst Film of the Decade:  Captivity

Worst Best Picture Nominee of the Decade:  The Blind Side

Worst Film of the Decade Made by a Top 100 Director:  What Planet Are You From (more…)

The 2005 Best Picture nominees

The 78th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2005.  The nominations were announced on January 31, 2006 and the awards were held on March 5, 2006.

Best Picture:  Crash

  • Good Night and Good Luck
  • Munich
  • Brokeback Mountain
  • Capote

Most Surprising Omission:  Walk the Line

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  King Kong

Rank (out of 84) Among Best Picture Years:  #5 (more…)


The 2005 Best Picture nominees

“It’s time to ask yourself what you believe,” Indiana Jones was told some 19 years ago (both in movie and in actual time). In his first few adventures on film both he, the hero, and we, the viewers are forced to confront the idea of actually having to believe something, to have an opinion. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull doesn’t ask that of its viewers. It is the fifties science fiction story reborn in a modern summer blockbuster. The only people who will wonder whether to believe in the new film are the same kind of nuts who spend their spare time expounding theories that the Pentagon wasn’t hit by an airplane. That doesn’t mean films don’t ask us to confront our beliefs. It just means this summer’s adventure fare is not the best choice.
So let’s take a look back a couple of years. To the 2005 Oscar race to be exact, not only because a group of films came out that asked us to confront our beliefs but because those beliefs that were confronted have a resonance in the world at large today. (more…)