“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…)

Still one of the best openings ever.  Oh, and still the best film ever made and by default, the #1 film on the Best Picture list.

Still one of the best openings ever. Oh, and still the best film ever made and by default, the #1 film on the Best Picture list.

Back in 2009, I did a long series of histories of all the Academy Awards categories (you can find a full list here).  The final thing I did was a ranked list of all 468 Best Picture nominees.  When I revised all those posts in 2010 I only added in the 2009 Best Picture nominees to the ranked list rather than redo the list.  There was a reason for that – for a long time, that one post was by far the most popular thing I had ever put up.  There were stretches where it accounted for almost 20% of the hits on the entire site.  But that changed drastically with Google’s changing of how images come up.  But still I didn’t revise it, because by then, I was in the middle of a project that began on 9 March 2010 and only finished on 6 March 2013 – a year by year look at Best Picture in every year.  So I wanted to wait until the project was done. (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…)

Ang Lee

Heath Ledger in the Fourth of July scene in Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Heath Ledger in the Fourth of July scene in Brokeback Mountain (2005)

  • Born:  1954
  • Rank:  13
  • Score:  760.80
  • Awards:  Oscar / 2 DGA / 2 BAFTA / 2 Golden Globes / BFCA / 2 NYFC / LAFC / 2 BSFC / 2 NBR
  • Nominations:  2 Oscars / 3 DGA / 3 Golden Globes / BFCA
  • Feature Films:  11
  • Best:  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • Worst:  Ride with the Devil

Top 5 Feature Films:

  1. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – 2000
  2. Brokeback Mountain – 2005
  3. Sense and Sensibility – 1995
  4. The Ice Storm – 1997
  5. Lust, Caution – 2007

Top 10 Best Director Finishes  (Nighthawk Awards):

  • 1995 – 1st – Sense and Sensibility
  • 1997 – 3rd – The Ice Storm
  • 2000 – 1st – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • 2005 – 2nd – Brokeback Mountain
  • 2007 – 10th – Lust, Caution


Sunset Boulevard (1950) - the greatest film ever made

Sunset Boulevard (1950) - the greatest film ever made

Here we have it. Oscar day is upon us. And for those of you who have been reading these posts for the last month, thanks, and I hope, if you like film, you’ll keep reading. For the next year, I’ll be doing a countdown of the 100 Greatest Directors of All-time, doing one every few days or so. I’ll also continue to do regular film posts and the Family News page will come back to the front, if you’re here to read about Thomas, Veronica and me.

Okay, so that was last year.  The Top 100 Directors are now all completed as can be seen here. This next year involves further work on my Year in Film series, my Top 100 Novels and, starting this week, an in-depth look at all the Best Picture nominees.

Anyway, for the last post, since I have seen 461 475 of the 468 478 films that have been nominated for Best Picture, I am giving a comparative ranking of all the films nominated for Best Picture.


1990 saw the re-introduction of an interesting phenomenon – the split between the critics and the major awards groups. It had happened before. In 1975 and 76, Nashville and All the President’s Men had both won Best Picture from three different critics groups, only to lose the Golden Globe, Directors Guild and the Oscar for Best Picture (to One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Rocky). Until 1990, the only other film to manage three Best Picture wins from the major critics groups was Terms of Endearment, which won the Oscar. Then the trend came in with a vengeance. (more…)

Four Friends and an Oscar

Four Friends and an Oscar

But What I Really Want to Do is Direct

Actors have been getting nominated for Best Director since the beginning of time. Or at least the beginning of the Academy Awards. No exaggeration. Charlie Chaplin was nominated for Best Comedy Direction in the initial awards in 1928.


1970 is an easy place to make a break because it’s about half way through, but it’s also appropriate because here is where we have the first Best Actor nomination for the man who would come to dominate this list: Jack Nicholson. (more…)

Until 1988, only three times did an actress get nominated in both categories in one year: Fay Bainter in 1938, Teresa Wright in 1942 and Jessica Lange in 1982, and they all won Supporting and lost Actress. Sigourney Weaver in 1988, however, lost in both categories, as did Emma Thompson in 1993, Julianne Moore in 2002 and Cate Blanchett in 2007. But in 1993, Thompson faced off against Holly Hunter in both categories and Hunter won Best Actress and lost Supporting. (more…)

Adapted Screenplay is a tricky thing because for some twenty years it was simply called Best Screenplay, and often films were nominated for this as some form of Original Screenplay (either Story or Story and Screenplay). It isn’t until 1956 when it finally settles down into its current form.