John Madden’s film, worn by Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Judi Dench and Geoffrey Rush, returns to France 5.
In March 1999 came out Shakespeare in Love, a film by John Madden starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Judi Dench and Geoffrey Rush, which had just received 7 Oscars when it arrived in French cinemas. Two decades later, he returns to France 5, preceded not by an excellent reputation as one might imagine following this triumph, but… by mockery. Over time, he has indeed become the symbol of Oscar-winning productions that did not deserve their statuettes: at the time, it was producer Harvey Weinstein who would have pushed so hard behind the scenes for him to triumph, on the nose and the beard of The Red line and D’We must save the soldier Ryan. So is it really that bad? Let’s stop for a moment on this example, but also on other films at the Oscars that have caused controversy, to fully understand what he is accused of.
Glenn Close tackles Gwyneth Paltrow and her Oscar for Shakespeare in Love
What’s good about the Oscars is that the list of Best Picture winners also makes it possible to draw up an official typology of what a “great American film” should be (from wings to titanic Passing by Eve and The Godfather) than to write a counter-history of US cinema, pointing out the errors of judgment, the false values, the big balloons, the turnips celebrated despite common sense. So here is our Oscars Flop 5, the worst of from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, five films that were anything but the best, and thanks to which the word Oscar is not only synonymous with masterpiece but also with ugly crust.
Around the world in 80 days (Michael Anderson, 1956)
In the middle of the fifties, Hollywood was disoriented. The competition from TV is fierce and the industry reacts by making bigger and bigger films, more and more expensive, more and more spectacular, to see absolutely on the big screen. A good idea which will generate some classics in solid gold (often signed David Lean) then the collapse of the system, fifteen years later. The Oscar awarded to this elephantine, endless and horribly soft adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel is proof that things were frankly not going well. In the Oscar mammoth genre, we would rather have placed our marbles on The ten Commandments Where Giant, big losers of the 29th ceremony. And in the masterpiece genre, 1956 was also the year of The Prisoner of the Desert. One of the most complex, majestic and influential films in the history of cinema. A big success, moreover. Number of Oscar nominations The Prisoner of the Desert ? Zero.
Oliver! (Carol Reed, 1968)
In 1968 released on US screens The Planet of the Apes, Rosemary’s Baby, 2001, a space odyssey, Night of the Living Dead, The Party, The Boston Stranglerthe Faces by John Cassavetes… It’s been a pivotal year full of masterpieces. The Oscars will not name any of these films and will instead choose to dedicate Oliver!Broadway version of theOliver Twist by Dickens, signed Carol Reed. To tell the truth, we have nothing against this somewhat clumsy musical. It’s just that he became the emblem of an Academy then completely blind, unable to feel that the wind of History had changed. The following year, she will make up for it by crowning an X-rated film about two New York gigolos (tarmac cowboy). In order to permanently relegate films like Oliver! to oblivion. Besides, who remembers?
Miss Daisy and her driver (Bruce Beresford, 1989)
When a film is nominated for an Oscar for best picture and its director is not nominated for an Oscar for best director, it’s usually a bad sign. The sign, for example, that the feature film in question is more like a cooking, harmless, boring TV movie. Edifying bluette on the friendship between an old lady and her nice black driver, Miss Daisy… has a slight side Uncle Tom’s Cabinbolstered by the fact that it was released the same year as Spike Lee’s anthological rant Do the right thing (only nominated for the screenplay and supporting role played by Danny Aiello). But the triumph of Miss Daisy at the Oscars has mostly revealed that these awards are given by very, very, very old people.
Shakespeare in love (John Madden, 1998)
It’s so dumb, Shakespeare in love ? This movie gets bad press but is it really worse than, say, The Broadway Melody (soft musical comedy which won the Oscar in 1930) or The Life of Emile Zola (the first “Oscars biopic” in history)? Maybe not actually. But he has become a symbol. The symbol that a blitzkrieg promotional campaign by warlord Harvey Weinstein could make any film triumph, and convince Hollywood to award its supreme reward to a crowd pleaser gentleman rather than the downtrodden The Red line Where We must save the soldier Ryan, also named that evening and left empty-handed. Hard to swallow. Since that day, it’s like this: we love to hate Shakespeare in love.
Collision (Paul Haggis, 2005)
A hit signed Paul Haggis, screenwriter for Eastwood and creator, let us recall it treacherously, of Walker Texas Ranger. A small collective hallu from the mid-2000s, a precious testimony to the disastrous aesthetic influence that Inarritu and the TV series may have had on mainstream “adult” cinema at the time. Movies that took themselves seriously and understood, in the case of Collision, a scholarly dissertation on America’s post-9/11 racial divides and traffic problems in Los Angeles. An entire program. In a recent “honest trailer” of Batman BeginsRa’s al Ghul was heard enumerating the scourges of humanity wrought by the League of Shadows over the centuries: Collision“. That’s it. No better.
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The Worst Best Picture Oscars, From Shakespeare in Love to Miss Daisy and Her Chauffeur