Sunday, January 23, 2005

The moviegoer

It's nearly Oscar time, so for fun I looked over the Best Picture nominees of years past and noted which ones I saw in their initial release, from the first year I saw an Oscar-nominated film au cin�ma: 1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark. (I was ten; I saw it thrice.)

I saw all five nominated films in only two years: 1992 (Unforgiven, The Crying Game, A Few Good Men, Howards End, Scent of a Woman) and 1996 (The English Patient, Fargo, Jerry Maguire, Secrets & Lies, Shine). In 1994 I saw four of five (Forrest Gump, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Quiz Show, The Shawshank Redemption) but refused to see the fifth film, Pulp Fiction, on the perverse theory that because it both was popular and hip, it couldn't be any good.

Otherwise, most years I saw at least one Oscar-nominated film on the big screen. For two exceptions I plead adolescence: 1983 (Terms of Endearment, The Big Chill
(was this really nominated for best picture?), The Dresser (I had to look it up; it looks good), The Right Stuff, Tender Mercies) and 1986 (Platoon, Children of a Lesser God, Hannah and Her Sisters (now one of my favorite films), The Mission, A Room with a View). As for the other exception, 2001 (A Beautiful Mind, Gosford Park, In the Bedroom, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Moulin Rouge), what can I say? It was a weird year.

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