Saturday, July 3, 2021

Alternate Oscars: Best Picture and Director of 1960 (Re-Do)

My favorite movie of 1960 is The Apartment, closely followed by The Magnificent Seven, but after much to-ing and fro-ing, I finally decided Psycho was the best picture of the year because if you make a stabbing motion with your hand and go "ekk-ekk-ekk" nearly any movie fan will know what you're talking about. There's no other movie from 1960 with that kind of impact on the culture.
But I went with Jean-Luc Goddard for best director because Breathless had the biggest impact on the movies. Basically, every time you see a movie or television show shot with a hand-held camera, you're looking at Breathless ...

Note: I originally had La Dolce Vita down as a 1960 movie — which made sense since I have been nominating foreign movies (including British movies) in the year they were released in their home country while nominating Hollywood movies in the year they were Oscar eligible.

But then I wound up nominating Sophia Loren for best actress in 1961 even though the movie Two Women was released in its home country in 1960 — she won the Oscar for best actress in 1961, the first time an actor or actress won a competitive Oscar and that seemed like reason enough to make an exception.

So I've decided the same rule should apply for La Dolce Vita, which was a big hit in Europe in 1960 but which won an Oscar for best costume design and received three other nominations, including best director, in 1961. It's a great movie that might otherwise go to waste in 1960, so to 1961 it goes.

As I've said before, the real point of this exercise is to create a God's-eye view of the history of movies — what was going on at a particular moment, who was influencing what — rather than an Academy-eye view of what the marketplace deemed worthy of releasing in Los Angeles in a given year. Which is tough to pull off because I'm not God.
Anyway, I'm making an exception in this case if for no other reason than to prove that I can.

My choices are noted with a ★. A tie is indicated with a ✪. Historical Oscar winners are noted with a ✔. Best foreign-language picture winners are noted with an ƒ. A historical winner who won in a different category is noted with a ✱.

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