March Madness

Well it is that time a year again here at My Side of the Bar. Yes indeed and I am not talking about the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Even though with one more win my
alma mater, The University of Northern Iowa Panthers will win the Missouri Valley Tournament and an automatic bid to the big dance.

What I am talking about is the madness of the Academy Awards being presented tonight for the 82nd time. The Oscars are always a special occasion here at My Side of the Bar as we consider ourselves somewhat of movie aficionados. However what makes the event this year pure “madness” is the movies up for the best picture Oscar.

"Avatar," "The Blind Side," "District 9," "An Education," "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds," "Precious," "A Serious Man," "Up," "Up in the Air"

Is this really all the better productions Hollywood could come up with this year? Hell I could have made a movie this year and had a chance for an award. Now to be fair it is well known that my belief is there have not been a good movie made since 1979 and this years nominees support that belief.

Honestly I think “Avatar” will run away with Best Picture, Best Director and probably several other awards. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Jeff Bridges will win the award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the faded country music musician is forced to reassess his dysfunctional life, Bad Blake in "Crazy Heart".

I realize that over the decades there have been many, many instances of pictures winning the Oscar that in retrospect we have troubling dealing with. Who can forget 1942 when “Citizen Kane” and “The Maltese Falcon” loosing out to “How Green Was My Valley. I should also point out that Citizen Kane is ranked at the number one movie of all time by the American Film Institute (AFI). Incidentally if you wish to see any of the above I have them in my collection and would be willing to loan them out.

Here are few more travesties in my opinion.

How could Billy Bob Thornton not win an Oscar for “Sling Blade”? This was one of the best performances ever in a movie. Dustin Hoffman won easily in 1988 for the same type of role? No disrespect to Mr. Hoffman and I really enjoyed “Rain Man” despite the fact Tom Cruise was in it and at least Billy Bob Thornton won an Oscar for Best Writing for a Screen Play based on material from another medium. Also Mr. Thornton is not stranger to being overlooked for great performances, remember 2001 and “Monsters Ball”? Winner of Best Picture that year and an Oscar for Best Actress to Halle Barry, Billy Bob was completely overlooked. Well I guess being naked with Halle Barry would not be a bad award in itself.

“Shakespeare in Love” winning Best Picture over “Saving Private Ryan” COME ON! And I will add that “Saving Private Ryan” is one picture made after 1979 that is one of my all time personal favorites and one of the top 100 pictures ranked by AFI.

I have to mention this year, because compared to this year it was a fantastic year for movies and it would be very difficult to have picked the winner

"American Beauty" (Winner of Best Picture), "The Cider House Rules", "The Green Mile", "The Insider", "The Sixth Sense"

In addition “American Beauty” Contains one of my favorite movie quotes.

Buddy Kane: [Carolyn is having sex in a motel room with the Real Estate King] Do you like getting nailed by the King?
Carolyn Burnham: Yes, your majesty!

Will Smith loosing out to Denzel Washington for Best Actor. Smith’s portrayal of
Ali was great and I could have even understood Russell Crowe winning for “A Beautiful Mind’ At least Ron Howard won.

What a sham, “Lord of the Rings” wins over “Mystic River”, WTH? And speaking of “Mystic River” Sean Penn and Tim Robbins win for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor which they deserved, but Kevin Bacon was completely overlooked for his role. ????

I could have writing this same article with the collection of “pooch” movies up for best picture.

Slumdog Millionaire," The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Frost/Nixon," "Milk," "The Reader"

How could “The Wrestler” not receive a nomination at the very least? And while I believe that Sean Penn did a great job in “Milk” I thought Mickey Rourke deserved the award. Well at least Kate Winslet won that year for “The Reader” The only reason I mention Kate is in my opinion she has one of the best natural bodies in Hollywood today.
And speaking of BODIES, if you want to see more of Marisa Tomei’s be sure to see “The Wrestler” as you get to see her in her entirety. MS. Tomei was also up for an Oscar that year for best supporting actress and did not win with the award going to Penelope Cruz in “Vicki” another one that has me scratching my heard.

Well enough for now my drink is empty and I need another, enjoy the awards.

For more on this years Academy Awards Visit


  1. The Oscars are one of those things that drive me crazy every year, although I thought they got a few right this year. The Hurt Locker was definitely better than Avatar. District 9 was a mess. Inglorious Bastards is definitely worth your time, if you can live with it being an alternate universe.

    Throughout the Oscar's history there have been some are my "Favorites". Keep in mind, I am going from recent memory vs movies I have watched on Turner Classic.

    1977 - Annie Hall wins over Star Wars.
    1979 - Kramer vs Kramer over Apocalypse Now
    1983 - Terms of Endearment over The Right Stuff
    1991 and 1994- Best years for all Nominees

    As to your list-

    1996- Billy Bob ALL THE WAY. Possibly one of the best total character immersion I have ever seen.

    1998 - I still vomit when I think of it.

    1999 - I like my two "Best years" better. i think 1999 was easy for American Beauty.

    2001 - Could have cared less

    2003 - What get's me, the worst of the LotR movies wins. Total sympathy vote.

    2008 - Horrid that the Wrestler didnt get a least a nod...and if it had, Best Picture and Best Actor.

    Overall, when you look back, the movies that we the people enjoyed are often overlooked by the Academy. But look at the influence on other movies and box office receipts....that tells who the real winners are.


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