And the Oscar went to…Patton
the 1971 Oscars offer us a melancholic collection of films. Outside of the bombastic Airport the other contenders offer sombre treatments of their subject matter, even the comedically unhinged MASH which looks into the quirky coping mechanisms of those serving in the army hospitals during the Korean War.
This is a particularly exciting list of nominees on initial thought. Patton has since become one of the great character portraits, anchored by one of the most fondly remembered performances of all time. MASH was named on the AFI’s top 100 films and spawned one of the most popular series of all time. Five Easy Pieces was an enormous favourite with the critics by the end of 1970, with Jack Nicholson offering one of his most fondly remembered performances. Rounding out the contenders are Airport and Love Story, two films which are considered the blue prints for their respective genres, the originators and prototypes.
So, with a healthy list of Hollywood heavy hitters to choose from, let’s find out if the Academy got it right Patton, or if we need another Rewrite.