And the Rewritten Oscar goes to…Patton
Patton is a masterpiece, for me it’s the best film we’ve come across on this journey to date, and despite some fantastic competition, it would have been extremely difficult to overlook for the top prize.
That said MASH and Five Easy Pieces offer two brilliant nominated companions. Whilst MASH draws more on comedy and Five Easy Pieces on drama,both achieve a beautiful synthesis of humour and melancholia, with both proving truly haunting in their own unique ways
Elsewhere the other two nominees Love Story and Airport, whilst serviceable, ultimately wallow too reliantly on melodrama to have any real meaning of substance, despite moments of tenderness and excitement respectively.
In the end, as the character himself did, it’s Patton that rules the field. It’s an amazing character portrait, one of loneliness, grit and beauty, and despite the best attempts of Arthur Hiller, it’s the story of the crazed General and his war that brings us the most tragic love story captured in 1970.
Following his iconic performance George C. Scott would famously decline the Academy Award for Best Actor, however I suspect he couldn’t get his hands on the Rewritten Oscar fast enough.
The Academy chose the right film in 1971, no adjustment required, and this makes them 2/6.
Five Easy Pieces- ***3/4
Love Story- **1/2
(Ratings are out of 4)