And the Rewritten Oscar goes to…Nashville
If the list of Best Picture nominees is anything to go by, 1975 (celebrated by the 1976 Oscars) must have been the greatest year in American movie history.
Every film is wonderful and completely unique. 1975 gave us the greatest monster movie ever made in Jaws, we received a Kubrickian period epic, a intimate character portrait in Sidney Lumet’s true tale of out-of-their-depth bank robbers and a riveting and inspiring battle for self worth in Milos Forman’s eventual Best Picture winner. But for me, even amongst so many amazing movies, Robert Altman’s sprawling study of fame and politics stands tall as one of the most affecting films ever made.
The Academy couldn’t have made a wrong choice given the nominees of the year, they honestly do all deserve the Academy’s top prize, and if they weren’t all up against each other it’s not hard to imagine they would have, but Nashville is one of those films that I’ve thought about every day since I first saw it. Robert Altman has done something truly special with his distinctly realistic take on the Nashville music scene and the looming societal disillusionment so often documented in movies from the time.
I can’t stress enough the brilliance of every 1976 contender. I should be happy the Academy at least honoured nothing but the best with its list of nominees, and the remarkable endurance of each of the films since confirms how special the year was.
Still, I can’t help but feel a rewrite is in order. Robert Altman’s Nashville gets my tick of approval, not that Cuckoo’s Nest didn’t make a good fist of it. This makes the Academy 5/11.
Ratings (out of 4)
Dog Day Afternoon– ****
Barry Lyndon– ****