And the Rewritten Oscar goes to…All the President’s Men
Despite offering such a bright ray of light in an era of disillusioned films, Rockyjust couldn’t hold up. It’s a good film to be sure, but it’s sentimental leanings can’t stand up to the viscerality of Taxi Driver, the scathing satire of Network, or the thrilling realism and tightness of All the President’s Men.
What All the President’s Men offers us is one of the most focussed dramas I can recall, a film of amazing tension and detail that brings what so easily could have been a horribly banal study of journalism to a scary and vivacious life. For me Alan J. Pakula’s real life drama tops another strong field of contenders.
Its stiffest competition comes from two very powerful films in Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver and Sidney Lumet’s Network, two movies which just fall short in their slight emotional distance and overblown narrative respectively, but which provide two wonderfully evocative studies which have stood up magnificently in the last 40 years (Taxi Driver may have endured the best of the lot, delivering Scorsese his first of many cherished artworks.)
Bound for Glory feels like the unloved child among this list, but it too is a beautiful film in many ways which fantastically brings to life Desperation America, despite being ultimately lost among its fellow nominees in its lack of closeness with its protagonist.
All the President’s Men has to be the clear winner for me in another year which secures the 70’s as Hollywood’s best decade.
This makes you 5/12 Academy.
Ratings (out of 4)
Taxi Driver– ***3/4
All the President’s Men – ****
Bound for Glory– ***