Academy Gripe 1: Give Scorsese His Due!

| October 1, 2006

Like many people, I love to watch the Oscars. There is just something magical about a four hour program that lets Hollywood celebrate itself for the entire world to see. But as much as I enjoy the show, there have been some abominational (yes, I made that up) decisions that they have made. And yes I know, everyone has certain gripes with certain films. But I am talking about universal right and wrongs, not petty biases people have with the way actor’s look, talk, or heck, even act.
One of the more idiotic decisions in the past decade was the so-shocking-it-induced-a-heart-attack winning of Shakespeare in Love over Saving Private Ryan. Even seven years later, people are still angry. That is a universal wrong in all the eyes of people that stand for good in this world. Even people who liked this film know deep down inside that it couldn’t stand in the same room with Saving Private Ryan. That feeling you got when you took a cookie as a kid and knew it was wrong is exactly how these people feel inside.
But I am not going to rant on and on about bad decisions. I am ranting because the Three 6 Mafia have an Oscar and Martin Scorsese does not. Just like Jon Stewart so eloquently put, Three 6 Mafia 1, Scorsese 0. In the illustrious career of a legendary director, how is that he has failed to win an award with so many great films under his belt. Not only does he have four losses under his belt for best director, his films have never won best picture. That makes absolutely no sense. Let’s take a closer look.

  • In 1977, Rocky, beat Taxi Driver for Best Picture.
  • In 1991, Dancing with Wolves beat Goodfellas for Best Picture.
  • In 2003, Chicago beat Gangs of New York for Best Picture.
  • In 1981, Robert Redford won Best Director for Ordinary People over Scorsese for Raging Bull.
  • In 1989, Barry Levinson won Best Director for Rain Man over Scorsese for Last Temptation of Christ.
  • In 2003, Roman Polanski won Best Director for The Pianist over Scorsese for Gangs of New York.
  • In 2005, Clint Eastwood won Best Director for Million Dollar Baby over Scorsese for The Aviator.

Although I may not disagree with every decision here, it is stunning he hasn’t held Oscar gold yet. Much like Alfred Hitchcock, they may both end up without winning anything but be remembered as some of the best directors of all time.
Now I am not saying that winning this award promises you success nor am I saying it is a necessary ingredient for great filmmakers. It just behooves me that the Academy hasn’t shown any love for Scorsese over such a long period of time. When one has been making films for over four decades and still have yet to claim a statue, you got to think, it probably never will happen.
Maybe there is a political aspect that I am not grasping since we do all know how very political these award shows can get. Remember the three straight years of dominating the box office and setting records, gather overwhelming critical acclaim but Lord of the Rings never won the big prize. But in year three, the Academy voted in 100% favor for it to win absolutely everything (which was a tad over the top). At times, they ignore the rightful winners, only to pay them back years later regardless of what else is out there.
Academy members need to give Scorsese his due. Don’t make him wait for his lifetime achievement award so everyone can know how much better he is than 98% of Hollywood and his honored by the same people who fucked him over time and time again. Just give him an award already.
Don’t forget to check out Clint Fletcher’s other hidey hole here on the web: http://filmmonthlyblog.blogspot.com/

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