You may have read Mike and Junior’s shared Oscar favorites last week. They both thought that Casablanca and Rocky deserved to be in the Top 5 Best Picture winners of all time. The three below are three of Mike’s Top 5 favorites. Keep in mind, Mike will be hosting an Oscar quiz tonight at the Westbury at 9 p.m.
THE GODFATHER. Greed, love, duplicity, murder, ambition, and cannolis: this film has it all. Great quotes, a wonderful roman a clef (which ties into another Best Picture winner: see footnote below**), and a stellar performance by Al Pacino in his first big role combine to make this a nearly perfect film.
JGT’s Take: No argument here. Brilliant film. That said, I think I like part II a little bit better (it also won Best Pic.)
PATTON: The opposite of Rocky, this film is big in every way. In an era full of larger-than-life characters, Patton was the largest. George C. Scott captures the essence of the man beautifully (check out You-Tube for some of Patton’s real-life speeches) and makes him accessible and more human at the same time. One of the greatest performances ever. Fun fact: Scott won, but declined to accept the Ocsar for Best Actor.
JGT’s Take: Embarrassed to say this: never seen it. I know. I know. Trust me, it’s on the short list.
GIGI: I can’t come up with any rational reason why I like this movie, so I’m not gonna try. More to the point, I’m not sure I want to know. It’s a corny musical (which generally annoys me) with a terrible social message (which REALLY annoys me) and worst of all, it’s set in France (which… well, you get the point). But for some reason, I really, really like this movie. Sue me.
JGT’s Take: Not embarrassed to say, I’ve never seen this. Mike encouraged me to DVR it, which I did. Will I actually ever sit down and watch it, or will it perpetually take up 7% of my DVR space? Only time will tell.
**It has been suggested that the character of Johnny Fontane was based on Frank Sinatra. The role he asks his Godfather to help him get is the fictional version of Maggio in From Here to Eternity, which won an Oscar for Best Picture and several others, including a Best Supporting Actor for Sinatra. This is much clearer in the book than the movie, but it’s hard not to make the connection in either case.