The 89th annual Academy Awards air Sunday and there is a 100 percent chance I’m getting Oscar-drunk. (Boxed wine because I’m all sorts of classy.) After completing a marathon of every Best Picture winner in the history of the Academy Awards, I’ve earned this one.
To celebrate this year’s swanky ceremony, we are counting down the worst of the best, and commiserating on the time I spent watching these horrid etches in film history (well, that sounds dramatic, but par for the Oscars course, I say). Let’s throw shade at some of these mostly-acclaimed-but-sort-of-hated title holders.
Because sometimes, the Academy is wrong.
10. No Country for Old Men (2007)
Spare me about how the Coen Brothers are your fave. (Not all their movies are “The Big Lebowski,” so stop it.) Yes, they’re auteurs who put their own unique styling into every film they touch. But “No Country for Old Men,” starring Tommy Lee Jones as a soon-to-retire sheriff who’s tracking a thief and a hitman in rural Texas, is quite possibly one of the slowest films I’ve ever seen. Many call this movie a cat-and-mouse drama, but it’s more attune to watching a bunch of turtles chase each other, if you can imagine something that riveting. The Coen Brothers tend to be very polarizing, and “Fargo,” this one is not.
9. Out of Africa (1985)
If you want to test your patience, try “Out of Africa,” a nearly three-hour romantic drama set in 20th century colonial Kenya. Meryl Streep is a Danish baroness and plantation owner who starts up a steamy (not really) love affair with a free-spirited (I guess) game hunter, played by Robert Redford. Karen tells us via narration that she once had a farm in Africa no less than 12 times in 10 minutes. They move to Africa. She wants a dairy farm, so he buys a coffee plantation instead(?). There’s far more brutal, mind-numbing non-action, yet the only thing I dug was the cool lion scenes. Consider an actual safari in Africa instead.
8. Patton (1970)
If I never see another war movie, it will be too soon. Biased? Maybe. But I am just a person. George C. Scott’s performance as General Patton is really the main focal point here. Scott tackled the role with icy command, delivering Patton’s vulgar speeches to his troops with hard-driving gusto. Wikipedia calls (the real) Patton “colorful” but in reality, he was sort of a dick. But it was Scott’s lead that helped carry this over-extended, nearly three-hour-long war film over the finish line. Whenever Scott wasn’t on screen, my attention waned hard.
7. Gigi (1958)
Set in turn-of-the-century Paris, Gigi is trying to find her bearings among high society. She’s sent to her Great Aunt’s swank pad to learn etiquette and charm, so she can marry a rich man and be his arm candy (eyeroll). Gigi starts keeping the company of a token rich white guy, and YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! “Gigi” is not only predictable, but insatiably forgettable. None of the musical’s songs strikes any sort of fervor or fancy. Forget it existed and watch “My Fair Lady” instead.
6. The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
No, no, no, no, NO.
5. The King’s Speech (2010)
“The King’s Speech” is a film about King George VI who tries desperately to get over a stuttering problem. (That’s the actual premise. Ugh) While Geoffrey Rush is the most interesting pull here, (he plays the king’s Australian speech and language therapist) there’s nothing else to grab on to. Helena Bonham Carter showed up to remind us all that she was still married to Tim Burton (seriously, why the hell else was she getting cast?). I’m all for tales of overcoming adversity, but this was a stretch.
4. (Laurence Olivier’s) Hamlet (1948)
Shakespeare and I are not friends. We wouldn’t have sat at the same lunch table, I wouldn’t have let him borrow my notes. The more my high school English teacher crawled over desks, delivering soliloquies like she was on a stage (in her head she was), the more I tried to disappear. When it comes to Laurence Olivier, I’m true to my inner Mariah: “I don’t know him.” Let’s just say that “Hamlet” was long as hell, British as hell, far too stagey for film, and my favorite memory was the killer chili oil stir fry I made for dinner that night. Caring is hard sometimes.
3. The English Patient (1996)
Here are five things you should do instead of watching “The English Patient.” Focus on number five. That’s the kicker.
2. Chariots of Fire (1981)
These lost two hours could have been better spent watching Reality TV, eating peanut butter from the jar Winnie the Pooh style, or recording my cat doing anything. Also, running is stupid. I like working out and all, but the only time you’ll see me running is if there’s a zombie apocalypse. Then my running game will be strong. But an insanely stuffy British movie about the 1924 Olympics? Hard pass.
1. The Last Emperor (1987)
I would’ve rather watched “Jem and the Holograms.” Or any Kate Hudson rom-com. “The Last Emperor” is a British-Italian biographical film about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China. It feels like the most boring day you’ve ever had in high school. You’re wowed by the China porn in the beginning, but all your wanderlust is quickly destroyed. It will crush your soul, leaving you a mere shell of the being you once were. It’s like opening up your emoji keyboard and finding every single one of them replaced by the sad face with the single tear. Jokes! But in all seriousness, the struggle is real.
Sometimes entertainment just isn’t that entertaining.
Which Oscar winners did you loathe? Sound off below.