Oscar Chit-Chat: Best Picture Analysis

Let's analyse the Oscar contenders for 2007, and deduce who's more worthy of the coveted trophy for this year's Best Picture!

Frontrunners: Babel, The Departed
Dark Horse: Little Miss Sunshine

Over the years, I've been wondering what's the definition of a 'best picture'. Does 'best picture' imply 'best film of the year' or 'best production (but not necessarily best film) of the year'? I strongly believe that this award should be given to the latter. To analyse further, here's the trend of past 'best picture' winners of the past ten years.

In my opinion,

2006 winner: Crash
Should have been: Brokeback Mountain (best production)
Might have been: Munich (best film)

2005 winner: Million Dollar Baby
Should have been: The Aviator (best production & best film)

2004 winner: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (best production & best film)

2003 winner: Chicago
Should have been: Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (best production & best film)

2002 winner: A Beautiful Mind
Should have been: Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (best production)
Might have been: In The Bedroom (best film)

2001 winner: Gladiator (best production)
Might have been: Traffic (best film)

2000 winner: American Beauty (best production & best film)

1999 winner: Shakespeare In Love
Should have been: Saving Private Ryan (best production & best film)

1998 winner: Titanic (best production & best film)

1997 winner: The English Patient (best production)
Might have been: Tie between Shine or Secrets And Lies (best film)

This year, we have Babel (best production), and The Departed (best film) going head-to-head. The Academy is often reluctant to acknowledge foreign productions, so Letters From Iwo Jima is unlikely to win. The Queen, and Little Miss Sunshine are considered 'lightweight', and the trend of shocks will end this year, so both are unlikely candidates too.

Of the last ten years, films have not won the Best Picture award because of 'best film' only. It's a mixture of shock results, and films that are both 'best film & production'. So my prediction goes to Babel to win the Best Picture category for this year.

Stay tuned!

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