Sunday, January 25, 2009

All the Twittered Best Picture Synopses

1928: Fighter pilots become friends despite rivalry over hometown beauty. One mistakenly kills the other, then finds love w/ girl next door.-

1929: A basic love triangle plot set backstage on Broadway is enlivened by songs and dances.-

1930: Patriotic recruits lose enthusiasm as they learn war is terrible & it is difficult to avoid death or dismemberment. They die.-

1931: Intellectually driven Wild-West hero & his fiery wife champion enlightened views & the growth of capitalism in a growing new town.-

1932: A flexible plot device allows all kinds of things happen in a Grand Hotel where people played by big stars happen to be staying.-

1933: Rich Londoners share their view of 30-odd years of world events.-

1934: Heiress marries unsuitably, has many adventures prior to consummation of marriage, then marries even more unsuitably.-

1935: Oppressed and enraged by naval discipline, sailors mutiny and seek paradise by settling on a tropical island.-

1936: Florenz Ziegfeld produced some great shows, and some examples of his brilliance are presented.-

1937: Emile Zola was friends with Cezanne and a public voice for justice during the Dreyfus affair. He also wrote some novels.-

1938: Alice quite reasonably doubts her wacky family will get along with her love’s family. Wackiness ensues, and triumphs.-

1939: The downfall of a decadent and degrading slave-owning caste-based society is presented in the most romantic light possible.-

1940: Crazy housekeeper obsessed with dead first wife drives new bride to doubt husband and her own sanity, then burns the house down.-

1941: Life is hard for a mining family, as recalled by a man as he leaves town.-

1942: Resolve and good will sustain an English family at the opening of WWII, despite losses. The sermon sums up everyone’s feelings.-

1943: Not everything is negotiable in times of deadly uncertainty: a kiss is still a kiss, and they will always have had Paris.-

1944: Father O’Malley sings just like Bing Crosby and does very well in his new parish.-

1945: A drunk fails to completely alienate all his friends, despite best efforts. Eventually, he cleans up his act and starts writing.-

1946: War veterans return home and struggle, but do adapt to post-war civilian life. One wife cheats and is replaced.-

1947: A journalist is shocked by antisemitism in society and in his girlfriend. His article is well received and he himself is not Jewish.-

1948: A middle-aged guy portrays Hamlet and everything else is pretty much like the Shakespeare play.-

1949: A politician gets everything he wants but loses everything he had. Hangers-on engage in diffident alcoholic romance.-

1950: A scheming young actress gains fame and fortune through manipulation, con-artistry & blackmail, but she’d better look out.-

1951: A painter sings and dances about ex-pat life in Paris. All the women want him and he gets the one he wants.-

1952: A basic love triangle plot set backstage in a circus is enlivened by circus acts & by Jimmy Stewart as a clown.-

1953: All the good guys get killed by their own military brethren almost before Pearl Harbor even happens. Two women both love one of them.-

1954: A longshoreman throws a fight at the insistence of a mob boss. This, plus all the killings, drives him to fight the mob's power.-

1955: Unattractive man meets unattractive woman. Things could be great. His family and friends put her down, but he makes the right call. -

1956: An English gentleman circumnavigates the globe on a bet. He & his valet have adventures. Arrested on return, he barely wins the bet.-

1957: War methodically builds and explosively destroys two men and one bridge.-

1958: A delightful girl raised to be a courtesan deserves and achieves honorable marriage. Narration and songs by Maurice Chevalier.-

1959: Hero has epic adventures in ancient Rome, meets Jesus, and learns the glory of forgiveness.-

1960: Good man lets bosses use his place to have adultery. He grows a spine, loses job, gets girl. Fred MacMurray plays a jerk.-

1961: Kind of like Romeo and Juliet with singing and dancing. Male lead and others die, female lead lives. Feud is ended by her love song.-

1962: After his death, we learn more about a man who had lived and fought among desert peoples for as long his country found him useful.-

1963: An orphan’s good heart sees him through many adventures. The truth about his birth helps bring about a happy ending.-

1964: For intellectual self-gratification, an emotional cripple teaches a poor woman fine speech & manners. Oddly, she comes back to him.-

1965: A governess and her new family teach the world that love and music can win small but emotionally powerful victories over Nazis.-

1966: A great man’s conscience holds firm against a determined king. He is beloved by the people, but executed for his inflexibility.-

1967: After a rocky start, intelligent police detectives overcome serious racial tension, learn to respect one another, & solve the crime.-

1968: An orphan’s good heart sees him through many adventures. The truth about his birth helps bring about a happy ending.-

1969: Successive yearned-for promised lands deliver worsening degradation and despair for young men who have only each other.-

1970: Biopic provokes question whether a great general is necessarily a great or even a good man.-

1971: Cops nail most of the bad guys after some exciting chases and show-downs.-

1972: A powerful crime family keeps having to postpone any transition to totally legitimate business practices.-

1973: Elaborate cons are especially entertaining to watch when the leading men are this good-looking.-

1974: A powerful crime family continues to postpone a transition to totally legitimate business practices. This time w/ prequel flashbacks.-

1975: A madcap squeaky wheel does indeed get the grease.-

1976: Underdog writer/actor wins Best Picture with inspiring story of underdog boxer with a shot at the championship.-

1977: Woody Allen.-

1978: Childhood friends pledge bond to each other before joining up but nothing can mend what breaks inside them during the war.-

1979: A rough custody battle ends unjustly in the courts. Victorious but shaken Mom relents and returns custody to Dad.-

1980: Dad and the remaining son in an affluent family are able to reach each other after some counseling and then giving up on Mom.-

1981: Some old-timey athletes are just incredibly inspiring.-

1982: Epic biopic shows one man’s part in India’s non-violent move to independence and violent reaction to partition.-

1983: A standard family drama plus romance is turned into a standard tearjerker tragedy by cancer.-

1984: The possession of genius is a terrible burden for the possessor and for everybody around him.-

1985: It’s bound to end in tears, but she does it anyway. Fabulous costumes and spectacular scenery.-

1986: A platoon in Vietnam is divided by death, dismemberment, differing philosophies of war, and internal violence.-

1987: A child deity survives the fall of the empire that worships him by growing to be a man.-

1988: A good-looking but emotionally stunted salesman improves when he learns to love his new-found autistic brother.-

1989: A rich but emotionally stunted white woman improves when she learns to respect her new black chauffeur. -

1990: A strong but emotionally stunted white man improves when he learns to respect members of indigenous tribes he had been fighting.-

1991: A brilliant psycho exchanges information for advantage in a disturbing pas de deux with a green FBI agent hunting a serial killer.-

1992: The strong kill the weak and also each other in the Wild West, and there is no moral to the story.-

1993: One well-connected man in the right place at the right time has the will to do right and saves many lives.-

1994: A cheerful but emotionally stunted American populace improves when it learns to love a mentally disabled everyman.-

1995: William Wallace provokes an uprising and then galvanizes followers for the Bruce by getting betrayed and beheaded.-

1996: Certain people are ruled almost completely by their passions, no matter what their facade might suggest.-

1997: A scrappy survivor finds love on the greatest ship in the world, then drowns. The ingenue finds a new life with his inspiration.-

1998: Wow, what if a bunch of Shakespeare’s plot devices were, like, inspired by wacky real life events, and Gwyneth Paltrow was there?-

1999: True happiness is startling, peculiar, and difficult to find among the temptations and beauty of suburban life.-

2000: A hero cast into slavery rises to prominence in the arena and gladly trades his life for vengeance on a wicked emperor.-

2001: Taking the bad with the good is difficult for Nash, his wife, & his imaginary friends & tormentors, but he does win a Nobel Prize.-

2002: Actresses dance and Richard Gere sings surprisingly well in this film adaptation of a Fosse show about bad people.-

2003: The good guys win despite grueling conditions and increasingly bad hair, and some of the good bits of the book are left out.-

2004: Loners come together, find hope and family in each other, then are parted by death under a circumstance of tragic necessity.-

2005: Apparently racism still exists, there is crime and poverty, and it sure would be good if we could solve some of these problems.-

2006: The barrier between self-identifying as a cop and self-identifying as a criminal is vague and permeable, esp for Moles. Body count.-

2007: The moral is: Don’t mess with bags of money from drug deals unless you are the one doing all the killing.-


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