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OSCARS OUTRAGES POLL - VOTE: The real best picture of 1995?

November 12, 2007 | 10:15 pm

Apologies for the slow-down at this blog while I'm distracted with work for our Envelope print section in the L.A. Times. Meantime, while I finish up, let's make more mischief with Gold Derby's infamous series of polls on Oscars Outrages!

Personally, I think that the worst Oscars choice for best picture in modern times was "Braveheart," an unwatchably awful movie full of lousy writing, amateur acting and three hours of flying severed body parts. The reasons it swept the Oscars were twofold: there was mayhem among the precursor awards and, let's be honest, voters suddenly went crazy, as they often do, over a movie helmed by a studly actor-turned-director: Mel Gibson. Kevin Costner's "Dances with Wolves" is another example of this outrageous, embarrassing phenom.


Early in the 1995 derby, it looked like the eventual best-pic winner might be "Sense and Sensibility" or "Apollo 13." "Sense and Sensibility" won National Board of Review, the Critics Choice Award, BAFTA and the Golden Globe for best drama picture. "Apollo 13" was the best-pic choice of the Producers Guild of America and it won the ensemble acting award at SAG. Unfortunately, "Apollo 13's" actor-turned-director Ron Howard wasn't studly and too many Hollywooders cruelly punished him for the crime of once having been America's Dimpled Everyboy, Opie Taylor, when he starred on "The Andy Griffith Show" TV series as a child. Howard won the DGA award in 1995, but wasn't even nominated for best director at the Oscars where "Apollo 13" was up for best picture. Nonetheless, "Apollo 13" was taken so seriously as a contender that lots of top media, including the L.A. Times, predicted it would win.

But something strange happened at the Golden Globes that derailed the whole derby, which was already askew when DGA didn't line up with the Oscar list for best director. Even though "Sense and Sensibility" won best drama picture and "Babe" took the prize for best comedy/musical movie, the director's Globe went to Mel Gibson for "Braveheart," which won no best-picture kudos from any other award groups. Suddenly, Gibson's win set off a juggernaut that quietly gathered momentum as Oscar day approached.

The awards from print critics were split that year: "Leaving Las Vegas" won best picture from the New York and L.A. journos and "Babe" won best picture from the National Society of Film Critics.

Below are the top five Oscar nominees. Which one was really the best?

The comments to this entry are closed.


If FORREST GUMP didn't win in 1994, BRAVEHEART would be the worst film that won an Oscar. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY should have won. That's obvious.

None of the above. LEAVING LAS VEGAS was the best picture of 1995

Braveheart was the right choice. Despite some flaws, it is a a great film on several levels and will join the classics. The real shame is that the Oscar for best score went to "Il Postino." That was Braveheart's award by rights.

I really don't understand the animosity towards "Braveheart". Great cinematography, excellent score, brilliantly structured and written if you think about it (what other film like it - set in Medeival Brtiain - has been imprinted in audiences's memories even slightly?). This is the problem with "Oscar critics" - one day they'll be having a go at the Academy for being too elitist and out of touch with the public and the audiences which the movies are made for, and then the other day they'll be bashing a movie like "Braveheart", which audiences happen to ABSOLUTELY LOVE. Almost everyone I know has "Braveheart" as one of their favorite films ever. Maybe it's time critics got over themselves. Yes, the apparently-can-do-no-wrong Ang Lee directed "Sense & Sensibility" and yes, "Apollo 13" was more "worthy", but "Braveheart" was just more damn entertaining and emotional and has gone down in history much better than any of the other films.

Face it, 1995 was one of the years where Oscar actually got it right.

Best Pictures of 1995 were Sense and Sensibility, Leaving Las Vegas, Babe and Il Postino. Period

The real best picture of 1995 was Se7en. However, of the actual nominees, Apollo 13.

Tom what is it with the hyperbole? BRAVEHEART is "unwatchable"? Then why is it so watchable? It's a good but not great action film with great cinematography and one of the classic scores in film history. Mel Gibson is also tremendous in it, and should have been shortlisted for Best Actor. It's a B+ movie that doesn't hold a candle to the classics of 1995, but it's certainly not an unsurprising victor. For someone obsessed with the Oscars, you sure do hate them.

This was a hard year. I think the one think many can agree upon is that "Braveheart" did not deserve to win. While I enjoyed "S&S" more and think it's a better movie than "Apollo 13," I think "Apollo 13" should have won. It's a beautifully done American movie about America and while that shouldn't matter, I think people would have liked to see it in the list of Best Pic winners. (I also think Ed Harris was stronger than Kevin Spacey in "Usual Suspects" - a movie that seems really bad upon rewatching - but his performance was quieter, but none of this matters now). "S&S" is near perfect but I can understand why it didn't win - too many people think it's a chick-flick.

Have to agree with We Had Faces Then.. My personal 5 best pic nominees would have been Babe, The Bridges of Madison County, Casino, Dead Man Walking and Leaving Las Vegas. And I should name many more before arriving to choose Braveheart

How anyone can call Braveheart the worst best picture winner of modern times when Crash is one of the options is certainly beyond me.

Heat was the best picture of 1995. Apollo 13, Dead Man Walking, Leaving Las Vegas, Usual Suspects all deserved to be nominated along with it. Or even Sense and Sensibility or Babe.

Braverheart was crap. Not quite Gladiator crap. But still crap.

None of the above. Should have gone to either "Dead Man Walking," "The Usual Suspects," "Nixon" or "The Bridges of Madison County" that year. Probably throw in "Leaving Las Vegas" for good measure and THOSE should have been the five Best Picture nominees.

Come on, Dances with Wolves is infinitely better than Braveheart. It's not fair to put them in the same sentence.

Babe, and its even better sequel Babe: Pig in the City stand as some of the best films of any genre released in the 1990s. Apollo 13 is probably Ron Howard's best movie (although that is like saying its a gold medalist at the Special Olympics), but that doesn't hold a candle to Babe. Seriously go watch it and its sequel again or for the first time and witness true cinematic art.

Braveheart has to be the best movie of that year. It told a great story and kept u on the edge of ur seat the whole time. Sense and sensibility is a boring chick flick.

Apollo 13, without a doubt

I won't even hear an argument in favor of any other choice.



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