The list junkie in me just got another great list-fix this morning. Three of the writers over at Time Out New York have cooked up a very cool, comprehensive list of the 50 Most Deserving Oscar Winners, in ranked order. We're not talking just Best Picture winners either. Their list includes Cinematography, Animated Short, Score, Song Score, Makeup, and the lot. Starting at the bottom of the list, at #50, it's good to know that The Third Man won Best Cinematography in 1950, even beating out such worthy adversaries as Sunset Boulevard, All About Eve, The Furies and The Asphalt Jungle. Too bad Orson Welles wasn't nominated for his supporting performance. Next up at #49 is also a good one, Joel and Ethan Coen winning Best Director(s) for No Country for Old Men. I applaud this one because I know that the outstanding film critic Dave Fear, who wrote the blurb, chose There Will Be Blood as the best film of the decade, and the Coens beat out Paul Thomas Anderson that year in that category. It shows good sportsmanship.
The rest of the list is just as entertaining and unpredictable. George Arliss, a Best Actor winner for Disraeli in 1930, turns up at #47. He was the first actor to win for playing a real person, a tradition that continues to this day. Jerry Goldsmith's winning score for The Omen comes in at #46, a total oddball choice, but a great one. (How on earth could a horror movie score beat out the two final scores by Bernard Herrmann?) Ingmar Bergman's great The Virgin Spring comes in at #45 for Best Foreign Language film of 1961. It's hard to imagine something so personal and artistic winning in today's field of mostly self-important message movies.
The list goes on, and I'll do you the favor of letting you discover it for yourself. Just about everything here is worth checking out, especially #2. Hopefully the voters will choose something this year that will be worthy of future lists.