By Tyler Kilian
Multiple viewings do not a best picture make
To the Editor:
Michael Lockman asserted that the title of Best Picture" is "...not for the Academy to find ("'Titanic' better than most," Mar. 31)." Given this assertion, I would ask Mr. Lockman what the purpose of the Academy Award for best picture really is.
The simple fact, and original point of Jamie Kanter's article ("Why 'Titanic' should have sunk at the Oscars," Mar. 26), is that the Academy Award is supposed to represent a cinematic ideal. The Best Picture Oscar is traditionally assigned to the movie with the best blend of acting, plot and dialogue - each summarized by the Best Actors categories and the Best Screenplay category. "Titanic" did not win even one Oscar in these vital areas.
Academy Awards are supposed to be objective and not based on emotions or popularity. After all, "Titanic" may be a wonderful movie, but should it win the highest honor of an Oscar?
My friend has seen it at least five times. Desire to see a movie multiple times does not a Best Picture" make. By the same token, just because a movie wins an Academy Award, does not mean that I want to see it more than once.
For instance, I love the movie "True Lies." I think its a wonderful movie. I am downright religious about it. I am willing to ignore all outside opinions on its merits as a piece of art. Does it deserve Best Picture? No. Would I give it one? Probably. If 30 million Tylers liked it equally well, would it be more deserving of the award? Of course not.
If the Academy Awards are to retain credibility and truly represent the best of the best movies in a given year, then future choices must be based solely on objective criteria.