February 24, 2007
Best Picture Presenter?

The Independent Spirit Awards are starting up about now, but they bore me. So I thought I'd do a little research on the Best Picture presenters and see what kind of trends we come across. Here are the presenters of the last 25 Best Picture Oscars:

2005: Jack Nicholson ("Crash")
2004: Babara Streisand ("Million Dollar Baby")
2003: Steven Spielberg ("The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King")
2002: Kirk Douglas and Michael Douglas ("Chicago")
2001: Tom Hanks ("A Beautiful Mind")
2000: Michael Douglas ("Gladiator")
1999: Clint Eastwood ("American Beauty")
1998: Harrison Ford ("Shakespeare in Love")
1997: Sean Connery ("Titanic")
1996: Al Pacino ("The English Patient")
1995: Sidney Poitier ("Braveheart")
1994: Robert De Niro and Al Pacino ("Forrest Gump")
1993: Harrison Ford ("Schindler's List")
1992: Jack Nicholson ("Unforgiven")
1991: Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor ("The Silence of the Lambs")
1990: Barbara Streisand ("Dances with Wolves")
1989: Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson ("Driving Miss Daisy")
1988: Cher ("Rain Man")
1987: Eddie Murphy ("The Last Emperor")
1986: Dustin Hoffman ("Platoon")
1985: John Huston and Akira Kurosawa ("Out of Africa")
1984: Lawrence Olivier ("Amadeus")
1983: Frank Capra ("Terms of Endearment")
1982: Carol Burnett ("Gandhi")
1981: Loretta Young ("Chariots of Fire")

So right off the bat, Spielberg/"Rings," Douglases/"Chicago" and Hanks/"Mind" stand out as interesting couplings. I recall Michael Douglas being visibly pissed when "Gladiator" won and a slight look of confusion on Harrison Ford's face when "Shakespearte in Love" beat "Saving Private Ryan."

What is striking is how dominated this listing is by white power players, almost all male actors. The presenters that would fit that bill this year are Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholson, John Travolta and Tom Cruise. Maybe they'll be willing to bump Leonardo DiCaprio or George Clooney up to that status. Cruise will probably give Sherry Lansing her award, but maybe Meryl Streep or Barbara Streisand (again) could step up. Jodie Foster? Gulp...Al Gore?

Anyway, interesting to look back, nonetheless. Too bad you don't see something as cool as Kurosawa giving out awards anymore.


Titanic was presented by Sean Connery. And last year, it was Streisand and Dustin Hoffman.

Last year was Nicholson. He's got it right. Come on, Jack Nicholson's puzzled, "Crash?" was a moment for the ages.

This year, it will be Nicole Kidman or Tom Cruise.

2004 was Streisand and Connery. And my money's on an Actress, like Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Jodie Foster, or Catherine Deneuve (or some combination thereof).

Believe it or not, i actually heard that this year it will jack nicholson and meryl streep, the most honored actors at the oscars

Sean Connery's presentation of the Best Picture Oscar to Titanic featured one of the all-time great double-takes. I almost fell for it. :)

Jajaja. Eddie Murphy presented once. So embarrasing.

Michael Douglas looked pissed when Gladiator won because he was in Traffic which was a contender in Gladiator's year.

My Top 5 nominees for the Best Picture presenter:
1. Nicole Kidman
2. Tom Cruise
3. Jodie Foster
4. Cate Blanchett
5. Will Ferrell

What's yours?

Precisely, psgola.

Depends who wins, numberina.

If Little Miss Sunshine wins, I'd like to see Robert Redford present. A nod to the film's beginnings in the market place.

If The Queen wins, Al Gore. Our leaders, ourselves, all that.

If Letters or Babel wins...no idea.

But if The Departed wins, I'd like to see Sylvester Stallone, Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, Rob Marshall and Clint Eastwood present it. Kind of a collective "sorry."

I understand that it's absurd that Martin Scorcese does not yet have an Oscar, but not all of those are justified 'sorry' situations. Would anyone really have been that opposed to Clint winning in 2005 if there hadn't been so many mitigating circumstances. And even in 2002, it is The Pianist's loss that is the most puzzling. How a movie is the best acted, written, and directed but not the best picture remains a mystery to me.

I think nearly every time a Scorsese film has been nominated for Best Picture, it has deserved to win. Well, with the exception of 1976, actually. Network owns. And actually, 2002 is a conundrum for me, because I definitely believe he at least deserved director that year.

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