dances with wolves
Dances With Wolves – 1990
Why it Won: Dances With Wolves is rightly classified as an epic film, though its inherent epicness has faded with time. Not only was this a war movie that focuses much of its screentime to Native American characters, it was a stunning directorial debut for the extremely popular Kevin Costner, who also took home the Oscar for Best Director, though not for Best Actor. 24 years and The Postman, later, Dances With Wolves is more like Yawns With Unintentionally Amusing Treatment of Native Americans. What may be a timeless story on the page doesn’t hold up nearly as well on the screen.

What Should Have Won: Three words. Good. Fuckin’ Fellas. A film that doesn’t give viewers the time or room to yawn, Martin Scorsese’s crime masterpiece reteamed Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci as two of the scariest mobsters ever put on film, and showcases Ray Liotta’s intensity to the greatest effect. Scorsese’s later undercover cop drama The Departed finally earned the director his first Best Picture and Best Director statues, but it should have been his third or fourth at that point. Goodfellas is the kind of movie that can’t be turned off once it’s started, while I would turn off Dances With Wolves just to scratch my ears.

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