Back in 2002, I started my own little mini tradition of watching the five movies nominated for Best Picture before the awards were given. Quite simple logic for doing so.
First, I was smack dab in the middle of watching the AFI top 100 movies. I figured that if any movies would stand the chance of making a similar list in the future, the movies nominated were a good bet. If I wanted to watch the best movies, I might as well watch some movies that some group of people thought were the best.
Also, if you're going to discuss the Best Picture nominees with someone and root for one, you should have seen all five, right? Besides - how many people do you know who have actually seen the five movies nominated for Best Picture? Not too many, I would guess. This would, by default, make me (in my mind, anyway), the authority and top expert in the room on the subject.
And now, with the 2008 movies in hand, I stand by my second piece of logic. If you have the complete picture, you can discuss it from all sides. But there's no way I can stand by the first bit of logic. Take a look at the Best Picture winners and nominees from the past ten years. Are those really the best of the recent decade? No way.
Take a look at this short list of movies: Gladiator. A Beautiful Mind. Chicago. Decent movies, and I certainly enjoyed watching all three. But GREAT moves? I repeat, no way. And those three WON. Consider this thought: Seabiscuit was nominated for Best Picture.
Since 2002, I have missed two movies; one from last year and one the year before. So much for my crappy little tradition. But alas, this year marks my triumphant return from a B- to an A+. While this was supposed to be my short intro into a little discussion of these five, I'm now bored with typing because it's my day off. Thanks, Lincoln!