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    The Alternates

    Posted by Mike Finnegan on

    Congratulations are in order for the recipients of and fellow nominees vying for the 88th Annual Academy Awards® bestowed last night. As with any movie industry laurels, there are partisans and detractors, particularly in the wake of each year’s Oscar® ceremony, and malcontented Monday Morning Quarterbacks can be bummed out with the omission or defeat of their favorites. Many fans have their own preferences to earn Oscars® but virtually no one writes a book about it. Film critic and sports writer Danny Peary, author of Cult Movies and Guide for the Film Fanatic, did so in 1992, the marvelous Alternate Oscars: One Critic’s Defiant Choices for Best Picture, Actor and Actress from 1927 to the Present, created, as Peary says in his introduction, because “second-guessing the Academy’s Oscar® selections has become the national sport of the dissatisfied and disenfranchised” and his work may serve as “a catalyst for living-room wars in which everyone takes an emotional stand for his or her own choices.” Though he occasionally agrees with the Academy’s choices, several of his thoughtful and well-analyzed picks for Best Picture, Actor and Actress from 1927 through 1991, cast a spotlight on favorite titles available on Twilight Time hi-def Blu-ray. Among his Alternate Oscar winners for Best Actress are Gloria Grahame for The Big Heat (1953, over Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday), Barbra Streisand for The Way We Were (1973, over Glenda Jackson in A Touch of Class) and Isabelle Adjani for The Story of Adele H (1975, over Louise Fletcher in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest). The Alternate Oscar prizes for Best Actor go to John Heard for April’s upcoming Cutter’s Way (1981, over Henry Fonda in On Golden Pond), James Woods for Salvador (1986, over Paul Newman in The Color of Money) and Gary Oldman for State of Grace (1990, over Jeremy Irons in Reversal of Fortune). TT also racked up one interesting Best Picture honor: across the five nominees All The President’s Men, TT’s own Bound for Glory, Network, Taxi Driver and crowned head Rocky, Peary judges the worthy choice for 1976 to be…The Front. Whatever your bent for second-guessing Hollywood’s anointed best, movie honors always serve to spawn watching and debating. Are there any Oscar® snubs or boners that get your gold-plated goat?