I didn't do this on purpose, but it seems accidentally appropriate, anyway. Looking for a movie to watch this afternoon, I pulled an old favorite off the shelf, Three Kings. Appropriate, because it comes close to meeting the newly-invented "Unheralded" category (I give it 9 on a scale of 10, IMDB users come in at 7.3). But also appropriate for another reason. Three Kings won the Best Film and Best Director awards from the Boston Society of Film Critics. Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars out of 4, calling it "some kind of weird masterpiece" and "one of the best movies of the year." Andrew O'Hehir of Salon said it was "one of the most exciting Hollywood action films in years." Mick LaSalle in the Chronicle had the Little Man falling out of his chair with delight, noting that it was "George Clooney's best showcase to date" and saying "it is -- and is likely to remain -- the definitive film about the Persian Gulf War." Even Pauline Kael, who was retired from criticism by the time Three Kings came out, said in a 2000 interview, "I loved Three Kings, which I thought was probably the best American movie I saw last year."
Best Film awards, Best Director awards, critical acclaim, a triumph for star George Clooney ... and you know how many Oscars Three Kings won? None. In fact, it wasn't even nominated for any Oscars.
The use of sound was impressive enough that the movie was nominated for Best Sound Editing by the Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA ... The Matrix won two Oscars that year for sound, other Oscar nominees in the sound categories included The Mummy and The Insider. No noms for Three Kings, though. The Writer's Guild of America nominated Three Kings for Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, but it got no Oscar nods in that category, either (they were too busy giving an Oscar nom in that category to M. Night Shyamalan). Best Director? Sam Mendes for American Beauty. No nomination for Three Kings, although Spike Jonze, who had a major supporting role in Three Kings, did get an Oscar nomination for Best Director for Being John Malkovich. Best Actor? Sorry, no George Clooney ... the winner was Kevin Spacey in American Beauty. American Beauty also won Best Picture ... Three Kings wasn't nominated because Oscar had to honor The Sixth Sense and The Green Mile.
Some of these Oscar films were good, to be sure, but if you think The Green Mile is a better movie than Three Kings, our taste preferences are pretty far apart. And that's fine. But I assure you, I had a better time watching Three Kings again than I would have had watching the latest Pirates of the Caribbean crapfest. And that's why there won't be any more Oscar runs on this blog.