Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears

My book for June was Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears by Michael Schulman. I heard about the book from several sources, including Bill Simmons mentioning that he was reading it on one of his podcasts.

Oscar Wars is the history of the Academy Awards. The book starts at the beginning with the formation of the Academy and the development of the awards. It skips through the last ninety-five years with each chapter roughly focusing on a decade. I really enjoyed the chapters highlighting the 60s and 70s. It chronicles the battles, rivalries and behind-the scenes drama as the prominence of the Oscar grew.

The book is right in my wheelhouse. Over the last ten years, Sharon and I have focused on watching as many of the Oscar nominated films as possible. We have also started to go back and watch older movies that were nominated for the Best Picture.

Nevertheless, I only give the book a lukewarm thumbs up. Although I really enjoyed some parts of the book, there are sections that are a little slow and tedious. The chapter [Nine: The Harveys] about Harvey Weinstein is fascinating; this chapter almost makes the whole book worth reading by itself. Weinstein is almost literally singularly responsible for a shift in how people campaigned for the Oscars.

[Note to self], I need to watch All About Eve, Sunset Boulevard, Easy Rider, Bridge on the River Kwai and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

No comments:

Post a Comment