It's often been said that the best way to judge the merits of a film is to do the judging, not in the year it's released, but a decade or two later, after the movie has had a chance to withstand the test of time, or not.
That's the brilliant idea behind the 20/20 Awards. A voting syndicate of film industry workers look back at the films nominated for Oscars 20 years ago, 1992 films nominated for the 1993 Oscars, and RE-nominate the films in each of the Oscar categories from Best Picture all the way down to Costume Design.
The 1993 Oscar nominees for Best Picture, for instance, were "The Crying Game," "A Few Good Men," "Howard's End," "Scent of a Woman," and Clint Eastwood's "Unforgiven." The 20/20 Awards dropped three of those nominees - "A Few Good Men," "Howard's End," and "Scent of a Woman" - and replaced them with "Glengarry Glen Ross," "The Player", and Quentin Tarantino's "Reservoir Dogs."
And when the final votes were tallied? Well, the more things change, the more they stay the same - sometimes. Although it got shut out of all the other categories it was nominated for, "Unforgiven," the movie that won the Oscar for Best Picture, won again 20 years later.
Cleverly, whenever a repeat happens, the 20/20 Award is called the Felix. Get it? Oscar and Felix. The Odd Couple.
The alcohol was flowing freely at the packed Fremont Abbey Arts Center Saturday night, with many attendees seated at fancy tables just like it was the Golden Globes or something.
After each award, a local celebrity or filmmaker would give a little speech about the award-winner. The fit but elderly gentlemen in a tuxedo who accepted the Best Picture award for Clint Eastwood put on a cowboy hat as he took the stage and proceeded to give his speech to an empty chair. (That joke's never gonna get old.)
I accepted the Best Supporting Actor award for Alec Baldwin's great performance as the ultimate salesman in "Glengarry Glen Ross."
Baldwin tied Jack Lemmon for the 20/20 award (for the same movie) which I think was a big mistake. (Lemmon doesn't do "subtle," he does "maudlin.")
By the way, neither of them was even nominated for the Oscar. Gene Hackman won for his role as the bad guy in "Unforgiven."