I was hanging out in the podiatrist's office the other day, and decided to flip through a back issue of Entertainment Weekly while waiting for my appointment. One piece, in particular caught my eye - a list of the worst Best Picture winners ever. Much to my surprise, the first film listed was John Ford's 1941 film "How Green Was My Valley," about a close-knit Welsh mining family.
"How Green Was My Valley" is often maligned for beating "Citizen Kane," but here's the thing: It's a great movie. As great as "Kane" is, I feel that "How Green Was My Valley" is more rewarding on an emotional level. Of course, I didn't expect much from the film before I saw it, because people are always rolling their eyes and grumbling about how "Citizen Kane" should have won the Oscar. Fine. But I don't think it deserves to be lumped with "Gandhi" and "Shakespeare in Love" on a list of Oscar misfires.
Apparently, I'm not the only person who thinks this. Over at the website Observations on Film Art, Kristin Thompson explains why "How Green Was My Valley" deserves more respect, and even suggests it might be better than "Citizen Kane." Apparently, Thompson was inspired to defend "How Green Was My Valley" after reading the same EW piece I did.
Click here to read Thompson's essay.