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1963. The year of Tom Jones. I feel like this little film gets a lot of flack for being an Oscar winning film, but I kind of like it a lot. I don't adore it or anything, but when you stack it up against some of the other films in that Best Picture lineup, it feels like the ONLY option. I mean, Lilies of the Field is borderline awful and Cleopatra is so messy (beautiful, sure, but messy as hell). I'm kind of baffled that those films even made it into the lineup, especially when you had well received films like This Sporting Life, Hud and Fellini's masterpiece, 8 1/2, racking up nominations elsewhere. 8 1/2 feels like such an awful exclusion, especially when you consider that it is probably the most well regarded film of the year and Fellini himself made it onto the Director and Screenplay ballots.
But this is Oscar, and they just never warmed to including foreign films in their BP ballots.
Outside of Oscar, this year had a lot to love. My personal BP ballot makes me extremely happy and I feel like it well represents all that was great about the year. From personal foreign dramas to glitzy Hollywood rom-coms to whatever the hell Hud was, I bow at this five films.
And with that said, I present to you the Fisti Awards for 1963!