Oscar Question of the Day – Comedy is No Laughing Matter

On the Awards Circuit Power Hour this week, one of our esteemed readers asked why David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook was not being considered the one to beat in the Oscar race?  Was it the comedy genre factor or the likes of Argo, Lincoln, and Les Miserables trumping its parade?  It seemed unanimous that comedy struggles with true recognition from Oscar especially in the technical categories like Film Editing and that’s what will ultimately shoot Russell’s film in the foot.

Many people can name several films they would nominate in a Best Picture lineup, but is there a true comedy you would consider the very best of the year and award the coveted Best Motion Picture Oscar to?  That is our question today, name at least one film you would award Best Picture of the Year at the Academy Awards, either this year or any year.

I struggled with the question initially, struggling to dig through the genre and respective years.  I then realized, the answer was right in my face.  From my top ten films of all-time article, Gene Saks’ The Odd Couple (1968) is one of, if not, the best instance of comedic brilliance captured on screen.  What makes the choice even more delightful and appropriate, is the film only netted two Academy Award nominations in 1969; Best Adapted Screenplay, which shouldn’t surprise anyone since Screenplay is the category to reward comedies these days.  The film was also able to muster up a Film Editing nomination along Best Picture nominees, Funny Girl and Oliver!, both comedies as well.  In many ways, the 1969 Oscar ceremony was the year of the comedy.  Barbara Streisand tied with Katharine Hepburn in Best Actress while Carol Reed and Oliver! went home with Best Director and Picture respectively.

What comedy pictures would you reward?