By Joey Magidson
Audiences and critics around the globe love a good comedy. Comedies make you feel good inside and provide you with some temporary happiness and respite from the troubles of the world at large. They’re some of the hardest movies to make, and they’re appreciated by almost everyone.
The lone holdouts? The voters of the Academy Awards.
Since 1977, when the Woody Allen comedy Annie Hall won Best Picture, exactly zero full-on comedies have won the Oscar. Yes, Allen’s film had dramedy elements to it, but it was far more of a comedy than last year’s winner, The Artist, which would probably be the closest thing we’ve had since then to a comedic winner. Others in that sort of hybrid realm include American Beauty, Driving Miss Daisy, Forrest Gump, Shakespeare in Love and Terms of Endearment.
This year we have an unusually strong comedy contender in the David O. Russell film Silver Linings Playbook. Generally regarded as one of the five Best Picture hopefuls that can actually win the prize, it faces an uphill battle due to its humor, much as Les Miserables does with its low Rotten Tomatoes score (as I recently discussed here) and Argo does with its comparatively early release date.