Katherine and I are watching the Academy Award-winning movies in chronological order, beginning with Midnight Cowboy in 1969. Yesterday evening, we finished watching Chariots of Fire, which won Best Picture in 1981. I had never seen this movie, though of course I had heard and read about it. I even recall hearing the theme music by Vangelis a time or two.
I thought I would like this movie because it involves running, but the running was so primitive that I couldn't relate to it. Some of the races were on grass; there were guide ropes on the lanes; the outfits were bulky and impractical; the running styles were ridiculous (head back, arms flailing); and there were no blocks at the start of the sprints. I realize that times have changed and that running was once primitive by today's standards, but it took some of the fun away. By contrast, I thoroughly enjoyed the running scenes in Without Limits (1998).
I have no idea why this movie won the Academy Award. It must have been a weak field. The dialogue was almost impossible to follow. The speech was quick and faint and the accents (British and Scottish) were difficult to comprehend. About two-thirds of the way through, I got the brilliant idea to turn subtitles on. This helped immensely. Now I want to watch the movie again to see what I missed! Why do filmmakers make it so hard to understand dialogue? Is it just me? My hearing may be somewhat worse than it once was (too much heavy metal), but it's not that bad.
Katherine wonders whether this movie could win the Academy Award now, given its sensitive and respectful treatment of Christianity. What do you think? I'm inclined to agree with her.
On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being best, I give this movie a 7.