A quick recap, for those of you just joining us: Oscarology is a system of astrology I invented -- excuse me, that was revealed to me in a powerful mystical experience -- based on what movie won the Best Picture Oscar for the year you were born. I blogged about it a couple of days ago, asking for people's birth years... and have been spending the time since then communing with the Spirit of the Oscars and transcribing the visions it has vouchsafed to me.
First, to answer a burning question that has been asked: In Oscarology, your movie is the Best Picture that was released the year you were born. Not the one that was granted the award in the ceremony in the year you were born. (So John, if you were born in 1983, you are not a Gandhi. You are a Terms of Endearment. And Stacey, you're not an Annie Hall -- you're a The Deer Hunter.)
FYI, some of these movies I haven't seen, and am totally guessing based on the little I do know and what I looked up on Wikipedia. Unlike real astrologers...
So let's get this started! And if you haven't chimed in with your year yet, it's not too late. Give me your birth year, and I'll fill in the gaps. (Readings start after the jump.)
An American in Parises are talented and ambitious, but they are also romantic and idealistic, and they often find their ambitions colliding with both their ideals and their romantic inclinations. They have artistic temperaments and often feel like a fish out of water; but their outsider tendencies are counter-balanced by their friendly, easy-going personality, as well as their romantic leanings. They find inspiration in both popular and high culture, and are often good at blending the two, and at translating the latter into the former.
1952: The Greatest Show on Earth.
The Greatest Show on Earths love attention and spectacle. They are often sensation junkies; they tend to attract or create drama in their lives, and thrive on having a lot going on at once. They are likely to have either artistic or athletic talent, and in many cases will have both at once. They are competitive and ambitious, but sometimes lack the ability to stay focused on any one goal.
I'm also going to offer the Lanaist inerpretation of this sign:
The Greatest Show on Earths are excellent at multi-tasking and frequently have several balls in the air at one time. They can achieve success on several fronts such as work, home, and personal fulfillment. They're also non-judgmental and welcome everyone into their big tent. And they like popcorn.
And we have the addendum for film geeks:
The Greatest Show on Earths tend to be popular and financially successful, but they often have a difficult time gaining respect and being taken seriously, and in the long run they may make less of a mark than their less-popular counterparts.
1953: From Here to Eternity.
From Here to Eternitys are pro-active and open to making change in their lives, but struggle with the difficulty of doing so in the face of authority. They have competitive spirits, but often resent being pressured by others to constantly compete and win. Romantic and sexual relationships are central to their lives, and while those relationships can be a source of conflict, they also provide solace during otherwise difficult times.
1954: On the Waterfront.
On the Waterfronts are deeply concerned with moral conflicts, and struggle with the problem of how to be a good person in a bad world. They sometimes lack confidence and self-esteem, and are often more troubled by injuries done to people close to them than by injuries done to themselves. They can be slow to action, but are courageous and willing to take great risks when they do act, often inspiring others around them to do the same.
(Addendum for film geeks and lefty politicos: On the Waterfronts consider themselves to be honorable and noble people. However, their notions of honor are often seen by others as self-justifying rationalizations for unethical and harmful behavior.)
Martys are solid, caring, and good at heart, but they are often shy and socially awkward, and sometimes have a hard time conveying their good qualities to others. They care a great deal about friends and family -- sometimes to a fault, as they can be overly influenced by the opinions of people they care about. However, they are capable of defying public opinion and taking a stand when it's important to them, especially in matters of the heart.
1956: Around the World in 80 Days.
Around the World in 80 Dayses are adventurous, gregarious, creative people who actively seek out new experiences. They crave beauty, spectacle, and intense sensation, but are also driven by a sense of honor and pride and a passionate desire to keep their word. They are sometimes stymied by authority, but generally triumph in the end. They sometimes make lavish promises that they have a hard time keeping, and have a tendency to be overly impressed by celebrity and fame.
1957: The Bridge on the River Kwai.
The Bridge on the River Kwais are strong-willed, defiant, and passionately concerned with honor. They will work tirelessly and even fanatically towards a goal, but their pride in their accomplishments will sometimes make them lose sight of their larger goals and values. They can be impulsive, even making serious, life-changing decisions on an impulse; however, these instincts are generally correct, and tend to come from their better natures winning out over their weakness.
Gigis are charming, gracious, and gregarious. They are fond of luxury, sensual pleasure, and the good life; their hedonism adds to their charm, but they are easily bored, and can be blind to the effect that their choices have on those around them. However, they are also loving and affectionate, qualities which usually lead their better natures to triumph. They are very musical, and love children.
Ben-Hurs have both strong principles and strong feelings of friendship, which sometimes come into conflict. They are driven by an intense desire for fairness and social justice, which brings focus and purpose to their lives but can also make them despairing or resentful. They are often fiercely competitive, but always compete fairly and honorably, even when others around them do not. Tradition is important to them, but they are open to ideas and inspiration from radical new sources.
(Addendum for film geeks and queer film history buffs: Ben-Hurs often have unconventional sexual preferences, but they tend to be uncomfortable with them and are often not even aware of them.)
1960: The Apartment.
The Apartments are likeable, easy-going, and accomodating... sometimes to a fault. They dislike confrontation, and will go to great lengths, even sacrificing their own comfort, to smooth over awkwardness and conflict. However, they also have affectionate and romantic natures, which often inspire them to be more courageous and principled than they might otherwise be. They are fond of games of chance, which they often form sentimental attachments to.
1961: West Side Story.
West Side Storys tend to feel like outsiders in almost any group, but are very concerned with communicating, making connections, and forming bridges between people who seem unalterably opposed. Music and dancing are central to their lives and identities, providing an outlet to express both joy and anger. They have tough exteriors, but are gentle and affectionate inside.
(Addendum: West Side Storys can also get far too deeply involved in silly, trivial projects, spending an almost obsessive amount of time on undertakings that they and others enjoy but that even they consider ridiculous.)
1962: Lawrence of Arabia.
Lawrence of Arabias are powerful, unique individuals with great character, intellect, leadership qualities, and strength of will. Their abilities are formidable; however, they can be arrogant in their overestimation of those abilities, leading them to over-reach and to make serious errors of judgment. They will often work within the traditional power system, while at the same time working towards a vision that lies beyond it.
1963: Tom Jones.
Ton Joneses are adventurous and courageous, sometimes to the point of being reckless and foolhardy. Sensual pleasure, especially sexual pleasure, are very important to them -- but true love will ultimately be a higher priority in their lives. Class divisions and social prejudices provide serious obstacles in their lives, but in the long run cannot vanquish their spirit.
1964: My Fair Lady.
My Fair Ladys are intelligent, charming, and ambitious. However, when in control of a situation, they can be insensitive to the effect they have on others; when not in control, they can be passive and easily led. They often struggle with class barriers, but their flexible and open-minded attitude towards class allows them to transcend those barriers. Music and language are central to their lives, often professionally as well as personally.
1965: The Sound of Music.
The Sound of Musics are cheerful, optimistic, and good at seeing the silver lining in every cloud. Their good nature does not stop them from having strong opinions or speaking their mind, however, and they can be very brave in difficult times. They love children, and care deeply about music, which is often pivotal to their family life. However, their perky, high-spirited attitude can be an irritant to those around them, who are less likely to see these qualities as virtues and more likely to see them as a problem to be solved.
1966: A Man For All Seasons.
A Man For All Seasonses have passionate convictions and a strong sense of right and wrong, and are willing to take risks and make great personal sacrifices in order to live up to their own moral code. They often have a keen interest in politics, but see the political arena less as a way to gain personal power, and more as a place where ethical questions play out in the real world. They are very attached to tradition, but often have utopian ideals that are far ahead of their time.
1967: In the Heat of the Night.
In the Heat of the Nights are intelligent, meticulous, diligent, and devoted to their work. They sometimes have a chip on their shoulder, and are extremely conscious of others' unfair prejudices against them, while being unaware of their own prejudices against others. They can be mistrustful of people who are different from them, but are able to overcome their suspicions and preconceptions in the face of human reality, and are able to keep a cool head in turbulent times.
We also have the Felis Interpretation of this sign:
In the Heat of the Nights often feel like they don't fit well in their surroundings, but they press ahead with what they need to do. They care about their reputation, but they care about doing the right thing more. While they have some prejudices and preconceptions of their own, they do their best to overcome them and don't put up with the prejudices of others. Because of this, they are capable of surprising people who might expect less of them. On the other hand, at times they have had serious doubts about whether they have made the right decision or done the right thing. They try not to see complicated issues in black and white, but sometimes they can't help it because the sharp contrasts stare them right in the face.
Oliver!s have to struggle against great obstacles, especially class divisions and financial difficulties, and especially early in life. However, they are usually successful in the long run, both through their own ingenuity and the help of others. They need to be watchful about depending on others too much, however, as well as about making good choices about who to depend on. Music and dancing are very important to them, strengthening social bonds and sustaining them through difficult times.
Midnight Cowboys are dreamers. They have a clear vision of what they want out of life, but their visions are not always realistic, and they are often stymied by harsh realities. Their outward manner is sociable and friendly, but they are shy on the inside, and tend to have a small number of close relationships rather than a wide acquaintance. They are survivors, sometimes doing things to survive that others would consider unscrupulous, but are deeply loyal to those who are close to them.
(Quick trivia: Midnight Cowboy is the only X-rated movie to win a Best Picture Oscar. [Its rating has since been changed to R.])
Pattons have strong personalities. They are keenly intelligent, with an outstanding ability to apply their intelligence in the real world. They have high expectations both of themselves and others, and a great deal of confidence and personal pride. However, they must be careful to avoid arrogance and harshness: they are often right, but not as often as they think they are, and their expectations of others are not always reasonable. They are not afraid to speak their minds, but are not always wise about when to do so or to whom.
1971: The French Connection.
The French Connections are canny, pragmatic, and world-wise. They have high ideals, but are not always scrupulous in carrying them out, with a tendency to think that the end justifies the means. They crave excitement and adrenaline; they often enjoy high-risk sports and hobbies, such as auto racing, and may be prone to problems with alcohol or drugs.
1972: The Godfather.
The Godfathers care a great deal about family and tradition, a concern which often reveals itself in unconventional ways. Paradoxically, their passion to maintain family life often leads them to hurt or alienate their family members. They are intelligent and capable, and often make strong leaders; but while they have a strong moral code, they also have a strong tendency to rationalize decisions that many would see as unethical. They often make skilled negotiators, as they are very perceptive about what will inspire others to change their mind.
1973: The Sting.
The Stings are clever, perceptive, and sharply observant of human nature, with the ability to use human foibles to their own advantage. They often have a disregard for conventional morality, but they have a strong sense of loyalty to people in their inner circle. Their lives are often convoluted, but their intelligence and talent enables them to pull it off.
1974: The Godfather Part II.
The Godfather Part IIs are intelligent, powerful, self-controlled, and highly skilled at planning and strategic thinking. They have strong family feelings, but tend to be controlling, and their zeal to preserve and protect their family often leads them to alienate and even harm them. They often have clear ideas about what they want from life, but have a tendency to be distracted from those goals when life events or personal ambitions intervene. Nevertheless, they are often considered to be as successful, or even more so, than their forefathers or predecessors.
1975: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nests are irreverent, unconventional, and defiant of authority. They have a carefree and sometimes irresponsible attitude to life, but care deeply about others and form close, loyal friendships. However, their disrespect of authority can lead them to underestimate it, to their own detriment and the detriment of others. They are not always able to accomplish their own goals, but their passion for life will often be an inspiration for others.
Rockys are talented, good-natured, hard-working, and down-to-earth. They are often under-appreciated, but are willing and able to take advantage of opportunities when they are offered, and will work tirelessly to reach their goals. They are able to see beauty and value that others overlook, and are solid and loyal in love. They are sometimes unrealistic about what they can accomplish, but are also able to redefine success on their own terms.
1977: Annie Hall.
Annie Halls are intelligent, funny, and keen observers of human nature. Sexual and romantic relationships are very important to them: they will overcome personal prejudices for love, and are willing to put great effort into making those relationships work, but they have a tendency to create problems with anxious overthinking, and to stay in relationships for too long. However, more than most other signs, they are very good at preserving close friendships with former romantic partners. They have a great love of intellectual discourse, and are easily irritated by people they consider less intelligent than themselves.
1978: The Deer Hunter.
The Deer Hunters are often driven by conflict and crisis, which may become the central defining feature of their lives. These conflicts and crises can inspire them to transcend their own limitations and gain greater compassion for others; however, they can also create emotional scarring that will be difficult to heal. They are often able to find beauty and grace in that which most people find ugly or mundane; however, much like Driving Miss Daisys, they must be watchful not to allow this ability to blind them to unconscious prejudice.
(Addendum for film geeks: The Deer Hunters also tend to overestimate their abilities, and to assume that their talents entitle them to get their way in everything. This can cause great damage, not only to themselves, but to the people who rely on them.)
1979: Kramer vs. Kramer.
Kramer vs. Kramers care a great deal about family -- sometimes more than they even realize. They often start out life with conventional attitudes towards family and gender roles, but have the adaptability and strength of character to change and grow when life demands it. They sometimes have difficulty with romantic relationships, which can be a source of conflict in their lives, and their friendships are often closer and stronger than their romantic relationships.
1980: Ordinary People.
Ordinary Peoples often struggle with the conflict between outward appearances and deeper emotions. They are family oriented, but their families are often the source of their greatest conflicts, especially the conflict between appearance and feeling, and their strongest relationships are often outside the family. They are sometimes troubled, but are willing and able to work through their troubles and make a happy life for themselves.
1981: Chariots of Fire.
Chariots of Fires are hard-working, goal-oriented, and willing to battle prejudice and social pressure in order to meet their goals. They are very competitive, and willing to suffer criticism for their competitive natures. However, they are also principled, and are unwilling to go against their own principles merely in order to win, even when pressured to do so. They are very physical, and find great personal inspiration in physical activity.
Gandhis have great leadership qualities, and are able to balance strong moral principles with pragmatism. They are charismatic and inspiring, and are willing to take risks and make personal sacrifices to achieve their goals and to do the right thing. However, they are not always able to understand or predict the full consequences of their actions, often to the detriment of themselves and those around them.
1983: Terms of Endearment.
Terms of Endearments are greatly concerned with family -- both to their advantage and their detriment. They often find family relationships confining and limiting, but at the same time they find great strength and support in those relationships. Sex is very important to them: it can be an inspiration for them to break out of their limited self-image, but it can also be a source of strife and division. They need to be watchful that their strong affections do not turn into blind sentimentality.
Amadeuses are creative, exuberant, and full of life. They are not always practical, tending to focus on their art, on sensual pleasure, and on the here and now. Their prodigious talents will carry them far and will make them loved and remembered; however, their impracticality and naivety can create serious problems for themselves and for those around them, and both their talents and their carefree attitude will sometimes inspire resentment and jealousy in others.
1985: Out of Africa.
Out of Africas are intelligent, creative, and adventurous. They have strong feelings and affectionate natures, which inspire them to overcome their prejudices and limitations, but which also leave them vulnerable to be deeply hurt. They are drawn to people more adventurous and unconventional than themselves, and while these relationships are often frustrating and short-lived, they can also be life-changing in positive ways.
Platoons are idealistic and enthusiastic, but often have a hard time maintaining their idealism in the face of harsh realities. They are easily shaped by those around them, both for good and for ill, and will often be influenced by others to do things they once thought they were incapable of. They have a strong sense of loyalty, and feel it deeply when people they trust prove unworthy.
1987: The Last Emperor.
The Last Emperors are strongly attached to home and tradition, and tend to have a difficult time adjusting to changing circumstances and a changing world. They often form unconventional relationships, which they find satisfying but which others disapprove of, putting strain on those relationships and making their lives difficult. They love luxury and beauty, and often find themselves at odds with a society that values dull conformity.
1988: Rain Man.
Rain Mans are highly intelligent with unique abilities, but often have a difficult time forming close personal relationships. They often resist change and tend to be set in their ways, but will find value in new experiences when they can be persuaded to have them. They think of themselves as pragmatic and hard-headed, but they also have a sentimental and affectionate side that comes out in unexpected ways.
1989: Driving Miss Daisy.
Driving Miss Daisys are strong-willed, stubborn, and often resistant to change. However, personal relationships will inspire them to live up to their better natures, especially in the areas of fairness and social justice. They are sometimes slow to trust people or form close relationships; however, once they have done so, they are devoted and loyal, and capable of maintaining relationships through turbulence and difficulty. They need to be watchful, however, as their belief in their own enlightened attitudes can blind them to unconscious prejudice.
1990: Dances with Wolves.
Dances with Wolveses are adventurous, open-minded, and prone to making radical changes in their lives. Loyalty and honor are very important to them, but this can create conflict when the changes they make lead them to conflicting loyalties, and they feel deeply betrayed when those they were once loyal to let them down. They are affectionate and compassionate, with a great love of nature and animals. Like Driving Miss Daisys, their belief in their own enlightened attitudes can blind them to unconscious prejudice. They are also too young to be reading this blog.
1991: The Silence of the Lambs.
The Silence of the Lambses are intelligent, perceptive, and keen observers of human nature. They have great natural talents and abilities, but have a tendency to feel superior to other people and to see them as fodder for their own desires and ambitions. However, they typically have a wide variety of strong, successful women in their lives, who they may become uncharacteristically fond of. They often defy social norms and conventional moral standards, and are likely to feel confined by society.
Unforgivens are greatly concerned with morality, justice, and doing the right thing. However, they often have difficulty when different moral values come into conflict, and will tend to act on emotion and impulse when this happens. They also have a pragmatic, hard-nosed side, which helps them deal with the harsh realities of life, but which also can come into conflict with their high ideals. They are often late bloomers, finding talents and abilities late in life that were previously hidden.
So if I didn't do your year, or the years of your loved ones, let me know! I'm hoping to fill in the gaps and make the chart complete at some point; but communing with the spirits is a lot of work, so I'll prioritize the signs that have been requested.