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1946. This was a great year. Even Oscar got a lot of stuff right. The year was great even before 1945 stepped in and handed it some treasures. Yes, due to the Fisti rule that any foreign film nominated for an Oscar must compete in the year in which it was nominated, there are quite a few 'technically' 1945 films that are competing here.
One of which is my Best Picture winner.
But more on that in a minute. First, let's talk about Oscar. While the debate will continue to the end of time as to whether of not The Best Years of Our Lives should have defeated It's a Wonderful Life for Best Picture, the fact remains that both films are truly beautiful. Personally, I feel that The Best Years of Our Lives IS the better film, while It's a Wonderful Life is understandably the more iconic feature.
They're both treasures, and that's the most important thing.
One thing that The Best Years of Our Lives was able to capture, and a clear reason as to why it won (and won SO MUCH) on Oscar night, was the state of the times. It understood that, in that moment, the message it carried was a very important one. In fact, with WWII just barely over, the welcome home of the men and women who defended the country was on the minds of every single person, and so the year became a bounty of films that tried to understand more fully the mindset, not only of the soldiers coming home, but also of the men and women standing at the front door to greet them.
And that brings us to...another Lee Hirsch Award for Change!
Yes, with the war over, the incredible John Huston put together a series of PSA-Documentaries, and the final film in that series is a chilling look at PTS-Syndrom. Let There Be Light is a film designed to help the general public understand that there is help for those soldiers returning home and that they can and should be accepted back into a normal way of life. The fear to hire these young men and women was real, and so John Huston's powerful documentary served a real purpose and is still stirring even today.
Alright, alright, alright...let's get on with it! I now present to you the Fisti Awards of 1946!