While I did watch the Oscar's and have read up on these 4 movies that Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott talk about and review, I have not seen any of the films. However, I have seen other historical films in the past that I believe stretched the truth a little. One of these movies is “Inglorious Bastards”. This isn’t the most recent of films, however, in the end of the movie, the death of Hitler is inaccurate. Hitler wasn’t killed by a group of angry Jews; he eventually killed himself. While the death of Hitler may provide humor to some and disgust to others, I personally don’t praise directors who stretch the truth like that. Hitler had such an impact on people’s lives and he plays a major role in history; why not just direct it as it happened?
Another movie, “Schindler’s List”, could also be criticized for inaccuracy. Seeing how I’m Jewish, I fully believe and agree with everything that happened in the film. Spielberg did a remarkable job directing; probably couldn’t have been filmed any better. Aside from me, others may think not everything shown in “Schindler’s List” is completely accurate. I’m fine with this, however, unless you’re a historian, how would you know if it is or isn’t true (unless you lived it)?
Whenever I see a movie, I don’t think of if the movie is telling the truth or not. While directors should take this film-making strategy (portraying the truth) seriously, I’m ok with it if movies stretch the truth a little bit in order to create a better film/scene. One instance that would be acceptable is that film-making is a business. Just like any other occupation, directors have the job of making the best product possible, and if that means stretching the truth to make a movie better, it will be done.
As far as our expectancy of films’ accuracy, it will vary with each person. I believe the essential elements of truth and accuracy in historical films come down to the event being portrayed and filmed. In the cases where the event is super important in history, I would say it is disgraceful to inaccurately portray what really happened. But hey, that’s just my opinion.