Carbusters’ First Annual No-Car Oscar Award

This year Carbusters is chiming in on the Oscar race for Best Picture. We’ve reviewed all nine of the nominated movies for their depiction of transportation. How often are main characters shown driving or riding in automobiles? How often are they shown using alternatives to automobiles? What messages do these movies send about driving and about using public or non-motorized transportation? Our pick for the 2011 No-Car Oscar award goes to Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, the post 9/11 movie set in New York City that shows six different characters using alternative transportation. Below are the ratings for all nine movies. (To see the score card for a particular movie, click on its title.)

©Andy Singer -

©Andy Singer -

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (20.5)
See Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max von Sydow and child actor Thomas Horn all use alternative

War Horse (10.5)
When a motorized vehicle shows up, it’s usually bad news.

Tree of Life (8.5)
Recreates a neighborhood where kids play in the street without fear of being hit by a car.

The Descendants (8)
Includes the memorable scene of George Clooney leaving his Honda at home and running through his suburban neighborhood to get to his friends’ house.

Hugo (7.5)
Celebrates the social interactions and intersections at a train station.

Midnight in Paris (3.5)

A writer revels in walking the streets of Paris while his fiancée and her parents view walking as suspicious behavior.

The Artist (2.0)
When you’re a star you’re chauffeured in a car. When you’ve given up all hope, you give away your car.

The Help (0.5)
The white heroine drives a convertible; the black domestic help ride the bus.

Moneyball (- 10)
From watching this movie you’d never know the San Francisco area is rich with public transportation.

©Andy Singer -

©Andy Singer -


  1. Todd Edelman
    Posted 29 February, 2012 at 17:51 | Permalink

    Lovely award idea BUT extreme dislike of “alternative transportation”!!!! (And in NYC, walking and the subway is mainstream).

  2. Ken Allison
    Posted 1 August, 2012 at 00:39 | Permalink

    Yes, sustainable transport, eco transport, or carfree transport would all be much better.

    How did you miss this 2011 wonder with Ewan McGregor, Eva Green, and Connie Nielsen?

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