Just watched it and I basically agree. There are a few other Best Pictures I liked less, and it's essentially on par with other dated winners from that era like Cavalcade and The Broadway Melody. It is quite cinematic for the era, with that opening rush sequence, and the production is elaborate throughout. It also benefits from a more cohesive story than the likes of Cavalcade and Broadway Melody, though the ambition and scope are inferior, as a result. The film is actually quite interesting in the first half; it's the last 45 minutes where the film loses its way and seems to ramble on and amount to little. The arc of Richard Dix's character is frustrating, but Irene Dunne's good work holds it together. And I don't think Dix is to blame, but rather the way his character was written.
Disregarding City Lights -- and maybe they felt they had sufficiently awarded Chaplin already for The Circus -- Cimarron is the most elaborate and cinematic of the nominees. The Front Page is the best-reviewed of the nominees, but it's very talky and dated. Its smart script gives it a stronger story than Cimarron, but even today, a film like The Front Page would win nothing more than a screenplay award at best. It's not your "Best Picture" type of film.
I just want to chime in here to give another vote for what I think is the worst. I have seen all of them, and...
Around the World in 80 Days
...is by far the worst. I'd rather watch the endless parade scene from The Greatest Show on Earth than the best moment from ATW80D. Truly awful. I can understand why it won. Others I dislike intensely are (in no order) Cimarron, The Great Ziegfield, The Greatest Show on Earth, Chicago, Braveheart. Those are the first to pop in my head, anyway. There are certainly others.
"Rampart: Squad 51."