On one level, the Academy Awards can have an enormous effect selecting which movies or singular movie will be designated as the most prestigious films from a single year. However, it’s also possible that they’re simply a reflection of opinions that have already been formed about the best films of the year, and when the Oscar pick for Best Picture disagrees too much with the popular and critical opinion, it gets swept aside. Driving Miss Daisy, for example, isn’t exactly hailed as a lasting contribution to the history of cinema. Meanwhile two movies that weren’t even nominated, Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors, are considered two of the greatest of their decade at the least, despite Oscar’s lack of recognition.
So it’s important to remember with the awards coming up that they may not even mean that much. They may be remembered as elevating a movie like Argo to a level it may not have enjoyed otherwise, but ultimately are somewhat irrelevant. It’s tempting to think that in an age where powerful bodies with this type of previously perceived authority are dwindling, and that the Academy could go that way also. But then again, there are so many exceptions to the notion that Best Picture really does mean the best picture that maybe it was never that true in the first place.
For your consideration, I’d like to present several of these exceptions, movies that were up for the Best Picture award at the Oscars but was passed over for another film in a decision that now seems laughable in hindsight. Here are 8 big losers from previous years at the Academy Awards to remind us all that losing does not by any means translate into slipping from the cultural ethos into distant memory. In fact, it might even make them more hipster-cool.