10 Of The Biggest Mistakes In Oscar History

85th Annual Oscars

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the Academy, as many people often do. Usually, they tend to make decent decisions. They may not always choose the best in a given category, but they usually at least choose a decent representation for it. Of course, there are times when they are completely right on the nose (Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia, Schindler’s List, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, etc.), but on the flip side, there are also moments where you have to question whether or not they’ve really seen all of the nominees.

Then again, there are also those that don’t take the Oscars all that seriously, thinking of it as more of a popularity contest with the Academy choosing what’s “hot” rather than the actual best nominee in a category (did anyone REALLY think Argo was the best film of 2012?). However, even as a popularity contest, some of their decisions have to be called out and examined, and so, in honor of the fast-approaching 86th Annual Academy Awards, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the biggest mistakes they’ve made throughout their history.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in…

Comments (97)

We've migrated from our usual commenting platform and unfortunately were not able to migrate the comments over. We apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause.

  1. DaWesays:

    Can’t say I agree with any of your points, except maybe Cloud Atlas should have been nominated for a few categories, but I still wouldn’t call that a big mistake. Concerning the others, I think that would have been a mistake, if those had won.

  2. CryWolfsays:

    Opinions are just that. Like mine being that Inglorious Basterds ( ditto to Django Unchained ) was an overrated mess and Cloud Atlas was an incomprehensible train wreck with pretty and popular stars. I’m actually surprised to see that you left off Halle Berry’s Best Actress win for Monster’s Ball. Personally, I thought she deserved her win but I know many hate the fact that she did for a “stereotype role”.

    1. westseadocsays:

      That “stereotype role” required a lot more acting to bring out her human qualities beyond the racial issue. I think she deserved it. Lupita’s role did not take much nuance because her role was written as to be so dehumanizing that over acting and high intensity was an easy call. Then, it only took the ability to emote the normal human responses to horrifying situations. It isn’t that her performance wasn’t outstanding and intense. It’s just that the actual skill in acting needed to bring that character to life was of a lesser stretch than some of the other roles that the other actresses portrayed. Hers was the more emotion evoking role but I can’t say it was the best acted in the technical sense.

  3. Larry Vegassays:

    Goodfellas: Keanu Reeves eating a cupcake?

    1. Jeff Becksays:

      Yeah… I have no idea what that was from. Swapped it out.

  4. docsays:

    You might as well lump Crash, Ordinary People and Shakespeare in Love in there too while your at it. I had to scroll back up to make sure this article wasn’t written 2 years ago and just updated with a few movies to make it seem more relevant.

    1. westseadocsays:

      I’d leave Crash as ok but would substitute Traffic.

  5. Forrealzsays:

    This moron just said Rocky doesn’t have anything “special” about it, but let me ask you how many people remember the movie Network? Nobody. Cloud Atlas was complete garbage. Forrest Gump easily beat out Tarantino.

    1. Jeff Becksays:

      You’re welcome to your own opinion obviously, but Network is still regarded as the better film to this day. How many people remember it? Everyone except you apparently. Whether or not most people found Cloud Atlas to be a masterpiece or not, the majority of critics liked it. I’d hardly say that Forrest Gump “easily” beat out Tarantino. There were so many great nominees that year that the votes were probably spread across the board, meaning that Gump probably won by a pretty small margin (in Picture and Director).

    2. skunkybeaumontsays:

      Yeah, Network is referenced as much as Airplane and Dr. Strangelove, you just have to know your film history to recognize it.

    3. westseadocsays:

      You simply have to watch “Network.” It’s a scathing satire on the “entertainment and news industry” … it is more true now than ever before as entertainment as news and attempts to increase the entertainment content in news programs closes the gap between the two. With Ratings being such a driving force and $$ being the paramount arbiter to excellence, the world of “Network” is closer to today than it was even then.

  6. Forrealzsays:

    I think this guy writing doesn’t understand the difference between Goodfellas and Dances with Wolves. Yes, Goodfellas was an amazing movie, but Dances with Wolves is not only a great movie but incorporates a topic lots of people have long pushed to the back of their mind. Movies aren’t just about the movie bro. I will agree that Million Dollar Baby was such an annoying film.

    1. just consider which movie is more memorable today goodfellas or dances wit….

    2. westseadocsays:

      Yes. DWW was more topical but it wasn’t as groundbreaking for its story telling, its direction and storytelling. This year, it was almost a given the 12 Years A Slave was going to win Best Picture and Lupita was going to win “Best Supporting Actress” simply because the members of the Academy just can’t bring themselves to vote against anything that has a them celebrating overcoming odds and makes social-political commentary. It would feel awkward to vote against it and pretty good to vote for it, whether you believed that intellectually or not. Then fawning over Sydney Poitier only added to the evening’s tilt. It isn’t that he doesn’t deserve honors for his groundbreaking filmwork, but it ignores that he was only acting out the roles that someone else had the courage to support monetarily and studio-wise. It ignored the writers and directors and producers without whom none of his performances would ever have been put onto celluloid. It was a great picture so I have no problem with the choice for BP and Lupita gave a searing performance, but I submit tat the role was written so that giving a searing performance was not a great stretch and subtlety and acting nuance was not needed, only intensity of emotion — something that should be in the wheelhouse of any acatress. The actress in Blue Jasmine (can’t recall name right now) probably should have won with Jennifer Lawrence an extremely close 2nd. Their roles required real acting chops to bring depth of character to their roles and skill to make them human.

  7. markbot2says:

    The way to understand these goofs is to know the demographic composition of the Academy. These decisions are easy to understand based on that.

  8. Bubbagumpsays:

    I’m surprised there wasn’t a “No Wins for The Shawshank Redemption” on here.

  9. RazorShinessays:

    Raging Bull should have won Bext a Picture and Director for Scorsese over Robert Redford and Ordinary People, Oliver Stone for JFK over Jon Demme for Silence of the Lambs, Mickey Rourke for The Wrstler over Sean Penn in Milk, Eddie Murphy in Dreamgirls over Alan Arkin in Lil Miss Sunshine, Ben Affleck not getting nominated for Argo, Tommy Lee Jones for The Fugitive over Leo DiCaprio in Whats Eating Gilbert Grape, and of course Art Carney for Harry and Tonto over Al Pacino in The Godfather Part II or Jack Nicholson in China Town. Just to name a few others

  10. i agree with all the points apart from the one about million dollar baby

  11. another point hurtlocker winning should have been mentioned here

  12. James325says:

    I don’t agree with any of these, except for #1. Rocky is a much better film than Network. Dance With Wolves is on another level. Now in my opinion for the biggest mistakes, The Assassination of Jesse James (2007) deserved it. Robert Shaw should have gotten an Oscar in the 70s for The Sting or Jaws. And Christian Bale got robbed out for not getting an Oscar for his portayal of Bateman in American Psycho.

  13. Fuckyoubitchsays:

    Brilliant article, I concer a 100%

  14. Fuckyoubitchsays:

    Only thing I would add would be Ed norton being robbed twice

  15. jenkins the 3rdsays:

    Soooo you don’t think al pachino winning best actor for scent of a woman over denzel Washington (in perhaps his greatest role to date) in malcom x deserved a spot on this list? Even the academy knew they shit the bed an gave him his “make up” oscar for his good but not great performance in training day

  16. Adam Scullinsays:

    I have mixed feelings about this article. I agreed with some things (The Dark Knight), didn’t understand others (haven’t seen Goodfellas or Dances With Wolves) and was completely dumbfounded by some (Rocky is a simplistic, straightforward boxing film with nothing special to it?!). I won’t argue any of these points, they’re all just personal opinion. The only gripe that I will write down is that you said Pulp Fiction should’ve won over Forrest Gump? I disagree, but as I said that’s your opinion, and it’s now what I’m complaining about. If you ever, ever, EVER speak about the 1995 Academy Awards and neglect to mention the most commonly agreed upon ‘greatest film of all time’ and my personal favourite, The Shawshank Redemption!

    1. Adam Scullinsays:

      don’t forget to mention*

      1. skunkybeaumontsays:

        Rocky IS a simplistic straightforward boxing film with nothing special to it. I was a great effort, great cast, great direction, great score. Deserving of the respect it gets, nothing groundbreaking or world changing though.

      2. andrikos_of_steelsays:

        Opinions stated as facts again…

      3. Georgesays:

        It was one of the first spots movie to have the protagonist lose the fight and still end up wining in the end. It was also one of the first sports movies to be emotional. Not groundbreaking? Maybe not, but it had some “firsts”.

      4. Adam Scullinsays:

        Sorry to reply so late. I can agree that it’s a straightforward film, but I didn’t find it to be so simplistic. To me, the lesson on ‘going the distance’ and not necessarily winning but sticking to the end was a very strong and important lesson. True, it is a lesson that you will learn from many different people and things, but I felt that Rocky was one of the greatest things to get that message across. Anyway, that’s how I don’t see it as simplistic, but I can imagine that if you’re a person that that message didn’t connect with as much, the film certainly would’ve been a simplistic viewing, I see where you’re coming from

    2. skunkybeaumontsays:

      I still lend credence to the conspiracy that WB had Heath Ledger killed for marketing purposes. The Dark Knight was the best film in a mediocre trilogy overloaded with sound and visuals, high on characters, low on story.

    3. Chrissays:

      Putting this argument in perspective is very simple. Let’s say, hypothetically, that you’re a film historian. Your latest project is an encyclopedic study of the entire history of American cinema. If your book includes no mention of Forrest Gump, so be it. You’re fine… a forgivable omission. If your book includes no mention of Pulp Fiction, you’ve just lost your credibility. Forrest Gump is a fantastic film, but it’s impact on the overall narrative of American filmmaking is quite minimal. Pulp Fiction directly impacted the course, the shape, and the color of cinema worldwide. The story of America’s film legacy can’t be told without it.

  17. Silverbrainsays:

    Ridley Scott not getting best director for Gladiator, even though it won best picture/actor/effects/sound/costumes. Russell Crowe not getting best actor in A Beautiful Mind, but the movie winning best picture/actress/director/writing.

    1. skunkybeaumontsays:

      Russell Crowe didn’t win for A Beautiful Mind? Wow, I had forgotten about that.

  18. tedh754says:

    Anytime you have more than one actor/actress from the same film nominated in the same category, it seems that the award will go to someone from another film. I guess they split the vote. Remember Hoffman/Voight for Midnight Cowboy?

  19. Juan Jose Moralessays:

    OUT OF mAFRICAn mind with boredom–no plot, no characters, no dramatic conflict, no memorable dialogue-merely a National Geographic documentary in which Streepthroat and Redfondue are just standing in front of the camera blocking the view of the beautiful flora and fauna of Kenya–ruined my opinion of the Oscar to such an extent that now I pay absolutely no attention to whatever movies it chooses to reward.

    1. Jeff Becksays:

      I’ve only seen two of the other nominees that year (in addition to Africa), but I didn’t really feel strongly about any of them. IMO, director should have gone to Kurosawa for Ran without question, and the film should have been up for BP. It’s shocking that he was only nominated the one time.

    2. Sean Pennsays:

      what a moron!!

  20. Anderssays:

    I agree with Goodfellas and Stanley kubrick. I would like to add ingmar Bergman to the list.

  21. Lukesays:

    This article is like a fanboy’s wet dream. The author doesn’t understand why the Academy chose Dances With Wolves over Goodfellas, why Forrest Gump won Best Picture over Pulp Fiction, why Avatar TOTALLY deserved Best Art Direction. I mean, look at the immature insults that the author uses to make himself out to appear superior.

    1. Jeff Becksays:

      Wolves and Gump won because they were much easier for the Academy to handle. Nothing to understand there. As to why Avatar deserved Art Direction, I’d love to hear. This ought to be good.

      1. westseadocsays:

        You might have mentioned the Academy tends to vote for films that make it easy on their perception of themselves. This is why social commentary films that promote exposure of, correction of, or evoke negative emotions to, social injustice do well. I won big bets ($$$) on DWW (which BTW I liked), FG, and this years TYAS because I knew the Academy just can’t resist showing how “progressive and enlightened” they are in their thinking. This does not mean such were not good films in and of themselves and were not worthy winners, but rather I was betting on the Academy’s tendency to be afraid to be anything less than progressive in their voting. Hence such films have a leg up on their competitors on a year over year basis. It’s the same reason that if Mother Teresa ran on the Republican Ticket and Hitler ran as a Democrat, the winner would be a coin toss. To quote Brad Pitt re: TYAS

        “It’s important that we understand our history, not for any kind of guilt, but that we understand who we were so that we can better understand who we are now, and why we’re having the specific problems we’re having or the successes were having,” he said. “Most importantly who we’re going to be.”
        “At the end of the day we just hope that this film remains a gentle reminder that we’re all equal,” Pitt said. “We all want the same, we want dignity and opportunity for ourselves and our family.”

        “It’s been a long run, and this is very, very, very exciting moment for us,” Pitt said. “It’s a real joy and something to ruminate on and really understand what it all means. At the same time, when the film was complete, I had this also this extraordinary feeling knowing that this is a film that will ‑‑ that has legs, that will be around and be speaking to people for many, many years, and that’s the biggest pride.”

        Now, can you imagine the majority of the academy voting against that? It’s not that the film isn’t relevant or great … only that it was a shoo-in for BP despite the buzz that other films had garnered.

  22. PeteUsays:

    An interesting take. Some points agree with, some I don’t, and some I don’t really have much of an opinion either way. A couple worth mentioning:

    Cloud Atlas was most definitely jipped at the Oscars. If not for Best Picture, then at least something like cinematography or best supporting actress for Doona Bae. It was a masterpiece, plain and simple, and I think as time goes on it will be recognized by more and more people as such. But I think the reason it got shut out (even of nominations, let alone awards) was that it had such an ambitious scale that people really didn’t know what to make of it on an initial viewing. It really is a movie that requires multiple viewings to truly appreciate. For those without such patience, Cloud Atlas gets passed by the wayside. (That being said, the best picture that year, Argo, was quite a fine film in its own right, and was most deserving of all the films that were actually nominated. But it’s a damn shame the academy passed over Cloud Atlas.)

    Now, Dances with Wolves versus Goodfellas. I can’t say whether or not DWW was a better movie than Goodfellas. I will say, however, I enjoyed DWW much more than Goodfellas. Don’t get me wrong. Scorsee did a fine job with Goodfellas. The acting and writing were all top notch. But here’s Goodfellas’ problem: it does not have one single likeable character in it. Every one of them comes off as despicable beyond redemption. Even in other mob dramas (Godfather, The Sopranos) you find yourself somewhat shamefully rooting for the anti-hero progatonist, but there’s just none of that to be had in Goodfellas. Perhaps that’s the result of it being loosely based on a real story, but I think it suffers from the fact that you just don’t care about any of the characters. Whereas DWW has a very sympathetic protagonist. So, DWW was simply more engaging in terms of it’s characters, and that’s probably why it got the edge.

    The same could probably be said for why Forrest Gump got the nod over Pulp Fiction–likeable main characters win out all the time. Although I do think the characters in Pulp Fiction were more engaging than in Goodfellas.

    One that you neglected to mention: The schlocky English Patient getting the best picture award over Fargo, which I maintain is the Coen brothers’ finest work. (I’d like to think the best picture award for No Country for Old Men–a decent movie but not the Coen’s best, IMHO–was in part an apology from the academy for their screw up in overlooking Fargo.)

  23. Ben Johnsonsays:

    Hold up! You missed a huuuuuge mistake!!! Saving Private Ryan was beat out by Shakespeare in Love. Nothing against Shakespeare In Love, by Ryan is one the of the most classic war movies of all time. Most people have never even seen Shakespeare In Love.

    1. Jeff Becksays:

      I don’t find it a mistake at all. Saving Private Ryan is a great film, but it’s mainly known for its opening war scene (the main reason Spielberg won Best Director). The rest of it is a standard war picture. Shakespeare in Love is brilliantly written, acted, and directed. On top of that, I find it far more memorable, and so I fully agree with the Academy’s decision that year.

  24. Kensalsays:

    it is a terrible oversight…i would even go by saying that hitchcock is an even greater oversight than kubrick…when you think about the films that hitchcock made, in that era of cinema…to think that he was never given an oscar is an absolute disgrace to mankind…truly and utterly distasteful.

  25. Ray Starksays:

    I appreciate that you put Kubrick’s multiple snubs as the biggest Academy mistake. Between him and Hitchcock, I can’t take the Oscars seriously. I don’t agree with The Dark Knight…one of the most overrated movies of all time. Otherwise, great list.

  26. jacobsays:

    Love this article, one of the best I’ve read! I completely agree with every point you made actually! I definitely thought Argo was overrated; Zero Dark Thirty or Django Unchained should’ve won, maybe even Les Miserables. Pulp Fiction did deserve to win director + picture, as did The Dark Knight! But the one thing that still angers me to this day is the fact that Hurt Locker beat Inglourious Basterds! The latter should have won everything it was nominated for in my opinion, the best film of the last 20 years by miles. And the one Oscar I can’t believe it lost was indeed Original Screenplay. Genuine travesty. Also, I feel the Academy got some decisions wrong on Lord of the Rings – they should’ve nominated it for much more acting awards, particularly Sam, Frodo and Pippin. But Andy Serkis should have won for his performance as Gollum, no doubt.

    1. Nicksays:

      I loved inglorious basterds, but best picture? Pulp fiction was best picture material for sure, but most QT films don’t rise above brilliant and fun.

      The oscars are a joke, simple as that. Past the 70s, the awards were nothing more than a popularity contest. Shakespeare in Love? Please. The oscars constantly award movies that are often mediocre, but have some sort of message that looks good and powerful, sometimes regardless of their quality.

      Gone are actors like Bogart or Grant, who win awards for amazing roles and continue to do amazing things, although if we are being honest, even they didn’t win the awards they deserved, or won awards in roles that weren’t as great as other roles they’ve not even been nominated in. Hell, bogart wasn’t even nominated for Falcon!

      The fact of the matter is simple, the Awards are a joke and serve as nothing more than glad handing by movie execs.

  27. Marin Simeonoff Simeonoffsays:

    I disagree with almost everything except for the Pulp Fiction and Godfather ones.

  28. Lucas Accardosays:

    The Dark Knight isn’t a great movie. I don’t like it but i get that many people do. It’s just no Oscar material in any way.

    1. Nameless Paladinsays:

      And the Reader is???

      1. Lucas Accardosays:

        Vastly superior to TDK ,yes. I don’t love it particularly , but since you brought it up-

      2. Nameless Paladinsays:

        Bull, you either don’t know anything about Bernhard Schlink’s novel or you simple have a bad taste in film. The Reader a sappy, trite and shamelessly manipulative adaptation of an aesthetically powerful book. It doesn’t just fail as a character study, it fails as a piece of narrative. The 3 Act structure is god awful (it’s almost as bad as the Star Wars films) and it completely skipped relevant ideas in the book for more nude Kate Winslet scenes. And Winslet was much better in Revolutionary Road. The Reader remains the worst best picture nominee of this century. Everyone knows why it got nominated – Harvey Weinstein. Slumdog (the most clichéd best picture winner of all time where the lovable loser wins in the end and gets the girl and the money) remains the worst best picture winner of this century, second only to crash. And don’t even get me started on Benjamin ‘Forrest Gump backwards’ Button. Milk should have won best picture and it shouldn’t have even been a competition.
        Nolan’s Dark knight did what I’ve been wanting a blockbuster to do for ages. It took its inspiration from Hamlet, dives right at the heart of moral philosophy and made it a point to address some serious issues about the corruptibility of mankind and the illusion of our ethical code. Hack movies like the Reader get fawned over for exploring insipid themes like not communicating is bad, the Dark Knight deals with dark thematic issues most movies never touch – like West’s responsibility for terrorism, deceiving the masses for their own good, love not saving anyone and the impossibility of living up to heroic expectations. And what about Wall-E? Wall-E was elegant cinema. The day the Academy nominated the Reader and Button over Wall-E, the Dark knight and in Bruges, they came off as masters of pretentiousness and ignorance rather than masters of art.

  29. MovieJaysays:

    Yeah, I thought “Cloud Atlas” was at least going to be good for Cinematography, Sound, and a couple other technical awards.

    For me, one of the bigger mistakes was “Gladiator” winning Best Picture and Crowe for Actor that year. He was clearly better in “The Insider” the year before and “A Beautiful Mind” the following year. “Traffic” was the Best Picture that year, and I was miffed that “Wonder Boys” and Michael Douglas were totally neglected.

    I think “Chinatown” was the best of 1974. It’s 40 years old this year and it holds up better than almost any other movie made that year, including “Godfather II”, which is a terrific movie, but it’s no “Chinatown”.

    “Hoop Dreams”, “Crumb”, and “Grizzly Man” among other docs were huge omissions from Oscar consideration.

    I have complaints with recent animation winners. We all know “Wreck-It Ralph” was better than “Brave” a couple years ago.

  30. Oscar Lujánsays:

    For the “Million Dollar Bay”: At the time of the film projection and Oscar winning, Clint Eastwood was part of the California State Park and Recreation Commission, appointed in there by Governor Fay Davis, and in 2004 by Arnold Scharzenegger… not accusing of anytihng, but, after that Night at the Oscars, I’ll always have my thoughts that this part of him in California Government has to do with Eastwood winning all big that night….

  31. 1234567890says:

    The author has a crush on gangster movies. Thats why, in his opinion, each of them has to win all the oscars.

    This was the first article I read here, and it will be the last. Critics need to stay neutral.

    1. Jeff Becksays:

      Wow, that’s an incredible sweeping generalization from there being three gangster films on the list. Would it surprise you to discover that I was rooting for The Queen over The Departed?

      Critics need to stay neutral? You obviously need to look up what critics do.

      1. 1234567890says:

        You are not ment to defend your points. You should accept every form of feedback and try to learn from it. Thats the professional thing to do. Getting all defencive in the comments is a failure.

        That said, you didnt deny you prefer the gangster genre. So I take it its true. Thats most likely why you are so mad in love with Tarantino that you actualy think Basterds was a good film. If it wasnt for Tarantinos fame that movie would be on everyone ‘worst whatever’ lists. For his fame alone he got the cash to make it technicaly good and hire some quality actors. But that cant save it. The characters are bad, the setting is terrible and the story is braindead.

      2. Jeff Becksays:

        Not meant to defend my points? Why would I not? We have comments so that they can be discussed.

        I might be able to learn something from your “feedback” if you would make the least bit of sense, but all you’ve done is make an erroneous assumption, make some asinine statements, and spout your hatred of a film. That’s fine that you don’t like Basterds, but you just have to accept that most really enjoyed it and would completely disagree with your “critique.” However it’s hard to take you seriously in the first place because your reasoning is entirely silly (if it wasn’t for Tarantino’s fame, it would be on worst-of lists?).

      3. westseadocsays:

        I agree. The Departed was a cover of the Hong Kong film, “Internal Affairs,” and the role of Mark Wahlberg was placed into the film simply to apply a Western ending to the film where Wahlberg avenges the death of “the good guy.” In the Asian film, the crime mole gets away with it but it is left that he recognizes that he has caused suffering and deaths of others, and in the more classic Asian sense of honor, must now honor the consequences of his actions and it appears that he will now become “good” to honor foes fallen due to his actions, a debt of honor as it were. Western audiences do not fare well without happy endings, however unrealistic. In Asian films, a hero is not a hero if the likelihood of consequence is eliminated. The hero may or may have not lost all but he/she does lose all to avenge the wrongs. By taking on the methods of his foes, he too, has engaged Karma such that he will lose in his victory. This is the essence of heroism, avenging a wrong when it will cost you everything. Notice that Bruce Lee usually was jailed or killed at the end of his movies, until the westernized “Enter the Dragon.”

  32. Are You Kidding?says:

    “Nobody talks about “Cabaret” anymore.”
    To celebrate “Cabaret”s Blu-Ray restoration two years ago, there was a free screening of the picture at NYC’s Ziegfeld (I attended).
    SRO. Hundreds–HUNDREDS–were turned away.
    The article has zero credibility with statements like the above.

    1. Jeff Becksays:

      Of course it was talked about for its anniversary and a special screening, but then it went right back to where it was.

  33. andrikos_of_steelsays:

    I really like this list.

    Of course the snubbing towards Kubrick is indeed the greatest slip in the Academy’s history. Apart from that, I agree wholeheartedly with what you said about The Dark Knight, Cloud Atlas, The Godfather and Goodfellas.

    I don’t think though that we should be surprised that the Oscar for Best Picture went to Dances With Wolves. It was America’s chance to say “sorry” to the Native Americans and they didn’t want to miss it. Of course the rest of the world facepalmed, but I doubt the Academy cared. It’s funny how after Dances With Wolves and The Last Of The Mohicans we haven’t had a major film centering on the Native Americans of that time, no matter how many stories could possibly be told. It’s as if Hollywood feels that it paid its debt.

    And although I really love Rocky and feel it deserved the first place in 1976, I give cudos to you for choosing The Network over The Taxi Driver, which seems to be the hip choice today (“it has DeNiro, so it had to beat Stallone…”).

  34. Mark Brownsays:

    Glenn Close lost the Best Actress Oscar two years in a row for her POWERHOUSE performances in “Fatal Attraction” (1987) and “Dangerous Liaisons” (1988). Many people rave about how she was particularly deserving of the second one, but I can see why she may have lost that year. Though she was MARVELOUS in “Dangerous Liaisons”, her other co-stars took up most of the screen time in that film. Jodie Foster, who won the Oscar the same year for “The Accused”, was the main person onscreen in her film and she was VERY convincing. I do think Glenn was GENUINELY robbed the year before, for “Fatal Attraction”. That was HER movie and HER Oscar. It was Glenn Close onscreen 99% of the time, and in that time, she was both frightening and heartbreaking. She made the audience feel sympathy for her character, who could EASILY have been portrayed as a simple psychopathic stalker and “bunny boiler”. But in Glenn’s hands, we can see that Alex is a damaged woman, damaged by a hard past, and that is why she goes “bonkers” when people reject her. I don’t understand why the Oscar went to Cher for her entertaining- though certainly NOT Oscar-worthy performance- in “Moonstruck”. What’s even more puzzling is that “Fatal Attraction” was a major box office hit! It was the second highest-grossing film of the year, behind “Three Men and a Baby”. Everybody and their mother saw it.

  35. Triersays:

    I’m pretty okay with Cloud Atlas not being nominated. I did not feel it was AMAZING, as so many seemed to feel it was. I honestly cannot even believe Forest Gump beat Pulp Fiction, that blows my mind. Also Fight Club, that should have received many nominations.

  36. Todd Carpentersays:

    I don’t know how old you are, but your choices seem to suggest that Oscar history only began around 1970. You title should have been biggest Oscar mistakes in the last 40 years, because I don’t think Bill Murray losing to a better actor or The Dark Knight not getting more nominations to make fanboys squeal can compare to Citizen Kane’s losing Best Picture to How Green Was My Valley in 1941, or Loretta Young winning Best Actress for The Farmer’s Daughter over Rosalind Russel in Mourning Becomes Electra in 1947, or The Greatest Show on Earth beating out High Noon and The Quiet Man in 1952, or Judy Hollilday beating Gloria Swanson for Sunset Blvd. and Bette Davis for All About Eve in 1950, or Grace Kelly in The Country Girl beating Judy Garland in A Star is Born in 1954 etc, etc, etc.

    1. Saul Rosssays:

      Penn’s a better actor than Murray? That’s debatable. Penn’s good with dramatic roles, but comedy presents a bigger challenge and there aren’t too many that are better than Murray. He was robbed for his role in Lost In Translation. I’m surprised there was no mention of Penn beating out Rourke for The Wrestler. Penn was good in Milk, but Rourke was unforgettable. Such a powerful performance!

      1. Saul Rosssays:

        I will agree with you on Citizen Kane losing out to How Green Was My Valley. I’d also add Ellen Burstyn losing to Julia Roberts, Anthony Perkins not receiving a nom for Psycho, Hopper not getting a nom for Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive and Memento not receiving much attention. There are so many.

      2. Comedic roles has nothing to do with acting ability and everything to do with charisma!! This is why most ‘comedic actors’ are virtually playing themselves in different scenerios

      3. Saul Rosssays:

        That’s not true at all. Whether it’s comedy or drama, acting is acting. It’s also known that comedy provides a much bigger challenge than drama. If you look it up you’ll see. I’ve noticed myself that dramatic actors who dabble in comedy often fail to impress me. Comedic actors who dabble in dramatic roles have impressed me quite often.

  37. Ben Caesarsays:

    I see that you are a big fan of Tarantino

    1. deckbosesays:

      Way too big.

  38. Todd Carpentersays:

    I don’t know how old you are, but your choices seem to suggest that Oscar history only began around 1970. Your title should have been biggest Oscar mistakes in the last 40 years, because I don’t think Bill Murray losing to a better actor or The Dark Knight not getting more nominations to make fanboys squeal can compare to Citizen Kane’s losing Best Picture to How Green Was My Valley in 1941, or Loretta Young winning Best Actress for The Farmer’s Daughter over Rosalind Russel in Mourning Becomes Electra in 1947, or The Greatest Show on Earth beating out High Noon and The Quiet Man in 1952, or Judy Holliday beating Gloria Swanson for Sunset Blvd. and Bette Davis for All About Eve in 1950, or Grace Kelly in The Country Girl beating Judy Garland in A Star is Born in 1954 etc, etc, etc.

    That’s what I think.

    1. BoCoMoJsays:

      Uh, no movie made before 1970 deserves an Oscar, because no one could act back then.

      Penn a “better actor?” LMAO. Better than whom? Better than a wooden plank, maybe. Maybe.

    2. yourmomsays:

      I agree. I stopped reading the reasons why when it was suggested pulp fiction was more deserving than forrest gump. The author is clearly a young kid that can’t handle movies with structured dialogue or a rational thinking plot

      1. Jeff Becksays:

        Right, because Lost in Translation didn’t have structured dialogue or a rational thinking plot, nor did Cloud Atlas, or Network, or The Godfather, or any of Kubrick’s films. Yes, this makes perfect sense.

      2. yourmomsays:

        thank you for agreeing with me

  39. whataworld99says:

    For me the biggest ripoffs were losses by Judy Garland for A Star is Born and Bette Davis for All About Eve.

  40. Gerogesays:

    This article is ridiculous. Click bait bullshit. Every post was stupid or a big “who gives a shit” except for Copolla for Godfather. Million Dollar Baby was a great film. You’re just an emotionless dog if you can’t appreciate that movie.

  41. Austensays:

    I don’t agree to some of the things mentioned here, but i came here just for the one – The Dark Knight conspiracy, which of course i found. As for 2013, the biggest poop that Oscars took was not nominating Man of Steel for Original Score, CG and Sound Design, instead nominating films that is simply hysterical in comparison, also considering the standard of CG of previous year winner. Gravity is going to win no doubt, but Man of Steel is second best last year.

    1. Douglas Carlisle Kingsays:

      Man of Steel for Original Score?

      Sorry but when a movie featuring Superman has no memorable theme, or song for that matter, there’s no way to argue that it should have won. Maybe garnered a nomination. I remembering walking away from that film wondering why Zimmer didn’t create any kind of theme for that film. He said he was intimidated about taking over the score since it would be measured against the iconic Superman theme composed by John Williams, so apparently his solution was to not develop a theme at all. As one of the best composers in the business today, he really dropped the ball with Man of Steel, and when you don’t have a memorable theme or song, your not gonna win anything, and are going to have a helluva time getting nominated.

      As for CG, it probably should have been nominated, but no way it deserves to win, and not just because it was up against Gravity.

  42. Diane Champion Brockersays:

    crash over brokeback?? no way

  43. Kurosays:

    I don’t think that “Inglourios basterds” should have won that Oscar. I’ve never seen the hurt locker, but I think I.B. is a highly flawed movie.. Tarantino got carried away making a movie both about the Holocaust and his love of cinema. Waltz earnt his oscar, but I think, it even formally is not one of the best movies of Tarantino. There were forgettable scenes and performances, like that of Diane Kruger, for example.

  44. mynamesays:

    well…I don’t watch the Oscars for more than one reason sorry to bore you with a few..but of course my number one reason is their lack of love and appreciation for black actors and actresses..etc..I mean when Halle Berry won that Oscar I couldn’t believe it..That movie was okay but come on really? They kept calling her the first Black woman to win an academy award for best actress. Problem: she isn’t black for one, she is half black and half white and that irritates me to no end. Problem: 2001 and this is a so-called “black” woman’s FIRST oscar? WOW! That’s insulting and very sad.
    Another reason I don’t watch is because it is freakin boring. It just is I am sorry..ugghhh.
    Lastly I don’t watch it because over the years as this list shows…some of the movies they choose are stupid and not really what I would think are academy award worthy movies. I check the winners and losers but I am usually disappointed.(except with slum dog).
    This article is on point for the most part…in my opinion although I fail to see what people liked about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I hated that movie. Although I loved the concept of being able to erase someone from memory, overall I thought the movie was DAH! (dum as hell).
    Pulp Fiction is another one..I have mixed feelings about it. I don’t hate it though it was okay, but I fail to see what was sooooo great about it that people go on and on about. I do not mind being schooled a little because may be I am missing the point some where with these movies…
    A Clockwork Orange- I started watching it and didn’t finish it. I just couldn’t get in to it but I am going to watch it again so the jury is still out on that one.

    I have an open mind and I love all kinds of movies…Goodfellas is definitely one of my all time favorite movies no way it should have been snubbed.
    Cloud Atlas is on my to watch list…loved Inglorious…and most of the others.

    1. Douglas Carlisle Kingsays:

      Sorry if she was robbing a white guy in the alley there is no way he would then yell: “help this half-black, half-white lady is robbing me”.

      She experienced the same prejudices that any other black woman would growing up, possibly more so because she was likely judged by others blacks for being mixed race (i.e. what you just did).

      Also the lack of winners until now is a product of casting. Granted there were decades where the Academy would have also pushed back even if a Black woman was in a role worthy of recognition. Black women had never been regularly cast in leading roles until about the last 20 years, add in the fact that you not only have to be cast in a leading role but it has to be a role worthy of winning an Academy Award.

      As for why Pulp Fiction is such a great movie: Research Auteur Theory (Auteur is French for Author – in layman’s terms it holds that a director is able to make a film their own, even if they didn’t write the script, and had to deal with interference from outside factors (studios, actors etc.)). One of Tarantino’s signatures is his love for film and how he incorporates it into his films. The Shot Compositions, the scene setting, and the natural dialog, are phenomenal. And despite being just under 20 years old it has already influenced other director’s styles and has been referenced in pop culture for all 20 years of its existence.

      I will say that I don’t disagree with the Academy giving the award to Forrest Gump, they had no idea of knowing how influential Pulp Fiction would become when they voted, and as for pop culture relevance, Forrest Gump is arguably just as relevant (so there goes that argument). I think the better film is Pulp Fiction, but can definitely see why they would side with the feel-good film.

      1. mynamesays:

        Forrest was great..Pulp was okay.. My opinion.. I don’t care what a person would say if being robbed she is not black.. Period. May b they need their own race, but you can’t be half white and be all black at the same time. It doesn’t work. The lack of black women cast in leading roles is insulting. The fact that it took that long for Denzel to get one is insulting. Angela Bassett is a great actress I thought she was great in What’s Love got to do with it.. What about The Color Purple? Whoopi killed that!
        I don’t doubt that Halle and people of mixed races face racism BUT how can one entire side of who they are be ignored, or denied? Her mom is white! So why isn’t she a white woman? Then to call her African American I mean really? I have no issues wit Halle’s race I think she is beautiful. Whenever Hollywood/ media can take something from us they do.. by doing crap like that they take it under the guise of giving it and people accept it! If Mariah Carey won an Academy award for best actress ( no it would not happen) would they consider her the second Black woman to win one, because her mother is white and her father is black…Does she look like a black woman? All race aside I don’t think Halle Berry is all that great of an actress.. She is okay. Oscar winning? No. I feel like they wanted to give one to a “black” woman and Halle was their safe bet. People mixing the races is a personal choice but as far as I am concerned to categorize mixed people as black when they are only half black is lying about who they are.
        Back to pulp. I love QT.. I guess I get what your saying about Pulp. To compare Forrest and Pulp doesn’t mesh the movies are so different. There were some interesting scenes in pulp.. But I enjoyed Resevoir Dogs and From Dusk till Dawn way more.

  45. jckfmsinctysays:

    The amateurish “The Greatest Show on Earth” won the Best Picture Oscar in 1952. Hollywood’s greatest musical, “Singin” in the Rain”, wasn’t even among the five nominees that year!!!

  46. James Dalessandrosays:

    This is a pretty good list, kudos. But if you’re going to pick out a film maker who never won Best Director, it’s not Kubrick. The slight starts and ends with ALFRED HITCHCOCK, greatest English language film maker of all time, who never won the award.

  47. Jamie Parsonssays:

    All of this is just your personal opinion, like how most actor’s performances are. A lot of people think Penn deserved it for Mystic River.

  48. Raphaelsays:

    I can see your point in some of them, but I disagree that dancing with the wolves did not deserve best picture. Godfellas is more referenced because it is a gangster movie and the dialogue is made for it, but the screen shoot on dancing with the wolves are superior and it is something different. It does amuse me to watch all the hate people post in dancing with the wolves forum, so if any of you are here do not stop posting:)

  49. Worst list eversays:

    Well I agree about Bill Murray, and definitely the Kubrick thing – but a list that actually claims that Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Bastards were robbed for Oscars is just straight up sad..

    Not that they aren’t okay movies for what they are, but to even consider them Oscar material is just wrong. Like all other of Tarantino’s movies, they’re just about “cool” conversations that has nothing to do with the almost non-existing plot, and besides that, they’re just glorifications of over the top violence, usually with no actual plot-driven need for the graphic violence, and seems mostly like a way for Tarantino to sell tickets.

    And The Dark Knight was robbed for Oscars – really?
    It’s just a super hero movie, definitely a good one, though many people agree that it’s not even the best super hero movie out there. And definitely not worth something like best director, script or movie – though Ledgers performance was breathtaking, and a deserved win – dead or not..

    But never the less, this is probably one of the worst list I’ve ever read on the internet…

  50. HE1NZsays:

    I’m sure academy did right with ignoring TDK.

  51. statingmyopinionsays:

    I stopped watching the Oscars, when Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich) won over Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream) . I knew and understood right then and there,, it wasn’t about who should win, it was about who could court the academy voters.

  52. Nameless Paladinsays:

    I agree with most of this picks but there are lots of other snubs as well. The Academy can’t stop embarrassing themselves.

  53. gaypenguinsays:

    I have to disagree with “Pulp Fiction.” To me, it’s one of the most overrated films of the last 25 years. I found it boring, full of gratuitous violence, even confusing. I know parts were supposed to be funny, but I didn’t find it so. I was ready to walk out 1/3 of the way through but I stuck with it, thinking it would get better. It didn’t. “Forrest Gump” on the other hand, is a classic that people don’t mind seeing again and again. Yes, it’s implausible, but it’s a fable, it touches many emotions, and has a real story to tell.

  54. Niccolò Downing Nannuccisays:

    I disagree : Fosse is far superior. Try shooting something like that ! It’s got pace, performance, and all that it takes. The musical numbers obviously require great staging, and coming from the theatre Fosse is a master at that. The Godfather has definitely good performances, but it’s a lot slower in terms of pace and less organic talking about screenplay Coppola does better directing and writing (not necessarily a better film) with “The Godfather – Part II”. You would have liked him to have a sixth Oscar ? How about “Apocalypse now” ?

  55. Niccolò Downing Nannuccisays:

    Actually Avildsen has been really good on this one. My personal choice would have been Alfred Hitchcock for “Family Plot”, (Remember Pakula and Scorsese were in the round, too)

All Posts