10 Worst Oscar Travesties in History

  • March 02, 2014
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5.

Crash Beat Brokeback Mountain

Let’s just get straight to it here: Crash was a manipulative, corny, way too on the nose portrayal of racism and perceived racism and, because it used a star-studded cast to tackle that particular issue, people flooded it with accolades despite the fact that the same year it came out, there was another film tackling equally important issues that should have won Best Picture. That movie, of course, was Brokeback Mountain. Brokeback Mountain was simply superior in just about every way, most notably in the writing and performances. People remember Heath Ledger for his portrayal of the Joker, but it was in Brokeback where he had his first truly revelatory performance.

4.

Dances With Wolves Beat Goodfellas

Over the years, Dances With Wolves has become one of those films which, while acclaimed upon its release, has lost oodles of luster as time has gone by. People are starting to realize it was really kind of sappy, overly long, dull, and frankly was dripping with white man’s guilt. The same year we got Dances With Wolves, we also received Goodfellas, considered by many to rival Godfather and Godfather II as the best mafia movie of all-time. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would even pretend that Dances With Wolves isn’t the inferior film.

3.

Shakespeare in Love Beat Saving Private Ryan

Now, Shakespeare in Love is a fine movie. It’s well written, well acted, and probably falls into the category your mom would call “cute.” But the fact that it somehow managed to steal Best Picture away from Saving Private Ryan, one of the best, most realistic war films of all-time remains an absolute joke. The 1990’s gave us several really questionable Best Picture winners, but no doubt the most stunning loss in that category has to go to Saving Private Ryan.

2.

Stanley Kubrick Never Won Best Director

You know how we mentioned that Alfred Hitchcock never won an Academy Award for Best Director? Well, neither did Stanley Kubrick, believe it or not. One of the most acclaimed directors in history, he was nominated for Best Director for his classic films Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, and Barry Lyndon. However, he never brought home the statue, and wasn’t even nominated for Full Metal Jacket, finding himself completely shut out in that category over his career despite having an incredible visual flair and creating some of the most iconic imagery in film history.

1.

How Green Was My Valley Beat Citizen Kane

Oh man, this one has to be embarrassing for the Academy. Seriously, who the heck remembers or has even seen How Green Was My Valley? Honestly, more people probably remember it as the movie Frasier Crane was trying to rent in one episode of Frasier than have actually watched the film itself, yet somehow it defeated Citizen Kane, voted by the American Film Institute as the greatest motion picture of all-time, for Best Picture. That’s not taking anything away from How Green Was My Valley, directed by the great John Ford, but the fact that this film, and not the magnum opus of Orson Welles, won Best Picture just seems absurd in retrospect.

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