Do The Right Thing for Best Picture
Recent years have seen heated discussion about racial diversity at the Oscars, but the issue isn't a new one. Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, called that year's best film by many critics, lost its only two nominations, neither of which were for best picture. That year's big winner was Driving Miss Daisy, a decidedly safer racially-driven movie.
Citizen Kane for Best Picture
Routinely called the the greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane was largely squashed by William Randolph Hearst, the primary inspiration for for the movie's main character, who attacked both the film and director. Hearst hindered the movie's performance and rallied much of Hollywood against it.
Original King Kong for Anything
Though it may seem goofy through today's eyes, King Kong stands as a technical marvel, from set design to its use of stop motion animation. Ignoring that it went on to inspire an entire genre of movies, a visual effects category wasn't introduced until 1938. Still, the film received zero nominations across the board.
Stanley Kubrick for Anything
Similar to Hitchcock, Kubrick never won Best Director. Similar to Hitchcock still, we look back now and recognize Kubrick as a visionary. Though the Oscar he did win, Best Effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey, was still important.
Selma for Best Picture
A major point of contention for film fans was Selma's treatment at the Academy Awards. Netting one win of its two nominations (winning for music, losing Best Picture), a discussion was sparked about the Academy's treatment of minority actors and films. Attention was drawn to the jury, which is largely white, to explain the lack of diversity amongst winners.