Today: February 26, 2024

Worst Oscar Decisions

Ahh, the Oscars. Without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest night in the entire film calendar. A night where a handful of dreams will be made and a hundred others are crushed.

Ahh, the Oscars. Without a shadow of a doubt, the biggest night in the
entire film calendar. A night where a handful of dreams will be made and a
hundred others are crushed.
It’s the
marquee film event where everybody in Hollywood puts on their best frocks and
attempts to impress the entire world. And that’s’ all it really is. An attempt
to impress important and beautiful people. Although heralded as the be-all and
end-all of film appreciation, the Oscars’ continued disregard of key films and
filmmakers has caused many to question the legitimacy of the whole ceremony.
Time after time, the Academy has gotten it wrong. This isn’t a new trend
either. Since its inception, things just ain’t been right ,,, Join Greg Evans as he trawls through 85
years of gong-giving and points the finger at the biggest ever Oscar epic
fails…

Ignoring Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan is a
director that has this catalogue of films to his name: The Dark Knight Trilogy, Memento, Insomnia, The Prestige, Inception. He
has never been nominated for a best director award. Lets repeat that. NEVER had
a best director nomination. Out of all the modern directors surely Nolan is an
auteur. A man who defined that style that reinvented the blockbuster. A
committed advocate of celluloid who actually constructs sets, rather than
manipulates them on a computer. Even if he didn’t win, an acknowledgement would
be nice. If Nolan can take any compensation from these snubs, at least he’s
still making films. Other directors haven’t been so fortunate.

Technicalities That Suck
The Academy,
as well as
being fairly incompetent are suckers for the rules. So much so that the small
print for some categories have denied astonishing movies much-deserved
accolades. For instance, Heart of
Darkness
, the documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now, was denied Academy recognition because it premiered
on television. Another documentary that fell foul of this rule was Werner Herzog’s haunting masterpiece Grizzly Man. This was excluded because
half of the film came from the personal footage of the unfortunate Timothy Treadwell, who the film was
about. Even soundtracks have been caught in this net of nitpicking. Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood couldn’t
get a nod because one of the tracks from his score for There Will Be Blood had been used in another, low key film. Good
grief! It’s like they don’t want to give out any awards.

Sean Penn Has Two Best Actor Oscars
The following actors have
never won a Best Actor Oscar: Leonardo
DiCaprio
, Cary Grant, Peter O’Toole,
Johnny Depp, James Dean, Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Albert Finney. Sean Penn
has
two. Now let’s not gets things wrong here. Penn is a perfectly good actor, yet
he had no right to win those awards in the years he did. He won in 2004 for the
baggy and overrated Mystic River, when
Bill Murray should have rightfully
received it for his blissfully worn out role in Lost In Translation. 2009, though, was the biggest awards travesty.
Mickey Rourke puts in an all-time
best performance in The Wrestler, only
for Penn to waltz in and pull the rug from under his feet, with a fairly
predictable performance in Milk. Penn
has done much better films than the two mentioned, so for the Academy to award
those over two undeniable greats is farcical.

Al Pacino’s Only Has One Oscar Win
You would think playing lead
roles in The Godfather, Scarface,
Serpico
and Dog Day Afternoon would
earn any man a best actor award? But curiously Al Pacino’s only Best Actor win came from the dull and patronising Scent Of A Woman. Perhaps it was
because Pacino played an eccentric blind man here, instead of a murderous drug
lord, that earned him the gong. The fact is that Al Pacino’s not very good in
Scent Of A Woman. All he does is dance around a little and act silly and voila,
there you have the best actor of 1993. It’s a win that is so ridiculous it
actually became the funniest joke in Adam
Sandler’s
otherwise God-awful Jack
And Jill.

Martin Scorsese Only Has One Oscar
Win

First nominated back in 1981,
it took Scorsese six attempts to win the golden statue and when he finally did
it was probably for one of his lesser films. The Departed is a very good film but it can’t hold a light to the
likes of Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Taxi
Driver
or Mean Streets (the
latter two failed to get any nomination whatsoever). Despite these denials
Scorsese remained eternally humble, though when rap group Three 6 Mafia win an Oscar before you, you have the right to be a
little aggrieved.

Titanic Cleans Up In 1998
Billy Zane
is the
best thing about Titanic. When
that’s true, a film really shouldn’t win an Oscar. Yet alone eleven. But that is
exactly what happened in 1998 when James
Cameron’s
film swept the board. Better films were nominated that year (Good Will Hunting, L.A Confidential, The
Full Monty)
but The Academy couldn’t look beyond this ridiculous love story
centered around one of the biggest disasters in history. The Oscars have an
unfortunate habit of choosing melodrama over anything else with artistic
integrity. See: Driving Miss Daisy,
Shakespeare in Love, The Kings Speech, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Gandhi, A Beautiful
Mind
for other examples of crowd-pleasing victories.

Treating Foreign Cinema Like The
Third World

This year actually marks a change
in the tradition of shunning world cinema, as Michael Haneke’s mesmerising Amour
has picked up a series of high profile nominations. This has been a long
time coming. A vast amount of important films throughout history have failed to
gain any recognition. Films like 8 ½,
Ran, Amelie
and The Battle Of
Algiers
opened more people’s eyes to the magic of cinema than Braveheart ever did. A few have managed
to get around the blockade like Crouching
Tiger Hidden Dragon
and Cinema
Paradiso
but it still feels like the Academy is just ticking boxes. Lets
hope that Haneke wins everything this year, and then refuses the award. Fellini and Kurosawa will be cheering from their graves.

Pulp Fiction Loses To Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump
is a very
good film. A deserving Best Picture winner. Yet in 1995 that award should have
gone to Pulp Fiction. Quentin Tarantino’s
film not only defined a generation it also changed the language of cinema.
All Forrest Gump did was rehash some old stereotypes and reinforce some good
honest American values. Although the Oscars continue to acknowledge Tarantino’s
cinematic achievements surely his one defining masterpiece should have
triumphed over Robert Zemeckis’s sentimental
jaunt though history.

The List of Directors To Never Win
Best Director

At times The Academy has
credited worthy directors with a Best Director Oscar. Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg and eventually Martin
Scorsese. But sometimes they get it horribly wrong. So wrong in fact, that you
may doubt that the voters have even watched film. The following directors never
ever won best director: Sergio Leone,
Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick
and Alfred
Hitchcock.
Just those four names are enough to inspire such vivid images of
significant movie moments that you’d imagine they’d have won at least one gong.
But no. The Academy apparently consider the likes of Tom Hooper, Kevin Costner and Tony
Richardson
to be better. To each their own.

Citizen Kane Losing Best Picture To
How Green Was My Valley?

Has anyone watched How Green Was My Valley in the past 70
years? If so they’ve probably only watched it to see which film beat the
greatest film of all time at the 1942 Oscars. Since 1941 critics and directors
alike have unanimously voted Citizen
Kane
to the best film ever made. Quite why it lost out to John Ford’s film about a Welsh mining
town is baffling. In his debut feature Orson Welles told the life story of a
corrupt newspaper tycoon and his fall from grace. It single handedly invented
modern cinema and changed the face of movies forever. All How Green Was My
Valley did was tell an unconvincing tale about strikes. John Ford has made much
better films like The Searchers that
never got credited (which only adds to the injustice). Orson Welles made a
masterpiece in his first attempt. Surely the worst decision in Oscar history.

Previous Story

Terrence Malick

Next Story

Oscars 2013

Latest from Blog

Memory

Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

Paths of Glory

Paths of Glory is a curious beast. It’s a war film whose battles are mostly fought in a court room. It’s a Kubrick epic, that feels like a small, claustrophobic indie movie.

Monolith

Monolith is a film that delights and surprises in equal measure. This low-fi, slow burn thriller is part science fiction, part social commentary, with just the right amount of bumps and jumps

Billions Complete Series Unboxing

As Paul Giamatti remains a frontrunner in the race for this year’s Academy Award for Best Actor with his beautifully layered performance in The Holdovers, there’s no better time to catch up

Beverly Hills Cop Trilogy Unboxing

The heat is on. Eddie Murphy’s beloved street-smart Detroit cop Axel Foley is coming back to our screens in the highly-anticipated fourth entry in the Beverly Hills Cop series this summer, so

Footloose Steelbook Unboxing

One of the quintessential films of the 1980s, the endearingly cheesy Footloose has a ridiculous premise – a town that bans dancing – but it’s hard not to get swept up in
Go toTop