As the Oscars are the biggest award cerimony in the world, there are many films that were underlooked thoughout the years, and most difficult it is for us to accept that sometimes the Academy’s choices are biased and instead of giving the award to the best film of the year, they actually award it to a film that didn’t quite deserve the golden statuette. Here are some examples of that (please remind yourselves that these are personal opinions and you can share yours without being offended by these).
Okay… I’ve been watching the Oscars since 2003, but I will select a few movies before that year, so chronologically speaking, the first choice is:
The English Patient (1997)
Anthony Minghella‘s epic is a very interesting and endearing film, but I would have chosen Fargo as the rightful winner. I mean, The English Patient is good filmmaking, but sometimes it gets close to a boring development, while the Coen’s brother masterpiece combines masterful writing with the entertainment dosage required for the audience to be on their feet. In 1994, although I loved Forrest Gump and will not include in this top, Pulp Fiction or The Shawshank Redemption should’ve surpassed it, because, they actually are a lot better.
I know this is one of the greatest classics of all-time, but… well… I love Titanic, but I feel like Good Will Hunting was actually better written and better filmed than Titanic was. I think the power of the story was actually more endearing then a clichéd love story such as Titanic. I understand the magnitude but having a good story trancends everything while evaluating cinema.
Shakespeare in Love (1999)
This one is the one that annoys me the most. I mean, it’s not that bad, but not that good either. It is boring as it is charming at times and should have not won the Best Picture category. It’s a bit insulting with the other nominees being Saving Private Ryan, La Vita è Bella or The Thin Red Line from Terrence Malick, even Elizabeth was better than Shakespeare in Love. It was one of the Oscars biggest flops in delivering an award.
I mean, I love Crash, I absolutely adore the film, but on the year where Brokeback Mountain could have done history and being a much deeper analysis of human behavior, Crash‘s victory seems a bit too unpredictable to be true. It’s not that I don’t like it, because I do, but it felt wrong. Brokeback Mountain is probably one of the greatest LGBTQ+ films of all-time and Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal‘s performances were meaningful and unique.
The Hurt Locker (2010)
I know people can be mad at me for this one. I really enjoyed it as well but didn’t quite understand why it needed to win Best Picture. Best Directing? Sure thing, Katheryn Bigelow really deserved it. But the movie is just another war movie, and it lacks the emotion to grip an audience like Quentin Tarantino‘s Inglourious Basterds did. I know that the dispute was between Avatar and The Hurt Locker, but I certainly think that Tarantino outdone himself again with his war piece.
The King’s Speech (2011)
Don’t get me wrong, I find The King’s Speech higly likable and adorable, but giving the Best Picture award to it, when Christopher Nolan‘s Inception blew the minds of every single one that year, I don’t agree. Let’s be honest, the power of a story is important but also the work that is put in everything else to deliver quality above any level. Nolan’s deserved that one.
Ben Affleck‘s drama thriller is interesting but feels like another episode of Homeland. It’s probably one of the weakest wins ever, to be honest. On a year where you have, again, a very well-shaped Tarantino with Django Unchained, or Life of Pi which shows creativity and is embraced by art and powerful storytelling, feels like Argo shouldn’t have won.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2015)
I love Birdman, I really do. It is as unusual as it is brilliant. But, in my heart, I have to give props to Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood. It made history, being filmed during 12 years to accompany the growth of its leading boy throughout his life. I mean, Boyhood is sometimes a bit boring to me, but I have to say it honestly deserved Best Picture. I never saw anything like it.
Spotlight is a great movie, but it felt like a last-minute-surprise than a trustworthy delivery of the Best Picture award. I probably would have said that, despite having a powerful narrative and clear purpose, I’d say Mad Max: Fury Road is the bonanza the Oscars needed to reward to that action flicks can be seen as products of quality. And what a ride it is Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s intense and has mindblowing action sequences throughout its duration. So… I would say that one would have been my pick that year.
Moonlight is a very well-intentioned movie, but it was short and didn’t rise up to the expectations to be greater than it was. Definitely La La Land changed the concept of musicals and, despite being simple in its story, it’s one of the most beautiful musicals of this decade. Using a couple to shake the audience of how dreams can affect our daily lives and leaving the question mark of should we pursue them if that means losing someone you love? It’s incredible! So, despite the laughable moment of its win, La La Land was most definitely the winner here.
The Shape of Water (2018)
This one is the one that really pisses me off. I mean… I like Del Toro (loved Pan’s Labyrinth), but The Shape of Water is just another version of Beauty and the Beast with fish cruelty rising to the occasion. It’s not an instant classic. It’s fun, but I clearly couldn’t see what people saw so attractive. It has good filming techniques, but the story is blant, completely weird and creepy and, above all, was NOT ORIGINAL. I must say that year was probably one of the worst to the Oscars, but I was rooting for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri or Call Be Me By Your Name, which clearly are better pictures than The Shape of Water.
What do you think about the Oscars and its winners?