In an ideal world, the Oscar for Best Picture would be given to the highest-quality movie that would stand the test of time and be remembered for years to come. Unfortunately, it's not an ideal world and the deciding factor for the Academy Award is more than just how good a movie is. There can be a number of influences – lobbying by the movie studios, the political climate of the time, and avoiding risky choices to name a few. Whatever the reason, there have been times when the Oscar has gone to a lesser-deserving movie when there were more than one deserving competitors. These are some of the most controversial Best Picture Oscar winners of all time.
In one of the most controversial Oscar picks, the Academy voters chose Shakespeare in Love over Steven Speilberg's World War II film, Saving Private Ryan, even though the latter was clearly the more superior movie.
Forrest Gump was by all accounts a good movie, but whether it deserved the Oscar is up for debate. This is the year Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction was also released. While that may have suited the Oscar voters, there was another well-deserving contender – The Shawshank Redemption.
This is another one of the Oscar-winning movies that didn't stand the test of time. Fargo was better by leaps and bounds and inspired the critically-acclaimed television series of the same name. Jerry Maguire was also a nominee this year, a movie that was loved by all and gave us the ever-memorable – "Show me the money".
Brokeback Mountain had put homosexuality under the scrutinizing eyes of the Academy voters in 2006, but they weren't quite ready for it yet. Crash was chosen to be the Best Picture, but it was a movie with many flaws. Even the director, Paul Haggis, had admitted to it not being the best movie released that year.
2010 was a great year for movies. We had Inception, 127 Hours, The Social Network and The King's Speech. The eventual winner was The King's Speech showing us yet again that the Academy does happen to make safe choices occasionally even though grander options are available.
Do you think these movies deserved the award? Which of these Best Picture Oscar winners was the most controversial for you? Let us know in the comments below.