And the Oscar goes to…not these acclaimed movies. One of the most prestigious awards ceremonies in the film industry, the Oscars recognizes excellence in cinematic achievements. However, with no lack of brilliance in cinema across the world, the Academy Awards tend to miss the mark every now and then. There have been plenty of hit Academy Award wins but let’s take a look at some of the biggest misses at the Oscars over the years.
Citizen Kane (1942)
One of the most significant films in movie history, Orson Welles‘ 1941 masterpiece didn’t necessarily get its due at the Academy Awards. Although it did win the Best Screenplay and was nominated for eight other awards, it’s also considered to be the greatest film to not win Best Picture. It lost the award to John Ford’s family saga How Green Was My Valley.
Any Hollywood fan knows the notorious events that took place at the Bates Motel in Alfred Hitchcock‘s horror game-changer. Despite its cinematic significance and being one of the original slasher flicks, it wasn’t even nominated for Best Picture. Although it did get four Oscar nominations, it eventually went home empty-handed. Hitchcock, in fact, never took home an Oscar for Best Director which is a massive snub in itself.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Just like Hitchcock, the legendary Stanley Kubrick never won an Oscar for his direction despite multiple nominations. Considering that 2001: A Space Odyssey is a film that’s often studied for its unique direction and sets as it paved the way for other visionary sci-fi films to follow, it’s unfortunate that it only managed to nab the Academy Award for Best Special Visual Effects.
Taxi Driver (1977)
Another great director, Martin Scorsese has also had a tough time nabbing Oscar wins. One of his greatest character study works, Taxi Driver made it into nominations for four categories with a high likelihood of nabbing two of them – Best Actor in a Leading Role for Robert De Niro‘s incredible performance and the top-dog Best Picture award. Sylvester Stallone‘s Rocky ended up overshadowing this slightly superior film by winning Best Picture.
Another Martin Scorcese epic, this film is easily one of the most gripping and thought-provoking mafia films of all time. However, despite its powerful presence and critical acclaim, it only managed to nab the Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Joe Pesci as the tiny thug Tommy DeVito. Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves won over the Academy with a whopping 7 Oscars that year.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
This drama is nothing but a cinematic masterpiece that still sits at its long-standing post of one of the best films ever made. The film featured Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman and director Frank Darabont at their best. Yet, in spite of being nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay, it won none of them. The film lost out to another iconic drama Forrest Gump as Best Picture that year.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
This revolutionary indie film also lost to Forrest Gump at the 1995 Oscars. This early Quentin Tarantino film did win Best Screenplay but devastatingly lost its six other nominations including the deserving Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Samuel L. Jackson. This legendary actor has appeared in over 170 films and TV shows but has only been appreciated at the Oscars with this one nomination for his role as Jules in Pulp Fiction.
The Truman Show (1998)
At the 1999 Oscars, Shakespeare in Love swept up 7 awards and filled multiple other nomination spots. However, the John Madden directorial could easily be outshone by the timeless and thought-provoking classic The Truman Show. This iconic Jim Carrey starrer didn’t even get a Best Picture nomination although it did get nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger‘s epic cowboy romance in this film won over audiences but at the 2005 Oscars, its Best Picture dreams were taken over by Paul Haggis’ great but not better drama Crash. Although the winning film was a critical hit at the time, it does seem like Brokeback Mountain could easily take the prize in hindsight.
Lady Bird (2018)
This coming-of-age film bagged all the top-spot Oscar nominations – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and acting nominations for stars Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf. Audiences and industry professionals even predicted that the film would make history since Greta Gerwig is only the fifth woman to be nominated for Best Director. However, much to our dismay, this exceptional film came up short in all of its nominations.
Uncut Gems (2019)
This much-loved indie darling received rave reviews from critics and comes as one of the most prominent snubs at the 2020 Oscars. The film didn’t receive any nominations – not for brothers Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie’s direction, their script written with Ronald Bronstein, or Adam Sandler’s masterful performance. Most of all, the film deserved a Best Picture nomination for being a tense and frantic yet funny film that entirely draws you in.
The Farewell (2019)
Writer-director Lulu Wang instantly received praise for this comedy-drama based on her own personal experiences. For her performance in the lead role, Awkwafina even made history as the first Asian-American woman to win a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy. However, appreciation for the film did not follow into the Oscar nominations this year leaving fans quite upset.
While you recuperate from these surprising errors and snubs at the Oscars, check out the Oscar nominations for 2020 here. Also, stay tuned to find out the winners that take home the golden statue on 10th February this year.