Dances with Wolves defeats Goodfellas, 1991
|How do you get the balls to say no to these guys?|
But even if that weren't true...
Dances With Wolves did not deserve to win Best Picture. Nor did it deserve to win Best Director for Kevin Costner (who blessedly lost the acting award). Perhaps it deserved the Best Original Score win for composer John Barry, but I still happen to think John Williams' work on Home Alone was catchier. Of its 12 nominations, Dances earned 7 wins. Goodfellas, which has stood the test of time far better than its bloated competitor, earned just a single win from six nominations, a well-deserved Best Supporting Actor victory for Joe Pesci. This means that not only did it lose Best Picture, and Martin Scorsese lost Best Director, but it also lost an editing award for the great Thelma Schoonmaker as well as a Best Adapted Screenplay Award for Scorsese and Nicholas Pileggi. And perhaps an even greater tragedy the film wasn't even nominated for Best Cinematography. Have you seen Goodfellas? The "Layla" sequence alone is worth 12 Oscars. Case closed.
Forrest Gump wins bigger than it should have, 1995
I'm not here to convince you that Forrest Gump is a bad film. It's a great film. I'm also not going to claim that it's undeserving of accolades. But when you really look at the field from 1994, you can't help but wonder if that Academy got a few things wrong. I mean, Gump is a feel good movie beyond compare, but let's put this in perspective. This was the same year that both Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption were also up for Best Picture, and neither of them seemed to stand a chance. I know Pulp Fiction is a somewhat divisive film, but we can all get together on Shawshank, right? In addition, Tom Hanks, who already took an Oscar for a much more challenging and moving performance in Philadelphia just a year earlier, again took Best Actor honors over both Nigel Hawthorne for The Madness of King George and Morgan Freeman for The Shawshank Redemption. Hawthorne was a long shot, but Freeman had to wait until Million Dollar Baby, a decade later, to win an award, and that was only for his supporting work.
Shakespeare In Love takes Best Picture, Saving Private Ryan loses at least two awards it probably deserved, 1998
|The man fought a war. Doesn't he at least get a statue?|
But that's not all. Saving Private Ryan, despite earning Steven Spielberg his second Best Director honor of the '90s, lost the Best Picture award to Shakespeare In Love, a heartily entertaining flick, but one that doesn't handle a candle to Private Ryan in terms of cinematic awestrike (I invented a word. I do that.). Again, even if you don't want to hand the award to the World War II flick, note that Shakespeare In Love also beat Elizabeth and Terrance Malick's The Thin Red Line (Yes, also a World War II film, but just go with it.). And did I mention that Cate Blanchett lost her Best Actress Oscar (for Elizabeth) to Gwyneth Paltrow's Shakespeare In Love performance? It's an entertaining film to curl up on the couch with, but if Shakespeare In Love truly was the best film of 1997, we're all in very real trouble.
Russell Crowe beats four actors who are better than him, 2001
|"FIGHTIN' 'ROUND THE WORLD!"|
O Brother, Where Art Thou? misses out on Oscar love, 2001