Oscars outrage: What was the WORST Best Picture?

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  • Paul Sheehan
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    #189638

    There have been lots of stinkeroos that took Hollywood’s top prize but for me the worst of the worst Best Picture champs has to be “Braveheart.”

    That this Mel Gibson vanity project won five Academy Awards was a low point for the Oscars. That this mish mash of a movie was named Best Picture with Gibson also winning Best Director still leaves me shaking my head two decades later. 

    Any of the other four films nominated — “Apollo 13,” “Babe,” “Il Postino” and “Sense and Sensibility” — were far more deserving. 

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    M H
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    #189640

    For me, it doesn’t get worse than “Crash.” Walking out of the theater (months before any of its competitors were released) I was slackjaw at how awful of movie had just sat through. When it started to gain awards traction, I felt like I was living in a bizarro world. I have seen twice more, and it gets worse and worse each time. 

    Other contenders, that don’t come close to the antipathy I feel toward “Crash,” but are still pretty awful: 

    Terms of Endearment
    Going My Way
    A Beautiful Mind
    Around the World in 80 Days
    Oliver!  

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    Guest2014
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    #189641

    In terms of damage to the Academy’s credibility with the general public, no doubt The Hurt Locker and The Artist. They really exposed the snobbery of AMPAS, even though 2011 was a suck-ass year for movies in general.  You can’t just cast aside the most popular movie of all time, one that resonated with critics and fans alike just to honor a female director.  

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    FilmGuy619
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    #189642

    I don’t want to kick an already beaten horse by picking Crash or Shakespeare In Love, so I’ll go with Dances With Wolves. Its win doesn’t just anger me because I find it to be overlong, on-the-nose and just plain unbearable to watch. But it won over freaking Goodfellas. This win isn’t justifiable, in my book.


    Although The King’s Speech isn’t too far behind. Yeah, the King’s Speech is sentimental and all but it PALES in comparison to its competition. 

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    TomHardys
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    #189643

    Braveheart, Shakespeare In Love, Titanic, Gladiator, The Artist, The King’s Speech, Rocky, Dances With Wolves and a few others I can’t remember right now.

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    Cheshire
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    #189644

    After looking at the list of Best Picture winners I thought two things:

    1) I need to see more Best Picture winners (the whole movie not parts of them).

    2) Out of all of the ones I’ve seen in full, I think they are all good movies (most of them even great). 

    But,  if I did have to pick a worst it would be The English Patient which I thought was alright. 

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    OnTheAisle
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    #189645

    The true outrage is how few winners were actually clearly deserving of their designation.

    1930s

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    It Happened One Night

    Mutiny on the Bounty

    Gone with the Wind

    1940s

    Casablanca

    The Best Years of Our Lives

    1950s

    All About Eve

    On The Waterfront

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    1960s

    West Side Story

    Lawrence of Arabia

    The Sound of Music

    MIdnight Cowboy

    1970s

    The Godfather

    The Godfather Part II

    Annie Hall

    1980s

    none

    1990s

    The SIlence of the Lambs

    Unforgiven

    Schindler’s List

    Titanic

    American Beauty

    2000s

    Chicago

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    The Departed

    No Country for Old Men

    2010s

    Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

     

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    Tonbone
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    #189646

    For me it’s easilt ARGO. I watched it ON demand the day of The Oscars and it was so god-awful and boring. I didn’t understand how it got nominated for anything. Alan Arkin in no way deserved a nomination and how it won screenplay was beyong I thought adapted screenplay should have been Silver Linings Playbook. 

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    babypook
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    #189647

    For me it’s easilt ARGO. I watched it ON demand the day of The Oscars and it was so god-awful and boring. I didn’t understand how it got nominated for anything. Alan Arkin in no way deserved a nomination and how it won screenplay was beyong I thought adapted screenplay should have been Silver Linings Playbook. 

    Lol. And imo, Arkin and Goodman are the very best things about this “film” effort. No comment (this time) on the SLP ‘screenplay’.

    Argo is the worst of them lately anyways.

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    TerenceFletcher
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    #189648

    I’m probably going to be crucified for this but Annie Hall. I have never gotten the hype behind it. I found Diane Keaton great, but the rest of the movie boring and Woody Allen’s character especially irritating. And it beat Star Wars, which does little to help its case with me.

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    marcelo
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    #189649

    Titanic and Crash (tie)

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    Jason Travis
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    #189650

    My list changes every year. Here it is now:

    THE TEN WORST BEST PICTURE WINNERS of all TIME

    10. Gandhi (1982)

    While historically relevant, and defintely epic, was this really better than E.T. and Tootsie? The former was a film that still showcases universal appeal across the board, and the latter is one of the best comedies of the past forty years. I think voters were more inclined to give Gandhi accolades because of Ben Kingsley’s stirring performance, and not the over all film. 

    9. An American in Paris (1951)

    A fine example of obvious vote-splitting. A Streetcar Named Desire was the rich acting showase, while A Place in the Sun was the sweeping American love story, with Elizabeth Taylor never looking more beautiful. Voters perhaps were attracted to the strong comeback from Vincentte Minnelli (even though he lost Best Director to Sun’s George Stevens). And although Streetcar looked ready to win Best Picture with all those acting wins, it’s still a mild headscratcher that the academy failed to honor arguably the most critically acclaimed performance in the movie- Marlon Brando, who lost to Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen. Bogart most likely won because of his loss in Casablanca (1943), and his failure to recieve a nod for his even stronger work in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). It also helped that The African Queen boasts one of Katharine Hepburn’s best roles, and was a huge hit.

    8. You Can’t Take It with You (1938)

    It’s a darling little film, but there was a better comedy that year – Bringing Up Baby – that was completley shut out. 

    7. Rocky (1976)

    This boxing showcase was a popular success, but it’s win seems strange when you see what it defeated- Network, All the President’s Men and Taxi Driver. Did I mention that Carrie wasn’t even nominated here?

    6. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

    An uninspired, lazy choice. Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly radiate the screen, but 2001 was a groundbreaking year for cinema, and we’re to believe this was best in show? Over the likes of In the Bedroom, Moulin Rouge!, The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and Gosford Park? Not to mention un-nominated fare like Monster’s Ball (Ebert’s top pick), Memento and Shrek.

    5. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)

    Why? How? Who was in charge of tallying up these ballots? 1952 wasn’t exactly that sensational for filmmaking, but another Best Picture nominee – High Noon – would have been much more deserving. And did I mention that the greatest critically acclaimed musical of all time, Singin’ in the Rain‘, wasn’t even nominated??? Most likely this had to do with studio campaigns- as Ivanhoe, which was nominated, was more spotlighted by MGM.

    4. Argo (2012)

    The movie is a fun little thriller, but this was clearly an example of an Oscar being bought because of sympathetic hearstrings- Ben Affleck fails a Best Director nod, so let’s just give it Best Picture to prove we’re still politically correct. 2012 (along with 2013) are argubaly the best years of the past decade for modern cinema. 2012’s Best Picture winner should have been either Life of Pi (which won Best Director), or Lincoln (which out of 12 nominations, only managed 2 wins). You also had Silver Lingings Playbook, Amour, Django Unchained and Zero Dark Thirty also in contention. 

    3. Shakespeare in Love (1998)

    An example of shrewd campaigns and Harvey Weinstein at his devilishly best. While the winner was a fine piece of entertainment, Steven Spielberg was once again royally screwed when Saving Private Ryan managed Best Director and still failed Best Picture. It was the runaway hit of 1998 and was lined up to triumph- but Miramax was a monster back then and wanted to remind voters that “a much more gentle movie about ‘the arts’ is available for you to check off.” Even worse then Shakespeare winning Best Picture, was it’s star- Gwyneth Paltrow- somehow managing to trump Cate Blanchett’s superior work in Elizabeth

    2. How Green Was My Valley (1941)

    Yep, Citizen Kane should have won. We all know it- and anyone saying differently would not be complaining had Orson Welle’s masterpiece that still holds weight today, would have prevailed. This was simply a case of shady politics. 

    1. Crash (2005)

    Still the worst experience I have ever witnessed with the Academy Awards. All the stars pointed to Brokeback Mountain, and because it was just ‘too gay’, it lost to a movie that WASN’T EVEN a Golden Globe nominee! Insane. Ang Lee also seems to have bad luck- he wins Best Director for both Life of Pi and Brokeback Mountain , but somehow can’t manage to also have his movie win Best Picture. Is he the only director to win twice for movies that don’t win the top honor?
     

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    manakamana
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    #189651

    Cimarron. It’s pure hatred, seemingly much influenced from Birth of a Nation. A lot of the BP winners from this period are pretty bad, admittedly, but I do think its intentions are much more evil than something like Calvacade‘s.  

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    Halo_Insider
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    #189652

    Cimarron. If someone doesn’t have it in at least their Top 5 worst picks, I’m assuming that they just haven’t seen it.

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    babypook
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    #189653

    The true outrage is how few winners were actually clearly deserving of their designation.

    1930s

    All Quiet on the Western Front

    It Happened One Night

    Mutiny on the Bounty

    Gone with the Wind

    1940s

    Casablanca

    The Best Years of Our Lives

    1950s

    All About Eve

    On The Waterfront

    The Bridge on the River Kwai

    1960s

    West Side Story

    Lawrence of Arabia

    The Sound of Music

    MIdnight Cowboy

    1970s

    The Godfather

    The Godfather Part II

    Annie Hall

    1980s

    none

    1990s

    The SIlence of the Lambs

    Unforgiven

    Schindler’s List

    Titanic

    American Beauty

    2000s

    Chicago

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    The Departed

    No Country for Old Men

    2010s

    Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

     

    1980s

    none

    Lol! I was prepared to differ until I looked up the winners. I am however, a big fan of The Last Emperor. I could be the only one around here who is.

    Here’s what could have won, instead:

    1980 Raging Bull over Ordinary People, which is pretty good as well.

    1981 No comment. It would be too lengthy.

    1982 E.T. Here was their chance, over Ghandi. So grand, so boring, so conventional.

    1983 One of my favorite films of all time, The Right Stuff, goes down against Terms of Endearment. I adore MacLaine, but no.

    1984 It’s possible that the right film, Amadeus, won this year, from that lineup. My personal favorite however, was The Killing Fields. I guess that subject matter was just not palatable.

    1985 Out of Africa wins. Does anyone really want to watch this film more than once? How about Witness, The Color Purple, Kiss of The Spider Woman, or Prizzi’s Honor instead?

    1986 Not surprising that Platoon wins, over the far better films Hannah and Her Sisters, and The Mission.

    1987 The Last Emperor deserved every single one of it’s wins. A nomination(s) for John Lone and Joan Chen would have been nice…Broadcast News, Moonstruck, Hope and Glory, and Fatal Attraction, all deserved to be there.

    1988 Rain Man. My personal choice? Mississippi Burning, or Working Girl, perhaps Dangerous Liasons as well. Accidental Tourist was ok as well. Lol.

    1989 I’m ok with Driving Miss Daisy. Funny how it wins BP without a Director nod. We’re talking about Bruce Beresford here. Not, Ben Affleck. My personal choice? Probably Born on The Fourth of July.

     

     

     

     

     

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