1996 Oscars Playback: Revisiting when ‘Braveheart’ pulled off Best Picture upset [WATCH]

Welcome back to Oscars Playback, in which Gold Derby editors and Experts Christopher Rosen and Joyce Eng revisit Oscar ceremonies and winners of yesteryear. This week, we look at the 68th Academy Awards in 1996, honoring the films of 1995.

Braveheart” was the big winner of the night, nabbing five wins from a leading 10 nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Mel Gibson. While in retrospect it might feel like an obvious winner and is a highly quoted film these days, the reality was that “Braveheart” underwhelmed at the box office all three times it was released in 1995 (it was no word-of-mouth hit like “Babe”) and this was an upset victory as it had won no major precursors. “Apollo 13” was a box office smash and swept the guilds, but Ron Howard was snubbed in Best Director, as was Ang Lee, whose “Sense and Sensibility” took the Best Drama Picture Globe. So how did “Braveheart” overcome them?

SEE Oscars Playback: Revisiting the 1995 ceremony when ‘Forrest Gump’ ran away with it

“Braveheart” is one of 12 films to win Best Picture without any acting nominations, but this is also one of the rare years in which none of the four acting winners — Nicolas Cage (“Leaving Las Vegas”), Susan Sarandon (“Dead Man Walking”), Kevin Spacey (“The Usual Suspects”) and Mira Sorvino (“Mighty Aphrodite”) — hailed from Best Picture nominees. Meanwhile, former Best Actress champ Emma Thompson became the first person to win for acting and writing when she took home Best Adapted Screenplay for “Sense and Sensibility” and found herself receiving another Oscar from Anthony Hopkins.

Elsewhere, we discuss Whoopi Goldberg‘s testy monologue that would not go over well today, Nicole Kidman loving “Babe,” and Chris shares his 2013 recast of “Empire Records.”

Intro and general thoughts on ceremony and films (0:00)
Our favorite 1995 films (6:20)
Ceremony review and Whoopi Goldberg as host (22:25)
Best Picture (32:23)
Best Director (50:55)
Best Actor (54:40)
Best Actress (59:50)
Best Supporting Actor (1:04:25)
Best Supporting Actress (1:08:02)
Screenplay awards (1:11:06)
Other awards (1:12:18)

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