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Controversial Oscar Wins You Defend

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  • Jeffrey Kare
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    Over the years, there have been so many Oscar wins that people continue arguing about whether or not it was deserved. However, I would like to have this discussion dedicated to the controversial winners that you defend. The criteria for your answers should be Oscar wins (in any category) that you felt rightfully won despite other people disagreeing.

    I myself have several of them, which includes…

    Forrest Gump winning Best Picture
    I know people still to this day think Pulp Fiction or The Shawshank Redemption should’ve won, but Forrest Gump was my favorite film of 1994. Don’t get me wrong, I think Pulp Fiction is a great movie, but I personally found Forrest Gump to be much more moving. As for Shawshank, I’ve only seen that film once a few years ago, and I didn’t really get it (though I will re-watch it at some point).

    A Beautiful Mind winning Best Picture
    I know people to this day look at this film and think “Really? That won Best Picture?”, but A Beautiful Mind was my favorite from 2001. I know people also complain about the historical inaccuracies, which to be fair, the filmmakers have admitted that the movie was never meant to be a literal representation of John Nash’s life. And Russell Crowe in my opinion should’ve won Best Actor that year, which he probably could’ve had it not been for his meltdown at BAFTA leading up to the Oscars.

    Chicago winning Best Picture
    I know people give Chicago a lot of flack nowadays (no pun intended) and think The Pianist should’ve won Best Picture. I think Chicago is a GREAT movie that not only rightfully won Best Picture, but also really reinvigorated the genre of movie musicals. I also thought Rob Marshall should’ve won Best Director. If you’re familiar with how the stage musical was brought to the big screen, you can see that it was all 100% his vision. Though I can understand why Rob Marshall didn’t win because he was not only a newbie to feature films, but he was also out and proud at a time when there was a lot of homophobia in the Academy.

    Kate Winslet winning Best Actress for The Reader
    I know there are people out there who think “Really? Her one Oscar win was for this and not Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind?” While Eternal Sunshine was my favorite film of 2004, I must admit that I think Hilary Swank rightfully won Best Actress that year for Million Dollar Baby. As for Kate Winslet winning her overdue Oscar for The Reader, I think it’s a great win. I remember being very moved by her performance in that film.

    Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook
    I know people to this day argue that Jessica Chastain or Emmanuelle Riva should’ve won over Jennifer Lawrence, but I disagree. I haven’t seen Amour because I don’t usually watch foreign language films, but I have seen Zero Dark Thirty. While I do think Jessica Chastain is great in it, you can still see it’s Jessica Chastain. As Tom O’Neil keeps saying “in order to win, you gotta have the most of something. The bigger performance wins the acting prize.” While Jennifer Lawrence didn’t necessarily do a Meryl Streep-level transformation in Silver Linings Playbook, she was still only 21 years old taking on a character who was suppose to be several years older than her. I think the gravitas of her character coupled with her overall performance makes this a great Best Actress win in my opinion. Plus, I know some people took issue with the fact that they didn’t feel a personal connection with Jessica Chastain’s character in Zero Dark Thirty.

    Birdman winning Best Original Screenplay
    I must admit that while I did hang on to Birdman winning Best Picture all season long, even I did not think it was going to win this category. I thought the film was going to be seen more as a technical achievement than a writing achievement. In any case, Birdman was my favorite film of 2014, so I’m glad about this win. I know people think The Grand Budapest Hotel should’ve won, but Wes Anderson has never really been a favorite of mine, so I didn’t really care about the loss here.

    So what are some controversial Oscar wins that you actually think rightfully won?

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
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    CitizenBlake
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    And Russell Crowe in my opinion should’ve won Best Actor that year, which he probably could’ve had it not been for his meltdown at BAFTA leading up to the Oscars.

    My controversial opinion was that in actual fact, Tom Wilkinson should have won over both Denzel and Crowe that year (someone explain to me if that is actually controversial or not).

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    ENGLAND
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    -Hilary Swank: 2005 Best Actress Win for “Million Dollar Baby.”

    Swank was a truly worthy winner for her 2nd Oscar. The only reason I believe many are against it is due to her not having any other hit films or Oscar nominations afterwards. Aside from her incredible physical transformation, Swank was so believable as a somewhat naive, humble, and determined young lady whose trailer park background and love for her ruthless mother pushed her into becoming a champ. Swank was the standout amongst a terrific cast. This is also the 2nd time she has played what is considered a heroic figure that is killed (the woman knocked her down). Well deserved!

    -Humphry Bogart: 1955 Best Actor for “The African Queen.”

    I know many would have preferred Brando for his outstanding performance in “A Streetcar Named Desire” but I honestly think the Academy did well with choosing Bogart. With a more reserved performance, Bogart for me was still able to keep up with a more wordy Katharine Hepburn. He was so believable, that it felt like a documentary. Of course his physical appearance helped with his character but the scenes with Hepburn would have truly been challenging for other actors around that time.

    -Katharine Hepburn: 1968 Best Actress for “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner”

    I spoke on this in the unpopular thread. I felt Kate was able to show more emotions than the other nominees, although she was limited with time. She had comedic moments and moments of being unsure. Not only did she have the task of displaying multiple emotions but she did it very well. No other actress could have told off their employee the way Kate fired her employee. I enjoyed the other nominees films more, but Kate was truly deserving in my opinion.

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    ETPhoneHome
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    I’ll just go right out on the flimsiest limb here and say that I believe How Green Was My Valley was a very deserving Best Picture winner. In any other year, nobody would have questioned it, but because Citizen Kane has had so much more of a legacy, it is understandable why this victory is now so derided. Regardless, I think this is John Ford’s best work, and while Orson Welles deserved more than a screenplay victory for the film, this is just the case where two classic films competed against one another. Welles could have won for directing of course, because Ford having four victories in that category is just plain silly.

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    Diet Teridax
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    I’ll just go right out on the flimsiest limb here and say that I believe How Green Was My Valley was a very deserving Best Picture winner. In any other year, nobody would have questioned it, but because Citizen Kane has had so much more of a legacy, it is understandable why this victory is now so derided. Regardless, I think this is John Ford’s best work, and while Orson Welles deserved more than a screenplay victory for the film, this is just the case where two classic films competed against one another. Welles could have won for directing of course, because Ford having four victories in that category is just plain silly.

    I agree wholeheartedly that How Green Was My Valley was a worthy and credible Best Picture winner. I also think that while I would have preferred Welles to win Directing, I believe that Ford’s win for HFWMV was his most deserved out of his 4 wins.

    I think Ford most deserved to lose for The Quiet Man (definitely should have been High Noon).

    Note to myself: Don’t ever feed the trolls. Don’t get involved in others drama. Don’t let myself be swayed by others predictions, trust my gut more often!

    Note to all others: If you don’t happen to like me, ignore me. It is that simple.

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    Diet Teridax
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    Suicide Squad winning Makeup and Hairstyling I will passionately defend until my dying day. Say what you will about the films admittedly less-than-polished script and many cliches, but I found the colorful and impressively detailed makeup and hair design to be not only the best of that year, but still among the best of this decade of cinema.

    Note to myself: Don’t ever feed the trolls. Don’t get involved in others drama. Don’t let myself be swayed by others predictions, trust my gut more often!

    Note to all others: If you don’t happen to like me, ignore me. It is that simple.

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    ENGLAND
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    Chicago was the return of the American musical. I think Chicago paved the way for musicals afterwards. I cant remember a musical as big as Chicago since the Golden Age of Hollywood. I know Moulin Rouge was out a year before, but I don’t think it had that big of an impact (personal opinion)

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    Sam_Malone
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    Grace Kelly winning Best Actress over Judy Garland. Kelly won every award prior to the ceremony, her movie was incredibly popular and she showed range the audience hasn’t seen before. Why Judy’s loss is regarded a robbery, I will never understand. Besides, I think both actresses delivered great performances.

    Gigi as Best picture – it’s a beautiful, colorful, joyful film with great performances and amazing techs all around. It is dated, but sometimes one just needs a good joyful movie and Gigi gives you just that.

    I also did not mind Zellweger’s win for Cold Mountain back then. I am not sure how much I would like the performance if I watched it now, but I remember that I thought that she was very engaged and committed.

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    Sam_Malone
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    -Katharine Hepburn: 1968 Best Actress for “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” I spoke on this in the unpopular thread. I felt Kate was able to show more emotions than the other nominees, although she was limited with time. She had comedic moments and moments of being unsure. Not only did she have the task of displaying multiple emotions but she did it very well. No other actress could have told off their employee the way Kate fired her employee. I enjoyed the other nominees films more, but Kate was truly deserving in my opinion.

    I agree with you here. Her performance (and win) gets a lot of backlash but the performance in itself is great and nuanced. I would have voted for Dunaway, but consider Hepburn’s performance worthy of the win.

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    M Bocioaca
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    Helen Hunt in As Good as it gets – I liked her a lot. Very natural, did both comedy and drama well. Haven’t seen the other nominees, except the obvious one.

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    sofan
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    Didn’t know Chicago’s win was unpopular with people, so, that. And Brie Larson winning Best Actress in 2016. J.Law was a filler nominee, Cate Blanchett had recently won, Saoirse Ronan was good, not Oscar-worthy, and Charlotte Rampling didn’t deserve to win. The only other win-worthy performance was submitted to the Supporting Actress category (Mara) by the monster known as Weinstein.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    -Humphry Bogart: 1955 Best Actor for “The African Queen.”

    I know many would have preferred Brando for his outstanding performance in “A Streetcar Named Desire” but I honestly think the Academy did well with choosing Bogart. With a more reserved performance, Bogart for me was still able to keep up with a more wordy Katharine Hepburn. He was so believable, that it felt like a documentary. Of course his physical appearance helped with his character but the scenes with Hepburn would have truly been challenging for other actors around that time.

    You’re referring to the 1951-52 Oscar race, not 1954-55.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    Grace Kelly winning Best Actress over Judy Garland. Kelly won every award prior to the ceremony, her movie was incredibly popular and she showed range the audience hasn’t seen before. Why Judy’s loss is regarded a robbery, I will never understand. Besides, I think both actresses delivered great performances.

    I must admit that I’ve never seen the 1954 version of A Star is Born (I will eventually), though I agree with you that Grace Kelly rightfully won Best Actress that year for The Country Girl.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    Chicago was the return of the American musical. I think Chicago paved the way for musicals afterwards. I cant remember a musical as big as Chicago since the Golden Age of Hollywood. I know Moulin Rouge! was out a year before, but I don’t think it had that big of an impact (personal opinion)

    I 100% agree. I think as popular as Moulin Rouge! was, it still proved to be a very divisive film (which probably showed with Baz Luhrmann’s snub from the Best Director lineup).

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    keithw
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    Glenda Jackson’s win for “A Touch of Class”
    I think 1973 was the most competitive year for Best Actress and any one of the 5 would have been a deserving winner. My choice at the time was Marsha Mason in “Cinderella Liberty” though Barbra Streisand (The Way We Were), Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist) and Joanne Woodward (Summer Wishes Winter Dreams) were all deserving. I still find it difficult to rank these 5 in order of preference.

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