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What Is The Biggest Oscar Upset This Century And Why?

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What Is The Biggest Oscar Upset This Century And Why?
1. Marcia Gay Harden winning Best Supporting Actress
6 votes (8.33%)
2. Steven Soderbergh winning Best Director
0 votes (0.00%)
3. Adrien Brody winning Best Actor
7 votes (9.72%)
4. Roman Polanski winning Best Director
2 votes (2.78%)
5. Crash winning Best Picture
21 votes (29.17%)
6. The Lives Of Others winning Best Foreign Language Film
0 votes (0.00%)
7. Precious winning Best Adapted Screenplay
2 votes (2.78%)
8. Mark Rylance winning Best Supporting Actor
0 votes (0.00%)
9. Moonlight winning Best Picture
13 votes (18.06%)
10. Olivia Colman winning Best Actress
21 votes (29.17%)
  • Joe Burns
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    Given that the poll only permits me to do ten options and also because the other wins that could be considered are less shocking(Arkin, Swinton, Cotillard, Streep, Waltz, Green Book winning Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture) I decided to narrow it down to these 10. Which upset do you think the biggest one this century and why?

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    SHT L
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    I know some of the above options are considered upsets but some of them I had a strong feeling about. Crash was an upset but I was ready for it because as a gay man who loved Brokeback Mountain, I paid more attention to the Brokeback Mountain backlash and people not liking the subject matter. Even in 2003, people were open about their disgust with two men in love and seeing it in action even if Ang Lee did it in a “tasteful” way.

    Speaking of Ang Lee, I was upset he didn’t win, but I for some reason didn’t think he had it in the bag despite his Globe and DGA win. It was a foreign language martial arts film. I just knew Soderbergh had the “street” cred with his reputation as an indie filmmaker and I had a feeling Traffic was respected more. Despite his two nominations making people think he’d split with himself, I knew if someone would vote for Soderbergh, they’d vote for him for Traffic and not Erin Brokovich. I knew he had much more a chance of winning than Ridley Scott did despite directing the Best Picture winner. I don’t know why I knew that, but I just did.

    Roman Polanski, I just had a feeling, especially after all the wins that were happening. It seemed like the Academy’s cup of tea at the time being a movie about World War II and Jewish victims, and people were talking so much about Roman Polanski that he was getting free campaigning. Even though I liked Chicago, I sort of felt they wouldn’t give it to a director who hadn’t yet really proven himself on film and who wasn’t really an “auteur” (though they had no qualms doing that with Tom Hooper eight years later).

    I always thought Moonlight had a shot even with all the La La Land wins. It was an upset to me, but not like a huge one.

    I thought Brody was definitely an upset at the time but it totally makes sense AFTER you analyze the award season and what was going on leading up that night. I wonder how close The Pianist was to winning Best Picture. Plus, everyone else was a former Oscar winner and seemingly older or much older than Brody, so he seemed like an exciting choice.

    I was definitely surprised by Precious‘s win.

    Colman always had a chance and I recognized it, but just the feeling of Close losing like that hit me hard anyway. Like you prepare for the chance of an upset but you can’t really prepare for it.

    Crash winning Best Picture over Brokeback fucking Mountain is a DISGRACE to humanity. Not even an upset. A barbarity to the artistry of this world. A sad and disappointing result to something that could have been beyond and genuinely inspiring to so many. And a shameful way to treat a rare gem of a film.

    Absolutely agree. Someone who expected Crash to win told me at the time that she expected it because like half of Hollywood was connected to that movie. I may have anticipated it somewhat, but in terms of the word “upset”, that result made me the MOST upset than other results that were more surprising to me.

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    Joe Burns
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    I voted for Polanski- given his history it seems odd that they rewarded him.

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    Lone Pirate
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    While this upset was overshadowed by Crash’s win later that same night, I still can’t believe Three 6 Mafia’s “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” upset Dolly Parton’s “Travelin’ Thru” for Best Original Song.

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    M: The Original
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    I voted for Polanski- given his history it seems odd that they rewarded him.

    They were awarding his artistry without having to designate him an honorary citation.

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    SHT L
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    I voted for Polanski- given his history it seems odd that they rewarded him.

    2002 was a VERY different place. Actually, I think we’ve regressed a bit from 2017 and are moving closer to where we were in 2002. Wait for Bryan Singer’s standing ovation a few decades from now when he makes a movie about a topic that the Academy over-rewards like Polanski did with the Holocaust.

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    Joe Burns
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    Traveling Thru was the one that was most likely predicted the most but I know at least one pundit predicted In The Deep. I think that Oscar voters may have thought that Dolly Parton had been honored enough(and the film didn”t do that well during awards season anyway) and the song from Crash may not have been well liked enough so they went with the catchiest tune.

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    Kubrick
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    Crash winning BP, and Colman besting Close this year. I was truly gob smacked.

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    Dennis El Mar
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    Colman is the biggest for me, followed by Crash. Even though these wins were all surprising in one way or another, I consider an “upset” to be an instance in which someone not slated to win bests an undeniable frontrunner.

    -Close was basically a lock in my mind, so it was incredibly surprising to have her lose.

    -Crash winning was a big upset for me, I knew that there would be a backlash against Brokeback but I was thinking that if anything, it would be bested by Munich or Good Night and Good Luck, NOT Crash. Having it lose to a film not even nominated for the Drama Picture GG still stings to this day.

    -Gay Harden is often mentioned, but I don’t consider it an upset because there was no front-runner. It seems pretty plausible that she could prevail given that there wasn’t a whole lot of passion behind any singular performance that year even with her snubs. I feel pretty much the same way about Brody, except his biggest asset was the strong response to his film combined with a lack of passion behind a singular performance. 3/4 of his competitors had won recently before 2002, if anything I boiled it down to him and Daniel Day-Lewis but no one was that gaga over Gangs of New York.

    -I had a gut feeling that Moonlight would win after it won the GG, when they first announced La La Land I was actually incredibly surprised. It just seemed like the right film to win at that particular moment.

    -Last one worth mentioning, I wasn’t very surprised by Precious winning Adapted Screenplay. Based on merit I thought Up in the Air should have won, but AMPAS responded very well to Precious while I felt that Up in the Air was a semi-filler even with all of the nominations it racked up.

     

    FYC: Mary Kay Place in Diane

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    CanadianFan
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    #1202800659

    Ex Machina winning visual effects!

    Didn’t we rank it last?

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    Joe Burns
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    Up In The Air seemed to be all locked up for a consolation prize in Adapted Screenplay. Precious was obviously well liked but the script wasn”t the most talked about aspect of the film.

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    Gabriel Guarin
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    #1202800706

    Ex Machina winning visual effects! Didn’t we rank it last?

    I think it was in 4th place but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was in last.

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    Gabriel Guarin
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    2002 was a VERY different place. Actually, I think we’ve regressed a bit from 2017 and are moving closer to where we were in 2002. Wait for Bryan Singer’s standing ovation a few decades from now when he makes a movie about a topic that the Academy over-rewards like Polanski did with the Holocaust.

    I doubt that’s going to happen. Polanski had previous Oscar nominations for Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown and Tess. Despite his heinous transgressions as a person, he was an acclaimed veteran and clearly the Oscars wanted to reward a career full of influential films. Singer doesn’t exactly have a pedigree as highly regarded as Polanski’s.

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    Aunt Peg
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    Olivia Colman (followed by Polanski).

    Why? I expected Glenn Close to win. She won the drama Globe & SAG so I thought she was sealed for an Oscar win. Also it was her seventh nomination and though I thought Olivia Colman was the most deserving of the award it really looked like the Oscars were going all sentimental this year.

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    forwardswill
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    I feel like Moonlight winning Best Picture is always seen as less of a shock than it should be purely because of the bigger shock of how it was revealed. La La Land had swept the precursors perhaps in a bigger way than almost any film ever (I mean SEVEN Globe wins). If you’d have told me going into Oscar night that it was losing I’d have laughed in your face. Somehow the whole mix-up though makes it seem less surprising because it stupidly almost feels like La La Land did win and then they changed it to Moonlight rather than the latter just winning straight up.

    I firmly believe this win would be unanimously considered the biggest shocker in history without the incident.

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