In the film industry at least, there is no higher honor than a Best Picture win at the Oscars. Even ahead of the Best Male and Female Lead Actor categories, a Best Picture nomination alone is generally considered validation of the highest form.
This year’s Best Picture category is no different, but the inclusion of Selma in the grouping, a film that no doubt deserves the nod but remains a longshot, raises an important question: how often do the Oscars get it wrong? The answer of course is, “All the time,” particularly when it comes to snubbing actors, directors, and producers of color.
After Sidney Poitier became the first black man to win an Oscar for Best Actor in 1963 it was 38 years before Denzel followed up with the second win his role in Training Day. On top of that, notably, last year’s Best Picture win for 12 Years A Slave marked the first time ever that a Black producer won the honors.
Here’s a list of Best Picture winners that haven’t stood the test of time, particularly when better films were snubbed in the process.
Out Of Africa Vs The Color Purple (1985)
Both Meryl Streep and Robert Redford had won multiple Oscars by the time Out Of Africa was released in 1985. The Oscars committed one of their most memorable snubs that year however by relegating The Color Purple to the sidelines.
Dances With Wolves Vs Goodfellas (1990)
I’m really happy for you Dances With Wolves and I’m gonna let you finish, but Goodfellas was one of the best movies of all time.
Unforgiven Vs A Few Good Men (1992)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Clint Eastwood and all that, but how did A Few Good Men not win in 1992?
Titanic Vs Good Will Hunting (1997)
Nobody could ever forget the impact that Titanic had in 1997 but 10 Oscar wins would have been plenty and there’s no way the Blockbuster hit deserved Best Picture over Good Will Hunting.
Shakespeare In Love Vs Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Seriously? Not only did Shakespeare In Love win Best Picture, the John Madden directed flick scooped up six other awards at the Oscars in 1999. Worst of all, Saving Private Ryan was also nominated and was no doubt a better choice.
The Hurt Locker Vs Precious (2009)
The Hurt Locker was widely considered a fair pick for the Best Picture category a few years back, but nearly six years later, does it really stand next to Precious as the right choice?
Argo Vs Django (2012)
Sometimes it doesn’t take long for the history books to reverse popular opinion on a big Oscar winner and Argo’s win over the hugely popular Django in 2012 seems like the most obviously recent snub from the Academy Awards voting committee.
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