5 Movies That Should Have Won Best Picture
The 85th Academy Awards will air this Sunday night on ABC. According to some oddsmakers, Argo and Lincoln are the favorites to win Best Picture. Based on past history, I would go with Argo because it is a more international story while Lincoln is a strictly American film. No matter which one loses, it can be argued that the other should have won if not for winning movie coming out the same.
Usually all of the movies nominated for Best Picture deserve to be nominated. But they don’t all deserve to win. The Blind Side was a great flick. I loved it. It deserved to be nominated in 2009. Give Sandra Bullock the Best Actress award she earned, but don’t give the Best Picture statue to a movie that starred Tim McGraw.
Here are the five recent movies that should have won.
This is one of the best mob movies ever. It’s even better since it isn’t in excess of three hours long like the Godfather movies and Casino.
But if you’re going to win, don’t be up against the only great three-hour movie Kevin Costner did. Dances With Wolves was the winner in 1990.
Good Will Hunting
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon wrote this classic but did one thing wrong; they released it in the wrong year.
The 70th Academy Awards broadcast on March 23, 1998 was a mind numbing 3 hours 47 minutes long. That wasn’t the only big number put up. The king of big budget films was “king of the world” on that night.
James Cameron had a budget of $200 million for Titanic. The epic film took in an insane $2.1 billion. I think Good Will Hunting is a better movie overall, but how could they not give Best Picture to the special effects eye candy that took in enough money to fund a small army. They couldn’t.
Even though the movie takes place mostly in Minnesota, not Fargo, and the accents were a little forced and over-done at times, this is a perfect movie. It’s suspenseful, shocking, full of twists, yet full of authentic Minnesota nice.
Frances McDormand nailed the role of Marge Gunderson and won the Oscar for Best Actress. William H. Macy played a great successful looking loser, and Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare were diabolically evil as the bad guys.
Was it the money? Fargo only took in $60 million while Jerry Maguire did “show me the money” with $273 million at the box office, most among 1996 nominees. But The English Patient was a close second at $231 million and it won Best Picture. All three are great, but Fargo should have won. It was unique compared to everything else that year.
The tragedy of this Oscar loss cannot be overstated. Star Wars is the most technically ground breaking film in movie history. Space age special effects before it were cute at best. George Lucas kicked the door down and made blasters and light sabers so real that you couldn’t even buy a good toy facsimile until the 1990s, and video game versions didn’t even look good until the 2000s.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in its infinite wisdom, gave the Best Picture Oscar to Woody Allen’s Annie Hall in 1977. The Academy was high.
Annie Hall is dead, at least as a pop culture reference. Star Wars is still so huge that Disney bought Lucasfilm for around $10 kajillion last year.
The Shawshank Redemption
I have said that The Shawshank Redemption will always be at the top of every top five movie list I ever have. It is my favorite movie of all time. But that’s not why it is number one on this list.
Shawshank sticks out as a classic, was nominated for Best Picture in 1994, but was not a huge success at the box office. In fact, it barely made money. The budget was only $20 million and it’s box office take was $28 million. To show how much it was not a big deal at the box office, it was only the fifty-first highest grossing movie of 1994.
Meanwhile, Forrest Gump was the blockbuster of the year, taking in more money than any film in the U.S. Not to mention it is also a great movie and deserved to win Best Picture.
There are two reasons Shawshank is number one on this list. First, it is the #1 voted movie on IMDB.com’s Top 250 list. Forrest Gump is #18.
The other reason is that people just didn’t get it while it was in theaters, but they got it on home video and TV. TNT should change their name to TSR because they have probably aired it 100,000 times and the ratings are always huge.