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Irrefutable Evidence that Oscar Voters Have a Serious Case of Head-Up-Ass

By Dustin Rowles | Guides | February 23, 2011 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Guides | February 23, 2011 |


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Earlier today, in ranking the Academy Award's Best Picture Winners from the last 25 years, like many of you, I was taken aback at how generally weak the field of Best Picture Winners was from which to choose. The idea that many were Oscar Winners, much less nominees, seems laughable now; many of those Oscar winners have been completely forgotten over the last two decades.

Initially, I'd planned on a follow-up, ranking another list of 25 films based on the Oscar nominees each year that should've won Best Picture. However, that too felt meager. Even selecting among the five nominees (or 10, last year), it felt like many more worthy films were being left out of the equation.

So, I decided to add in what I thought was the actual Best Picture of each year based upon its 1) entertainment value, 2) its staying power, and 3) its overall legacy, regardless of whether it was nominated for anything. What it revealed, at least based on my opinion, was that the Academy has only really gotten it right four times over the last 25 years, by not only nominating the best film but actually choosing it as Best Picture Winner.

Reasonable minds could disagree about what the actual Best Movie in any given year was, but where my selection for Best Movie differs from the ultimate Oscar winner, I would guess that -- given the benefit of hindsight -- only a minority would've selected the Academy's choice over the Best Movie choices below.

And isn't that really what the the Academy is supposed to choose? The films that will still mean something 5, 10 or 50 years from now? If that is, indeed, the criteria, then the Academy voters have, with a few exceptions, failed miserably over the last 25 years.


1985

Best Movie: Back to the Future

Best Nominee: The Color Purple

Oscar Winner: Out of Africa


1986

Best Movie: Aliens

Best Nominee: Platoon

Oscar Winner Platoon


1987

Best Movie: Full Metal Jacket

Best Nominee: Hope and Glory

Oscar Winner: The Last Emperor


1988

Best Movie: Die Hard (1988)

Best Nominee: Mississippi Burning

Oscar Winner: Rain Man


1989

Best Movie: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Best Nominee: My Left Foot

Oscar Winner: Driving Miss Daisy


1990

Best Movie: Goodfellas

Best Nominee: Goodfellas

Oscar Winner: Dances with Wolves


1991

Best Movie: Silence of the Lambs

Best Nominee: Silence of the Lambs

Oscar Winner: Silence of the Lambs


1992

Best Movie: Reservoir Dogs

Best Nominee: Unforgiven

Oscar Winner: Unforgiven


1993

Best Movie: Schindler's List

Best Nominee: Schindler's List

Oscar Winner: Schindler's List


1994

Best Movie: Pulp Fiction

Best Nominee: Pulp Fiction

Oscar Winner: Forrest Gump


1995

Best Movie: The Usual Suspects

Best Nominee: Braveheart

Oscar Winner: Braveheart


1996

Best Movie: Fargo

Best Nominee: Fargo

Oscar Winner: English Patient

1997

Best Movie: L.A. Confidential

Best Nominee: L.A. Confidential

Oscar Winner: Titanic


1998

Best Movie: The Big Lebowski

Best Nominee: Saving Private Ryan

Oscar Winner: Shakespeare in Love


1999

Best Movie: Fight Club

Best Nominee: The Insider

Oscar Winner: American Beauty


2000

Best Movie: Memento

Best Nominee: Traffic

Oscar Winner: Gladiator


2001

Best Movie: Amelie

Best Nominee: Moulin Rouge

Oscar Winner: A Beautiful Mind


2002

Best Movie: City of God

Best Nominee: The Pianist

Oscar Winner: Chicago


2003

Best Movie: Oldboy

Best Nominee: Lost in Translation

Oscar Winner: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King


2004

Best Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Best Nominee: Sideways

Oscar Winner: Million Dollar Baby


2005

Best Movie: Brokeback Mountain

Best Nominee: Brokeback Mountain

Oscar Winner: Crash


2006

Best Movie: Children of Men

Best Nominee: The Departed

Oscar Winner: The Departed


2007

Best Movie: No Country for Old Men

Best Nominee: No Country for Old Men

Oscar Winner: No Country for Old Men


2008

Best Movie: The Dark Knight

Best Nominee: Milk

Oscar Winner: Slumdog Millionaire


2009

Best Movie: The Hurt Locker

Best Nominee: The Hurt Locker

Oscar Winner: The Hurt Locker



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