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How Many Times Have the Oscars Gotten the Best Picture Winner Wrong in the Last 20 Years?

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | February 24, 2016 |


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To understand how deeply a sham the Oscars really are, looking at the Oscar race in one year hardly provides the full picture. With a sample of one, you can chalk anything up to an aberration. But if you examine the Best Picture winners from the last 20 years, a pattern emerges, and it’s difficult to argue that The Academy truly awards the highest achievement in filmmaking.

Here are the winners from the last 20 years, and the film (or films) I personally thought should’ve won. I disagreed with the Academy 16 out of the 20 years. Most of you will disagree with at least half or more of the Academy’s choices, even if you also disagree with my own.

1995

Winner: Braveheart

Should’ve Won: The Usual Suspects or Toy Story (neither of which were nominated)

1996

Winner: The English Patient

Should’ve Won: Fargo (or Sling Blade or Trainspotting or anything except The English Patient)

1997

Winner: Titanic

Should’ve Won: L.A. Confidential (Good Will Hunting and Jackie Brown were also better choices)

1998

Winner: Shakespeare in Love

Should’ve Won: I would’ve given it to Out of Sight, but would’ve been content with Rushmore or Saving Private Ryan, as well.

1999

Winner: American Beauty

Should’ve Won: American Beauty was a great movie, but there were so many that were better that year, including Toy Story 2, Iron Giant, Being John Malkovich, Three Kings, Galaxy Quest, The Sixth Sense Magnolia, Office Space, or the movie I’d have given the Oscar, Fight Club

2000

Winner: Gladiator

Should’ve Won: You Can Count On Me, Memento, Traffic or Almost Famous (only Traffic was nominated)

2001

Winner: A Beautiful Mind

Should’ve Won: Amelia or Billy Elliot, or even two of the other nominees, Moulin Rouge or In the Bedroom. (It was a bad year for movies)

2002

Winner: Chicago

Should’ve Won: Another bad year for movies, but About a Boy fared better with critics, and Adaptation, About Schmidt, or even Monsoon Wedding would’ve made better choices. However, City of God should’ve won.

2003

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

Should’ve Won: In America, hands down (wasn’t even nominated). Lost in Translation and Finding Nemo were also better.

2004

Winner: Million Dollar Baby

Should’ve Won: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

2005

Winner: Crash

Should’ve Won: Brokeback Mountain, and it shouldn’t have been a contest.

2006

Winner: The Departed

Should’ve Won: Children of Men. I might have also gone with Pan’s Labyrinth or Half Nelson

2007

Winner: No Country for Old Men

Should’ve Won: I would’ve been happier with The Assassination of Jesse James or Zodiac, although I have nothing against No Country for Old Men.

2008

Winner: Slumdog Millionaire

Should’ve won: The Dark Knight or In Bruges.

2009

Winner: The Hurt Locker

Should’ve Won: Inglorious Basterds (Up in the Air, or even non-Oscar type movies like (500) Days of Summer and District 9 would’ve been acceptable).

2010

Winner: The King’s Speech

Should’ve Won: Inception, although there were several other movies considerably better than The King’s Speech, including Black Swan, The Fighter, The Social Network, True Grit, and Winter’s Bone, all of which were nominated.

2011

Winner: The Artist

Should’ve Won: Another terrible year for movies overall, but Drive, Moneyball, 50/50 and even the comedy Bridesmaids would’ve been much better choices.

2012

Winner: Argo

Should’ve Won: It’s hard to make an argument against Argo, but Django Unchained andBeasts of the Southern Wild might have been better. I think I’d have still gone with Argo.

2013

Winner: 12 Years a Slave

Should’ve Won: I’m not going to argue with 12 Years a Slave, although I preferred both Short Term 12 (not nominated) and Mud (also not nominated)

2014

Winner: Birdman

Should’ve Won: Birdman, although Boyhood, Selma or even Nightcrawler would have been acceptable.

2015

Winner: To Be Determined (although The Revenant is the favorite)

Should Win: Max Max: Fury Road (currently with 20-1 odds, according to Vegas bookmakers)


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