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

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | February 24, 2016 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | February 24, 2016 |

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.


Winner: Braveheart

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


Winner: The English Patient

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


Winner: Titanic

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


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.


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


Winner: Gladiator

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


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)


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.


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.


Winner: Million Dollar Baby

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


Winner: Crash

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


Winner: The Departed

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


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.


Winner: Slumdog Millionaire

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


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).


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.


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.


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.


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)


Winner: Birdman

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


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)