The Academy Awards (also known as The Oscars) are the hallmark for the best films ever made. Think of them like the Nobel Prize for cinema. Whether it is the cinematography, direction, acting, or screenplay, The Academy Awards do their best to venerate the best of cinema. However, more often than not, the Academy gets its choice for Best Picture dreadfully wrong as the best films of the year goes unnoticed. These are 8 of the worst Oscar snubs in history, ranked:
6. Taxi Driver (1976)
Scorsese’s Taxi Driver is a cult favourite and quite possibly his best work yet. De Niro’s crazy rendition of Travis, a late-night taxi driver in the city of New York is frightening and yet, awe-inspiring. Scorsese makes man’s demons seem (almost) heroic, in the most satirical way possible.
Though it is considered a classic today, it failed to gain any recognition at the Academy Awards, with the Best Picture going to Rocky instead. This was by far, one of the worst Oscar snubs in the Academy Award’s 92-year history.
5. Fargo (1996)
Directed by the Coen Brothers, Fargo is a classic cat and mouse chase between a criminal, his henchmen, and a police officer. Fargo rotates its story through satire, suspense, and dark comedy. Roger Deakins, the master cinematographer, lends his stunning vision to an already spectacular script. The sound design which loosens and tightens tension perfectly seems to seal the deal for audiences even today.
However, the Coen Brothers’ masterpiece wasn’t so for the Academy Awards, with The English Patient bagging the lady that night. This particular oscar snub came as a surprise to most.
4. Citizen Kane (1941)
This Orson Welles classic has had one of the largest impacts on cinema. In fact, the recent movie Mank, directed by David Fincher was a tribute to the writer of Citizen Kane‘s screenplay, Herman Mankiewicz. Citizen Kane has continued to inspire generations after its time and remains one of the most celebrated works in cinema. 80 years ago, it changed the way we approached cinema, all across the globe. Citizen Kane had everything to make it the winner that year. A spin-off-worthy screenplay, great direction, tight post-production, and a spectacular cast.
However, the Academy awards went with How Green Was My Valley as the Best Picture that year. 80 years later, the sting of one of the worst Oscar snubs is ever-present.
3. Pulp Fiction (1994)
Full of pop culture references and memorable characters stuffed with personality, Pulp Fiction is one of the best noir films and an easy cult favourite. When you’re watching a Tarantino movie, you know what to expect. Hilarious dialogues, iconic background scores and a good deal of fake blood. But Pulp Fiction is all of this and more.
The bizarre lives of a pair of small-time crooks, two well-dressed low-level hitmen; a gangster’s wife with an addiction, and an egotistical boxer become inextricably intertwined as a series of hilarious turn of events continues to thicken the plot. Sadly, Forrest Gump was the one to take the lady home that night.
2. Blackkklansman (2018)
This Spike Lee-directed classic is beautiful, and its beauty is in its relevancy. With the Black Lives Matter movement in full swing, this movie becomes more important than ever. Blackkklansman talks of the first African American policeman in Colorado in the 70s and tried to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. The movie deals with heavy topics in the lightest of ways. In fact, this movie is by far one of the funniest we’ve ever seen.
It was one of the most relevant films, told with utter genius, but, sadly the Academy awards decided to go with Green Book instead. Definitely, one of the worst Oscar snubs in the last 5 years.
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
One of the most surprising facts about the Oscars is that Stanley Kubrick has never won the Oscars in his career as a filmmaker, even with absolute audience favourites like The Shining and Eyes Wide Open. Therefore, it came as no surprise that 2001: A Space Odyssey wasn’t even in the race for the Oscars that year. Kubrick’s early SciFi, now highly popular among filmmakers, was perhaps the most disappointing Oscars decision.
Sadly, Oliver! an adaptation of the famous Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist bagged the award for Best Picture that night. This one was one of the Oscar snubs we saw coming, but it hurt all the same.
The Oscars have always been just a little bit biased over the films they choose as best picture, but in recent years, The Academy Awards have changed their approach to a more holistic assessment. The Oscars now put their best foot forward irrespective of their bias. Although there is a long way to go (there have been barely any female-directed movies winning the Oscars), the Academy Awards have covered an equally long way too.
What do you think of this list of oscar snubs? Are there any that we’ve missed? Which one do you thik should have won the oscars this year? Let us know down in the comments below.