TMP: Best Picture Nominees That Should’ve Taken Home The Gold

Best Picture Oscar Nominees That Should've Won

this post is part of Thursday Movie Picks, a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves

For this week’s instalment of Thursday Movie Picks we are celebrating the Oscars, which are just around the corner! By the end of March 4th, this Sunday, we’ll know who takes home the gold and who leaves empty handed – and as always, we won’t like all the results. Sometimes the nominees we’re rooting for don’t win, sometimes our favourite movies or people aren’t even nominated.

Recently over at the Across The Universe Podcast we talked at length about a loss that we and you guys still feel strongly about: The Social Network losing Best Picture to The King’s Speech. So I won’t pick Fincher’s movie again, for you can listen to all our feelings about that fateful day on our episode. Instead, let’s look at some other Best Picture Nominees that I really wish had won.

Best Picture Nominees
That Should’ve Taken Home The Gold

( in chronological order )

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966)

should’ve won over A Man for All Seasons

One of my personal all time favourites, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf is loud and chaotic, and almost unbearable to watch. Elizabeth Taylor plays the role of a lifetime and is the main source of desperation for the other characters and us viewers… And yet. As infuriating as she is, or perhaps because of it, I can’t help love her and the movie. I haven’t seen or heard about A Man for All Seasons, so as nice as it must be, I guess that’s saying something already.

Raging Bull

Raging Bull (1980)

should’ve won over Ordinary People

I haven’t seen Ordinary People and in fact had never even heard of it before this post. It’s got good reviews, and looks interesting but more like something that deserved, maybe, an Oscar for best screenplay and acting, not necessarily best picture. Especially when it’s going against Scorsese’s Raging Bull which is all around a masterpiece. Coming from Taxi Driver losing to Rocky (though I do like the latter!), this must’ve been a hard one to swallow.

Saving Private Ryan

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

should’ve won over Shakespeare in Love

This is for me the most outrageous loss. It’s not that Shakespeare in Love is bad movie, but really, over Saving Private Ryan?! Of course today Weinstein’s win is even more tainted, but regardless, looking back, Saving Private Ryan is the one that stood the test of time.

Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction (1994)

should’ve won over Forrest Gump

It’s hard to go against Spielberg and Tom Hanks, but as charming as this duo can get, Pulp Fiction deserved that Oscar. For its mastery and talent of everyone involved, for its boldness and creativity. Whereas Forrest Gump… hm. ?

Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

should’ve won over Crash

I guess this one hurst the most. One, because Crash is terribly forgettable and irrelevant today in the face of how important Brokeback Mountain was. But breakthroughs aside, Ang Lee’s romance is a breathtaking film of love and heartbreak and loss. It’s beyond beautiful in every way, and features some of the best performances of all time, namely from Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. So really, for me? There’s no question here.

Which Best Picture Nominees do you wish had won?
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14 Comments

  1. March 1, 2018 / 2:06 PM

    Saving Private Ryan and Brokeback Mountain should have both won, I totally agree! Those two films destroyed me.

  2. March 1, 2018 / 2:09 PM

    I really thought that Brokeback Mountain was going to win. There was this short silence of shock when it was announced that Crash got the Oscar. Pulp Fiction was a fantastic film – it probably should have won for its year.

    • March 3, 2018 / 12:04 PM

      It was a ridiculous moment, only Crash people screaming and Nicholson’s reaction… That’s why I try not to expect much from the Oscars ?

  3. March 1, 2018 / 3:56 PM

    I remember throwing a shoe at TV when Nicholson announced Crash as winner.

    • March 3, 2018 / 12:32 PM

      I wish everyone in that theatre would’ve done the same ?

  4. March 1, 2018 / 3:57 PM

    I hated Raging Bull lol. YAS to Pulp Fiction. I would have picked it myself if I hadn’t already picked it for another theme. I haven’t seen Shakespeare in Love but my winner that year is Life is Beautiful. It’s easily one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. I still remember how I felt the first time I watched it and I was like 6 years old. I’m one of those who loved Crash but Brokeback Mountain was great and it too deserved to win.

    • March 3, 2018 / 12:42 PM

      Oh nooo, why?!! I’ts one of my favourite films!!

      You know it’s stupid but I didn’t recognise the title of Life is Beautiful in english. I always remember it in portuguese or italian so I didn’t even make the connection ??‍♀️ I’ve watched it so many times growing up, it was on TV a lot here. I actually rewatched it recently and loved it even more, it’s truly a timeless one. So I’d be happy with either Saving Private Ryan or Life is Beautiful winning that year. ☺️

  5. March 1, 2018 / 5:08 PM

    Brokeback losing BP to Crash is the most outrageous thing the Oscars have ever done. I actually screamed at my TV when it happened.

    • March 3, 2018 / 12:43 PM

      Right?! Have kept expectations low ever since. ??

  6. joel
    March 1, 2018 / 9:23 PM

    A Man for All Seasons is a very stately film that has Best Picture stamped all over it. I think that in ’66 Virginia Woolf was just too visceral for the staid Academy though Liz Taylor couldn’t be denied. I liked the first more than the second as a viewing experience but think Woolf should have won.

    I can’t agree with your second. I didn’t like Raging Bull at all but Redford’s quiet meditation of a broken family is beautifully realized.

    Shakespeare in Love is a sweet little comedy but nothing compared to Saving Private Ryan. It’s loss still stings.

    I hated Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump about equally, Shawshank Redemption is the film I would have rather seen emerge triumphant that year.

    I couldn’t believe it when Crash was awarded over Brokeback Mountain and still can’t. Crash isn’t a piece of junk but its nothing compared to Brokeback.

    It’s rare when the right film wins its year so there were plenty to chose from, hard to narrow down actually. I came up with these four.

    I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)-Just after the end of the First World War vet James Allen (Paul Muni) decides to ramble around the country working odd jobs before settling down. Striking up a casual acquaintance with another drifter he is implicated in a robbery and despite his innocence sentenced to several years on a Southern chain gang. Faced with intolerable conditions he manages to escape and over time build a new and successful life but fate intervenes. Powerful indictment of prison conditions and man’s inhumanity to man with brilliant work by Muni and a haunting ending. There is no way in hell this should have lost to the ponderous Cavalcade.

    A Tale of Two Cities (1936)-Solid extremely well-acted version of the Dickens story of the French Revolution and some caught in its web. Handsomely mounted with Ronald Colman a strong Sydney Carton, Blanche Yurka a terrifyingly unhinged Madame De Farge and a lovely small performance by Isabel Jewell as a doomed seamstress. Again vastly superior to the corny and lumbering winner of its year-The Great Ziegfeld.

    Grand Illusion (1938)-Eloquent treatise on the futility and senseless of war defies easy synopsis without sounding trite but the basic story is of two French fliers shot down during WWII and their relationship with their cultured German captor. Gripping and profound.

    The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)-Spirited, lively, colorful and flat out fun version of the legend pulsates with vivid colors and a sense of joy. Masterfully lead by director Michael Curtiz with performances full of joie de vivre from Claude Rains, Basil Rathbone, the Warner’s stock company and Olivia de Havilland but driving the entire enterprise is the perfectly cast Errol Flynn who is obviously having a great time. You will too. Either this or Grand Illusion should have emerged triumphant over the ultimate winner, the scattered and foolish You Can’t Take It With You.

    Double Indemnity (1944)-Rapacious Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) ensnares hapless insurance man Walter Neff (Fred MacMurray) into killing her husband in such a way that they can collect the double indemnity policy on him. As Neff’s boss and mentor Barton Krebs (Edward G. Robinson) begins to suspect foul play things spin out of control and the depths of Phyllis’s maliciousness rise to the surface. Seminal noir that is expertly written and directed by Billy Wilder and memorably performed by Stanwyck and MacMurray in huge breaks from their established personas at the time. The winner this year was the genial but flyaway Going My Way, a pleasurable watch but nothing compared to this trendsetting masterwork.

    • March 3, 2018 / 12:50 PM

      Oh man, Raging Bull is divisive today! I see why, though. I’ll make sure to watch Ordinary People, but I still doubt it will surpass Scorsese’s for me, for BP at least.

      Hmm yes, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? was probably too much for the Academy at the time, still wish it had won! Shawshank would still be a great win, and it actually looks like something the voters would like.

      I haven’t seen your first four picks but Double Indemnity is a great movie!

  7. March 3, 2018 / 7:13 PM

    I agree to those I have seen but I can’t believe Private Ryan didn’t win BP?!?! WTF!! It was SOOO GOOD! It stands the test of time and it’s one of my favourite Hanks movies.

    Also, sorry but I love Forrest Gump, and I will always root for it, and I will continue to do it especially since Tarantino now is tainted. But in a way, I see your point, Pulp was definitely a stand out, but Gump man, I love it too! 😀

    • March 7, 2018 / 1:01 AM

      Ugh I know Tarantino is tainted, I even hesitated picking that year but you know, there were hundreds of people involved in the making of his movies, perhaps unaware so… I try to think about them and honour their work, too. Though of course it all leads back to him, as the director. Not sure how I’ll feel about his next movies though.

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