Populist

Oscar Robbery: 10 Controversial Best-Picture Races

Does the best film always win? Here are some of the bitterest Best Picture battles in Academy Awards history

  • Share
  • Read Later
31 comments
EatingPie
EatingPie

#9 2006 - Brokeback vs. Crash - A Case of Revisionist History!

Where was it claimed -- ever, let a lone "often" -- that Ledger won the Best Actor award as consolation for Brokeback instead of his performance as The Joker?

Yes, Ledger was definitely lauded for his performance in Brokeback.  I even thought criticisms of a "mumbling" performance (google that for laughs) were unfounded.

However, he was *highly* praised for his role as The Joker in The Dark Knight, and most definitely won the Best Actor award on the merits of that performance alone.  Yes, I'm sure his death tilted the vote in his favor, but you'd be on shaky ground to claim he didn't deserve the win.   And equally shaky to claim the win was a consolation for a *different* performance.

Yet, this revisionist idea (built on fallacy and totally lacking citation) that his award "is often considered" (the fallacy, considered by who? when? often means how much, twice?) a consolation for Brokeback has no merit whatsoever.  Not only could I not locate a single reference to back such a silly claim (nor did I hear any such statement at the time of the award), but I found near-universal praise for The Joker performance.  As should be expected!

***

Of lesser import, I'm not sure how Brokeback is a "staple" on cable.  Again, total lack of citation.  It did its standard run on HBO and Cinemax in 2006 and 2007 alongside classics like Running Scared (I have full HD broadcast listings for those years),  but after that, how often has it appeared on cable?  More often than any other movie?  Where is the citation to even *suggest* your claim of a "staple"?  TV Guide shows no listing for the coming weeks.  And yet, Netflix themselves *verifiably* claims its competitor (and victor) is a top rental.

LuisArielRodriguez
LuisArielRodriguez

Everybody knew that Brokeback Mountain was the Best Motion Picture of the year even those who voted for Crash. 

DavidJRust
DavidJRust

There were also the showdowns between "The Wizard of Oz" and "Gone With The Wind" (one of the only films that could have beaten "Wizard of Oz" was, indeed, the Southern epic) and the dispute over "Star Wars" and "Annie Hall" (which, according to legend, director Woody Allen refused to accept because he thought that even though he won, he wanted the Academy to explain to him how two such radically different films could be compared on anything more than technical merit.)

Feth312
Feth312

casablanca

 Where I'm going, you can't follow. What I've got to do, you can't be any part of. Ilsa, I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that."


One of  the last good movies I saw.

sede7
sede7

While The King's Speech is indeed more worthy than the slightly better than avarage The Social Network, neither was as strong as Inception, Black Swan or Biutiful for that matter.

Piacevole
Piacevole

"The Academy" is spoken of as if it were a monolithic entity, but I thought it was made up of individuals, voting in various categories.

Perhaps it might be more interesting to have some intervierws with various members and ask them their rationales for voting as they did, rather than make assumptions about the outcomes.


WilliamSamuel
WilliamSamuel

Zero Dark Thirty has no business to be even nominated. It is accessible propaganda, and there is no affirmation what so anytime that (you apperceive who AKA that whose name we do not say) was anytime captured and killed. That "put to sea" nonsense is a smoker gun. 

http://free-hd-wallpaperz.blogspot.com 

tps1217
tps1217

Isn’t it amazing how many award ceremonies these hollywood and singer types keep giving themselves. If they’re so concerned about the poor and the country how about forget all the pomp and circumstance and donate all the money spent on awards, gifts and apparel to the needy and the deficit. Quit patting each other on the back and do something meaningful after all your just actors and singers living the high life already.

david.chalk
david.chalk

If I remember rightly the greatest travesty was Titanic winning over LA Confidential

internetfavs
internetfavs

I dont know what the argo fuzz is all about. Wasn't that good.

brace
brace

Shakespeare in Love, for me, is one of the best winners ever - smart, witty romantic comedy, that is fictional but still more about Shakespeare and his work (and time and society in which he lived and worked) than most biopics, it's also more romantic and funnier than most romcoms. also it can be viewed as showbiz satire. Saving Private Ryan is great too, mostly for that opening battle scene, but the rest of the movie is disappointing. people say it's more important film but why is a WWII movie made more than 50 years and hundreds of other WWII movies later important, especially given that the story about searching for Ryan to bring him back to his mom is quite silly. people attribute SIL win to Weinstein's campaign, but maybe Academy members just couldn't choose among three WWII movies. I mean Weinstein (or anyone else) can campaign all he/they want, but Academy will vote for they want. why would they listen to Harvey? he may offer work to younger members in change for vote, but what about the majority of retired members?

BeJebus
BeJebus

whenever i stumble across shawshank on cable, i watch it. same with the king's speech and all the presidents men. never forrest gump, never the social network. pulp fiction is not something i will stop and watch, either. i liked all of them, but that's my personal standard.

BrodieMosher
BrodieMosher

Not sure on Pulp Fiction vs Forrest Gump. It should have been Shawshank Redemption that won.

jezzmn
jezzmn

Zero Dark Thirty has no business to be even nominated. It is obvious propaganda, and there is no evidence what so ever that (you know who AKA that whose name we do not say) was ever captured and killed. That "put to sea" nonsense is a smoking gun.

katastrofee
katastrofee

I agree, and still think Heath Ledger was robbed of the Oscar in Brokeback Mountain. I loved his performance in that film. It makes me cry to this day.

JoeCogan
JoeCogan

What about 1979: "Kramer vs. Kramer" over "Apocalypse Now"? And like "Rocky", all four of the films it beat were better than "Forrest Gump" in 1995.

iacastro
iacastro

Don't watch Oscar: too political and too Hollywood. Quentin Tarantino has no business making movies. Collin Firth deserves  an award for almost every movie he makes.  Avatar is nothing but an old Western - the cowboy befriending the Indians - with special effects. 
Shakespeare and Speech DESERVED their best pictures awards. Yeah, where is Shawshank?  Spielberg has run out of creative juices. None of this is that important.

John_Richards
John_Richards

The funniest thing about the SPR vs TRL vs SIL controversy is that 'Life is Beautiful' blew them all out of the water.  But then it's a foreign film, so it can't be 'best picture' ?!

Narbonne
Narbonne

The funny thing is that the controversy was Saving Private Ryan against The Thin Red Line.  Shakespeare in Love was a left field winner and the reason that I stopped watching the Oscars. 

TinyBrando
TinyBrando

I'm so tired of the Saving Private Ryan crowd complaining about the loss.  Shakespeare in Love is a far superior film and SPR should have been happy to be nominated in the same league.

JackSteen
JackSteen

.....and whomever told Benny that he looked good in his fake beard should be shot.

ben8quasar
ben8quasar

@brace   I absolutely do not agree with you.  If not for the Weinstein overt meddling, there is no way the Academy would pick Shakepeare in love over Saving Private Ryan.  In fact, I think that is an absolute travesty that Shakepeare in love won the Best Picture.  In hindsight most people would pick Saving Private Ryan over Shakepeare in Love (as the author of this article implied).  You are entitled to your opinion.  But if you think the plot of Saving Private Ryan is silly, the plot of Shakepeare in love would be in my opinion ridiculous beyond belief.  You can be a fan of Shakepeare in love but please stop spilling nonsense over Saving Private Ryan. 

SageJerryLevine
SageJerryLevine

@jezzmn I was about to reference the article in Esquire Magazine written by the reporter who actually interviewed the Navy Seal who shot Bin Laden but I realize it would be an exercise in futility. Bin Laden is dead, he was killed when Navy Seal Team 6  attacked the compound in Pakistan. He was identified by his DNA. And the movie, which took some dramatic license, was very good. 

uci.auxie.geek
uci.auxie.geek

I created an account just to respond to your comment. I believe that SPR should've got the Oscar, but I never certainly complained or whined about it. It's just my opinion. So thanks for your "compliment".

And although I have nothing personal against Shakespeare in Love, I think SPR was more than just a movie -- it made me a gain a respect for our nation's veterans. In addition, as a kid in high school at the time (1998), I had little inkling of what WWII was  until SPR came out. Sure we had our textbooks, but they just had mere paragraphs or chapters. Others feel the same way, and they even published a book about it: http://www.amazon.com/Now-You-Know-Reactions-Private/dp/1557043841

So congratulations to the cast, crew, & fans of Shakespeare in Love on your Oscar. But to me, SPR holds more meaning for me. And I appreciate Spielberg/Hanks/Damon/et al. for making that film.

ben8quasar
ben8quasar

@uci.auxie.geek  I create the account for the same reason.  I have studied World War 2 for 30 years as an amateur historian.  Saving Private Ryan is the first war movie that came a bit closer to the realities of the battlefield.  Just for the first 30 minutes alone of SPR is in my opinion 10 times better than Shakepeare in love.  I am not trying to convince people like TinyBrando.  It is useless to talk to a closed mind.  But for you sir may I recommend Stephen Ambrose D-Day?  It is a quite personal account of the action on the beach. 

TinyBrando
TinyBrando

@uci.auxie.geek One part of your message really concerns me.  

"I had little inkling of what WWII was  until SPR came out. Sure we had our textbooks, but they just had mere paragraphs or chapters."

Getting your history from film and television is almost always a mistake.  It cannot effectively place events and people in the proper context and television's need for constant impulse stimulation results in overemphasis of "action" rather than the "dry" areas of economics, political science and culture.  

SPR was a well made film but it was little more than typical "war porn" and, as is the usual case, unintentionally glorifies combat.  There's nothing to worship about young men getting used like bullet sponges despite Hollywood's attempt to convince us otherwise.  


uci.auxie.geek
uci.auxie.geek

I agree with you about getting history from film and TV being a concern, unless they're documentaries. That's not the way how it SHOULD be done. But unfortunately, a lot of young kids (and I include myself amongst them when I was coming of age) respond better to visual stimulus as opposed to textbooks. I'm not justifying that; but that's (seemingly) the way it is.

Back to SPR: that movie was simply an eye-opener for me, but not my sole source for history. What it did do was it made me think, "Wow, I can't believe that ACTUALLY happened." And it made me pick up more books and read about the actual events. It also made me want to learn more about history vs. Hollywood. So it's kind of like the film "Troy": that Brad Pitt film wasn't really historically accurate, but it sparked a lot of interest in that particular historical subject. Same with Indiana Jones and archaeology.

And I wouldn't say that SPR was "war porn", at least not to me personally. For me, it didn't glorify combat. In fact, it made me hope that nothing like that will ever happpen again. And from what I've read of WWII vets who were actually there and them saying how accurate SPR is in displaying the hell that is war.... well, it'd be foolish for me to argue with them. I'd just get slapped down haha.

But I certainly can't speak for others who may fit the mold that you described.