This year will see the 87th annual Oscars movie awards show (previously known as The Academy Awards up until 2013), with the nominees having been named, and the event set to take place on February 22nd. Already there has been much buzz about the mistakes made in terms of nominations, whether a movie or star has either been dismissed, or included… Interstellar missing out on a Best Picture nomination, The Lego Movie being ignored for Best Animated Feature, Amy Adams also being snubbed for Tim Burton’s Big Eyes despite just having won a Golden Globe for the very same performance… But enough about this year’s errors in judgement, let’s go back a few decades and look at the most shocking and most ridiculous snubs and “THEY WON?!” moments in the Oscars…
There’s the big classic winners that totally deserved their statues… Ben-Hur, Oliver!, The Godfather, The French Connection, Rocky etc… And even carrying through the 80s, the Best Picture choices couldn’t be doubted, Kramer Vs Kramer, Ghandi, Platoon and Rain Man. A nomination for 1983’s Scarface I would’ve thought was a given, but given that people jumped the gun and slammed what has now become a classic, it wasn’t so much of a shock. The first half of the 90s mostly had little shock, with classics like Dances With Wolves, Unforgiven, Schindler’s List,Forrest Gump and Braveheart nabbing the gong also. But the mid-90s is when the Oscars lost its way in terms of Best Picture wins and nominations. 1994 saw Schindler’s List win the main prize, and no one begrudged it. But with one Steven Spielberg classic came another, Jurassic Park… Which was awarded nothing but technical prizes, being snubbed in categories such as Best Original Score, Cinematography and Editing, despite having a great movie team behind it. But although being not only 1993’s top grossing movie, but the world’s top grossing movie until 1997’s Titanic, the Academy also saw fit not to include it as a Best Picture nominee. Which is where a particular trend began… Even if it is the movie everyone went to see, it isn’t getting any award of note… A major flaw in the system. But rather than think of movies that should have been nominated, how about the ones that not only were nominated, but also won the coveted prize… Over far more deserving movies… Although I have yet to see the 1990 Best Picture, Driving Miss Daisy, surely it can’t be better than its fellow nominees – Born On The Fourth Of July, Dead Poet’s Society and My Left Foot – ? Can it? I’d imagine any of those movies would easily scoop up a Best Picture Oscar with little ease.
1992 saw the very decent The Silence Of The Lambs win… While James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day not only didn’t win it, but alas was also not nominated, despite clearly being far and away superior, and the biggest hit movie of 1992 (which makes me question that particular “Snub the big movie” trend being started with Jurassic Park, as I think of it…). 1995 caused undeserved controversy when the wonderful Forrest Gump topped the vote above Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption. Now while I do believe had The Shawshank Redemption been released away from Forrest Gump it would have been very deserving of the big prize. But Pulp Fiction? In my opinion, nowhere near worthy of the award. For me, the right movie won, but I feel I should mention for those out there who do think it was a mistake. Mel Gibson was involved in a hilarious snub at the 1996 awards, although not totally, but I’ll get to that later, however, Braveheart easily deserved its awards. 1997 saw The English Patient swipe the gong away from Jerry Maguire (a decision I’ve never even remotely agreed with), it has been some time since I’ve seen The English Patient. However, I assure you, it is no Jerry Maguire. Fargo, another move I somehow just have not seen, has also gained cult status and was nominated for the big prize that year, is it any better than The English Patient? 1998 saw James Cameron take revenge on the Academy with his iconic and somewhat overrated blockbuster event Titanic. While I personally find a lot to love about the movie, it can’t be denied that it’s a bloated mess, with cheesy love story, bad acting and over the top displays of affection. But come the final act, it does deliver the goods, and to this day, is still not only very impressive, but remains the second highest-grossing movie at the worldwide Box Office. However, as a complete package, putting aside the qualities it does have and the awards it genuinely did deserve on the night… Is it a better movie than Good Will Hunting? If both were released now instead of then, would Titanic still nab that gong? I seriously doubt it. Here’s where things get really nasty… 1999’s Oscars. The year Shakespeare In Love was deemed a better picture than Saving Private Ryan. I still remember that moment on TV all those years ago, the horror of it all. And Jim Carrey’s classic The Truman Show not even being nominated for Best Picture, when it obviously should have been. Even The Thin Red Line, also nominated, was cheated by a movie I didn’t even know anyone really liked back then. Certainly not more than Saving Private Ryan. Horrific choice, which is still one of the biggest goofs in the history of what looks like a gold victim from the movie. How dare they?
So… 2000 comes along. Time to award the best movies from the previous year and early section of the new decade. What’s the worst than could happen? The Green Mile gets nominated for Best Picture, but loses to American Beauty? Nah. That wouldn’t happen, not after the mistakes the Academy made the year before… Could it? Why, of course it can. American Beauty not only beat The Green Mile to top spot, but the now also iconic Tom Cruise classic Magnolia was A.W.O.L. from the list of Best Picture nominees, as was Boys Don’t Cry, which Hillary Swank actually won Best Actress for. Oh wow. American Beauty, a better movie than The Green Mile… I still laugh at that 15 years later. Thankfully, it was made up by Gladiator winning in 2001. Clearly the winner, despite some of its nominations not being deservedly completed with a win. 2002 went somewhat pear-shaped again I felt, as A Beautiful Mind nabbed the main prize from Lord Of The Rings : Fellowship Of The Ring. While I do agree that A Beautiful Mind is a stunning movie, and certainly still worthy of such an award, I’m surprised that not only did it beat LOTR, but that the fantastic Training Day actually wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, despite several other nominations and a win for Denzel Washington. As for personal preference, Pearl Harbor has always been a favourite movie of mine, so I was not only sad to not see it included in the list of top pictures, but also that Faith Hill and Diane Warren were also denied a win for the title song (which I’ll get to later). The following year was a little of the same, as the music Chicago (which I also haven’t seen, and may never see) beat off competition from Lord Of The Rings : The Two Towers, which again shocks me. Not only that, but the incredible Road To Perdition wasn’t even nominated? However, 2004 rectified the mistakes by awarding The Lord Of The Rings : Return Of The King with not only the Best Picture award, but also many of the others given out that night, all very well deserved, a little late perhaps, but at last a major haul of wins for a fantastic series.
Onto 2005, a major flaw, again possibly only personally for me, in terms of nominations, but Million Dollar Baby clearly deserved a lot of love, and it was great to see Clint proving he still had that great old magic he’s got (and still does, although the Academy of 2015 have saw fit to nominate his new movie, American Sniper, in several categories, excluding director…). 2006 actually reminds of a funny fact… There’s a surprising amount of Best Picture winners I have yet to see… Which begs the question… Was Crash (which I did see once and thought nothing of) really a better movie than Steven Spielberg’s Munich? Of course it wasn’t. But why did it win? Well… shock value. As was so brilliantly seen on Jack Nicholson’s face as the legend announced the winning choice with a look of complete surprise. 2007 saw The Departed win, an excellent choice by any standards, although I personally preferred Blood Diamond, and felt sure United 93 would claim the prize… Not nominated… But for these mistakes, the Oscars was finally back on form, as the next year it award the top award to one of the best Best Picture winners I’ve ever had the good fortune of enjoying, No Country For Old Men… An absolute winner, no question, no competition. A flawless masterpiece that just could not be any better than it is.
So now… While you’re no doubt fed up of this article, and my hands are beginning to lose feeling, I ask this question yet again, can the Oscars once again screw up? 2008 saw Slumdog Millionaire win Best Picture. And saw The Dark Knight NOT win Best Picture. And saw The Dark Knight NOT even nominated for Best Picture. Yes, the Oscars can still screw up. Big time. And we’re still only on movies that either won or didn’t win a Best Picture Oscar, or weren’t nominated at all. And in personal preference yet again, I’ve recently seen The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and constantly scratch my head at how it didn’t beat Slumdog Millionaire… 2010, I was slightly surprised that the incredible Avatar didn’t swipe top prize, but yet remembered James Cameron’s reaction to doing so well with Titanic, and thought “Can you imagine what his speech would’ve been this time?”. The Hurt Locker is a fantastic movie, no doubt about it, and a deserving winner. But better than Avatar? I can’t agree with that, but Academy politics play their part. 2011 had The King’s Speech, which I really enjoyed. Better than Toy Story 3 and Inception which were also nominated? Of course not, not to me anyway, but still a nice winner. 2012 as an Oscars year wasn’t exciting for me in terms of nominations, aside from Transformers : Dark Of The Moon losing a whole load of technical awards to Hugo (the latest Transformers hasn’t even been nominated this year… Like I said, politics), which left me speechless.
2013… The Seth MacFarlane year… My favourite Oscars show, without a doubt. Similar I guess to 2012, where my interest wasn’t peeked by very much in the nominations. But it stands out for me, as Seth made me laugh harder than anyone had in a decade, and the fact that Skyfall, the billion dollar James Bond movie, was almost entirely snubbed, also made me laugh. No one can explain even now why Skyfall was given the shaft, it had Oscar potential all over it, it even had Sam Mendes, who’d won for a piece of overrated fluff like American Beauty, but got zilch for Road To Perdition. Shocking, to say the least. Also, having recently seen Argo, I liked it, but was it really better than every other movie in 2012? Including Skyfall? And finally… Last year. Although I haven’t seen 12 Years A Slave yet, I’m glad it won, I have no problem with that for a Best Picture, even without seeing it, I understand how it won. However, the snubbing Captain Phillips got last year, that’s something that stands as an absolute horror of a mistake. Easily one of the best movies in years, filled with incredible performances and stunning visuals, but no Best Picture nod and nothing for Tom Hanks? Not even a nod? Disgusting. Absolutely vile. Which leads to the next piece… (apologies, but yes, there is more…)
Best Actor/Supporting Actor In Male/Female roles and Director…
Again, pretty much like Best Picture, these categories seemed to have followed a pretty intelligent train of thought, giving out the statues to the most deserving in their early days, with the best in movie stars and filmmakers being awarded for their work. But alas, still some pretty disastrous choices in both terms of winners and nominations were to follow, so I’ve joined these categories together to give a snapshot of the talented movie people ignored or cheated. There are some I could speculate on, through the early to mid-80s, but having not seen some of the movies, I wouldn’t have a fair judgement, in terms of how good their performance actually was, either as a star or director, for we know sometimes a movie can be pretty woeful but still have some stellar performances and production values. So I’ll jump straight to a man who should’ve had far more than one Oscar statue for his acting, Robin Williams. 1988 saw Michael Douglas claim the award for his performance in Wall Street. Now while I do agree that he did deliver the goods, who really thought he outdid Robin in Good Morning, Vietnam? Was Gordon Gekko really a better character than Adrian Cronauer? Did Michael really stand above Robin’s performance? For me, no. Wall Street is a great movie, Michael Douglas is a wonderful actor, but clearly Robin Williams gave that year’s best performance, in a movie that after so many years still captivates us (although director gong going to Oliver Stone is never a bad thing). Robin has left us, but his movies stay behind to entertain us still, and people who believe anyone bettered him that year seriously needs to have a rethink. And so began Robin’s legendary snub at the hands of the Academy, which has picked up a lot of conversation over the years, on why they saw fit not to award one of the greatest movie stars to roam the planet an Oscar until the late 90s for Good Will Hunting (for which he obviously deserved the award).
The following year, another now legendary Hollywood star was snubbed in a similar fashion, Tom Cruise, for that year’s Best Picture Rain Man. We know Dustin deservedly nabbed Best Actor, Barry Levinson was given Best Director, with the movie also picking up Best Original Screenplay. But where was Tom? M.I.A. Not so much as a nomination for Best Supporting Actor even, despite him being fantastic alongside Dustin Hoffman. Why? Then there’s the foolish decision not to award Hans Zimmer for his score on the movie, but at least he was nominated. It still seems so petty to ignore a leading star when everything else is catered for. 1992 saw yet another loss for Robin Williams in the wonderful The Fisher King. But at least this time he lost to Anthony Hopkins for his role as Hannibal Lector, who is the one driving force behind The Silence Of The Lambs for me, and the one award the movie was given that I didn’t question. The following year, Unforgiven was the big winner, grabbing Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actor for Gene Hackman. But where was Clint’s acting award? While I don’t deny that Al Pacino winning for Scent Of A Woman is a great win for a wonderful actor, I still don’t understand how Clint didn’t take that one home. Both give stunning performances, but I feel Clint gave himself to Unforgiven, possibly his finest movie performance, it’s strange he didn’t win. As a matter of fact, to point out a disgraceful Academy snub which they have yet to rectify… Clint Eastwood has NEVER won an Oscar for Best Actor. Ever. A few as director, a few Best Pictures for his movies, but never an accolade for his performances as an actor. I find that disgusting. Don’t you? Which of Clint’s movies would you have given him an Oscar for as actor?
The following 2 years saw a very well deserved double Oscar win for Tom Hanks, winning for both Philadelphia and Forrest Gump. While I also would’ve loved Liam Neeson to win for his wonderful performance in Schindler’s List, Tom Hanks is beyond incredible in Philadelphia. And of course Forrest Gump the next year, although both very different movies and performances. The 1996 ceremony saw yet another “Let’s nominate everything but the lead acting” farce, as Braveheart would almost every gong on offer, and yet its director and star Mel Gibson was completely snubbed for his performance as William Wallace, no one saw fit to give him a nomination for one of his finest screen performances. Why? Is it designed as a kick in the teeth? Recognize everything except the lead star’s acting? What is Braveheart without William Wallace? The answer is obvious. So why the snub? Tom Cruise lost out the following year for Jerry Maguire, while the Academy awarded Supporting Actor to Cuba Gooding Jr. I haven’t seen the winning performance, Geoffrey Rush in Shine, so to say he didn’t deserve it would be wrong of me perhaps, but Tom Cruise yet again getting the shaft. Which continues now, as alas, Mr. Cruise has also never been given an Oscar, despite being nominated 3 times and starring in at least 5 movies he should’ve won for. 1998… Robin Williams finally won an Oscar… And boy did he deserve it. Shame on the Academy for their treatment of such a wonderful actor, their most horrific flaw, may it loom over their heads always, movie lovers they are not. Leonardo DiCaprio also became quite the hated one by the Academy, as Titanic grabbed 11 statues, with Kate Winslet being nominated Best Actress and losing, but poor Leo not even being nominated? That has continued for many years, as he really started turning in some terrific performances, being nominated a handful of times, but losing each time, despite even people who aren’t fans of his work suggesting that perhaps it’s time to award him something, rather than constantly mess him around and award everyone else around him for the movie he’s the leading star of. Tom Hanks lost out on what should have been his the next year, for his stunning performance in Saving Private Ryan. But let’s move on from that, as we know obviously someone offended those nice Oscar folk enough to name Shakespeare In Love as Best Picture… What chance did Tom stand?
Kevin Spacey won next for American Beauty, which, strangely enough, I don’t disagree with. I may have little interest in the movie and deny it as Best Picture, but Spacey is infectious in it, perhaps he’s why the movie as a whole did so well? Not a bad win by any means. But things got tricky again, as A Beautiful Mind practically ate every award going a couple of years later, and yet Russell Crowe was denied a back-to-back win (having won the year before for Gladiator, not a soul deserved it more that year), as Denzel Washington won for the brilliant Training Day. But yet again, I question the win… Was Denzel really better in Training Day than Russell was in A Beautiful Mind? Why would the movie win Best Picture and Best Director, but yet not claim a win for its leading star? What is this strange trend the Oscars have going on? Have you counted how many times they’ve done that over the years? “Oh the movie and directing is better than everything nominated, but the lead star wasn’t!”. Very unusual practice. And Jennifer Connelly won Best Supporting Actress for it, which makes it all the stranger, so it became “Oh the movie and directing is better than everything nominated, but the lead star wasn’t. But hey, the supporting star was!”. She deserved the win, of course, she’s a joy, but Russell deserved that Actor gong too. If I were Russell Crowe, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson or Tom Cruise, I’d have been fuming. Halle Berry won Best Actress that year for Monster’s Ball. Now while I have nothing but love for Halle, and thought she did well in the movie (for many reasons), no one was better than Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge!, she sang, she danced, she died etc… What else did she have to do to grab the Oscar? Stunning performance that should’ve had her run away as a winner on the night. However, the board saw the error of their ways and awarded Nicole with a gong the following year for her performance as Virginia Woolf in The Hours. But this year was the year that a true gem of a movie was thrown aside in favour of far inferior pictures… Road To Perdition, starring Tom Hanks, Jude Law and Paul Newman, has long been a favourite of mine in the filmography of Tom, a stunning and beautiful movie filled with perfect performances, a thrilling story and incredible direction from previous Oscar winner Sam Mendes. And yet, aside from a nomination for Paul Newman for an Oscar he deserved for his role but wasn’t given, Road To Perdition was blanked almost entirely… No Best Picture nod, nothing for Tom Hanks, Sam Mendes not nominated either, a handful of other nominations from which it only won one, Best Cinematography, … An insane choice by those involved in the voting behind the awards, pure Oscar bait, but barely a catch, such a shame. Tom Hanks and Paul Newman clearly deserved to walk away with gold statues for that movie.
2004 actually went by with the right people winning the acting awards, which made a nice change. Sean Penn and Tim Robbins are solid gold in Clint Eastwood’s multi Oscar-winning Mystic River, and Charlize Theron deserved her award for Monster, without a doubt. 2005 saw Clint Eastwood yet again reign supreme over the Oscars with his heartbreaking modern classic Million Dollar Baby, which grabbed the top awards including a second win for Hillary Swank. But Clint, once again, lost out, despite a powerful and moving performance. Jamie Foxx won for his performance as Ray Charles in Ray, and was a deserving winner too. But more deserving than Clint? Not a chance. Try telling that to the voters. That year, Foxx was also nominated for Collateral, which in my opinion should have been given far more Oscar love, yet it had very little attention paid, including yet another snub for Tom Cruise, with the board clearly having a giggle as they nominate the supporting star and completely ignore the leading man. Shameful. 2006 went mostly as expected, with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Reese Witherspoon grabbing statues, but the following year is still infamous, the absolute screw-over that was handed down to Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls. It had almost been sworn upon, almost promised, but as we know by now, nothing is a done deal. Eddie Murphy had long since been ignored by the Academy, despite his glowing career in movies, his classic stand-up comedy shows and his spectacular performances in an array of classic movies. At last this was to be his year, but for whatever reason, whether falling out with his former lover and mother of his child (Spice Girl Melanie Brown), or the fact that it was so obvious he should win, the night came and Alan Arkin was named winner for Little Miss Sunshine, with Eddie opting to stand up and walk out of the ceremony. What a farce it was, and a lesson to everyone… The Oscars is a TV show, full stop, the awards are an attraction, and the choices are always built to excite, delight and shock. Eddie is still angry… But the year was not lost, as at last, the powers that be finally grew a brain and said “OK, let’s finally give Martin Scorsese an award, we’ve made him wait long enough!”, giving him Best Director for his terrific cop thriller The Departed. Finally, the man who made so many hit movies, who had been nominated so many times, was given what he deserved, and the whole of Hollywood shook with cheers.
2008 gave us Javier Bardem as a winner, Best Supporting Actor for No Country For Old Men, a better winner just could not be found, he truly deserved it, a stunning and terrifying performance. However, no nods for Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones? Crazy decision. But at least TLJ was given a nod for In The Valley Of Elah the same year. In 2009, Heath Ledger was recognized for his groundbreaking performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight, providing us with not only the best movie villain I personally have ever seen on screen, but the greatest performance. Sadly, Heath had died before the movie’s release, and his award was given posthumously. Some are silly enough to think he was named the winner because he died, and that it was a token gesture to his memory. I, however, and many others, maintain that he would have easily claimed the win had he lived to do so. In my opinion, the greatest movie performance ever and along with Robin Williams winning his Oscar, my two favourite Oscar-giving moments. I was surprised that Jeremy Renner wasn’t the winner for Best Actor the following year, for The Hurt Locker, he is stunning in it, he really deserved it, but Hollywood loves a comeback hero, so Jeff Bridges was a lovely choice to win on the night. And Sandra Bullock being the comeback Queen, certainly deserved her win for the brilliant The Blind Side. So maybe by now the Oscars had redeemed themselves? Cut back on the mess-ups and started sending the awards in the right direction? They certainly continued on the right path the next year, with Colin Firth, Natalie Portman and Christian Bale all nabbing well deserved statues, no problems there. But can someone please explain how a year later Jean Dujardin beat George Clooney to a win? I will admit, I’ve yet to see The Artist in its entirety, but I have seen The Descendants, and I’m telling you now, Dujardin does not compare to Clooney in that movie, not a bit. And The Artist won Best Picture also? So we’re back to awarding movies that are just different from everything else? That was a mistake, absolutely. And not nominating Ben Affleck for Best Actor, despite his movie Argo being a big winner overall on the night? Again, that old snub the star trend showing its face.
2013, as I mentioned earlier, had little impact on me, it was all about Seth MacFarlane for me. But very nice to see Daniel Day Lewis pick up yet another Oscar, yet again proving the Irish have immensely talented superstars who win Oscars like sweets. Last year I really felt Tom Hanks at the very least deserved a nomination for Captain Phillips, he’s incredible in it, easily one of his very finest, and yet completely snubbed. Best Actress, I would have chosen Sandra Bullock for Gravity, but Cate Blanchett is a fine actress, so still a deserved win. And Alfonso Cuaron winning Best Director for Gravity, along with its other wins, was a very decent reward for such a stunning movie. So not too bad a year, aside from the snub for Tom Hanks, which remains unforgivable. So now… We come to this year… A couple of snubs abound, Golden Globe winner Amy Adams getting the cold shoulder for the very same movie she won that Globe for is very peculiar indeed… And then we have the major snub of The Lego Movie, gaining only one nomination, Best Original Song, with no nomination for Best Animated Feature and no Director nod for Philip Lord. While, in my opinion, everything was not awesome, it certainly deserves a lot more Oscar love that it has been given. Interstellar being ignored for Best Picture absolutely baffles me, I can’t think of a single reason why it should be excluded, what a strange mistake to make. And finally for this year’s awards, American Sniper has many nominations, as I mentioned, but this time, Clint Eastwood now gets the snub as director of the movie… Insanity. So, has anyone have any clear favourites for actors and directors to win?… Anyone you think should’ve been at least nominated? Share with us.
And the rest…
More than recognized mistakes by the public (although there are still some major ones here for you I have no doubt), here are a few of my own personal disappointments… Superman from 1978 won just one Oscar, Visual Effects! Aside from a few other token nominations, it was given nothing, not even a nod for Best Picture. In my opinion, Superman is the best movie of the 1970s, so to know it was treated like that is a complete shame. Back To The Future was given the classic blockbuster at the 1986 Oscars, with only one award for Sound Effects… No Best Picture nod, which shows how the Oscars had far by then become somehow too good to hand down to the blockbusters, the movies out there making all the money, while the awards were handed over to what some consider far more artistic movies/films. But given that, how on Earth was Back To The Future not only cheated out of an Oscar for Visual Effects, but not even nominated? I remember finding out for the first time that such stupidity had happened, but it truly did… Back To The Future‘s special effects were deemed not good enough to be nominated for an Oscar. It also picked up a nomination for the classic hit “The Power Of Love” by Huey Lewis & The News, but didn’t even win that. Shocking.
And going back a little earlier, Brian DePalma’s immortal classic, Scarface, was totally given the elbow, picking up as far as I know not a single nomination… No Best Picture, Actor, Director, Cinematography, Score etc… All awards which I personally would’ve easily bestowed upon it. But apparently, people in the 80s were not the smartest and chose to dislike the violent exploits of our now beloved Tony Montana, and the movie was considered a flop, as mentioned earlier, so somehow the supposedly trustworthy Academy also chose to dislike it. Big mistake. Also to note, can we believe that the original Star Wars movie won 7 Oscars, but yet the remaining 5 movies only picked up a further 2, which were actually Special Achievement Awards (and one of the original movie’s 7 was also an SAA)? Who thought Empire Strikes Back wasn’t worth an Oscar? Or Return Of The Jedi? Perhaps at least, we know the sequels have been all but cast aside by fans of the originals, unfairly I might add., so it wasn’t much of a surprise. Can someone please explain to me how Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith wasn’t nominated in any of the technical departments? Surely it was highly deserving of at least a nomination for Visual Effects? Who was silly enough not to think so? Also, as I mentioned earlier, Collateral starring Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx, directed by Michael Mann, everyone should have won for that movie, but at least nominated, as only Foxx was, and also for Ray. As anyone knows, this piece is mostly my own opinions and quite possibly doesn’t reflect the thoughts of many other critics, but Collateral is a work of art as far as I’m concerned, it deserved far more attention during award season.
Then… We can’t forget that the Academy don’t only commit crimes of stupidity in the film departments… Diane Warren has never won an Oscar. Ever. Nominated 5 times. Never won. Faith Hill’s There You’ll Be from Pearl Harbor easily should have romped home a winner, How Do I Live by Trisha Yearwood for Con Air is very worthy (although the award that year went to My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion for Titanic, so perhaps even Diane would’ve thought that was a given), and I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing by Aerosmith for Armageddon should have also walked with the win. An absolute disservice to such a wonderful songwriter and fantastic woman, disgusting to see a snub like that.
And equally disturbing to me, which I’ll end with… We all know how film critics and award givers react to Michael Bay and his work… But what everyone forgets is that Michael Bay has directed 11 feature films, which together have earned close to 6 billion dollars worldwide. So where’s the many awards? Where’s the many Oscars? Yes, even as a massive fan of the man and his complete body of work, spanning outside of his movies, I will admit even I wouldn’t be expecting them to pick up any awards for acting or screenplays. But surely for the technical aspects? Armageddon won no Oscars… Pearl Harbor won one Oscar for Sound… And the 4 Transformers movies have also won not a single Oscar. For anything. Now, even putting aside anything else, surely even the most hardcore and harshest of the film critics must find it strange that a Transformers movie has yet to win an Oscar for Visual Effects or Sound Effects? Surely that’d be a given, right? But nope, not single award given to any of them. And with the most recent instalment, Transformers: Age Of Extinction, not even being granted a nomination in those categories. That is just not right. At all. I know people who absolutely despise Mr. Bay and his movies, and yet even they have admitted that his movies are the very least are technically very impressive. So is this the Academy yet again stressing that they have no time for blockbusters? Titanic and Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King did win, but are they the exception? The last 2 Transformers movies made over 1 billion each, but are treated as outcasts. Avatar made almost 3 billion dollars, it was also unfairly cheated, in my opinion.
So do the voters behind the Oscars even count in a general big budget summer blockbuster? Or perhaps Titanic and Lord Of The Rings were attempts to appease the film Gods for the work that had unjustly been snubbed in the past? Will we ever see the day when those action movies and comedies we all know and love will be included in Best Picture nominations? Or will the movies that make all the money be constantly cast aside in favour of the movies that actually make very little money? I doubt it very much. Give me the MTV Movie Awards any day.