We gave a writer the task ofoicking the five worst Oscar snubs – here’s what they came up with…
This charming and heart-warming Tom Hanks vehicle managed to see off competition from both Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption in 1994, did it deserve to? Most think not. While there is no denying that Gump is a well-directed and impeccably acted film, with Hanks on fine form, there can also be no denying that both Pulp Fiction and Shawshank were better. Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction walked away with Best Screenplay while Shawshank, a film widely considered to be the greatest of all time, ended the night empty handed despite seven nominations. How’s about we go back in time and see Freeman pick up Best Actor and Samuel L Jackson collect Best Supporting Actor? Oh and throw in a nomination for Tim Robbins too.
The reunion of two of Hollywood’s sweethearts on screen was obviously going to generate a lot of interest in the Academy, so when The Sting saw Robert Redford and Paul Newman reunited again after both starring in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Academy was delighted. Unfortunately for The Sting, there was a film that year that created even more of a raucous among cinema-goers. A small book adaptation called The Exorcist burst onto the screens and changed the face of horror. It became the first horror film to earn a Best Picture nomination and should have walked away with the honour, but cinema would have to wait until 1991 to actually win the award when The Silence of the Lambs became the third film in history to win the coveted five awards (Picture, Actor, Actress, Producer, and Screenplay)
The King’s Speech
Tom Hooper’s British biopic was indeed a well-made film and deserved a certain amount of critical acclaim; Firth was spot-on in the lead role, whilst Geoffrey Rush brought his talents to the table in a supporting role, but I feel both the Best Director and Best Actor awards given to The King’s Speech were slightly undeserved. The best director of 2011 was Darren Aronofsky, without a doubt. The best actor award, however, is a little more controversial. Firth was excellent in The King’s Speech and should have won the award the previous year for A Single Man, losing out to Jeff Bridges, but I feel James Franco was incredible in 127 Hours, and gave a career best performance he will never top.
Shakespeare in Love
I actually quite like Shakespeare in Love, let me just get that out there first of all. But did it deserve to push aside Spielberg’s WWII epic Saving Private Ryan? No chance. The highest grossing picture of 1998 was expected to collect the Best Picture award which went to Shakespeare in Love. While being far from an awful film, standing it up next to Saving Private Ryan, there is just no logical reasoning to choose Shakespeare in Love over SPR. I know there is a certain code of putting on a brave face if you fail to win the award you are nominated for, but if I was Steven Spielberg I would have clenched my fists, jumped on my chair and screamed obscenities at the top of my voice. Robbed.
Julia Roberts is one of those names around Hollywood that you can always guarantee to pull the punters in with, despite the fact she actually isn’t a very good actress. I like to think of her as a slightly better version of Jennifer Anniston. Julia can’t hold a film, that’s a fact. When she tries, we get things like Eat, Pray, Love and the film in question here, Erin Brockovich. Sweeping aside my reservations about both Brockovich and Roberts, there was only one woman who should have been holding a golden statuette come the end of the night. Ellen Burstyn in Requiem for A Dream was a revelation. Starring alongside the likes of Jared Leto and Marlon Wayans might not seem like an achievement to be top in the acting stakes, but Ellen hit her performance out of the park as a mother who gets addicted to diet pills in order to appear on a television program.