Skyfall – Best Picture
We’ll start this off with a bang. In 2012 the Best Picture was “Argo,” which was a delightful (and safe) movie for the Academy to choose, but it’s not about to go down in the history of film anytime soon. I’ll come right out and say it. “Skyfall” is the best Bond movie of all time, and it deserved the Oscar for Best Picture in 2012. It may be a stretch to say that because action movies aren’t really the Academy’s cup of tea, but no previous Bond film was as weighty or searched the soul of bond quite like “Skyfall” did. It was the Academy’s first chance to award Hollywood’s longest-standing franchise for its contributions to film history, and they missed it and gave it to a good, albeit safe, choice. Listen, we know “Skyfall” wasn’t aesthetically better than “Argo,” but James Bond means a hell of a lot to Hollywood and film in general, and it deserves to be recognized before 007 is no more. What better time than a year full of mediocre movies?
The Martian – Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Martian” was hysterical, visceral, and emotional all at the same time. Did you know it was based off an equally awesome book written by Andy Weir? The movie actually improved on certain elements of the novel, and for this, it should’ve won Best Adapted Screenplay instead of “The Big Short.”
King Kong – Best Picture
Source: Wolffian Classics Movie Digest
Perhaps the most iconic monster movie of all time, “King Kong” needed to win Best Picture in 1933. A film called “Calvacade” won it that year, does anybody remember that? The Academy didn’t take monster movies seriously back then..
It’s A Wonderful Life – Best Picture
Source: IFC Center
When Christmas comes around, American families watch “It’s A Wonderful Life.” It’s a given. It’s a classic. While it was nominated for Best Picture and four other awards, it didn’t take home any prizes. Years later we can all see why this was a huge mistake.
The Sixth Sense – Best Picture
Source: Plugged In
With one of the biggest twist endings in film history (not to mention one of the most quotable catchphrases), “The Sixth Sense” is M. Night Shyamalan’s first and best movie. That year a film called “American Beauty” won, but I don’t hear anybody quoting lines from that movie as much as “I see dead people.” It’s technically a horror movie but it’s so much more than that, it dug into the psyches of the characters and pulled incredibly emotional performances from Haley Joel Osment and Bruce Willis, and for that, paired with its sheer originality, it deserved the win.
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape – Best Supporting Actor
It’s ridiculous that it took Leonardo Dicaprio two decades to win an Oscar. He should’ve won it on his first try for his riveting performance in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.” Gene Hackman won that year for his role in “Unforgiven,” and he was great and all, but perhaps the Academy was “little-brothering” Dicaprio as they seemed to continue to do for the next twenty plus years, recognizing his talent but not quite ready to give an Oscar to such a young actor. Who knows what happened, but great performances are great performances, no matter how old the person giving them is.
The Shining – Best Actor
Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece called “The Shining” wasn’t even nominated in any category. It’s a film school favorite, a fan favorite, and one of the most iconic movies of all time, however the Academy has always been snooty when it comes to horror movies. Jack Nicholson should’ve been nominated for Best Actor and he also should’ve won for his sickening performance of a man sliding deeper and deeper into insanity. The winner that year? De Niro for “Raging Bull.”
Pulp Fiction – Best Picture
Source: Screen Rant
This is controversial, but “Pulp Fiction” should’ve won Best Picture instead of “Forrest Gump.” When it gets down to it, all the nominated pictures are worthy of the prize, but “Pulp Fiction” took more risks than “Forrest Gump” and did a better job of bringing out the “art” that is filmmaking. It certainly may not be as enjoyable to watch as the more lighthearted “Forrest Gump,” but it’s film art at its finest, and in the end, the Oscars are supposed to look at movies through the lens of pushing the boundaries of the art form that is film.
How To Train Your Dragon – Best Animated Feature
Source: Screen Rant
“Toy Story 3” was Pixar’s emotional sendoff to the franchise that started it all for them. It was a beautiful movie (did anybody else go through a whole tissue box at the end?), but it largely relied on the emotions conjured up from the previous two movies to deliver a good standalone movie. When I think of memorable moments from the “Toy Story” franchise, none of them are from “Toy Story 3.” “How To Train Your Dragon” was original, it was beautiful, and it was ten times funnier than “Toy Story 3.” Dreamworks has always made wackier, riskier movies than Pixar anyway, and it paid off perfectly in the case of this story of a boy who finds a dragon he’s not supposed to befriend. We think the Academy was looking at things through rose-colored glasses.
Goodfellas – Best Picture
Source: The Atlantic
Can you believe “Goodfellas” didn’t win best picture? The movie standing in its way? “Dances with Wolves.” While that film certainly is beautiful and tugged at the heartstrings of virtually everyone who saw it, there are other movies that are like that, too. “Goodfellas” was Scorcese’s masterpiece. It was dark, it was funny, and he really let the actor’s performances breathe on screen in a way we haven’t seen much of in film history. “Goodfellas” deserved Best Picture.
Field of Dreams – Best Picture
Source: Tiger Strypes
While Kevin Costner’s “Dances With Wolves” didn’t deserve Best Picture, “Field of Dreams,” which came out the year before, did. “Driving Miss Daisy” was a good movie, but so, so forgettable. This movie about a magic baseball field in the middle of one of the most obscure states in America captured the imaginations of kids and dads for decades. It’s constantly regarded as one of the best sports films in history, and it cemented its legacy in film in a way that “Driving Miss Daisy” simply hasn’t.
Wolf of Wall Street – Best Actor
With “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” the Academy could’ve finally made up for their sins for not giving Dicaprio the Oscar on multiple occasions before. But they decided to give it to Matthew McConaughey for “Dallas Buyers Club.” Did they even see the scene where Leo’s crawling to get to his car? No? That’s probably why..
The Nightmare Before Christmas – Best Director
Source: Oh My Disney
This is the second stop-motion movie on the list with “King Kong” being the other. Like “King Kong,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” wasn’t awarded for its genius. We think Director Henry Selick deserved the Best Director award for his painstaking work on making this story come to life. We guess the Academy doesn’t hold stop motion in high esteem. The winner that year? Clint Eastwood for “Unforgiven.”
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Source: The AV Club
When thinking of summer blockbusters, two movies come to everyone’s mind. One of them is “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and the other, well, we’re about to show you. Its action sequences and special effects by still-budding ILM were second-to-none, and in an industry that relies so much on special effects, that alone should’ve put it over the edge as the obvious Best Picture choice. When it comes down to it, there was NEVER a movie like Raiders until it came along, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find another franchise that’s influenced the lives of millions like Indiana Jones has. Well, we can think of another…
Star Wars: A New Hope – Best Picture
“Star Wars: A New Hope” is the best film of all time. No other movie in the history of filmmaking has touched more lives and influenced more people than this 2 hour and 5-minute masterpiece. I mean, is there a whole annual celebration event (that’s packed, by the way) for fans of the movie “Citizen Kane” like there is for “Star Wars”? How about “Titanic”? “Avatar”? Any other movie? The answer is no. The culture shift that happened after “Star Wars” was unprecedented and has never been seen since with any movie that’s ever been released after it. It deserved Best Picture. It deserved all the awards. It was an absolute masterpiece of film that simply can’t be topped by any other film in the history of movies. And that, my friends, is why Star Wars AT LEAST deserved Best Picture.
Heat – Best Cinematography
Source: The AV Club
“Heat” finally pit De Niro and Pacino against each other on film, giving longtime fans of gangster movies the movie moment they long-awaited. But this isn’t about them. This is about the cinematography of this beautiful crime noir that deserved to be awarded. Just watch the movie and tell us it’s not beautiful.
Here’s one that’ll get a little friction from people. “Big” wasn’t nominated for Best Picture probably because it was dressed up as a kid-friendly romp of a film. But for those that did see it, its simple-yet-powerful story of growing up and innocence (not to mention the perfect performance from Tom Hanks) was touching in a way that many didn’t expect. This, paired with the fact that audiences everywhere absolutely adored it showed this film really DESERVED the Best Picture in 1988.
Back To The Future
Source: Film Concerts Live
Another iconic film that literally anyone who has ever been a fan of movies can recall, “Back to the Future” should’ve won Best Picture in 1985. The actual winner? “Out of Africa.” Has anyone sat down to watch that movie recently? The point we keep making over and over again in the countdown is that fan-favorites deserve their spot in the limelight, too. There’s a reason they’re fan favorites. If they connect with millions of more people down to their soul and shift the culture drastically, there’s something to be said for that. Isn’t that why movies are made in the first place? To move people?
The Lego Movie
“The Lego Movie” was quirky, hilarious, and non-apologetic. It was perfectly itself, and really shook up the animated feature genre in 2014 in a way that “Big Hero 6” didn’t. “Big Hero 6” was safe, it was good, but it didn’t bring anything new to the table. “The Lego Movie” did, and it deserved to be awarded for that simple fact.