Weekend Roundtable: Worst Oscar Snubs

As we look forward to this year’s Academy Awards on February 27th, let’s first take a look back at some of the grave injustices that have plagued the awards show throughout its checkered history.

For the purposes of this discussion, we’re defining a “snub” as either a movie (or person) that wasn’t nominated at all in a given category, or one that was nominated but lost to some less deserving candidate.

Drew Taylor

  1. Christopher Nolan – Among the newest batch of nominees, it’s hard not to focus on the snub of Christopher Nolan not getting nominated for Best Director. Keep in mind that the Best Picture category was expanded, for the first time in decades, from five nominees to ten, as a response from the public outrage that Nolan’s 2008 superhero epic ‘The Dark Knight‘ didn’t nab a nomination. Even if you didn’t think ‘Inception‘ was the greatest thing since sliced bread thrown down a zero gravity hallway (which I did), it’s hard not to be impressed with the artful craftsmanship with which Nolan fashioned the tale of dream thieves. Yes, perhaps its trippy outrageousness alienated some older Academy members who simply didn’t understand what the hell was going on. That’s all well and good, but to watch ‘Inception’ and not think that it was brought to the screen by a determined and accomplished artist is totally beyond me. Between his direction of the actors, his expert juggling of multiple storylines (and planes of existence), and the sheer wide-eyed awe that he handles everything else with… Even if you don’t think ‘Inception’ is a masterpiece, it’s a hell of an accomplishment. Christopher Nolan should have gotten recognition for that.

Aaron Peck

  1. Citizen Kane‘ – Whenever I think of the most egregious Oscar snubs, I always think of how ‘Citizen Kane’ was largely shut out of pretty much every single award. Awards it should have won definitely include Best Actor, Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Picture. In short, ‘Kane’ should have walked away from those Oscars with a record number of wins. Instead, it walked away with Best Screenplay and that’s it. The movie, which is widely accepted as the best film ever made, won one measly trophy at the awards show of awards shows. Sure, there are quite a few other big snubs out there, but the across-the-board snubbing of ‘Citizen Kane’ is unforgivable.

Junie Ray

  1. Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant – For biggest Oscar snub, I pick a pair that often collaborated: Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant. Hitchcock was nominated for Best Director five times. As much as I love ‘Rear Window’, I can understand the 1954 Best Director going to Elia Kazan for ‘On the Waterfront’. However, three losses to Billy Wilder? That had to sting. I really enjoyed ‘The Apartment’, but compared to the job Sir Alfred did on ‘Psycho‘? Come on. And then there’s Cary Grant. He was only nominated for Best Actor twice. There’s no disrespect in losing to Gary Cooper, but to Bing Crosby (who was directed by Billy Wilder, no less)? That had to hurt. Then to not even get a nod for ‘Notorious’ or ‘Father Goose’ or ‘North by Northwest‘? So unfair. I suppose the flaw both Hitchcock and Grant had is that they made everything look too easy.

Dick Ward

  1. District 9‘ – I couldn’t tell you if it’s the worst snub of all time, but the one that stands out to me in recent years is ‘District 9’ losing the Best Visual Effects award. Neill Blomkamp’s first feature film is an eye-opener, reminding us that science fiction doesn’t have to mean “space opera.” Sci-fi can be grimy, emotional and complicated. It can deal with political issues in a real way, and it can make us think about the real world possibilities of meeting alien life. There’s no way the movie was going to get Best Picture, but it wasn’t just the story and directing that made the movie great. ‘District 9’ is also one of the very few movies that uses digital effects to create something that looks absolutely real, and it deserved recognition for that. Viewers can sit back and forget about the effects, and immerse themselves in the story. Forget the silly CG of the ‘Star Wars’ prequels. This is how it’s supposed to be done. But the Oscars voters have clearly come to prefer silliness over good special effects, and gave the award to the goofy-looking James Cameron cartoon ‘Avatar‘. Go Academy.

Mrs. Z

  1. ‘The Wrestler’ (Best Song) – I’m sure with a bit research I could find a bigger snub, but the one that stands out for me off the top of my head is Bruce Springsteen for his song “The Wrestler” in 2009. It’s not so much that I dislike the songs that were nominated that year: “Jai Ho” (winner) and “O Saya,” both from ‘Slumdog Millionaire‘, or Peter Gabriel’s “Down to Earth” from ‘Wall-E‘ – it’s the fact that the Academy chose only to nominate three songs in this category when they could have included five. For me, that’s the definition of snub, especially considering that “The Wrestler” was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Original Song just a few months earlier. Springsteen previously won an Oscar for “The Streets of Philadelphia” and was nominated for his song “Dead Man Walking,” so it’s a bit of headscratcher as to why he was so overlooked here. Perhaps Oscar is just not a fan of the film ‘The Wrestler‘? After all, even though Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei received nominations that year, both lost and the film was also overlooked in the Best Picture and Best Director categories.

Mike Attebery

  1. Paul Giamatti – Trying to picture ‘Sideways‘ without Giamattti’s quietly perfect turn as discouraged novelist, full time teacher, and overindulging wine snob Miles is just impossible. It’s just as hard to believe that he wasn’t even nominated. I don’t like to get too caught up in the drama of Oscar nominees and non-nominees, but are you F$%&ing kidding me?!! Without him, there is no ‘Sideways’, and ‘Sideways is one hell of a film!

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

  1. Stanley Kubrick – Quick! Straight off the top of your head, rattle off the five most universally revered filmmakers you can think of. Virtually every last one of you would’ve ranked Stanley Kubrick SOMEWHERE on that list, and many likely awarded him the top spot. The Academy apparently disagrees. To be fair, Kubrick and his films were continually nominated, with only ‘The Shining‘ interrupting what would otherwise have been a quarter-century long streak. Despite more than a dozen nominations in all – including four for Best Director! – Kubrick only took home a single statuette: Best Visual Effects for ‘2001: A Space Odyssey‘. In fact, ‘2001’ wasn’t even in the running for Best Picture, and somehow ‘Oliver!’, of all things, managed to take home the top prize. Go figure.

Nate Boss

  1. Mickey Rourke – Politics – man, do I hate ’em. I blame them for Mickey Rourke (‘The Wrestler‘) losing to Sean Penn (‘Milk‘) for the Best Actor statue. Penn was great as Harvey Milk, no doubt, but Rourke was in a completely different stratosphere (a far more awesome one) with his depiction of a down-and-out pro wrestler that, in my eyes, is one of the greatest performances ever.
  2. The Empire Strikes Back‘ – ‘Star Wars’ not winning Best Picture isn’t the end of the world, but the vastly superior sequel not even getting a Best Picture nomination? Absurd! To be fair, ‘The Elephant Man’ and ‘Raging Bull‘, equally deserving films, didn’t win either. But the greatest sci-fi film ever made (a proven fact, just ask me!) totally got snubbed, with only a sympathy Oscar for Best Sound and an “honorary” win. Lame.

Josh Zyber

  1. Pulp Fiction‘ – I have to go for some obvious ones here. We’ll start with the train wreck that was the 1995 Academy Awards, in which the despicable ‘Forrest Gump‘ took home 897 trophies, while Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ was lucky to limp away with a token Best Original Screenplay consolation prize. (And the only reason it won that one is that ‘Gump’ was competing in the Best Adapted Screenplay category instead.) I’ve written of my hatred for ‘Forrest Gump’ elsewhere, so I won’t belabor that any further. ‘Pulp Fiction’ was so obviously a more vital, inventive, intelligent, and entertaining film. And yet it lost to the “Stupid is as stupid does” movie? How does something like this possibly happen? I just don’t understand the world sometimes.
  2. Goodfellas‘ – Other than ‘Raging Bull‘, Martin Scorsese had kind of a dry decade in the 1980s. He made a few interesting movies, but nothing that inflamed the passions of either the critics or the public too much. But then he blazed back to relevancy in 1990 with his mob masterpiece ‘Goodfellas’, which is indisputably one of the greatest crime movies ever made, and just plain a great movie regardless of genre. ‘Goodfellas’ cemented Scorsese’s standing as America’s greatest living filmmaker. Yet the movie lost both Best Director and Best Picture to ‘Dances with Wolves‘. Now, I’m no fan of ‘Dances with Wolves’, but I can understand its middlebrow appeal to audiences and to the Academy. (I loved it when I was a teenager, before I was able to see through its Liberal Guilt fantasy nonsense.) In a year with weaker competition, I might give the Academy a pass on rewarding this one. Still, compared to ‘Goodfellas’… Well, there’s no comparison at all. Even when I actually liked ‘Dances with Wolves’, I realized that was a friggin’ joke.
  3. Any Movie Released the Same Year as ‘Gladiator’ – Really, Academy, you think that ‘Gladiator‘ was the best film of 2000? Honestly, you’re not kidding about that? That’s your choice? Did this movie even get any good reviews when it came out? I know that it made a lot of money, but so did ‘The Phantom Menace’, and who’s going to argue that one’s a Best Picture worthy film? It’s completely beyond my comprehension how this movie was even nominated for a “Best…” anything award, much less won the highest honor that the world filmmaking community has to give. It was my pick for the worst film of 2000.

Unleash hell! We’ve told you our picks for the worst Oscar snubs. Now tell us your picks in the Comments section below.


  1. I also have to throw in my 2 cents about this year’s Oscar snubs. Most egregious, yes even more than Nolan not getting into the Best Director category, is Lee Smith not getting nominated for his editing work on ‘Inception.’ What a load of crap.

    Also, ‘Tron: Legacy’/Daft Punk getting the shaft when it came to original score.

    • Bob

      I’ll do you one better. The original Tron was not even NOMINATED for best visual effects. The Academy said they cheated because they used computers. That’s wrong on so many levels. 1) forty-minutes of Tron’s visual effects were done without any computers. 2) Look how over decade later digital had taken over and people were ooh’ing and aah’ing and cheap knockoffs like Matrix and Lawnmower Man. 3) Tron held the record for most FX shots in a live action movie for almost twenty years until “Attack of the Clones”. To add further insult, Tron Legacy also wasn’t nominated for FX but crap like The Hereafter was instead.

  2. The one that comes to mind in recent years is Brokeback Mountain for best picture. After I heard Ang Lee’s name called for best director I was sure it was a lock. Wrong. I’ll admit that Crash was a pretty solid movie, but let’s be honest about this one. It was a movie that benefited from its large cast of recognizable stars, and was set in Hollywood’s backyard. And I’m guessing there might have been a little discomfort with picking a love story between two cowboys over the racial/social “masterpiece.”

    • Bob

      Crash was such a predictable movie whose script practically screamed “I’m a film student trying to be socially relevant and thought provoking”. It was the “safe” message movie (racism is bad, racists can be anybody) while many Academy voters not only snubbed Brokeback, but actually felt the need to tell people they didn’t see it (because just seeing it might make the gay rub off on them).

  3. While no one in their right mind would ever argue against Alfred Hitchcock’s value as one of the greatest filmmakers in history being inexcusably overlooked during his working career, the need to smack Billy Wilder down to prop Hitch is bewildering. Is this writer referring to the same Wilder who wrote and directed “Double Indemnity,” “The Lost Weekend,” “Some Like It Hot,” “The Apartment” and “Sunset Boulevard”? You make this guy who wrote some of the sharpest screenplays and directed some of the greatest films in history sound like some kind of unworthy hack.

    • Josh Zyber

      I don’t think that was Junie’s intent. I read her entry to mean that it must have stung for Hitchcock to lose to the same person on three separate occasions. Regardless of who the person is, that almost seems like a cruel joke – like Wilder was the favored son and there’s nothing Hitchcock could ever do to measure up.

      However, with that said, I just looked up his nominations, and I think Junie was wrong. Hitchock only lost to Wilder twice: In 1946 (Lost Weekend vs. Spellbound), and 1961 (The Apartment vs. Psycho).

      Both men were nominated in 1945 but lost to Leo McCarey (Going My Way). They were both nominated again in 1955 and lost to Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront).

      I think this was just a simple error, not an attempt to besmirch Billy Wilder.

      • I defended “The Apartment” against “Psycho” in an earlier High Def Digest story, claiming it had a smarter, stronger script and overall better acting, but Hitchcock deserved to win for his insanely awesome directorial work.

        I’m also 100 percent behind Tyner on Kubrick.

  4. Hammer

    Zyber — seriously… you’re going to go on record saying that Gladiator was the WORST movie of 2000? You’re sure you want to leave that there?

    It’s certainly not the best, and I have to say I like it just fine but don’t “love” it. But a ‘critic’ calling it the “worst” of the year is not just hyperbolic but idiotic.

      • Curtis

        He has your usual pattern of someone who takes it to an extreme if a movie gets hyped more than he thinks it deserves. Be it Gladiator or Avatar, if it catches on with the masses, they have to go into overdrive pointing out how it is the stupidest peice of drivel ever made instead of just being able to say that it had its merits but they in no way feel the quality justified the attention it got. They spend so much time trying ot point out the flaws to people who they don’t think see them, that it is all they can see.

        • Josh Zyber

          Or maybe I really thought it was the worst movie I saw in 2000? You know, there’s that too.

          My first two drafts of that entry were much stronger than the one that finally got published. I honest to god think that movie flat-out sucks. I cannot understand why anyone likes it.

        • Drew

          Agreed. I completely co-sign on this. It’s just typical Zyber. He does this over and over and over again. It’s just his normal behavior when it comes to not liking a film that the masses love. Gladiator and Avatar are two examples out of dozens we could mention. He seems to be insecure about something. It’s never enough to just say, “This film has flaws, and it wasn’t as good as a lot of people think it was.”

  5. besch64

    The Wrestler got absolutely reamed in the 2008 Oscars.

    -Not nominated for best picture

    -Springsteen’s original song not nominated, despite there being only three total nominees and two of those being from the same movie

    -Mickey Rourke, who gave the performance of a lifetime as well as one of the best and most moving of the decade, lost to Sean Penn doing an impersonation

    And Doubt, which had the most stellar cast of the year by far, didn’t win anything either in 2008. Amy Adams, PSH, and especially Meryl Streep all deserved to walk out of the theater carrying gold.

    2008 was an awful, awful year. Ugh.

  6. Jane Morgan

    ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ should have spanked ‘Gladiator’ with the green sword of destiny.

    ‘L.A. Confidential’ should have sunk ‘Titanic.’

    ‘Apocalypse Now’ should have cut all the little arms off ‘Kramer Vs Kramer.’

    ‘Raging Bull’ should have beaten senseless ‘Ordinary People.’

    ‘The Verdict’ should have kicked ‘Gandhi’s ass.

  7. Modano1973

    Shakespeare In Love winning Best Picture in 1999 over Saving Private Ryan and Life Is Beautiful was a travesty. Spielberg winning Best Director for Saving Private Ryan and Benigni winning Best Foreign Film for Life Is Beaufiful seemed more like consolation prizes from the Academy.

    • No, Shakespeare in Love winning Best Picture in 1999 over The Thin Red Line, THAT was the travesty.

      Shakespeare in Love winning over Saving Private Ryan was actually pretty funny, if only for the experession on Speilberg’s face.

      • Curtis

        But that is the problem of ‘best picture’. How can you compare a comedy to a emotional action war movie or even an evocative ‘exerience’ war movie? We can love all three but the dark and emotional is almost always (except in this suprising case) going to be viewed as the ‘more powerful’ movie.

  8. Reading the Hitchcock/Wilder post again, I can see what you’re saying, Josh (I think the “I really enjoyed The Apartment”…”Come on” line is what made me see it the way I did.) I might prefer “Psycho” somewhat myself, but I don’t feel “The Apartment” was some unworthy competition to Hitchcock’s film. They’re both pretty great movies.

    And I can see with the error of the three mistaken Wilder wins over Hitchcock how that might sting, but even with only the two wins, “The Lost Weekend” and again, “The Apartment” are certainly not unworthy wins. I’d rather see something like that then some of the other truly bewildering losses in history (“Saving Private Ryan” “Raging Bull,” “Apocalypse Now,” debatably “Goodfellas,” “Citizen Kane,” etc.)

    Anyway, thanks for your thoughts, and apologies if I came off brusque to Junie in my response!

    • Junie Ray

      Hey Steven, I definitely didn’t mean to make Wilder out to be a hack. Josh’s interpretation is correct. For The Apartment and Psycho, I actually like the Apartment better as far as writing or picture goes, but for directing, I think Hitchcock’s work was superior in that particular match up.

      As for the multiple wins – boy I flubbed that one up! Two losses, up against him three times. All I was saying is there must have been some professional rivalry, though with those two, probably very civilized.

  9. RBBrittain

    “Citizen Kane” was such a huge snub that the Academy will never be able to beat it. The conditions that allowed William Randolph Hearst to deny it any Oscars (except, ironically, Original Screenplay) simply don’t exist anymore; while the 1940’s Academy was studio-funded and laden with studio execs who had to kowtow to Hearst, today’s Academy is funded by its TV contract with actors holding the plurality of votes.

    Probably the biggest snub since then was “Saving Private Ryan” losing to “Shakespeare in Love”, largely due to over-schmoozing by the Weinsteins. (Notice they’re staying in the background with “The King’s Speech” this time? They even shortened their studio credit to “TWC” on the trailer.) But the BIG Oscar snub today is actors blocking out animation & performance-capture performances out of fear they’ll be put out of a job.

    Some might mention “The Color Purple” going 0-for-11 in 1985, but by the time he made “Schindler’s List” even Spielberg knew what he did wrong: He oversanitized Alice Walker’s novel. If Oprah ever makes her musical version into a movie, that will probably be fixed.

  10. Aaron, Junie, Josh and Adam got it right. The rest of you: back to film class!

    Oscar’s most recent “blunders” include snubbing both Eddie Murphy (Dreamgirls) and Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights) for no other reason than they didn’t want to reward their one-great performance due to a career of bad ones. Mickey Rourke could fall into that cateogry too…although I liked that performance better when Sylvester Stallone gave it in the original Rocky. 🙂

    • nate boss

      low blow, shannon. low blow.

      Sly’s turn as Rocky is vastly different than Mickey’s The Ram. completely different arcs of character (polar opposites, even), and different mannerisms in character.

      Eddie Murphy, sorry. was not impressed. he may have been hit due to his career of pure shit, but i really don’t see his performance as any better than any of the other nominees. i think the only reason it stands out is because it’s one of the only times he wasn’t horrible horrible HORRIBLE horrible. this isn’t a “most improved actor” award.

  11. Ian Whitcombe

    Francis Ford Coppola for Bob Fosse – Best Director: 1972. This was probably the most shocking; I think we all assumed Coppola won for The Godfather before we looked it up.

    Gordon Willis’ snubs for the Godfather Trilogy. 0 wins, 1 nomination (Godfather III). True, he recieved an honorary award last year.

    Any working composer vs. Gustavo Santaolalla (2 wins). His music for Babel, in particular, is boring and aimless, and the only reason he won is because voters were confused over the original score vs. the licensed Ryuuchi Sakamoto pieces.

    Any artistically-worthy documentary (Hoop Dreams, Roger & Me, Waiting For Superman, the collected works of Errol Morris) for being too “populist”. As Roger Ebert puts it, the documentary branch is(usually) all about stock-footage and talking heads.

  12. BostonMA

    i won’t list the near countless filmmakers and crew members that’ve been snubbed by the Oscars like Hitchcock, Leone, or Nolan (this generation’s Hitch), and there are too many films and actors to have been snubbed for me to completely keep up with and rank from the greatest down, so i’ll list the ones i always think of:

    1) Heat – i’ve stated time and time again that Heat is my favorite film ever. but it’s not just my favorite, as i also consider it to be the best motion picture ever authored too, and aside from a couple stuntmen goofs, the film is an example of complete perfectionism, in every single regard of filmmaking that qualifies, and the FACT that the movie WASN’T EVEN NOMINATED FOR A SINGLE AWARD, like Best Cinematography or Art Direction, as it’s a deeply expressionistic art film, or Best Sound or Best Editing, as the downtown shootout is all i need to note, is absurd and ludicrous. Michael Mann, and everyone involved, deserved to be fully recognized for the astonishing amount of talent that was put to work for production of such an incredible film with wins and nominations being eternally stoned in the record books, but instead, the ridiculous injustice that was done to them only shocks first time viewers for a small amount of time after the film’s run time ends, with most people in turn forgetting about the snub later on.

    2) Raging Bull – quite simply one of the best movies ever made. ever. made. the more you watch it, the more you appreciate its brilliance (and pick up on more brilliance you previously didn’t realize was there). it’s a towering achievement of cinema, and will always be analyzed for time and time to come, vs. Ordinary People, which is regarded as the reason Timothy Hutton continued to work, building a thoroughly mediocre career in the process.

    3) GoodFellas – this was almost a tie, as i think just about everybody looks at these two as two of the biggest BP/BD snubs ever, but either way, it needs to be listed. Josh says the rest, so i won’t bother.

    4) Taxi Driver – the sting doesn’t hurt as much as Rocky is just the type of movie that wins awards (like it did), but for me, Taxi Driver stomps all over Rocky in terms of overall greatness, so the snub is worth noting.

    4) Daniel Day-Lewis for Bill “The Butcher” Cutting (Gangs of New York) – when i contemplate the best actors to ever live, no one seems more of a towering giant than DDL, and even though the nutso performer was recognized for his indescribable talents in My Left Foot and There Will Be Blood, his snubbing to Adrien Brody was inexcusable. like i just said, DDL’s best performances are completely indescribable, so all i’ll say is watch Gangs of New York once more if you seem to disagree with this. Brody was really great in The Pianist, and may have surely won in other years, but when matched up with one of the best performances in film history from the man who’s probably the best actor to ever live, there’s just no contest.

    5) Al Pacino for Michael Corleone (The Godfather Part II) – arguably the best performance from arguably the best actor of Modern American Cinema, lost to Art Carney for Harry and Tonto.

    question: does anybody know who the fuck Art Carney was? because i sure don’t, and even if his performance was top notch, there is no way..at all, that it’s better than Pacino when he fully blossomed into the one of cinema’s most encompassing embodiments of evil.

    • Ian Whitcombe

      BostonMA, would you agree with me that Al Pacino not winning Best Actor in 1972 to be as big or even greater an omission than his 1974 loss?

      • BostonMA

        respectfully, no. if you mean that he should’ve been nominated for Best Actor and won over Brando, then i disagree, as i actually consider Brando’s performance as Vito Corleone to be even better than Pacino as Michael (i also think it’s as good as DDL’s three best performances)

        Pacino should’ve been nominated for Best Actor that year though. that i agree with, as he had more screen time than Brando.

    • Jane Morgan

      ‘Heat’ is in fact the greatest movie of all time. At least they gave the ’95 Oscar to ‘Braveheart,’ and not the talking pig movie.

      And speaking of war movies, it’s a goddamn Hollywood tragedy that Michael Mann was never able to unleash his vision of ‘Gates Of Fire.’

      Daniel Day-Lewis is snubbed every year. When I experienced my first DDL performance in ’96, as a young drama student, watching ‘The Crucible,’ he fucking destroyed me. I couldn’t walk for a week.

      • BostonMA

        well, The Crucible is next on my list to see.

        and damn, great to see another person fully agree with me on the distinction of Heat. i love Braveheart but consider it to have one, GIANT flaw, and that’s in how his “undying” love for his dead wife propels him to take full revenge on her death and set freedom to Scotland…but in the process, he bangs a woman of royalty to pass the time, even though when he’s dying, he sees the image of his wife…

        that one flaw holds it back from 10/10 level for me, but i do really love the movie, even though i find it completely inferior to Heat.

        • BostonMA

          also, being a HUGE!!! Mann fan, i’ve never heard of his involvement with the project ‘Gates of Fire’, so that mentioning is very interesting.

          • Jane Morgan

            ‘Gate of Fire,’ the novel, came out in ’98. Michael Mann secured the film rights. George Clooney and Bruce Willis wanted the two main roles. David Self cranked out some scripts. But it languished in development hell for years.

            The book has an impossible-to-film story structure, with a young boy as the main character, who observes everything up-close, but doesn’t have a real hero journey. The studio wanted a Gladiator-killer, with that kind of star lead.

            From ’99 to ’05, they struggled to build a workable script. And the cost analysis projected the budget to be over $200M. Then 300 came out.

            As far as I know, Michael Mann still has the rights. Maybe in five years the world will get the Spartan movie it deserves, with a historically-accurate Thermopylae sequence, rivaling in power the shootout in ‘Heat.’

            Or maybe we’ll never hear of the project again.

          • BostonMA

            to the post below:

            yeah i read about it after reading your post, sounds pretty damn interesting but i don’t know, i can’t see another Spartan film coming out anytime soon. 300 seemed to give people enough of Sparta for a long time.

    • EM

      Lots of people know who Art Carney was, though I imagine very of them typically have Harry and Tonto uppermost in mind when his name is mentioned, if indeed they know the movie at all. Carney is best known for his role in the classic sitcom The Honeymooners as Ed Norton.

      On the other hand, BostonMA, if you meant, “Whom did Carney play—Harry? or Tonto?”—the answer is Harry; Tonto was the cat.

      • BostonMA

        know i just meant “does anybody know who the fuck Art Carney is”…

        i’m glad you mentioned that, because after posting that, i felt that that reference to him sounded a tad disrespectful, and i didn’t mean it that way.

        i’m young, and have seen a few episodes of The Honeymooners, but only know Gleason of the show’s cast.

        after watching Part II for the third time last November and reading up on how Pacino lost to a man named Art Carney for the film he did and all that jazz, it just seemed absolutely ridiculous to me.

        that may sound a bit ignorant, but i know there is just no way that Pacino in Part II, one of the best performances of that decade (hell, maybe THEE best) is inferior to Carney’s..especially how many critics and film historians note the result as a major snubbing.

        it sucks because Pacino and De Niro, who are probably the two most similar actors ever, have different AA histories in how De Niro won for his best performance, one that’s always associated with him at the top of his game, vs. Pacino, who was fantastic in Scent of a Woman, but that’s sure as shit not what he’ll be greatly remembered for.

  13. “A Beautiful Mind” winning over “In the Bedroom” and “Fellowship of the Ring,” while superior films such as “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” “Spirited Away,” “Mulholland Drive” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” were left unnominated.

      • BostonMA

        i forgot to mention Vertigo as well. Vertigo is probably the second best American film in my eyes, though it’s sort of a tricky snub since its greatness wasn’t recognized until much after 1958.

  14. Shayne Blakeley

    Ellen Burstyn losing Best Actress (Requiem For a Dream) to Julie Roberts (Erin Brockovich)

    Good God.

  15. Brian H

    Blade Runner – two Oscar nominations, but no wins. The visuals in that twenty-eight year old film are so impressive that not only should it have won, but there also should be a special Blade Runner Oscar awarded every three years for visual ground-breaking films.
    In the case of Chris Nolan, the Academy will recognize him once he fades and directs a particularly weak movie. (Which will hopefully be a long time from now.)

  16. Brian H

    Thinking about how there seem to be make-up awards for directors and actors, maybe they should have a category for best film that we have previously snubbed. Although that may make the Oscars more like baseball hall of fame voting…

  17. El Bicho

    Kurosawa’s only Best Director nomination was for Ran and it lost to Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa. I saw them both, although I see that’s not a requirement to have an opinion.

    “Daniel Day-Lewis is snubbed every year.”

    Except 1989 when he won for My Left Foot and 2007 for There Will Be Blood.

  18. 2003, when the nominees had among them Mystic River and Lost in Translation, the Academy picked….Return of the King for Best Picture. I’m in the minority, but it was a terrible choice.

    • RollTide1017

      While I consider the LOTR trilogy my favorite movies of all time, I somewhat agree about ROTK winning. If any of the LOTR movies deserved to win Best Picture it was FOTR as I think it is the best of the three.

      I still think Pan’s Labyrinth should have one Best Score in 2006.

    • Mystic River was good, despite its histrionics. For me the snub was Sean Penn wailing his way to an Oscar over subtly comedic perfection from Bill Murray.

      As far as Return of the King winning over Lost in Translation, they really don’t belong in the same category. The academy naturally went with the credo “bigger is better.” Compared to the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, Lost in Translation seemed more like a short film.

    • I agree with you, but ‘Return of the King’s win was more of a “Okay now that it’s all done and over with let’s give the whole trilogy this” kind of award.

  19. mh

    Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole were both snubbed throughout their movie careers. For O’Toole NOT to have won for THE LION IN WINTER (Cliff Robertson won for CHARLY) is a monumental blunder.

    I consider Richard Burton’s performance in WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF the greatest non-winning performance in the history of the Oscars.

    At least O’Toole was honored with a special Oscar. Burton died before the Academy rectified matters with him.

  20. Jane Morgan

    With 10 best picture contenders, and less than 6000 academy voters, ‘The King’s Speech’ could win simply by locking down the Old Actors Vote.

    When the blu-ray comes out, they should put a big gold sticker on the cover: Over 700 Grandmothers Recommend This Motion Picture!

  21. Ivan Gomez

    The wife wanted me to add her 2 cents, she is a big, big, BIG lord of the rings fan and considers the fellowship and the two towers highly superior to the return of the king adaptationwise… She thinks it only won due to the better two not being recognized previously.
    As far as im concerned, i love tom hanks work, but, come on, is he the best actor ever? winning as many best actor as he did? Is like saying that there is no career to al pacino or deniro or nicholson or even hopkins… Any way the biggest to me is rewarding crouching tiger and not amores perros when there are literally hundreds of movies like hidden dragon in asian films but no movie like amores in mexican history. I guess flying with a sword to kill a woman is pollitically better than making dogs fight…

    • Josh Zyber

      I think you underestimate Crouching Tiger, which wasn’t just a typical kung-fu movie. Crouching Tiger was a fusion of both Eastern and Western storytelling techniques. In fact, it wasn’t terribly popular in Asia because it was decried as being “too Western.” Ang Lee approached the wuxia fantasy genre from his background in intimate character dramas. It’s a much better, richer movie than you give it credit for.

      Amores Perros is good too, but it suffers a lot of the same schematic didacticism as Iñárritu’s later movies, 21 Grams and Babel. I don’t feel like it got robbed. It was just tough competition in that category that year.

  22. J Morris

    The Oscars almost always get it wrong. No best pic for Citizen Kane, The Big Sleep, Vertigo, Raging Bull, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, A History of Violence, Heat, Zodiac, The Thin Red Line, LA Confidential, the list is long. In fact, only on 4 occasions have their choices coincided with mine.( And time has been much kinder to my picks.) Is it any wonder? These members, after all, are the same people who green light and make much of the drivel that passes for cinema. Their inability to evaluate the finished film is in keeping with their overall ineptitude. Why should it be otherwise?

  23. AB

    Mulholland Drive – are you kidding me, that was the biggest load of nonsense ever made – I think the writer od’d on crack halfway through.
    My big snubs: (1) John Malcovich not getting nominated for Dangerous Liaisons (2) Edward Norton not getting nominated for Fight Club, (3) awarding acting oscar to Crowe (Gladiator) over Denzel (Hurricane, (4) the following year awarding acting oscar to Denzel (Training Day) over Crowe (A Beautiful Mind)
    Al Pacino not winning for GF2 is a shocker, no doubt. The other one that grinds me is giving Anthony Hopkins an Oscar for Silence of the Lambs in a leading role instead of Nick Nolte in the Prince of Tides – he was just brilliant.

  24. J.M.A.

    (in response to Josh Zyber’s first response) No josh that’s just plain impossibe. In all seriousness though you must not have seen a lot of movies in 2000 if you really believe that was the worst you’d seen all year.