7 Biggest Oscar Snubs of All Time
Before you make your picks for this year’s Oscars, be sure to take a look back at the Academy’s most memorable snubs.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Why It Should Have Won: A cable television staple for years, The Shawshank Redemption often tops everybody’s favourite movies list, yet was stonewalled by the Academy.
What Happened: Despite rave reviews and a tear-inducing ending, The Shawshank Redemption got shanked on its way to the podium (in addition to being a box-office flop). It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Morgan Freeman) and Best Screenplay, yet won none of them.
Star Wars (1977)
Why It Should Have Won: Considered one of the most iconic films in cinematic history, Star Wars paved the way for a future generation of summer blockbuster.
What Happened: Annie Hall. No really, Annie Hall. While few doubt the appeal of Woody Allen’s romantic comedy, to say it’s a better film than Star Wars is pushing it. Where’s a lightsaber when you need one?
Why It Should Have Won: Another cable classic, Goodfellas was Martin Scorsese’s take on the Mafia myth. Brutal, thought-provoking and thoroughly watchable, Goodfellas remains one of modern cinema’s most electrifying films.
What Happened: Dances with Wolves, Kevin Costner’s weepy ode to the decline of the American frontier, pulled the Academy’s heartstrings. Despite six Oscar nominations Goodfellas only win came for Joe Pesci’s pint-sized thug, Tommy DeVito.
Why it Should Have Won: Jaws, like Star Wars, is a veritable classic. One of the rare films to charm both critics and audiences alike, Jaws worked simultaneously on a visceral and intellectual level.
What Happened: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest swarmed the podium. Jack Nicholson’s turn as a mentally disturbed misfit helped push Cuckoo’s into Oscar gold, but did it deserve to win over Jaws? A tough call, but for our money nothing beats a giant rubber shark with a penchant for eating boats. (Honestly, has a shark ever done that?)
Good Will Hunting and L.A. Confidential (1997)
Why They Should Have Won: L.A. Confidential made a star out of Russell Crowe, and netted screen siren Kim Bassinger an Oscar. Oh, and did we mention it also featured Kevin Spacey at the height of his snide, scene-stealing career? And Good Will Hunting was the indie-flick that took Hollywood by storm, and netted rookie screenwriters Matt Damon and Ben Affleck their first and only Oscars to date.
What Happened: Titanic (the highest-grossing movie of all-time), swept up 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, and would remain in theatres for over 10 months.
Taxi Driver (1976)
Why It Should Have Won: Controversial and terrifying, Robert De Niro’s portrayal of a crazed cabbie remains as memorable today as it was in 1976. Tax Driver would end up winning the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and was named one of the 100 greatest films of all time by Time magazine.
What Happened: In an unlikely underdog win, Rocky would score a surprise knockout at the Oscars.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Traffic (2000)
Why They Should Have Won: Although Traffic would smuggle away three Oscars, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon won several of its own, neither would seize Best Picture.
What Happened: Gladiator stormed the coliseum, so to speak. A summer blockbuster that premiered to above average reviews, Gladiator proved to be one of the few exceptions to the Oscar rule that a Best Picture winner has to be released in the fall.