5 Best Picture Winners that Didn’t Deserve the Win
Oscar nominations usually gets fans and critics alike riled up. The discussion of what films were “snubbed” are common centerpieces during Oscar season. But every few years a Best Picture winner sparks outrage and disappointment from viewers, usually because it doesn’t represent the “best of the year.” Here are five films that somehow won Best Picture but didn’t deserve it.
5. Chicago (2002): Director, Rob Marshall
It had glitz, glamour, music, celebrities, and all that jazz—but a Best Picture win? Really?! What makes it win even more perplexing is that it won against Roman Polanski’s brilliantly, inspiring yet heartbreaking film, The Pianist. I get it, the academy would rather up-sell a joyous musical than a glum story about the Holocaust, but in this instance The Pianist and its significant story were robbed.
4. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952): Director, Cecile B. DeMille
DeMille’s mammoth spectacle follows a complicated love triangle within the topsy-turvy world of circus life. Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey carries The Greatest Show on Earth, but you’d have a better time seeing their actual show live instead of dealing with the puffy, melodrama that DeMille brought to the film. While it was a success at the box office, it’s win for Best Picture still baffles many.
3. Crash (2004): Director, Paul Haggis
Speaking of melodramatic fluff, I’m still upset that Crash won over Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain in 2004. Complete with a multitude of tears, Crash attempts to depict that everyone is a little racist behind closed doors or in stressful situations. Somehow it’s over-the-top script won over a beautifully crafted story of two married ranch hands and their forbidden love for each other. The outrage against the themes of homosexuality at the time is a clear indicator as to why the star-studded puff piece Crash undeservedly won.
2. Out of Africa (1985): Director, Sydney Pollack
Who doesn’t love Merely Streep and Robert Redford? In fact, their combined chemistry is almost as good as the separate presence. However, Out of Africa’s slow story of a scorned woman in love barely even deserved the nomination for best picture let alone a win, especially when Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple was nominated the same year. The Color Purple surpasses Out of Africa in every technical aspect, but I guess its major problem that year was that its story was centered on blacks instead of using them as props.
1. Cimarron (1931): Director, Wesley Ruggles
A unanimous WTF is usually the first reaction had by modern watchers of Cimarron. Standing as one of two Westerns to ever win Best Picture, Cimarron was lauded at its time. However, as the years have passed and mindsets have changed, many often criticize it for its weak story and blatant racism of every major ethic race.