Every now and then, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screws up, resulting in many movies that won an Oscar but shouldn’t have. They’ve been doing this for almost 100 years (91 years to be exact), you’d think they’d become good at what they do? Not always the case. To be fair, they’ve picked many great gems. From “Gone with the Wind” to “The Godfather,” the Academy has chosen some beautiful movies to recognize as quality art and classic cinema.
Of course, some categories don’t carry as much weight as others. Best Makeup is usually a throw away while Best Picture is the cream of the crop. A movie that won Best Picture should be a classic and stand the test of the time. Unfortunately, some films in this category don’t and are long forgotten, while the films they beat out proved themselves over the long haul. The Academy isn’t perfect. They don’t have a crystal ball. So, every now and then, they get things wrong. Here are 25 movies that won an Oscar but shouldn’t have.
Scent of a Woman
Here is your recipe for an Oscar movie, according to the Academy: Take 1 part physical or mental handicapped character, 1 cup of dramatic speech by the tough guy who starts off bitter but has a heart of gold, mix that with the actor who has given variations of the same speech in movies, and you have “Scent of a Woman.” Al Pacino took home the Oscar for this one (with a performance that is almost a laughable caricature of himself) against Denzel Washington in “Malcolm X” and Clint Eastwood in “Unforgiven.” That’s a crime against cinema, if not humanity.
This movie’s story isn’t original (mixing the plot of “Dances With Wolves” and “Ferngully”) but there’s no denying the special effects were ground-breaking at the time. Still, it hasn’t aged very well and it shouldn’t have won Best Cinematography against the likes of “Inglorious Basterds.”
Note to Hollywood: Stop remaking movies that were never really terrifying to begin with. Werewolves aren’t scary anymore. That aside, this film somehow won Best Achievement in Make-Up. Have you seen the werewolf? Because it’ll make you laugh once you realize it won this award.
Shakespeare in Love
I think everyone agrees this was a huge miscalculation on the Academy’s part. They just can’t help themselves to a sappy drama about plays and stage theater, giving this movie no one cares about anymore seven Oscars. It won Best Picture against the likes of “Saving Private Ryan” and “The Thin Red Line,” two war movie masterpieces.
This movie is an awful (and painfully obvious) attempt by Michael Bay to copy “Titanic” and sweep the Oscars. He failed miserably. The only award this sappy love story in war-movie-clothing took home was Best Sound Editing. Its competitor was “Monster’s Inc.” Which, if you think about it, is a serious slap in the face to Pixar.