When Steven Spielberg took to the stage to present the Best Picture statuette at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards this past Sunday, the prolific director reminded us of some notable past Oscar nominees that did not win this most prestigious of award races. It was a particularly surprising list when you consider he mentioned some of Hollywood's best and most iconic work including Raging Bull, The Graduate and The Grapes of Wrath. It put the evening itself in perspective for everyone in attendance, provided an interesting trivia tidbit for movie fans watching at home and, more importantly, preemptively consoled the teams behind the nine films about to find themselves on the losing end of the final award of the evening. To quote Mr. Spielberg, "they're all in very good company."
I can remember off the top of my head at least ten films I loved that didn't end up winning the Best Picture Oscar, but here's a look at the five most notable flicks that stood out from the rest:
Citizen Kane (1941)
A given. It's only the most critically acclaimed film of all time. Citizen Kane was nominated in a total of nine categories in 1941, but won only Best Original Screenplay by Orson Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz. Newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, on whose life the film was allegedly based, threatened Academy voters with the classic line "You'll never work in this town again" and it seems that the threat might just have worked.
Star Wars (1977)
Labeled as an epic American space opera, Star Wars became nothing short of a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. Despite a surprising loss to Annie Hall in 1977, Star Wars unleashed a film franchise, which has earned over $4.5 billion to date. It is the third-highest-grossing film series behind only the James Bond and Harry Potter films.
The original Star Wars trilogy made our list of the top trilogies of all time - check out which other franchises made the list!
Although the Academy recognized Joe Pesci for Best Supporting Actor, in 1990 the Best Picture honour went to Kevin Costner's epic Dances With Wolves. But the fact remains that Goodfellas is on most fan favourites lists and, some would argue, that it is the best gangster movie behind Godfather I and II, which both took home the Best Picture award - in 1973 and 1975 respectively.
Check out Cineplex's look at director Martin Scorsese's Top 10 films and see where Goodfellas fell on the list!
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Perhaps one of the biggest Oscar tragedies of all time, despite seven nominations The Shawshank Redemption did not win one single award in 1994. Fans were outraged and retaliated by voting Shawshank the number two film of all time on IMDb behind only The Godfather. Shawshank was also voted the best film never to have won Best Picture in a 2005 BBC poll. Side note: Pulp Fiction was also up for Best Picture in 1994 but lost out to the extraordinary Forrest Gump.
The Social Network (2010)
Despite winning three Oscar's on Sunday night – Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Editing – this sure-to-be historic film lost out to Tom Hooper's true-life monarchy drama The King's Speech. Not surprisingly The Social Network, given its subject matter, has been controversial from the start. Chronicling the creation of Facebook, the genius behind the social networking phenomenon, Mark Zukerberg, was never a supporter of the movie. He has now admitted to seeing the film, even though he swore he wouldn’t, but has refused to publicly comment on it.
Each week Julian Brass, founder of Notable.ca, will provide us with a Top list of films that everyone should see. The themes of Notable’s Top picks will vary widely but all the movie picks will be relevant, entertaining, and they will all be worth checking out!
Notable.ca is Canada's hub for Young Professionals, by Young Professionals.