Ten movies that didn't win an Oscar for Best Picture and were not even nominated and why, when the Academy tries to be progressive, it ends up being condescending.
The Academy is in crisis. They have lost their relevance in the media and seem to make the same mistakes over and over: lack of recognition and lack of representation, in addition to the fact that they have no interest in getting rid of old purist and nonsensical cultural standards. As an easy way out, the Academy announced that they will add a new category to their famous Oscars for “Outstanding achievement in popular film.” Apparently, by trying to make the biggest awards in the American film industry more modern and “inclusive,” they have failed and shown, once again, the snobbism in which the Academy works.
The Academy is most a group of elderly, cisgender, white men who seem to hold back progress in the worldwide conversation regarding minority representation. Also, the selection process lacks credibility nowadays; lobbying, when publicists and managers campaign for their movies in order to get them nominated, has become more important. It is no longer that the best nominate and vote for the best, but rather the Awards have become more cynical about this popularity contest sponsored by studios and production houses, overshadowing the importance of content and craft in filmmaking.
Black Panther is one of the films that might get an award in this new category.
This new form of “progress” projected on this new category is more offensive than rewarding: they will give an award to “blockbusters;” they will recognize their importance in terms of numbers and money, but still, they will not be good enough to compete for Best Picture. In addition, they intend to shorten the length of the ceremony by giving statues during the breaks, which is more than disrespectful to the work of those who are not considered “A-listers.”
Their legacy and relevance in the twenty-first century is a direct reflection of their past mistakes. They lacked vision and intelligence to see film as an art and not only as a business. Many movies that changed the course of cinema were left out of the race for an Oscar and that affected the credibility and image of the Academy. By rewarding those movies that they were told to vote for, they showed a lack of criteria and turned the ceremony into one that is predictable and political. They have had it wrong more than once, and that’s why we listed the biggest mistakes (and hopefully regrets) the Academy made. So, here are ten revolutionary movies that didn't win an Oscar for best Picture but were highly influential and changed the course of the film history.
10. The Dark Knight (2008)
Christopher Nolan’s contributions to a fossilized (and ridiculed) franchise was not good enough due to the “blockbuster” nature of the movie.
9. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
A film about the transition of the industry from silent movies to talkies. For some reason, the Academy thought Kelly’s legendary film was not Best Picture material. Yet, history had the last laugh.
8. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
A horror film that has several levels of interpretation, mainly one that has to do with women and feminism. Horror, however, is one of those genres the Academy hardly ever recognizes. Cowards.
7. Alien (1979)
If it’s not Spielberg's corny tale about friendship, then why would we even bother to look at the amazing effects, performances, and plot of this social critique?
6. The Shining (1980)
Art could not be commercial and popular (back in the day), and sure, an adaptation of a best-seller by Stephen King may have been one of the reasons why the critics were not precisely fans. Joke’s on them.
5. Blade Runner (1982)
The special effects and photography made it an instant classic. Besides, characters and plot were controversial enough to grab the attention of many, many but the “always play it safe,” boring Oscars.
4. Blue Velvet (1986)
A breath of fresh air (if that makes sense) in the noir film genre. David Lynch is a serious director who needs no publicists to make his work unforgettable.
3. Psycho (1960)
Do we really need to talk about how Hitchcock changed the industry? How he was a revolutionary storyteller who changed film forever? This is a classic: cinematography, script, original soundtrack, performances... After this movie, "thriller" was his middle name.
2. Persona (1966)
Probably the best film by the already legendary Ingmar Bergman, Persona deserved (at least) a nomination. However, Bergman was rather contrary to Hollywood, so no wonder he wasn’t given a chance.
1. Citizen Kane (1941)
It is probably the film that every film buff should watch at least once. It was innovative regarding how a story was told in film: characters are complex, the cinematography is groundbreaking, and the story itself is rather simple yet complex in its interpretation. A movie that requires at least three viewings to understand it.
The Academy Awards lack vision and humility. They need to understand that times have changed, and glamour and censorship on the behalf of the small conservative sector is what is costing them credibility and relevance with the globalized audience. They don’t need more categories, they need to break their old fashioned constructs and embrace once and for all the diversity of an industry that is based in California, a multi-everything state in America. They need to enter once and for all the global conversation of the new generations.
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