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Leo DiCaprio is going to win this year for "The Revenant," for the simple reason that he's been robbed in previous years -- most notably when his performance in the WOLF OF WALL STREET lost to Matthew McConaughey's in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB.
A hundred years from now when they look back and want to know what a man was like, or wanted to be like, and what people thought in the early 21st century, they'll look to the performances of George Clooney, particularly in UP IN THE AIR. He should have won the Oscar that year but lost to the perennially under-appreciated Jeff Bridges, the sentimental favorite.
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN should have won over CRASH for best picture of 2005.
Carmen Ejogo was robbed in 2012: She should have been nominated for her performance in SPARKLE. How could Anne Hathaway be nominated for five minutes of sobbing in LES MISERABLES, and Ejogo be ignored? The mind boggles.
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In retrospect, Casey Affleck's sniveling, nuanced performance as Robert Ford (in THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES) was more interesting than Javier Bardem's assassin in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Affleck should have won supporting actor.
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Amy Adams should have won best supporting actress for THE MASTER, instead of ANNE HATHAWAY for LES MISERABLES.
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Helen Hunt attends the "The Sessions" premiere. If Amy Adams didn't win against Anne Hathaway, then Helen Hunt should have.
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If Hunt or Adams didn't win against Hathaway, Sally Field should have. Any of those three would have been fine.
Jessica Chastain in ZERO DARK THIRTY -- she lost to Jennifer Lawrence in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, and shouldn't have.
The Weinstein Co.
Michelle Williams in BLUE VALENTINE (2010) should have won Best Actress, but she lost to Natalie Portman in BLACK SWAN. If Williams didn't win, Bening should have won for THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT.
Annette Bening in BEING JULIA lost Best Actress to Hilary Swank in MILLION DOLLAR BABY for one reason: few people saw BEING JULIA (2004).
A critic called this the greatest performance ever in a sound film. Otis Ferguson of the New Republic called Garbo in CAMILLE "the most beautiful thing of a generation." She lost Best Actress to something borderline ridiculous -- Luise Rainer playing a Chinese farmer THE GOOD EARTH -- in 1937.
Alison Elliott -- a crime that's still felt today. The Academy ignored her sublime supporting performance in THE WINGS OF THE DOVE (1997), awarding Kim Basinger in L.A. CONFIDENTIAL.
James Stewart in ANATOMY OF A MURDER (1959),for which he received a nomination for Best Actor. He really should have won, but Charlton Heston in BEN-HUR did.
Warner Bros. 1967
Faye Dunaway in BONNIE AND CLYDE. Best film of 1967, a great movie year, but it lost to the OK but now-dated IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT.
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962) was one of the defining 1960s films, with a great performance by Peter O'Toole, who was nominated for Best Actor but did not win. He should have, but the Academy went with Gregory Peck for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.
United Artitst 1980
RAGING BULL (1980) lost Best Picture to ORDINARY PEOPLE. Hard to imagine.
You want to see something jaw-dropping? Watch Jeanne Eagels in THE LETTER (1929), newly released on DVD. You'll never see anything like her. But she was ignored, of course, by the Academy, who chose Mary Pickford in COQUETTE as Best Actress.
THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES (2007) -- one of the greatest westerns of all time, all but ignored by the Academy in a year that NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN dominated.
Melanie Laurent as Shosanna in Quentin Tarantino's INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (2009). That film was the best thing that happened in cinema that year. It should have won Best Picture, not THE HURT LOCKER.
BEFORE SUNRISE (1995) was entirely ignored by the Academy. (BRAVEHEART won Best Picture that year.) Don't tell me it took ten years for anyone to realize this was a classic. I said so the day it was released and put it at the top of my top ten.
Margaret Sullavan in THREE COMRADES (1938). Should have won Best Actress against Bette Davis in JEZEBEL.
JERRY MAGUIRE (1996) is Tom Cruise's best performance, but he didn't win Best Actor. Geoffrey Rush did, for SHINE.
France's MADEMOISELLE CHAMBON (2009) deserved a Best Foreign Language Film nomination, or better. The prize went to Argentina's THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES.
Cary Grant never won a competitive Oscar -- not even for SUSPICION (1941).
CITY LIGHTS (1931) -- just one of the greatest films ever made, but totally ignored by the Academy. (CIMARRON won Best Picture that year.)
GOODFELLAS was the best and most lasting film of 1990, but it lost Best Picture. To DANCES WITH WOLVES.
25TH HOUR (2002), Spike Lee's post-9/11 masterpiece, is one of its decade's greatest films, but it was ignored by the Academy. (CHICAGO won that year.) It probably didn't help that there was practically no Oscar campaign behind it.
France's THE DREAMLIFE OF ANGELS (1998) should have won Best Foreign Language Film. It wasn't even nominated against eventual winner LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL from Italy
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SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS (1941) -- another masterpiece, timeless and eternal and not even nominated. (HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY won that year.)
A FACE IN THE CROWD (1957): Two Oscars that should have happened, but didn't. Andy Griffith gave for one of the great performances of the 1950s, but wasn't even nominated for Best Actor. Neither was the film in the Best Picture category. (THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI and its star Alec Guinness would prove victorious.)
This time it wasn't the Academy's fault. Christian McKay should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actor in ME AND ORSON WELLES (2009), but the studio, figuring Christoph Waltz was a lock for INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, positioned the unknown McKay for best actor instead. The result? He was nominated for neither.
Greta Garbo in A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS (1928). One of the great silent performances, but not even nominated against eventual winner Mary Pickford in COQUETTE.
Judy Garland in A STAR IS BORN (1954). She should have won, not Grace Kelly in THE COUNTRY GIRL.
GLOOMY SUNDAY (1999), a German production set in Budapest, is one of the great foreign films of the 1990s, but it wasn't nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, possibly because it wasn't released in the United States early enough for it to qualify. (Spain's ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER was, and won.) See it, if you haven't. It's wonderful.
How did Richard Burton not win for WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (1996) For the Bergen scene alone, he should have beaten Paul Scofield in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS.
Two missed Oscars here: Meg Ryan for Best Actress, IN THE CUT (2003) for Best Picture. Neither were nominated. (Charlize Theron, for MONSTER, and THE LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING were the year's winners.)
FIVE EASY PIECES (197) is one of the most lasting achievements of its era, a film that has maintained its truth over four decades. And Jack Nicholson was great, too. Both were nominated, but lost to PATTON and its star George C. Scott, respectively.
CITIZEN KANE (1941) is one of the cinema's greatest, but it didn't win Best Picture. HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY did.
Kathryn Bigelow's direction in ZERO DARK THIRTY deserved a Best Director nomination, perhaps a victory. She got neither.
Laura Linney should have been nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her extremE inspired performance in THE DETAILS. And THE DETAILS deserved a Best Screenplay nomination.
Michelle Pfeiffer should have been nominated for Best Actress for CHERI (2009). Probably should have won, but Sandra Bullock did, for THE BLIND SIDE.
MILK should have won best picture, instead of losing to the instantly forgettable SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.
Madeleine Stowe deserved a Best Actress nod for THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS (1992). (Emma Thompson won that year for HOWARDS END.)
THE NEW WORLD (2005) -- this is what happens when you make the greatest film of the decade. Nobody realizes it at the time, and so no one nominates it for Best Picture. (CRASH won that year.)
ONE DAY (2011) was one of the best films of 2011, but it was ignored by the Academy. It will endure.
Nathalie Baye presided over the awarding of a lifetime achievement Cesar to Meryl Streep in 2003. It's time for Streep to preside over the awarding of a lifetime achievement Oscar to Baye, whose films, better than those of any other, tell the story of women since 1970.
Morgan Freeman should have won Best Picture for SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (1994), not Tom Hanks for FORREST GUMP.
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THE GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 is one of the greatest films of the Depression. It should have been nominated for Best Picture, and it should have won. (The Oscar that year went to CAVALCADE.)
Someone should have given a Best Original Screenplay nod to THE LAST FLIGHT (1931), with its dialogue straight out of a surreal Richard Lester film, thirty years before Lester was even making movies. At the time, the category didn't even exist yet.
REVANCHE (2008), a masterpiece from Austria, was not nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. (Japan's DEPARTURES won that year.)
ROMAN DE GARE (2007), a perfect suspense film from France, was not even nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. (The prize went to Austria's THE COUNTERFEITERS.)
Three missed nominations for SHATTERED GLASS (2003): picture, actor (Hayden Christensen as Stephen Glass), and especially supporting actor Peter Sargaard as his editor. (This was the year of THE LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING, with Sean Penn and Tim Robbins taking acting prizes for MYSTIC RIVER.)
STAGE DOOR (1937) -- better and more enduring than Best Picture winner THE LIFE OF EMILE ZOLA.
SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS -- along with A FACE IN THE CROWD, one of the two great films of 1957. Neither were nominated, and the prize went to The BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI.
Jennifer Jason Leigh in MRS. PARKER AND THE VICIOUS CIRCLE (1994) deserved at least a Best Actress nomination. She deserved one for GEORGIA (1995), too. (Jessica Lange in BLUE SKY and Susan Sarandon in DEAD MAN WALKING picked it up in those years.)
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Leonardo DiCaprio in TITANIC (1997): Say what you want about the movie, but DiCaprio was the heart and soul of the whole enterprise, and he wasn't even nominated. (Jack Nicholson won that year for AS GOOD AS IT GETS.)
TROUBLE IN PARADISE (1932), a Lubitsch masterpiece not even nominated against eventual winner CAVALCADE.
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Georges Clonney waves as he arrives for a the press conference of the movie "Michael Clayton" at the Venice Lido, 31 August 2007, during the 64th Venice International Film Festival. Clooney went on to lose the best actor Oscar to Daniel Day-Lewis THERE WILL BE BLOOD. He shouldn't have.
Karin Viard in France's THE ROLE OF HER LIFE (2004), one of the great films of the first decade of the century. It should have been nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. (The Academy chose Spain's THE SEA INSIDE.)
Rachel Weisz wasn't even nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars, after winning (deservedly) the New York Film Critics' prize for DEEP BLUE SEA.
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Kate Winslet should have won for REVOLUTIONARY ROAD . . . but that's OK. She won that year anyway, for THE READER.
Harvey Keitel's amazing performance in the 1992 film BAD LIEUTENANT, by Abel Ferrara, is precisely the kind of extreme performance the Academy ignores. (Best Actor that year went to Al Pacino in SCENT OF A WOMAN.)