Movie critics use to have such power over what people like to see. As a result, critics often make good movies become box office bombs while elevating terrible movies to an Academy Award. These days, viewers are starting to see through their shenanigans and are starting to review movies for themselves.
Of course the critics are not totally to blame. The Academy itself is full of cronyism and back-room deals for an award. Why else do you think they cannot find a decent host for the award ceremony?
As a result of this, many great movies were nominated for meaningless awards or were ignored all together. Here are my top 14 films snubbed at the Academy Awards.
A Face In The Crowd– I review this movie, be sure to check it out in the Classic Film Reviews by clicking here. This is a brilliant film that shows Andy Griffith and Patricia Neal’s true talent. Perhaps its story of a fallen Hollywood star hit too close to home.
Batman Begins– Christopher Nolan’s Batman reboot would not get a nod until the second film. A real travesty considering the amazing structure of the story and music. Many blame Katie Holmes for the lack of accolades, but that is unfair.
Bella– Though it won numerous awards outside of the Oscars, it did not even get a nod. Perhaps its family friendly and Pro-Life message rubbed the elite of the Academy the wrong way.
Citizen Kane– Critics are embarrassed that they reviewed this film so poorly ever since the AFI made it number one on their top 100 films. Sadly, despite Orson Welles selling it, the Academy just wasn’t buying.
The Delta Force– With the politically correct climate of today, Chuck Norris’ film of Islamic Jihadists and their allies taking a plane hostage could never be made. Maybe that’s why it was ignored. Or maybe it was the subtle criticisms of Jimmy Carter’s administration.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2– This film outdid all its competition (with the exception of The Artist) at the box office, yet it was totally ignored by the Academy despite its powerhouse appeal. It just goes to show you that it’s all who you know at the Oscars.
Heat– Despite an amazing director like Michael Mann and top notch performances by Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Diane Venora, and Val Kilmer, this film did not get what it deserved at the awards ceremony.
It’s A Wonderful Life– If you want to make a critic mad, remind him or her how much they hated this classic by Frank Capra. It vanished into obscurity, but since its rise to popularity thanks to television, many have taken back their poor reviews. Some denying they reviewed poorly at all.
Psycho– Alfred Hitchcock had trouble with censorship and what not since before the filming of this movie started. However, many have put it as an example of the classic horror genre. Now, I don’t know a single film student who hasn’t viewed it at least once. Yet, it is not seen on any Academy list of the past.
The Shawshank Redemption– It’s hard to believe, but this classic tale featuring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman was nominated for seven awards, but did not win a single one despite its mass appeal. Despite favorable audience responses, the Academy acknowledged its existence, but not much else.
Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back– In 1981, the second film of George Lucas’ epic space opera won an Academy Award…for Best Sound Mixing. That’s right! Despite it’s superiority among Star Wars films, it barely got a nod. Hard to believe right?
The Searchers– John Ford’s tale, featuring iconic actor John Wayne, about a bitter Civil War-era veteran trying to rescue his niece from a vengeful band of Comanche was completely and utterly ignored at the Academy Awards. Recently, the film is considered one of the best ever made.
The Avengers– Joss Whedon’s tale of Marvel’s all-star team of superheroes uniting was nominated for just one award: Best Visual Effects. Despite deserving Best Director for Joss Whedon and Best Actor for Robert Downey, Jr., the film did not seem to make the cut despite breaking box office records. Some say it is because of the Hollywood’s elite saying superhero films are a fad that will fade away. Maybe so, but that was a low blow. I have a feeling its sequel Avengers Age of Ultron will suffer a similar fate.
The Passion of the Christ– Mel Gibson’s beautiful tale of Christ’s last hours did get a few nods, but that was it. Reviewers pounded on it harshly, yet it broke records at its time too. Some saw it as the Hollywood’s left anti-Christian bigotry. I agree.
That is my list! Do you disagree with any of the films or would like your own? Feel free to comment!