Three times Oscar got it wrong
man’s rise and inevitable fall, Welles coined a slew of cutting edge special effects that are still used today and influenced films like The Maltese Falcon, Lawrence of Arabia, The Godfather and Memento.
Kane was a thinly veiled dig at the excesses of real- life power monger and castle dweller William Randolph Hearst, and it made some powerful enemies (namely Hearst) who used their clout to knock the film off its Oscar perch.
So, despite Kane being nominated for eight Oscars, including best picture, the 1941 Oscar went home with John Ford for the schlocky How Green Was My Valley, a film that no one ever references, unless it’s to make fun of Welsh people, which isn’t very nice.
2. Star Wars George Lucas).
No science fiction film has ever won best picture, even when, as in
(1977, directed by 1977 when Star Wars exploded onto screens, it clearly was the best picture made that year.
Next to its co-nominees, Annie Hall ( which won), Julia, The Goodbye Girl and Turning Point, Star Wars stands out like a giant, beeping robotic thumb.
That difference, and the fact the film changed expectations for cinema overnight, requiring a whole new word to describe the phenomenon – blockbuster – should have assured it a place in the exalted pantheon of best pictures. But it was not to be.
At the 50th Academy Awards, people talking about their feelings won over people slicing their feelings in two with a lightsaber. A travesty.
3. The Fellowship Of The Ring (2002, directed by Peter Jackson).
Although the third and final instalment would win best picture a few years later (becoming the only fantasy film, and the only sequel to win best picture), the astounding achievement of Jackson and Wingnut films in creating Middle Earth and populating it with believable otherworldly beings was overlooked in favour of a film about . . . you guessed it, feelings.
A Beautiful Mind, which did win, is hardly a dud. But the tale of a tortured genius at odds with the world didn’t have any hobbits in it, so I’m calling it a fail.
Joking aside, maybe because The Fellowship of the Ring was made so far from Hollywood put the wind up the mostly-American Academy. Whatever the case, Oscar dropped the ball again.
Timeless: From left, Citizen Kane, Star Wars and The Fellowship of the Ring are three excellent films that Oscar overlooked in favour of the safer options.