Top Five… Worst Films To Be Nominated For The Best Picture Oscar

Movie-goers often moan about the terrible films that won the Best Picture Oscar. But what about the even more terrible films that were a whisker away from doing it? Here they are…

Crash. Shakespeare In Love. Ordinary People. Titanic. These are the movies that tend to get people’s goat up when the conversation turns to the Oscars. They are proof, if any were needed, that only the winners are remembered. What many forget is that there were a bunch of films that were even worse that have gone unnoticed just because their recognition extended no further than a nomination on the Best Picture list. That is about to change. Here we name and shame the movies that should never have even been nominated in the first place.

5. Doctor Dolittle (1967)

A genuine, start-to-finish mess. And that’s before you even begin to watch the film. Its behind-the-scenes tales (drunken egomaniac Rex Harrison moved his boat to ruin a shot on a day off, a paint-swilling fawn had to have its stomach pumped and no less a figure than Sir Ranulph Fiennes blew up the English set) are legendary, but none of that gripping drama found its way on to the screen. Instead, audiences were forced to watch Harrison grimacing his way through a series of lame set-pieces. For two and a half hours. It looked totally out of place in the nominations list alongside The Graduate, Bonnie And Clyde and In The Heat Of The Night. Just goes to show that the old rule applies: never work with children or animals. Or Rex Harrison.

4. Airport (1970)

Imagine Die Hard 2 being up for Best Picture and you have some comparitive clue of the stupidity that compelled Academy voters to nominate disaster flick Airport. It has a starry cast (Dean Martin is a pilot!) but so did Ocean’s Twelve. It’s thanks to this crud that Roland Emmerich has a career. I think I’ll just take the train instead.

3. Chocolat (2000)

Strange, I really like chocolate, but as soon as you knock that ‘e’ off the end I want to throw up. Another dud populated with terrific actors (Binoche, Depp, Dench, Molina) yet don’t let that fool you. Its nomination was a victory for Miramax marketing. Like a Twix that’s been left in the sun too long, it’s messy, gooey and will probably make you feel sick.

2. The Full Monty (1997)

Yes, at the time we all danced to Hot Stuff in various queues, but rewatching this is a real ‘What the hell was I thinking?!’ experience. A pretty seedy premise of a father introducing his young son to the world of stripping turns into a light drama that claims to be feelgood. In that you would feel good if you ripped your own eyes out not to watch it. It has the look and the clichés of a cancelled British sitcom. Makes Showgirls look like Cabaret.

1. The Godfather Part III (1990)

Scorsese supporters always moan about Goodfellas losing out on Best Picture to Dances With Wolves, but things could have been even worse: it could have been pipped by Godfather 3! Lately, it’s become quite cool for film buffs to argue that The Godfather Part III is a good film. Well, that theory is absolute pants. You can always judge an Al Pacino movie by his haircut. Slightly long and shaggy = good (Carlito’s Way, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico) while short and spiky = very bad (The Devil’s Advocate and anything after 1999). Here he sports Arnie’s do from Red Heat. Bad sign. Even a decent showing from Andy Garcia can’t save this travesty, complete with Pope-filled plot. And who knows, it may have even received more votes than Goodfellas. Thankfully, we’ll never know…



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23 Responses to “Top Five… Worst Films To Be Nominated For The Best Picture Oscar”

  1. […] In that vein, here’s a quick look at some of the worst – and therefore best – academy gaffes over the years. Point and laugh and them. […]

  2. Hey, I love Chocolat! You’ve got Molina, Binoche and Depp. What’s not to like?

    Just looking at the past twenty years:

    Finding Neverland
    The Sixth Sense
    Apollo 13

    These are all nominated films I thought were horrible. Have no idea how they even got in there.

  3. but….I like Chocolat, The Full Monty and Dr Dolittle…..

    …maybe I wouldn’t give them Oscars (then again neither did the Academy) but surely there are worse nominees out there?

  4. I’ll add one to that list.
    “Up In The Air”
    Ok it wasn’t a nad movie.
    But wasn’t all that good.
    Sorry but this really shouldn’t be Nominated for an Oscar.
    Totally Overrated.

  5. I love “The Full Monty” but until watching it again a few weeks ago I did not actually realise it was nominated for Best Picture and was quite shocked about that. Its a fun film but not Oscar worthy or even a contender by any means.

  6. Oh, where to begin…

    THE GREEN MILE & THE CIDER HOUSE RULES (Not bad movies, but considering that they caused flicks like MAGNOLIA and MALKOVICH to be left on the sidelines…)

  7. Hahah I totally agree to number 1. That film is actually OK, but compared to the others its totally knocked out of the water, and should have not at all been nominated for Best Picture. Also, Finding Neverland was not at all a Best Picture worthy film.

  8. I was devastated by how bad Godfather III was as a child.

  9. Ha. I love Chocolat. I mean I LOVE it(it’s in my top 100. And who hates Titanic and Shakespeare in Love (hee). I don’t:) Within the last twenty years I choose The Cider House Rules and The Blind Side. duh.

  10. Irving 143 Says:

    The Full Monty was more deserving of a nomination than Airport, but yeah, I wouldn’t say either was actually Oscar-worthy. However, they’re perfectly enjoyable films in their own right, and you simply can’t replace Airport as a time capsule of late-60s soap opera kitsch featuring stars like Dean Martin, Burt Lancaster, Helen Hayes and George Kennedy serving up perfectly grilled slices of ham.

    As for those who keep heaping disparagement on Shakespeare In Love since its Best Picture win, I suspect it all boils down to the tribal need to abuse anything Ben Affleck was ever in.

  11. The Blind Side
    The Reader
    Slumdog Millionaire
    The Queen

    … at least for this decade

  12. Somebody didn’t like The 6th Sense… Communist!!! Seabisquit is a great one… as far as bad ones go… and I liked The full Monty… seriously… WTFrack McG&D???
    I need a Silkwood shower! 🙂

  13. Thanks for the Blogroll add! I will do the same momentarily 🙂

  14. A few more suggestions:

    The Reader
    The Curious case of the numb backside after sitting through all of Ben Button
    Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (stupid title too)
    Erin Brockovich
    The Sixth Sense (the most overrated movie in the history of narrative cinema)
    The Cider House Rules
    Forrest Gump

  15. Branden Says:

    Why do people hate Chocolat so much? I loved it.

    I would say The Reader, The Blind Side were awful. Those are the ones that come to mind.

  16. Cough* Avatar COUGH

  17. Another mention for The Reader.

    The marketing material actually suggests she holds a secret “more shameful” than her involvement in the Holocaust… And it got a nomination?

  18. Totally agree on Chocolat! That movie offended me in some way. I think it was because it was so goddamn dumb.

    I would include Crash in your list as well, especially since it won. I’d rather watch Chocolat 30 times before sitting through Crash ever again.

  19. mcarteratthemovies Says:

    I’m calling “foul” on the “Chocolat” diss. That was a delightful wisp of a movie and one of the very, very few romantic comedies I actually like.

  20. I’d add Avatar to my list now.

  21. heh id add avatar as well. I can’t remember the nominees of evrery year, but I agree with The Godfather Part III. It had good directing, but awful perofrmances, save pacino’s which was okay, i mean, its pacino, he rarely fucks up, even when the movie itself sucks. but the whole movie is built on okay premises (like michael trying to change and redem himself but cant and his daughter paying for his sins) but the bunch of shit they put around it, well it just isnt worth it. I mean, the whole pope thing? the forbidden romance between garcia and the awful actress, overrated director and writer Sofia Coppola, everything but a couple of things suck, making it, indeed, a horrible movie. a travesri. inglorious basterds is also up there for me (yeah, yeah everyone loves it, dont make me get into it. J?ust look at the portrayal of Hitler) and I still cant believe no country for old men was nominated, let alone won.

  22. 2009 overall nominee list was pretty bad:
    The Blind Side: a tad bid racist and just plain silly and stereotypical.
    Avatar: good but not great (though the special effects award was well deserved)
    Precious: Again good, but not great- the actors were better than the movie
    District 9: meh
    ….the winner, which was the hurt locker, was really good but this was defninately a bad Oscar year. I my opinion the Worst film to win Best Picture in the last 30 years was Rain Man. I find it offensive, taunting and a VERY unrealistic picture of Autism that made people think all Autistic inividuals were “Rain Mans” for years. Hated it!

  23. I’d probably say the worst were:

    Forrest Gump (it’s a personal hatred that I can’t get over)
    Master and Commander
    Kramer vs Kramer

    I’m sure there are worse ones, but these immediately jumped to mind…

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