For some people the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science wouldn’t know celluloid from cellulite. Every year it’s a great curiosity to see which film will be honoured with the Oscar (we all have fun picking a film to cheer for even if we haven’t seen any of them), but how often do the Academy actually get it right?
Where was Saving Private Ryan’s Oscar in 1999? Who did Quentin Tarantino insult so badly that Pulp Fiction was overlooked for Best Picture in ’95? The cabinet of Brokeback Mountain’s producers is sure looking empty. Surely Rocky for all its cult following couldn’t have beaten All the President’s Men, Network and Taxi Driver in 1977? What year did Goodfellas win the Oscar for Best Picture? It didn’t. And I’m pretty sure Morgan Freeman hasn’t even seen 1990’s supposed best film Driving Miss Daisy. Even Citizen Kane, America’s seminal film, a film so vociferously lauded through history that it has escaped all opinion and is now in the realm of cold hard fact (it is the best film ever) couldn’t secure itself the award for Best Picture. What actually won that year? The correct answer is Not Citizen Kane.
The Oscar record books are begging for an audit and in The Oscar Rewrites we’ll trek through the last 50 years of the ceremony, reviewing each film nominated for Best Picture and adjusting the winners list accordingly.
When did the Academy get it spot on, and when do the annals of the Oscars need to be rewritten? Lets find out.