Bad Academy award movies

What movies do you think that won (or even nominated) for an Academy award that you thought were bad, pointless, or stupid?

I thought American Beauty was a stupid movie. To me, it was a soap opera with highly trained actors. I also hated the silly ending.

Monster Ball was ungodly bad. Many stereotypes of people in the South, including racist rednecks and stupid blacks. (Puff Daddy getting executed was a nice touch though).

What did Halle Berry do in that movie to win an Academy award except showing off her beautiful body?

Lastly, Training Day was a horrid movie, but Denzel Washington played his character wonderfully.

What movies that Ebert and other dude love that you find abhorent?

I thought Julia Roberts winning for Erin Brockovich was a joke (course, I’ve never really cared for her, so I’m not exactly unbiased there).

As for movies… hmmmm… Prince of Tides nominated for best picture was a bit of a reach, I thought.

Among movies that won the Oscar as Best Picture, the consensus seems to be that “The Greatest Show On Earth” was the least deserving. But since I haven’t seen it, I can’t offer that opinion.

In my opinion, the following Best Picture winners were utter snooze-fests:

  1. Out of Africa (my least favorite of the Best Picture winners)

  2. The Last Emperor (yawn)

  3. The English Patient

Oh. My. Goodness.

astorian, you just brought back a memory I’ve tried to repress for years.

A girl I was dating at the time was a member of the Producer’s Guild and we went to a special showing of The English Patient.

I have never to date seen such a snoozer of a movie. I didn’t figure out exactly what was going on until the last 5 minutes, when I realized that the movie was switching back and forth in time.

If cadolphin ever brings that home from Blockbuster, I’m going to a karaoke somewhere. Anything would be better than sitting through that movie again.

Oliver beat out 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Terms of Endearment beat out The Right Stuff.

This is why I never watch the Academy Awards.

Damnit, I’m still PISSED about that…and I wasn’t even alive then!

The commentary on the Monster’s Ball DVD saves the movie. The way Halle, Billy Bob and the director talk with complete gravitas about “Doggie Style” sex is priceless.

IANA Movie Critic, but the schmaltzy tear-jerker Forrest Gump (which won Best Picture over Pulp Fiction) springs to mind immediately. I honestly tried to like it, wanted to like it, but it just got on my nerves more than anything else.

Naturally it’s all pretty subjective but it amuses me that I am in total disagreement with the OP.

I thought American Beauty and Monster’s Ball were both great.

I assumed that Halle Berry would win best actress because her performance was fantastic.

I was certain that Denzel Washington was the only nominee for best actor that had no chance of winning because he played a cartoon character in Training Day which was a good movie for what it was.

Most overrated movie by my standards is Citizen Kane because I have never been able to sit through the whole thing in one go.

My main problem with Forrest Gump is that they actual gave an academy award to a guy for acting like an idiot and that’s a horrible precedent.

I thought that after a good start Braveheart became a ridiculous historical soap opera.

Titanic was only a middling film at best.

A Beautiful Mind was OK but I thought Gosford Park was a masterpiece which deserved the Oscar.

Very few BP winners are bad films but many of them are completely mediocre.

In general any moderately intelligent person should have full confidence that his taste is better than the Academy’s. Oscarwatching is a fun game but nothing more.

And I’m still PISSED about that…and I was alive then. I think I saw The Right Stuff five times on the big screen; brilliant movie.

Then you’ll be REALLY PISSED when I tell you that 2001: A Space Odyssey wasn’t even nominated for best picture in 1968.

Coincidentally, while browsing Roger Ebert’s site just today, I learned that Dances with Wolves beat out Goodfellas for best picture in 1990. I haven’t seen the former in years and remember being somewhat bored with it, but Goodfellas IMHO (and many others’) has to be one of the great masterpieces of all time.

To you Mr. Academy, I say “Feh”.

Worst “Best Actor”: Gary Cooper in Sergeant York (1941). One of the more overrated actors (and I’ve seen more than 30 of his movies), Cooper could be counted on for giving the same vocal tone to almost any line reading, with a furrowed brow his sole dramatic resource. This was the same year Orson Welles gave his towering performance in Citizen Kane, and Welles was only 25 and making his film debut.

Worst “Best Actress” Performance: Mary Pickford in the creaky Coquette (1929). A laughably bad stage play makes an even stagier movie about a Southern belle who plays the field and loses. Pickford was probably being rewarded more for being one of the Academy’s founders two years earlier. Pickford gave some delightful comic performances in silent movies; no wonder she regretted the coming of sound. She was no better that same year in The Taming of the Shrew.

Worst “Best Picture”: The Greatest Show on Earth (1952). Not really bad in an absolute sense, but this simple-minded, melodramatic spectacle by Cecil B. DeMille, about circus folks, was chosen over such contemporaries as Singin’ in the Rain, Forbidden Games (which did get an honorary award for best foreign language film), The Bad and the Beautiful, Moulin Rouge, and Rashomon (released in the U.S. in '52).

I am the original poster,

Movies that should have won in the past…

The Big Lebowski
Mouse Hunt
The Straight Story
Grumpy Old Men
Boogie Nights
Happy Gilmore

These are my tastes in movies. It is my opinion, just like Ebert and the Academy.


“My main problem with Forrest Gump is that they actual gave an academy award to a guy for acting like an idiot and that’s a horrible precedent.”

Don’t forget Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man. Cruise gave the better performance, though.

The actual nominees for 1952 are: “THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH”, “High Noon”, “Ivanhoe”, “Moulin Rouge”, “The Quiet Man” (courtesy, There is no way that GSOE is the equal to The Quiet Man or High Noon, either! The win was a “lifetime achievement” award for Cecil B. DeMille and came 4 years too soon, when he would’ve gotten it for The Ten Commandments, which was placed in a much weaker field: “AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS”, “Friendly Persuasion”, “Giant”, “The King and I”(ibid).

Personally, I am appalled at 1979 when the treacly, movie-of-the-week Kramer vs. Kramer won over All that Jazz, Apocalypse Now, Breaking Away, and Norma Rae. Others might mention 1977, and they’ll be both right and wrong: Star Wars was a more important movie than Annie Hall, but it was by no means a better movie.

The above is possibly the worst-coded thread I have ever submitted in my stay here at the SDMB. I humbly offer my abjectist apologies. :frowning:

I have never seen an movie nominated for “Best Picture” that was actually a BAD MOVIE. Some nominees and winners weren’t good enough, IMHO, to be nominated - “Gladiator” being a perfect example - but they’re still better than average movies. “Gladiator” shouldn’t have won Best Picture, but it was better than more than half the movies I’ve ever seen. I can’t think of any Best Picture - nominated film that WASN’T better than most of the movies I’ve ever seen. You may not have liked “Titanic,” but it’s better than most of the movies on right now at your nearest multiplex.

On the other hand, there are certainly cases of films getting nominated for other awards that were bad movies, and here “Training Day” - which won the Oscar for Denzel, but wasn’t up for Best Picture - is a perfect example. I thought that movie blew chunks.

Gentleman’s Agreement has not held up over the years, a shallow treatment of a serious subject.

I agree about Julia Roberts winning, sometimes stars or directors win because they are “due an award” rather than because they did good work, and they are considered too young for a lifetime achievement award.

A Beautiful Mind - A stupid TV movie plot shot with a Hollywood feature budget.

Forrest Gump & Tom Hanks. Because in Hollywood it is illegal to hate Tom Hanks now, even in a bad film.

Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8. Sympathy award.

Gary Cooper in anything. Cooper was a movie star, not an actor. Cooper never acted in anything, you could make furniture out of his wooden performance in Sargent York.