I was thinking on my way to work today about movies that got snubbed for Best Picture, and I started to wonder - what is the best movie that got completely blanked on Oscar night? I took a look at a few lists of top all time movies, and the one that jumped off the page for me was The Shawshank Redemption. Great flick, widely loved, won exactly zero Oscars despite seven nominations. Anybody got a better example?
I was shocked when one of my favorite movies, Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing, which was a critical and box office success, received no Oscar nominations. I had thought that it would be nominated for Best Picture, and even had a chance of winning.
A Clockwork Orange.
Three Kings. An excellent movie (certainly the definitive Gulf War movie) that was nominated and won many awards that year – but it wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar, which seems inexplicable. It certainly should have been up for Best Screenplay, Best Direction, Best Actor, and/or Best Picture.
Movies that deserved something, maybe even Best Picture:
Maybe not the very best, but *The Martian *had seven nominationsand no wins.
edit - didn’t see Mahaloth’s post.
“The Sixth Sense” was, appropriately, nominated for six Oscars and won none. It’s probably the best movie I’ve ever seen to get shut out like that.
The Color Purple and The Turning Point were both nominated for eleven Oscars and went 0-for-11. The latter isn’t all that highly regarded anymore so far as I can tell, though.
Gangs of New York went 0-for-10, and it was pretty good. True Grit, the remake, was also 0-for-10, and was brilliant. Also 0 for 10 was American Hustle, including someone in all four acting categories - Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Lawrence.
The Elephant Man and The Remains of the Day both went 0 for 8.
Singin’ in the Rain is at number five on AFI’s list of the 100 best movies and is on various other lists of the best movies, or best musicals. And yet it only had two nominations and no wins.
For what it’s shooting for, 12 Angry Men is basically perfect.
The Big Lebowski didn’t even get a single nomination.
The Green Mile. 4 nominations, no wins.
That’s got to be a contender, ditto for the Coen’s “True Grit” remake also mentioned.
M (1931), understandable because foreign language films didn’t have their own category until 1947, and they were only rarely nominated in other categories.
Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (2004). In my opinion, the second-best action/adventure film I’ve ever seen (behind only The Empire Strikes Back), and one of my top ten or fifteen films of any type. I thought it was slightly better than Vol. 1. Action/adventure tends not to get much love from the Academy except in technical categories (special effects, costumes, etc.). Neither Vol. 1 nor Vol. 2 got any Oscar nominations at all.
Casablanca, It’s a Wonderful Life, North By Northwest, Dr. Strangelove.
Casablanca won for Best Picture (and Director), and It’s A Wonderful Life picked up a Technical Achievement Oscar for the ‘snow’ effects.
All of Me, starring Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin. The first time I watched it, I actually wondered how they got Lily Tomlin into Steve Martin’s body. His performance was Oscar worthy all the way.
I couldn’t help wondering about the question “What’s the best movie to not even get any Oscar nominations in any category?” even though that’s not what the OP asked.
There was no animated movie award until Spirited Away, which I think won the very first one and was clearly a combination of “it’s a great movie” and “Miyazaki should have 10 oscars at this point”.
The entire movie is a special effect, it has music, it has actors, it has a director, and there’s no reason an animated film can’t be best film if the year.
It looks like it would have been up against Titanic, so…pretty easy win really.