From Titanic to Slumdog Millionaire: 11 films that didn't deserve the Oscars' Best Picture award - and the ones that did

From Titanic to Slumdog Millionaire: 11 films that didn't deserve the Oscars' Best Picture award - and the ones that did

We’re excited to see who will claim the grand prize of Best Picture at next weekend’s Oscars. We were less excited about some of the past winners, however

Getting a nod for the Best Picture Academy Award is obviously a massive honour for the actors and filmmakers involved. Winning that Oscar can be life- and career-changing. But not everyone always agrees with the ultimate choice.

Here are some winners of Best Picture that Team YP just don’t understand.

Slumdog Millionaire (2009 winner)

I thought Slumdog Millionaire was poorly produced and acted, not to mention it has a terrible script. I think it won was because it was an interesting concept, and got a huge amount of hype because they hired street children as actors. The portrayal of Mumbai was questionable, too. There are so many other films about India by Indian directors that have never been acknowledged.

Rhea Mogul, Junior reporters Manager

Gladiator (2001 winner)

Two of the most overrated, overly-nominated movies of all time were nominated for Best Picture: Avatar (don’t get me started) and La La Land (it was NOT a musical). At least in those cases, justice prevailed, and worthier competitors were crowned. But there was no such fairness in 2000, when Gladiator, which steals plot points from 1960s classics Ben-Hur and Spartacus (it’s basically a carbon copy), won. It has impressive production values, but so did the films it copies. Plus Russell Crowe (and I mostly mean his acting and character, though also him) is the WORST.

Karly Cox, Deputy Editor

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The Shape of Water (2018 winner)
Don’t get me wrong – I love this film! But I’m not sure if it’s on par with past winners in this category. While it features stunning performance by Oscar-nominee Sally Hawkins, as well as a glorious original score by Alexandre Desplat, the film as a whole didn’t manage to tug at my heart strings. In my opinion, last year’s winner should’ve been either Dunkirk or Call Me By Your Name.

Veronica Lin, Reporter

The Shape of Water (2018 winner)

Like Veronica, I think The Shape of Water was overrated, but for different reasons. Although I love the cinematography and soundtracks, and, of course, Hawkins’ marvellous performance as the mute cleaner, the Beauty-and-the-Beast plot just isn’t impressive enough to deserve the honour; besides, I’ve never been a fan of fantasy drama. Plus, I’m still upset that the mind-blowing masterpiece Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri didn’t win instead.

Nicola Chan, Reporter

Birdman (2015 winner)

I’m not disputing that Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) probably deserved to win (I wouldn’t know, I haven’t watched it), but I can’t forgive it for beating Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was fun, quirky, and beautifully shot in the way Anderson is best known for.

Ginny Wong, Sub-editor

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Lawrence of Arabia (1962 winner)
Great music, but I challenge anyone to sit through the whole movie. Good grief, so much riding through the desert, on and on, and on ... you get the picture.

Susan Ramsay, Editor

The Artist (2012 winner)

Apart from its being a black-and-white silent film, there’s nothing really memorable about The Artist. Even though this film is meant to be an ode to old Hollywood, the pace is too slow (even for a silent film), the plot is predictable and it is too melodramatic for my liking. Perhaps I’m biased because I’m not a fan of silent film, but either way, I thought The Help was much more Oscar-worthy.

Doris Wai, Multimedia Producer

The Departed (2007 winner)

An American remake of the 2002 Hong Kong hit Infernal Affairs, The Departed was inferior to the original in every way. The fine balancing act that the undercover officer had to maintain was much better portrayed by veteran actor Tony Leung. Leonardo DiCaprio tried his best, but I feel that Leung captured the spirit of a person living in fear every single second of his life far more realistically. I guess the original really spoiled the remake for me.

Jamie Lam, Special Projects Editor

Chicago (2003 winner)

There isn’t anything specifically wrong with Chicago; the acting, musical numbers, and overall production are all pretty great. But when you compare it to another of the nominees, The Pianist, it’s clear that the Oscar went to the wrong film. Of the two, The Pianist is the far more enduring.

Charlotte Ames-Ettridge, Sub-editor

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American Beauty (2000 winner)
I think the 1999 Best Picture Award should have gone to The Green Mile instead of American Beauty. I understand it was praised for its captivating cinematography and the lead actor’s performance, but I don’t think you’d ever want to watch it a second time. It’s one of those movies you’re forced to watch for film studies or put on just to see what the fuss is about. Green Mile’s story line was imaginative and filled with heart. It has characters you can’t help but fall in love with, and others you want to throw your TV remote at. And though it’s tough for me to sit through the ending without crying my eyes out, I never tire of watching it over and over again.

Nicole Moraleda, Sub-editor

Shakespeare in Love (1999 winner)

Shakespeare in Love is a good film in its own right. It’s funny, a cleverly crafted story (albeit a touch predictable, and it takes liberties with history). However, the 71st Best Picture Oscar should have gone to Elizabeth, which was superior in every way. From the sound and set designs to the performances, the costumes to how the film reflected concepts and sentiments from 16th-century England in a way that is relatable to modern moviegoers, Elizabeth is a masterful telling of a part of Elizabeth I’s reign.

Heidi Yeung, Web Editor

Titanic (1998 winner)

Titanic is overrated. I’m not a big fan of the movie: my favourite moment was when the ship hit the iceberg and the action kicked in. Kate Winslet is not even that attractive in the movie, and she was supposed to play a 16-year-old, but in the movie she looks 30.

Alejo Rodriguez Lo, Videographer

Edited by Karly Cox

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
If we’d been on the Oscars panel


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