After 90 years of Oscar best pictures, the Academy’s bound to get one wrong now and then.
Sometimes fate steps in: Remember Envelopegate? At the 2017 Academy Awards, the musical “La La Land” was named best picture – and then it wasn’t, when the correct envelope revealed indie drama “Moonlight” as the true winner. As if the gods of cinema inserted themselves to make sure the right movie was honored rather than the one with the guy trying to save jazz.
Or you have a situation like this year’s ceremony, where there are so many movies that could win that chances are high a bunch of people will be disappointed one way or another. “And the Oscar goes to … ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’!” could be a line that launches a legion of angry Twitter missives.
On the eve of another movie joining the hallowed ranks at the 91st Oscars (ABC, Sunday, 8 ET/5 PT), we’re rethinking past works deemed best picture and the films that should have conquered them.
Perhaps the most egregious mistake came relatively early in Oscars history, with John Ford’s coal-country drama – which took five Academy Awards to a lone “Kane” screenplay win – getting the nod over Orson Welles’ epic about an eccentric media mogul that is widely regarded as the best movie ever made.