The big night is rapidly approaching and the educated guessing is full out by now. It’s not a science, it’s not a horse race and it’s hard to use statistics all because you can never really second-guess humans. They can always change their mind at the last minute. Apparently they did because here’s a few more memorable upsets.
1.1981 – Reds was nominated for 12 categories and yet it was outrun in the race for Best Picture by Chariots of Fire! Sometimes a race is won in the final sprint to the finish line. Must be the case here.
2. 1998-Titanic, a pathetic remake riddled with special effects drowned out L.A. Confidential and Good Will Hunting. Sad but true.
4. 1999 – He scampered over chairs, he jumped around on stage – Roberto Benigni won Best Actor and none were more surprised than Tom Hanks. Hanks was the favorite for his role in Saving Private Ryan.
5. 1994 – There really is a pattern here. The Academy seems to vote more often for feel-good, loveable or the down and out rise to good fortune through their courage, fortitude and a measure of luck. And that’s how it went the night in 1994 when Quentin Tarantino was “Gumped” by Robert Zemekis. Pulp Fiction must have been just too avante-garde for the Academy voters.
6. 1980 – Martin Scorcese made his first feature length film in 1967 and didn’t win an Oscar for his directorial achievements. In 1980 he lost Best Director to Robert Redford who won it for Ordinary People and he lost it for Raging Bull.
7. 2008 – More than an upset, the fact that The Dark Knight wash’t even nominated! Slumdog Millionaire took home Best Picture and it was an entertaining movie which took audiences to a part of the world they rarely see. No dispute here, BUT shouldn’t The Dark Knight have been on the table with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Milk, The Reader and Frost/Nixon?
8. 1969 – Oh how I remember this one! John Wayne wins Best Actor for his role of a cowboy (wow that’s a switch) in True Grit and Dustin Hoffman and John Voight who were spectacular in Midnight Cowboy.
9. 1985 – Another surprise ! The Color Purple was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won NONE!
10. 1968-Oliver, won Best Director and Best Picture. It was a buoyant musical retelling of the story of Oliver Twist and sent Stanley Kubrick’s startling and innovative science fiction epic 2001: Space Odyssey home hungry.