The 12 Worst Wins in Oscar History
It’s important to remember, especially in this day and age, that the Academy Awards are not a judge of any film’s quality. They’re an industry award ceremony heavily impacted by studio campaigning; occasionally that overlaps with making a choice that the masses can celebrate. Despite this, the Academy would love us to think the opposite, that their Best Picture is actually the best film of the year, full stop. That’s why, with every Oscar season comes a corresponding discourse cycle that lasts up to the ceremony itself, and sometimes long after.
The Academy does often honor great films: movies like Amadeus, The Silence of the Lambs, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King all deserved their flowers. Recent awards going to Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite and Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight seemed to signal a shift in a less boring direction. But not every choice the Academy has made has been popular, and those of us who follow these ceremonies love nothing more than to nitpick their decisions.
Because awards season also means it’s hater season, we’ve chosen to highlight the worst of the worst, the most baffling recipients of Hollywood’s most prestigious prizes. Many bad movies have won Best Picture, but plenty of other terrible performances have won acting awards and technical categories that they don’t deserve. Some are so bad they forced the Oscars to redefine their parameters to keep it from happening again. Here are 12 Oscar winners that pretty much everyone agrees shouldn’t have won, or even been nominated at all. Argo fans, this one is not for you.