Top five films to have missed out on a Best Picture Oscar

Top five films to have been overlooked for a Best Picture Oscar

As the 2013 Academy Awards draw closer, we have a look at some of the finest films to be overlooked

These films may not have won the Academy Award for Best Picture but they have however, made it to this top 5 list. Needless to say only one film can win the award each year, which leaves many brilliant and iconic films missing out. With the Oscars 2013 fast approaching, let’s take a look at the films that came close but missed out on the most prestigious wee baldy man. Cue sad music…

Pulp Fiction

This gangster crime film starring John Travolta, Samuel L Jackson, Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis is undoubtedly a classic from Quentin Tarantino. It has a fragmented plot structure with a curious mixture of humour and gory violence. The tension is often broken with casual conversation such as the famous discussion about fast food in Europe between Jules (Jackson) and Vincent (Travolta). However, despite its commercial success and critical acclaim it did not win Best Picture in 1995 as it was up against Forrest Gump - which won 6 awards that year. However, it could be argued that it was one of the most influential American films of the 90’s.

The Shawshank Redemption

Nominated in 1995 with Pulp Fiction and Forrest Gump (a big year for film), The Shawshank Redemption is another runner up for the Best Picture Oscar. Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman star as two life serving prisoners who develop a strong bond in their years at Shawshank state prison. Freeman’s touching performance as Red and the critical acclaim that the film received make it surprising that not only did it miss out on Best Picture, but it didn’t received a single Academy Award.


When Irvine Welsh’s iconic book was transformed into film, it sadly did not win the award for Best Picture in 1997. However that does not cast a shadow over the capabilities of most film lovers in quoting the film and the number of posters on bedroom walls across the country. The cult classic shot the now well established actors, Ewan McGregor and Kelly MacDonald, straight to success. Robert Carlyle also provided an impressive performance of the not so friendly Francis Begbie. The Scottish indie film was not even nominated for Best Picture, however having stood the test of time as a generational landmark in film, it deserves to be in the top 5 runners up.

Lost in Translation

Two melancholy strangers, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) and and Bob (Bill Murray), meet in Tokyo and find comfort with each other. The unlikely pairing of Johannson and Murray is charming and watching them together is one of the best parts of the film. With Bob whispering an unknown message in Charlotte’s ear, the ending is full of bittersweet ambiguity. It’s a fantastic, heart-warming film with great acting from both lead characters and some amazing shots of Tokyo. Lost in Translation missed out on the award for best picture in 2004 as The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won (which probably had more to do with the Academy's apparent neglect of the first two instalments than its own quality).

The Social Network

The Social Network was slightly overlooked in 2011, losing Best Picture award to The King's Speech. Jesse Eisenberg played the infamous Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook, joined by actors Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake. The film takes on an interesting narrative with the events unfolding through the various lawsuits Zuckerberg has found himself in. The performance of a socially odd computer genius losing friends in his desperation for acceptance is captivating. This, coupled with the beautiful Harvard scenery and an outstanding soundtrack, makes it an easy choice for the top 5 Oscars runners up.

The 2013 Academy Awards ceremony will be on Sun 24 Feb.


1. JeffU11 Feb 2013, 7:57pm Report

What!? You seem to have overlooked rather a lot of 'brilliant and iconic films' (helps if you go back more than 20 years). Pulp Fiction and Trainspotting may make it onto an extended list, but wouldn't get a look in given the competition:

Citizen Kane 1941; It's a Wonderful Life 1946; Giant 1956; 12 Angry Men 1957; Psycho 1960; The Hustler 1961; To Kill a Mockingbird 1962; Dr Strangelove 1964; Bonnie and Clyde / The Graduate 1967; A Clockwork Orange 1972; Chinatown / The Conversation 1974; Jaws / Nashville 1975; Taxi Driver 1976; Star Wars 1977; Apocalypse Now 1979; Raging Bull / The Elephant Man 1980; Goodfellas 1990; Shine / Secrets & Lies 1996; LA Confidential 1997; Gosford Park 2001; The Pianist 2002; There will be Blood 2007

Not nominated: King Kong, The Night of the Hunter, Rear Window, The Searchers, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Seven Samurai, Psycho, The Birds, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Wild Bunch, Easy Rider, Once Upon a Time in the West, Badlands, Mean Streets, Serpico, The Shining, Blade Runner, Blood Simple, Brazil, Blue Velvet, Casino, Dead Man Walking, Leaving Las Vegas, Slingblade, Heat, Memento, Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler

A top 5 misser-outers will surely read more like:
Citizen Kane
Seven Samurai
Apocalypse Now
Raging Bull

All made long before your list even begins. . .

Post a comment

RSS feed of these comments