Top 15 Worst Best Picture Nominees


January 30, 2009 by MK

slumdog-millionaire-kidI’m about to fall in shit.

The Academy is high. Three of the movies nominated for Best Picture would have a tough time getting picked up as an HBO film, let alone be honored as the best of the best.  Frost/Nixon, The Reader and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button are flat-out mediocre.  And the likely winner, Slumdog Millionaire, is not the best film of the year.

In honor of these Best Picture poseurs, here is a breakdown of like-minded films that got [far] more praise than they deserved.  Because there are so many of them, we’ll stick to the last 30 years.  And now for, The Overrated…

15. Slumdog Millionaire [2008] Everyone involved in this movie’s production should kiss the ground that Danny Boyle walks on.  He made something visceral and kinetic out of bad acting and a rote storyline.  When 4-year old children out-act everyone else in the movie, you know you’re in trouble.  Special shout-out to the Slumdog himself, Dev Patel, for really bringing the nothing.

14. Ordinary People [1980] Not a bad movie but this one has to be included just for the fact that it beat Raging Bull.  Marks the first of three times that a Martin Scorsese picture was beaten out by a first-time film director.  Yes, it’s true.

13. The Godfather Part III [1990] aka the moment a bottle of Coppola wine outperformed a Godfather movie.  At least one of them gets you drunk.

12. Crash [2005] We’re all connected.  We can all get along.  And somehow we win Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain.

11. The Dresser [1983] Say, who now?  I don’t know what this is either but it stars that guy who died and Billy Crudup put him in the ocean and he turned into a big fish.

10. The Color Purple [1985] You can almost hear Spielberg trying to win the Oscar for this movie.  Made me long for the subtlety of 1941.

9. Driving Miss Daisy [1989] My heart was warmed.  And my ass fell asleep.  If ever an old lady deserved a right hook, it was the one yammering on about the Piggly Wiggly.

8. Chicago [2002] Even if you are a fan of musicals, this is a sluggish ride to be [barely] tolerated, let alone win Best Picture.  Even Bob Fosse would have given it a “Meh.”

7. Scent of a Woman [1992] Hoo Hah!  At least it introduced [most] of us to Philip Seymour Hoffman.  Unfortunately, it also introduced [most] of us to Al Pacino’s new and improved FLAMETHROWER scenery-chewing disguised as acting.  What a treat to see a man with sight playing a blind guy.  “You see, I look straight ahead all the time.  Because I’m blind.”  Acting!

6. Dances With Wolves [1990] Tatonka!  You know the drill on this one.  Costner beats Scorsese, Wolves beats Fellas.  Enough said.

5. The English Patient [1996] I defer to Elaine Benes:

4. Million Dollar Baby [2004]


You see, Morgan Freeman was there the whole time.  Hiding.  Watching.  Just so he could narrate exactly what was going on.  We have to prove he’s the narrator so he must pull off superheroic feats like always being around Clint Eastwood in case he does something like pull the plug on Hilary Swank.

3. Juno [2007]


“Honest to blog.”  If it weren’t for the presence of true pros Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner, it’d be a candidate for Top 15 Worst Movies period.  I checked out at the sight of the Hamburger Phone.  It’s a phone that flat-out proves the character is quirky!  There’s no need to write anything after that!

2. Life is Beautiful [1998]


Come on everyone, the Holocaust isn’t all bad!  Not if it introduces us to a born charmer like Roberto Benigni.  He can make humor out of anything!  When this walking-clown-college climbed over the chairs to get onstage Oscar night, Spielberg should have cut his Achilles, Murder in the First style.

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy [2001, 2002, 2003] Awful hatred for myself that I gave away (just gave away) 9 hours of my eyes for this Peter Jackson fanboy syrup.  The following parody sums it up:


9 thoughts on “Top 15 Worst Best Picture Nominees

  1. Mark says:

    The English Patient is a masterclass in screenwriting, performance, direction and cinematography.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Terrible list, my friend. We all know Ordinary People beat out Raging Bull. Guess what–it’s a great film with one of the best screenplays ever written. If Raging Bull had to lose to anything, it might as well be that. Get the fuck over it.

    And see some fucking best picture nominees. For crissakes, you’re going to call Slumdog Millionaire a worse movie than The Greatest Show on Earth? Hello, Dolly? Anne of the Thousand Days? Airport? Seabiscuit?

    And don’t fucking include movies you haven’t watched. You haven’t seen The Dresser. You don’t get to comment.

  3. Dan says:

    I’m not trying to sound like a fanboy, but if you think The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the most overrated, then you haven’t been paying much attention to the Oscars. Most of their nominees are shit–and this year is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. Honestly, the fact that the Academy nominated (let alone gave their highest honor) to LOTR is a minor miracle.

  4. Jesse says:

    Is “Gran Torino” up this year? Now there’s a pile of racist, pretentious garbage. The best part is listening to folks talk about how “insightful” it was. So why even have awards? It’s like the paralympics of talent–which is insulting for comparing Hollywood to the paralympics, not the other way ’round.

  5. Jerry MaDick says:

    I may not agree with the list completely, but I agree with the point. The Oscars have their heads up their collective asses. And you haven’t even brought up the performance winners, just the movies!

  6. shiftlesswhenidle218 says:

    15. “Slumdog” was one of the best films of 2008. It’s just not nearly as good as most of Boyle’s other work.
    14. Haven’t seen it.
    13. The plot was somewhat interesting, I like Andy Garcia, and how Michael ends up dying was great. That said, it shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath as the other two. It’s incredibly uneven, frequently boring, and has some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen.
    12. “Crash” should never have been nominated. “Brokeback” was not the best movie that year.
    11. Haven’t seen it.
    10. Agreed.
    9. Okay, but very overrated movie. I think 1989 might have had some of the worst nominees ever.
    8. Totally agree. Terrible movie, even for a musical.
    7. I like it. Plus, Pacino finally got his Oscar.
    6. Scorsese deserved Best Director. “Wolves” deserves Best Picture.
    5. You’re totally wrong on this one. “The English Patient” is epic like a David Lean film.
    4. Haven’t seen it because it looked lame.
    3. Agreed, except only Bateman and J.K. Simmons were good. Garner is a lousy actress.
    2. Haven’t seen it because it looked annoying.
    1. No way. “Fellowship” should have won Best Picture and “Two Towers” was great too. I would agree that “Return” is one of the most overrated movies of the past thirty years.

    What about “A Beautiful Mind?” That movie was awful. Plus, “Memento,” “Mulholland Dr.,” “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Moulin Rouge,” and “Gosford Park” all came out in 2001.

  7. shiftlesswhenidle218 says:

    I looked up 1989’s Best Picture Nominees. Man, was I wrong.

    “Daisy” beat out “Dead Poets Society,” “Born on the Fourth of July,” “Field of Dreams,” and “My Left Foot.” No way “Daisy” should have won.

  8. Russo says:

    3. Juno. My friend’s friend insisted I watch it, it’s her favorite movie and said it’s amazing. I had no idea what it was about, and couldn’t believe anyone in their right mind thinks there is anything remotely interesting about that movie. It goes right next to Napolean Dynamite on my shitty movie pile.

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