Oscar travesties

My dad used to get quite passionate about football. Of course, when I say football, you have to remember I grew up in the UK and that's what we call soccer. Growing up in the UK also means you are put through the torture of enduring England in the World Cup every four years.

The combination of my dad's passion for football with England's tendency to be dramatically crap was explosive.

I have very vivid memories of the 1986 World Cup when Argentine striker Diego Maradona scored a goal with his hand that put England out of the quarterfinals.

Here's a clip:

Yes, that's what football looked like on TV when I was a kid.

And here's a picture:

So, there you go, Maradona knocked England out of the World Cup with a blatant handball. I don't think I have ever seen my dad so angry. It's nearly 27 years ago and I can still see it. He was on his feet in the living room shouting at the television.

So, why am I talking about football on a movie blog? Well, that day my dad used a word that became a family catchphrase for anything outrageous. He was on his feet repeating the phrase:

"It's a travesty. It's a travesty."

Sooooo, since I know nothing about football, these are my Oscar travesties. The years when the Academy, in its infinite agedness, chose mediocre films for best picture, but shunned stone cold classics.

These are the Best Picture Oscars that time has not judged well. I am talking about Shakespeare in Love winning over Thin Red Line and Saving Private Ryan, Titanic beating Good Will Hunting and LA Confidential, The English Patient beating Jerry Maguire and Fargo, Forrest Gump winning ahead of Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption, Dances with Wolves beating Goodfellas, and Gandhi beating ET.

All travesties. Although, I don't ever recall any of those decisions bringing me to my feet in rage. Loving movies is different from loving football.

But, hindsight is always 20/20 vision, yeah? The great films listed above were all overlooked when they were just new movies, not the classics we now know them to be. As I blogged a few months back, the journey from movie to generally accepted classic often begins with failure and exile. I think we can forgive the Academy for not being able to recognise a classic at the moment of its release.

We can only wait and see what fresh travesties will be produced by the Oscars on Monday.

But, there is one travesty that really sticks in my craw. In 1987, The Last Emperor won the Oscar, the same year a little film called Predator was released. How could they shun Predator for The Last Emperor? Predator didn't even get a nomination. A fat little kid versus Arnie wreathed in mud. No competition, surely?

So, what do you think? Any Oscar travesties you want to add to my list? Any of my choices you disagree with? Oh, you prefer The English Patient to Fargo, eh? Care to step outside?

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