There are some iconic films in here, and some legendary directors too - and we want to know which of these snubbed movies you’d award Best Picture to. It’s a tough choice - we love them all and we bet you do too - but someone’s got to make it! You’ll find voting buttons beneath each film below, use your choice wisely...
1. Pulp Fiction
Whaddya mean it didn’t win?! Pulp Fiction is such a beloved film and Tarantino was very much the darling of the mid-90s auteur circuit, how could it possibly have lost out at the awards?! But at least it won Best Original Screenplay - 1992’s Reservoir Dogs didn’t get a single nomination.
What won instead? Forrest Gump.
Most Oscar-worthy scene: You simply don’t get much more iconic than John Travolta and Uma Thurman dancing.
2. The Shawshank Redemption
Whaddya mean it didn’t win?! It should be enshrined in law that any film narrated by Morgan Freeman gets an instant Oscar, but Shawshank Redemption and its tale of prison break was cruelly shunned.
What won instead? That pesky Forrest Gump stole this one too.
Most Oscar-worthy scene: Tim Robbins, topless and drenched, arms wide in the rain, free at last.
3. The Shining (1980)
Whaddya mean it didn’t win?! The most iconic horror film of all time, the most symmetrical thriller, the most Kubrickian of Kubrick films and yet The Shining’s mantle was left bare. In fact, it was the only one of Kubrick’s last nine films to receive no nominations from the Oscars - but it did get nominated for a few Razzies. Redrum! Redrum!!
What won instead? Robert Redford’s Ordinary People took best picture and best director.
Most Oscar-worthy scene: So many iconic moments to choose from but take your pick from Jack Nicholson’s slow descent into madness: heeeere’s Johnny!
4. It’s A Wonderful Life
Whaddya mean it didn’t win?! The most iconic Christmas film ever made and it didn’t even win the Oscar?! An outrage.
What won instead? War epic The Best Years of Our Lives swept the board, with WW2 veteran Harold Russell winning two Oscars for the same performance. He’d lost both hands in the war, and was awarded a special Academy Award for bringing hope to veterans - then he went on to win best supporting actor as well.
Most Oscar-worthy scene: Jimmy Stewart’s entire portrayal of George Bailey and his grapple with life, death and his place in the universe is an emotional rollercoaster; the bit when he returns to the present full of gratitude for his life and runs through the town shouting Merry Christmas is pure serotonin.
Whaddya mean it didn’t win!? Hitchcock didn’t have much luck with the Oscars - The Birds, Vertigo, Rear Window and North By Northwest were also left Oscar-less. Psycho is his most iconic film though, the one that rethought the entire thriller genre.
What won instead? Billy Wilder’s The Apartment won both best picture and best director - Hitchcock was up for best director but Psycho didn’t even make the best picture nominees list.
Most Oscar-worthy scene: The shower scene at the beginning of the film: it was revolutionary at the time, and is one of the best known scenes in the history of cinema.
6. Saving Private Ryan
Whaddya mean it didn’t win?! If ever there was a film made to win Academy Awards, Saving Private Ryan was it. But though the moving war epic (starring everyone’s favourite, Tom Hanks) won Best Director for Steven Spielberg, its other four awards were in technical categories.
What won instead? Shakespeare in Love.
Most Oscar-worthy scene: The entire film is shot beautifully (shout out to the Oscar-winning cinematography) but if there’s one scene that drives home the absolute horror of war, it’s the harrowing, 23-minute Omaha Beach landing.
7. Toy Story 2
Whaddya mean it didn’t win? It’s not unusual for the Academy to snub sequels but Toy Story 2 - when Woody discovers he’s a collectible and meets the rest of the Woody’s roundup gang - is arguably the best of all the Toy Stories! And yet it’s the only one not to win a single Oscar.
What won instead? TS2 was nominated for just one Oscar: best song for Jessie’s When She Loved Me - Phil Collins won for Tarzan instead. American Beauty won the big gongs that year.
Most Oscar-worthy scene: Jessie’s tragic backstory, Buzz battling Zurg, Andy’s toys causing havoc with traffic cones or let loose in the toy shop are all killer scenes but perhaps the most beloved is when Geri, the toy restorer, fixes Woody back up to mint condition.
8. Get Out
Whaddya mean it didn’t win? Back in 2017, you were nobody if you hadn’t seen Get Out, Jordan Peele’s smart, funny horror movie that tackled racial inequality as well as, yknow, impaling people with deer antlers and stuff like that.
What won instead? Guillermo Del Toro’s fishy love story The Shape of Water took the top gongs.
Most Oscar-worthy scene: When Chris is introduced to the Armitage’s neighbours, he tries to take a photo of the only other black person in attendance (Logan) who’s acting very strangely. But Chris doesn’t realise his flash is on: suddenly Logan’s personality changes entirely and he shouts at Chris to get out - it’s unsettling and scary, and the first big clue to what is actually going on.
9. Stand By Me
Whaddya mean it didn’t win?! The second Stephen King story on our list - and another one that has us 🤯 at its lack of Oscars. The classic coming-of-age film was a box office hit but critics weren’t so sure about it at first - though now you’ll find few who don’t love it.
What won instead? Oliver Stone’s Vietnam war classic Platoon took Best Director and Best Picture (Stand By Me wasn’t nominated for either).
Most Oscar-worthy scene: Any number of the emotional interactions between Gordie and Chris, navigating the gulf between their families and upbringings, the struggles that Chris faces and the way they were all taught to hide their emotions - particularly their final goodbye.
10. Wolf of Wall Street
Whaddya mean it didn’t win?! Remember when Leo just could not win an Oscar? Wolf of Wall Street was one of those films that suffered from the DiCaprio curse (lifted by The Revenant).
What won instead? Wolf of Wall Street was nominated for five Academy Awards and didn’t win a single one - 12 Years A Slave took Best Picture, while Gravity won Best Director. Best Actor went to Matthew McConaughey - not for Wolf, which he was also briefly in, but for Dallas Buyers Club.
Most Oscar-worthy scene: Hard to forget the scene involving quaaludes and a convertible but Leo’s speeches to his staff are iconic (as is Matthew McConaughey’s coke-fuelled lunch).