This year’s Oscar nominations were recently revealed, which can only mean one thing — people are going to bitch when their favorite movies eventually aren’t nominated. Anyone who is into Hollywood awards season knows that there are always snubs and there are most certainly always surprises. While there are always usually more deserving movies than can be nominated for Best Picture in a given year, there are also rare occasions where the occasional bad movie manages to make it into contention.
Surprisingly enough, this has happened more than you can imagine, especially since the Best Picture field was expanded about a decade ago. From the terrible to the atrocious, here are the worst Best Picture Oscar nominees of years past.
Worst Best Picture Nominees
Babel isn’t necessarily a bad movie, it just happens to be way too long for its own good. It what can only be described as two and a half hours of misery porn, Alejandro G. Iñárritu's film is a bit of a chore. While the performances are certainly worthy of recognition, Babel ultimately feels like it would have been handled better if it wasn’t so pretentious. But hey, at least it’s no Crash .
Joker is the type of film that the academy nominated for best picture just to boost TV ratings. Although Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as the titular character was undoubtedly a shoe-in for best actor, there’s no reason why the film should have been nominated for best picture. If the movie was actually meaningful instead of just acting meaningful, the case would be entirely different.
The Godfather Part III
The only reason why the Godfather Part III was nominated for best picture is because it has the word Godfather in the title. Even though the film was nominated for seven awards that year, the mere presence of Sofia Coppola should have automatically invalidated it form best picture contention.
Green Book is a movie that feels like it was built in a lab to be Oscar bait. It’s arguably the most generic movie that was nominated that year, which makes it even more perplexing that it actually won. If the movie would have simply been nominated and not won, it wouldn’t even be on this list. This isn’t to say that the movie is bad on it’s own merit, but it is bad because it won Best Picture.
The Blind Side
Speaking of movies that were designed specifically to win Academy Awards, The Blind Side is one of those movies that you often forget was even nominated for Best Picture. While Sandra Bullock’s win for best actress is most definitely more of a career achievement award, the only reason the film was nominated is because it’s based on a true story. The Blind Side is proof that just because a story is true doesn’t mean that it can’t be poorly written.
Crash is arguably the worst film to ever win best picture, at least in the past few decades. It’s easy to see why the film was nominated -- it’s a racially charged social drama that tries to make white people feel better about systems of abuse. But the fact that it actually won best picture proves that even big budget soap operas have the ability to win the big prize. Crash May be rotten Oscar bait that actually took, but at least it’s not a musical.
The 2012 Les Misérables is often remembered for winning Anne Hathaway he Oscar, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the film around her cna’t be terrible. While Director Tom Hooper’s decision to have the cast single every piece of dialogue is still a perplexing one, the fact that it’s two and half hours of slog doesn’t help. The film’s title translates to “the miserable ones”. If there’s not a better way to describe the experience of watching Les Misérables , we don’t know what is.
Doctor Dolittle (1967)
The 1967 version of Doctor Dolittle is simply one of the weirdest best picture nominations of all time. In a year where classic movies like The Graduate and Bonnie & Clyde were nominated in the same category, it’s hard to believe that a Doctor Dolittle movie was actually considered one of the 5 best movies of the year. Truth be told, the presence of Sir Richard Attenbourough is probably the reason why it was nominated. But at least it’s better than the cinematic atrocity that was 2019’s Dolittle .
When it comes to movies so cringe-worthy that that they physically hurt, Bohemian Rhapsody is at the top of the list. Aside from the fact that the Academy spotlighted a movie whose director has dozens of sexual assault and rape allegations, the movie is just bad. Unlike many of the above entries, the Bohemian Rhapsody didn’t deserve to be nominated for anything, let alone win for best actor and best editing. Simply put, the movie is atrocious in just about every way imaginable.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is the type of nomination that makes you regret the fact that the Academy expanded the best picture race. As the singular most exploitative best picture nominee in recent memory, the film is equivalent of failed emotional blackmail for an Oscar. It’s a largely pointless film that is the definition of too Tsunami.