Considering the kind of hype the Oscars manage to create every year and the buzz it generates among cinephiles, it is only rational for one to think whether the ceremony is truly worthy of all the fuss. So, are the Oscars a benchmark of good cinema? No. Do they really matter? Yes.
Despite how commercialized it has been over the years, the Oscars have always managed to recognize and appreciate good cinema. But they’ve faltered on numerous occasions and sometimes they’re unforgivable like the great Al Pacino losing out to Art Carney for Best Actor in 1975, ‘Mulholland Drive’ not even receiving a nomination for Best Picture, ‘Apocalypse Now’ losing out to ‘Kramer vs Kramer’ for Best Picture in 1980 and so on. Similarly, the Oscars have also managed to nominate some of the most atrocious pieces ever churned out in the name of cinema. Let’s take a look at the list of worst movies nominated for Oscars.
15. Alice in the Wonderland (2010) – Best Visual Effects
‘Alice in the Wonderland’ is, by no means, a bad film. It’s quite good in parts but it doesn’t do half justice to its searing ambitions. Tim Burton has always been a hit or miss filmmaker and like most of his films, this was certainly looked promising and could have turned out to be a lot better with a more refined script and structured narrative instead of turning it into a mere visual extravaganza. The plot isn’t well toned and the writing lacks a level of sharpness and intelligence that could have hugely benefited the film. Critics criticized the film’s excessive use of CGI but maybe it was just enough to impress the academy.
14. Alien 3 (1992) – Best Visual Effects
Let’s face it, ‘Alien 3’ was an awful film. It felt completely out of tone and the plot was so frustratingly convoluted and forced that after a certain point you just didn’t care for anything. David Fincher has disowned the film and blamed the studio execs for frequent interference and deadlines. The film did, however, receive better reception when the Assembly Cut was released in 2003 but none of them held up to what Ridley Scott and James Cameron did with its predecessors. The film received an Academy Awards nomination for Best Visual Effects which it eventually lost to ‘Death Becomes Her’.