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Cannes is the altar of cinema; but the commercial awards are a different ballpark and sometimes the ball lands out of court ... says Oscar Hexler.

As well as wondering who is going to present the Oscars, Golden Globes or BAFTAs - and whether they’ll manage to make it entertaining without offending everyone in sight (Ricky Gervais, we’re looking at you here...) it’s always fun to bet on who’s going to take away the Best Actor/Actress/Picture award. But have you ever found yourself coming away incredulous at who managed to scoop the top awards - and wondering how the hell they did it?

Here are the top 10 awards that just shouldn’t have been handed out at all:

1. HRH ELIZABETH II - BAFTA for best Bond girl, 2013
Who could forget the Queen ‘jumping from a helicopter’ for the opening ceremony of the London Olympics? It was pretty funny at the time, and kudos to HRH for agreeing to it, but a BAFTA? Really? Mind you, they were most likely joking about the Bond girl thing - it was actually given to her to mark her patronage of the film and TV industries over her 60 year reign. Maybe we’ll let her off then...

2. TOM HANKS, Best Actor Oscar for Forrest Gump, 1995
This was confusing, although America does love that film. But Best Actor for the portrayal of a lovable half-wit and his fantasy life? The competition that year included Morgan Freeman for The Shawshank Redemption, a film that has become an absolute classic and appears to have more longevity than Forrest’s treacly tale. 

3. SUSAN SARANDON, Best Actress Oscar for Dead Man Walking in 1995
This was the year of the gambling movie, with Casino and Leaving Las Vegas up for various awards. In fact, Sharon Stone was one of Susan Sarandon’s rivals in this category and, in our opinion, should have won for her fabulously hard bitten portrayal in Casino. She scored the only Oscar nomination for the film and she won a Golden Globe for the same part. Move over Susan, it should have been Sharon. 1995 is officially the year of casinos and Vegas then, so for online players at sites like Intertops Casino there’s no excuse to click on YouTube to watch some classic scenes of De Niro, Stone and Scorsese.

4. NICOLAS CAGE, Best Actor Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas, 1995
We are fascinated by this year’s haul for sure - should Nic Cage ever win a Best Actor award? The guy who gave us the execrable remake of seminal classic The Wicker Man? The guy who gave us Ghost Rider? The guy who gave us Face/Off? Should he really be up there among the all time actor greats? He was in the same category as Anthony Hopkins for Nixon, and as much as I love Nic and his weird films, it probably should have gone to Sir Anthony. 

5. SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, Best Picture Oscar, 1998
This is a real head scratcher. Although it had a winning cast (Joseph Fiennes particularly adorable as a young Will Shakespeare) and was light, funny and certainly entertaining, was it really better than Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan or the fabulous Elizabeth, starring Cate Blanchett? Certainly a weird choice that year, which brings us on to...

Shakespeare in Love

6. GWYNETH PALTROW, Best Actress Oscar for Shakespeare in Love, 1998
What in the hell were the Academy thinking? There is just no way on earth Gwynnie should ever have won an Oscar, and certainly not for playing the lead in what is basically a romcom with nice costumes. Her embarrassing gushing on the podium just topped off a head shakingly baffling moment in film, especially as her competition included the sublime Cate Blanchett and the always dependable Meryl Streep, who must have found it extra difficult to find their gallant loser smiles on the night. 

7. THE FULL MONTY, BAFTA Best Picture, 1998
This was the year that Titanic swept the boards at the Oscars and Golden Globes, and what did BAFTA go with? A charming tale of some working class men who decided to strip. It is an alright film, but it certainly hasn’t stood the test of time. There is no denying that for special effects, visual impact and pure drama, Titanic deserved its awards that year and the BAFTAs slipped up in favour of a Brit film that wasn’t really that good. 

8. ELIZABETH TAYLOR, Best Actress Oscar for Butterfield 8, 1960
“It stinks... I have never seen it and I have no desire to see it... it’s a piece of obscenity...” Who said this about Butterfield 8? Yep, it was Liz Taylor herself. She hated the film and only made it because she had to fulfill her contract. Probably goes down in history as the least worthy winner as described by the winner herself!

9. THE STING, Best Picture Oscar, 1973
It’s widely considered the only reason The Sting won this award was because of the amazing stars in the film - Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Robert Shaw. Did the film itself deserve to be Best Picture? Not really. But it does have that classic poker scene, which was actually the first time I became interested in playing online Intertops Casino so maybe I’ll have to let The Sting get away with it...

10. DANCES WITH WOLVES, Best Picture Oscar, 1990
It may have been the resurgence of the Western but for this over long, dreary Kevin Costner vehicle to have won instead of Goodfellas - arguably the best mob film since 1972’s The Godfather, is just bizarre. Goodfellas saw some amazing performances from Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci and Dances With Wolves saw, um, lots of Costner. 

Published May 15, 2013

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Forrest Gump

Dead Man Walking

Gwyneth Paltrow - Oscars 1998

The Full Monty

The Sting

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