By Joey Magidson
Everyone knows the saying “it’s an honor just to be nominated,” right? Well, that’s certainly the case, but there are always times when it just doesn’t seem right for a film to leave Oscar night empty handed. Tons of worthy films aren’t even nominated each year, but there is also no shortage of flicks that receive a solid amount of nominations and wind up winning nothing.
A lot goes into actually winning an Academy Award. Quality, of course, comes into play, but a little less than I’d prefer. Politics has its place, too, both in terms of capturing the zeitgeist and also in campaigning for the win. Oscar voters love to be wooed. One can occasionally win without campaigning, but by and large the Academy wants you to want it.
While it’s not included below, Up in the Air is a great recent example of a film that went from looking like a possible Best Picture frontrunner to hanging its hat on an Adapted Screenplay win to winding up without any wins on Oscar night, despite six nominations overall. It’s a long road from nomination morning to the show itself, so many a high quality film has had its moment ruined by another worthy (or at least usually worthy) contender. This year, at least a few similar movies will have that same empty feeling, but I’ll get to them later on.
For this week’s Top 10 piece I opted to do things a little bit differently. Instead of limiting it to 10 films that had multiple Oscar nominations but won nothing, I’ll be looking at 10 groups of films that have that sad distinction. It allows more work to be discussed, a wider net to be cast for answers and a nice change of pace.