Some of the bad movies to win good Oscars.
And the Oscar picks winner.

When I was young, in the olden days, people actually “WON” the Oscar.  .  The Oscar didn’t “go to” someone, they won it.

But that all changed in 1989 with the 61st annual Academy Awards when someone, somewhere decided the movie competition should be less … competitive.  Sounds like a Canadian may have infiltrated their system.

So they got rid of the phrase “and the winner is”, brought in Merv Griffin, Snow White and Rob Lowe and created the worst Oscar awards in history.  It’s been a rocky road ever since.  Actually, it’s been a rocky road since the get go.

It’s taken me a long time to understand that just because a movie won “Best Picture” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best picture of that year. Or any year.

Which I’m sure is annoying, the way a hungry monkey plucking out your eyeballs is annoying, to the people who make the actual best film.

Take for instance this list.  The movies that won the Best Picture Oscar, and the movies from the same year that just weren’t good enough.


Won – How Green Was my Valley

Lost – Citizen Kane, is now regarded by critics as the greatest film ever made .



Won – The Greatest Show on Earth

Lost – High Noon, starring John Wayne Gary Cooper.



Won – Around the World in 80 Days

Lost –  Giant, starring James Dean



Won – Ordinary People (not a bad movie, but was it better than … )

Lost – Raging Bull



Won – Forest Gump

Lost – Pulp Fiction

Lost – The Shawshank Redemption

(I would be equally upset if the order here was reversed.  Why not give them all Oscars and take away they ones they gave to Marisa Tomei and  Titanic?)


1996 – Won – The English Patient (have yet to meet a single living person who sat through the whole thing)

Lost – Fargo (have yet to meet a single person who saw it and didn’t love it)


1998 – Won – Shakespeare in Love

Lost – Saving Private Ryan


So clearly winning the Oscar doesn’t really make a picture the best.  Remembering, watching and loving a movie 20, 30 or 40 years later does.

And now I’d like to announce who The Art of Doing Stuff tea towel goes to.  This weekend I held an Oscar picks contest.  I’ve marked all the entires.

Anddddddd the winner is …. Sharon Borrege with a score of 19/24. She forgot to fill out the Best Actress category and STILL got 19 out of 24.

I scored 11 and the fella scored 13. So we suck and don’t win a tea towel.

Sharon on the other hand does. So send me your address to [email protected] and I’ll send one off to you! Thanks to all for taking part.





  1. Kristin says:

    I liked The English Patient, but didn’t love it. Loved Fargo. I’ll tell you something funny about The English Patient, though. After seeing the movie, my then-boyfriend and I went for a beer and talked about the movie. He said he didn’t think Ralph Fiennes should have left his girlfriend in that cave. He should have figured out a way to take her with him across the desert. “I wouldn’t have left YOU in a cave in the desert with a couple of cans of condensed milk.” “But she was injured and couldn’t walk,” I said. He grumbled a little more and we changed the subject. The next day he called me from work and said, “OK, here’s what I’d do. I’d take the wheels off the disabled plane and attach them to one wing, forming a wheeled stretcher. I’d strap you to it, and wheel you across the desert to civilization and safety. Bam! You wouldn’t die in a cave.”

  2. Tigersmom says:

    Couldn’t agree more about Fargo and The English Patient, although I’m sure it was longer than 2 hours. I can’t be sure exactly how long because I turned it off at the beginning of day 2 of sitting through it.

    I can no longer stomach watching the Oscars or any of the other 9 million shows that have been created for the purpose of satisfying Hollywood’s boundless insecurity.

    I’ve never felt like the winners were well chosen and it has become increasingly hard to tolerate the need for attention and affirmation most actors seem to have. They appear to be very insecure in their need to repeatedly shower themselves with awards and get paid disproportionate amounts for being able to lie well and in many cases stick to a diet and/or a fitness regime.

    That being said, I have enjoyed many movies and have my favorites. I have appreciated being entertained and even transported by the work of many in the entertainment industry. I just don’t feel like the hard work of actors commands a pay scale that so extremely dwarfs those of other hard workers like teachers and firemen, just to cite a couple of examples.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Well said, Jill.

    Still, I though The English Patient was comparable to chewing cardboard…

  4. Dani says:

    I decided many moons ago that the Academy Awards “went to” the actor/actress/music score/best picture/girl with the shiniest lipstick/most politically correct/whatever-other-meatball-category-they-could-come-up-with that the ACADEMY thought was important. And the Academy is made up of a bunch of artsy-fartsy (no offense… well, okay, maybe a little) Hollywood folks, most of which were involved in the making of the movies and maybe played favorites based on who was in it/who produced it/who acted in it/how it related to their political “message”/who directed it/etc and MIGHT be playing a little bit of favorites? Just… MAYBE?
    Yeah, well, I realized that I don’t really care what the Academy thinks, and so stopped watching movies just because someone was nominated or how many awards they won. Excuse me, who took the Oscar. Isn’t it weird that after it’s all over, THEN folks/movies can be known as “Academy Award-Winning…” *sigh*
    Notice, I’m not saying that I don’t watch movies; oh contraire. I watch lots of movies. And I DON’T watch even more, based on my own personal preference of if the plot sounds interesting to me. Or, not.
    However, this year, hubby couldn’t find a football game/little league world series/high school championship basketball game from three years ago to watch, so instead, “we” watched the Oscars. I painted my nails. It was more exciting watching them dry than it was watching the Oscars. Shocker.

    • Really? A bit mean spirited don’t you think? The Academy awards is basically a big yearly company picnic where a lot of hardworking people pat each other on the back and give out awards to themselves. Just like lots of other companies and businesses. Except there are gowns and jewelry and entertainment and the whole world is watching and judging.
      Those “artsy-fartsy” Hollywood folks are some of the hardest working people in the world who put in long hours and I’m not just talking about the people you see on the screen. Just sit through a full credit roll and see how many people are employed by even the worst movie. And each one fought hard to get that job, worked long, long hours and did their best.
      And they’re human, just like you, and don’t always make the perfect decision. They don’t always make the decision that stands the test of time or is right for the history books. Do you?
      Academy members take care of their families, work long hours and plow though hours and hours of screeners. Lighten up.

      Paint your nails and try to enjoy the show. Next year, if you’d like to invite the world to your company picnic so we could criticize your work and how you look, you better get started sprucing up right now. It takes a surprising amount of work.

  5. Amanda Watkins says:

    We don’t have television, so I’m out of the loop when it comes to awards shows and Hollywood in general. I’ve found after 4 years, that it’s a wonderful life not knowing anything about celebrities! The old ones live on as my favorites.. .Sylvester Stalone in Rocky.. Braveheart, Clint Eastwood, Gladiator. I’m behind the times & happy to be there. :)
    Totally agree with you – Tom Hanks was good in Forrest Gump, but Saving Private Ryan was worth of the award. I didn’t know that bit of info!

  6. Sandy says:

    “The English Patient” is one of my favorite movies of all time. What a boring world it would be if we all agreed on everything.

  7. Cass says:

    Loved Fargo so much. But I’m sorry I loved the English Patient, too. Maybe it was just Ralph Fiennes?

  8. karol says:

    Loved Fargo. One of the few movies on my “watch it more than once” list. I even bought a snow globe that has a woodchipper inside with a leg sticking out, and the “snow” floating around inside is red. Swear.
    I also loved Raising Arizona, so any weird, off the wall dark humor keeps me entertained.

  9. Reg says:

    I watch the Oscars just to see the embarrassing moments.

    Last year I laughed myself into a bad case of hiccups at the entire production with James Franco. To me, he screamed that he didn’t want to be there doing whatever he was doing.

    That said, I do admire the ability of talented actors to briefly transport an audience to another life or world…..except The English Patient. A sure fire cure for insomnia. Couldn’t get through the book either.

  10. Natika33 says:

    Loved Fargo! (^_^)

    And I have to disagree with Debbie and agree with Karen that actors and the movies do a lot for us. I’m not sure about how many dollars worth, but certainly they inspire, entertain, teach and bring to life for us a different world outside our own. It could be just fluff, but it could also challenge one’s whole philosophy.

  11. andrea meyers says:

    great minds think alike. I’m still holding a grudge for Chariots of Fire beating out ET, lol. and every year Spielberg lost in the 80’s. and Cher in Moonstruck beating Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction, but I digress….

  12. Lesley says:

    Appears the Oscars these days are more about who “campaigns” hardest. Which explains Argo IMHO. I recently read an interview of an Oscar committee member who talked about not seeing most of the nominated movies (apparently there’s no requirement to do so) and admitted “I don’t vote for anyone who’s name I can’t pronounce”. So I just watch for the dresses and … Naomi Watts FTW!!

    Congrats on the tea towel, Sharon!

  13. Debbie says:

    I was so prepared to hate Fargo. Shock of my life I did like it. Shawshank is my famorite movie ever. I rarely ever watch a movie over again. Old age has helped this and if I forget it then I will watch it again.
    I guess I have taken a sourpuss additude with the oscars. These movies and actors have had so many pats on the back, they are paid huge amounts of money. They are people who are pretending to be someone else and they are good at it. They didn’t actually do anything thing for anyone. I guess I am tired of people who do little for anyone and then we have to give them awards too. Sorry I guess I get the sourpuss award.

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Yes you do. But that’s O.K. I know what you’re saying, they’re not performing heart surgery, but for me, actors do a lot. They, along with other artists, entertain us. And that does an enormous amount for people’s souls. Unless it’s The English Patient. ~ karen!

  14. calliek says:

    I attempted to watch the English Patient twice and fell asleep both times. But I’ve also fallen asleep during Saving Private Ryan, and Shakespeare in Love is still my fave movie of all time.

    To each his own!

  15. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    You are right is definitely not like the old days..Congrats Sharon..Hope you love yours as much as I love mine..a towel with a meat clever on it can be quite the conversation starter..but then I get to tell people how wonderful Karen is!!!

  16. Jack says:

    As the saying goes, “Its all in the eye of the beholder” ……and the scenes of reality that have passed by those eyes over a lifetime. I suspect a 15 year old would have wondered why in the world “Transformers” didn’t take an Oscar. And I never did understand “How Driving Miss Daisy” won over “Field of Dreams.” And what about all those Elvis movies……nary an Oscar for any of them.

  17. Sandy says:

    I agree with you!! Congratulations, Sharon. Enjoy you so much, Karen.

  18. Maggie O'C says:

    Like Elaine, I refuse to see The English Patient. I have boycotted Gwyneth Paltrow over the Shakespeare in Love travesty. As an adult (technically), I can’t really watch Hollywood taking itself that seriously. And the nominations for Atonement a few years back, killed the whole thing for me. Really?? God that movie sucked.

  19. Call Me Patty says:

    I love the Oscars, have watch them all my adult life. I love seeing the beautiful gowns, and who should change their stylist. I never am able to see all the nominated movies before the awards show, but eventually I do. There’s a reason why they are all nominated, but someone has to win the title of “best”. Otherwise it wouldn’t be a competition, life is a competition.

  20. Bonnie says:

    I got 11, too, and my husband got 13, but I think he may have cheated.

    I sat through all of the English Patient, but I didn’t like it and I don’t remember it. Fargo was okay, but I didn’t love it.

    I liked the Oscars show better when they showed more clips from the movies. It is a show about the movies, and now they show very little of the movies. But, I watch it every time.

  21. Gibbering agreement to every word.

  22. Trissi V. says:

    The only thing I was concerned with this year was when it came to Django Unchained. Christoph Waltz second Oscar, he is so awesome…Quentin Tarantino second Oscar for original screen play. It almost made up the fact he got the snub for best director category…almost!

    I could see Django Unchained again and again…Les Mis, not so much.

  23. Barbie says:

    Interesting! Just goes to show you!

  24. Auntiepatch says:

    Sorry, I,too, hated Fargo. Left the movie 1/2 way through. My favorite winner: Gone With The Wind! Great movie and great book!

    I think the producers should have hand rails at the stairs or a pair of MEN to help the female winners navigate safely up to the podium. (Set designers are you listenintg???)

  25. Janet says:

    I hated Fargo. Seriously thought it was one of the dumbest movies ever made.

    Apparently, Les Mis was the most popular movie by far, and Hugh Jackman won by a landslide, if you go by the number of likes on Facebook.

    I think the best part of the Oscars was Jennifer Lawrence chatting with reporters after the show. “Why did you fall?” they asked.

    “Are you kidding me? Look at this dress!”

    “What were you thinking when you fell?”

    “A bad word. Starting with “f”!”

    Made my day. :D

  26. Erika Carrell says:

    I didn’t love Fargo, but technically we haven’t met, so your record stands. :) On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t like The English Patient, either, so haven’t even tried it. In general, Lord of the Rings aside, I’ve ended up hating 95% of the movies that have been given the oscar, so I don’t even bother anymore

  27. Theresa says:

    Gratz Sharon! And Karen, I really do agree with you on The English Patient. OMG! Another one to watch or read if you’re having insomnia is The Caine Mutiny. I guess to be fair I TRIED so hard to read the darn book and fell asleep every time. So when I started to watch the movie I just didn’t give it a chance.

  28. I think the real point of the Oscars is to look at the actresses. lol… On the news the next morning, all I knew was who the best and worst dressed were! I had to go on-line to find out the winners. Congrats to Sharon for winning your awesome tea towel!

  29. Tricia says:

    Really? Am I the only one who saw The English Patient 12 times? That’s the only one I disagree with, so I get your point but….I loved The English Patient.

    • Karen says:

      Yes. Yes you are, LOL. ~ karen

      • Debbie says:

        Well, I think I actually sat through the whole thing, but does it count if you watch it getting more & more angry the whole time about how much you hate it? I just kept thinking it would get better.

        • Tisha says:

          Debbie, I did the same thing! I just kept thinking well if it won an Oscar it must have *some* redeeming quality, but by the end all I and the hubby could think was, well, that’s two hours we won’t get back.

  30. Langela says:

    I quit paying attention to the Oscars years ago, much to my husband’s delight. I’d get a movie and tell him it was supposed to be really good (according to the Oscar’s). Then, we’d start to watch it and would turn it off because it really sucked. I’ve never understood what they use to judge. Boring, check. Long, check. It’s a winner!

  31. Now I loved the book How Green Was My Valley, never saw the movie. And congrats to Sharon!!

  32. I’m pretty sure if Canadians had had their way with the Oscars we would have fourth place prizes – little handmade clay trophies – to celebrate all those personal bests!

  33. Centi says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s Gary Cooper in High Noon. Not a trace of John Wayne.

  34. I’ve sat though the whole of the English Patient, and I accosted you at the Christie Antique show a couple of years ago ( I think I mumbled ‘I love your blog’ and then sort of stared at your stupidly . . .)so technically we’ve met.
    In my defense however I watched it before OAC English where my independent study unit was to compare and show the similarities between two novels – one contemporary Canadian and a classic. You try comparing the English Patient with Pride and Prejudice and I bet you’d watch the whole movie too.

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