Throwback Thursday Oscar Edition: Who Should Have Won?

Carry and Oscar

The Academy Award is the most coveted award in the film industry.  When one receives this award, it translates to more parts, more fame, and bragging rights that for one year, “I was the best.”  Or not.  Since its inception, the Academy Awards have been known to be a bit of a popularity contest.  This is not to say that it doesn’t get it right sometimes (Vivien Leigh winning for Best Actress in Gone with the Wind, Schindler’s List winning Best Picture, etc.). However, the Oscar prognosticators spend time analyzing the awards and looking to see who the Academy deems the most popular for that year, but not necessarily the best.  There are classic Oscar missteps that have been addressed by many (see Shakespeare in Love winning for Best Picture instead of Saving Private Ryan or How Green was My Valley winning Best Picture over Citizen Kane).  For this Throwback Thursday, managing editor John David West and awards season guru Ariadne Ansbro look back at some of the lesser known Oscar mistakes and tell you who they think should have won.


1950 Best Actress
From top left: Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday, Bette Davis in All About Eve, and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd.

1950 Best Actress

Judy Holliday, Born Yesterday

Anne Baxter, All About Eve

Bette Davis, All About Eve

Eleanor Parker, Caged

Gloria Swanson, Sunset Blvd.

Ari’s pick: This is a tough one for me.  Judy Holliday was excellent at playing the dizzy blond Billie Dawn who starts to receive an education in Born Yesterday, but she was not even in the same league as Bette Davis or Gloria Swanson. Pitting Davis and Swanson against each other in career defining roles is an almost impossible choice.  However, I am paid to make impossible choices, so I would have to say that the winner that year should have been Bette Davis.  Her performance in All About Eve was the stuff of legends.  Can you imagine anyone else saying, “Fasten your seatbelts.  It’s going to be a bumpy night.”?

David’s pick: Judy Holliday?  Holliday is solid as Billie Dawn, the same role she played on Broadway, but let’s have a reality check here: Bette Davis in All About Eve and Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd. Choosing between those two is unfair (like Meryl Streep and Jessica Lange in 1982)—and that’s probably why Holliday won. They cancelled each other out. Since life is unfair, I’m going to make a choice and say that the 1950 Best Actress should have gone to Gloria Swanson for her larger than life performance in Sunset Blvd. Her movie icon status was solidified when she said, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”


1959 Best Actor
Charlton Heston in Ben-Hur and Jack Lemmon in Some Like it Hot

1959 Best Actor

Charlton Heston, Ben-Hur

Jack Lemmon, Some Like it Hot

James Stewart, Anatomy of a Murder

Laurence Harvey, Room at the Top

Paul Muni, The Last Angry Man

Ari’s pick: I am going to start by saying one of the most unpopular things I could ever say: I don’t like Ben-Hur.  This does not mean that I cannot see past my dislike for a film, yet see the brilliance in a performance (i.e. Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia, don’t hate me).  However, Charlton Heston played Charlton Heston.  He was the exact same tough guy that he played in every movie before, and all of the Bible epics he did after.  Laurence Harvey was wonderful in Room at the Top.  I generally think that Harvey is an actor who is largely forgotten about, mostly due to his untimely death at age 45.  James Stewart really played against type in Anatomy of a Murder as a slightly dubious defense attorney who defends a man accused of murder.  In the end, I have to go with Jack Lemmon in Some Like it Hot.  There are so many great things in this film, but Lemmon is a true stand out.  Sadly, Oscar is not big on honoring comedic performances.  

David’s pick: I have to confess, I’m not familiar with many in this category and not a fan of the tediously long Ben-Hur. My choice is Jack Lemmon in Some Like it Hot for his comic performance as a musician who is forced to dress as a woman in order to hide from the mob. It’s a solid iconic comic performance in one of cinemas great classic comedies. 



1962 Best Actress
Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker and Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate

1962 Best Supporting Actress

Patty Duke, The Miracle Worker

Angela Lansbury, The Manchurian Candidate

Mary Badham, To Kill a Mockingbird

Shirley Knight, Sweet Bird of Youth

Thelma Ritter, Birdman of Alcatraz

Ari’s pick: Patty Duke won an Oscar for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker.  This film was poised to pick up acting Oscars for both Duke and Anne Bancroft in the lead actress category, as the Oscars love to reward people for playing real people and characters who must overcome some sort of physical or mental disability (check and check).  The problem is that years later, the performance that stands out the most in this category is Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate.  These days it is hard to think of Lansbury playing someone so diabolical.  Lansbury’s performance is so memorable that AFI named her portrayal of Mrs. John Iselin as one of the 50 best villains of all time.  

David’s pick: Of all the fine supporting performances in 1962, it’s Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate, who should have won for her performance as the cold and calculating, communist agent who is part of a plot to brainwash her son to commit murder. Yes, that’s right, our beloved Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote played an evil communist operative. It’s an unforgettable performance that still holds up today. It’s a damn shame that Lansbury was overlooked for her most deserving Oscar.


1985 Best Actress
Geraldine Page in A Trip to Bountiful and Whoppi Goldberg in The Color Purple


1985 Best Actress

Geraldine Page, A Trip to Bountiful

Anne Bancroft, Agnes of God

Jessica Lange, Sweet Dreams

Meryl Streep, Out of Africa

Whoopi Goldberg, The Color Purple

Ari’s pick: Over the years, the Academy has given out awards to actors for their body of work instead of their individual performance in the film for which they are nominated.  For example, Henry Fonda for On Golden Pond and Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart.  Both are fine performances, but no one would say that those were necessarily the “best” performances of their careers.  Geraldine Page’s win in 1985 is much the same.  She had been nominated seven times prior to this win and, as it turned out, didn’t have much longer to live (she died in 1987).  So the Academy felt that it was her time.  I don’t.  Whoopi Goldberg should have won for The Color Purple.   She was perfect as a woman trapped due to her circumstance, who eventually learns to find her voice.  The Color Purple was nominated for 11 Oscars, and didn’t win any.  What a shame.

David’s pick: This is a tough one for me because I’m pretty happy with Geraldine Page, but I have to admit that her Best Actress win does kind of feel like a lifetime achievement award. Streep and Lange are fantastic, and I was almost ready to go with Lange as Patsy Cline. But I have to go with Whoopi Goldberg for her breakout performance in The Color Purple. She was the most authentic and heartbreaking thing in a film that tended to be a bit stagy, over the top, and even silly; Goldberg kept it real.



1993 Best Sup Actor
Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive and Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List

1993 Best Supporting Actor

Tommy Lee Jones, The Fugitive

Leonardo DiCaprio, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?

Ralph Fiennes, Schindler’s List

John Malkovich, In the Line of Fire

Pete Postlethwaite, In the Name of the Father

Ari’s pick: This is a great category.  Each of these performances were so intricate and mesmerizing that they are all memorable.  However, there was one that was better than all the rest: Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List.  In life, most people are not all good or all evil; everyone has nuance.  Fiennes plays Amon Goeth as an evil, conniving, murderous bastard, but he also shows a human side to him.  Fiennes was asked about how he could play Goeth as a human being and not as a mustache twirling villain.  He said, “I mean, I could make a judgment myself privately, this is a terrible, evil, horrific man. But the job was to portray the man, the human being. There’s a sort of banality, that everydayness, that I think was important.”  The best scene that illustrates this is when he attempts to show a human side and does not immediately punish a Jewish worker for not getting the stains off his bathtub.  Watch it here.

David’s pick: 1993 was a great year at the Oscar, and this category is a difficult one. There’s not one clunker here. But Tommy Lee Jones Oscar for The Fugitive feels like he won for one of those big performances that inspires Academy voters to award more for career achievement than a specific performance. Without a doubt the Oscar should have gone to Ralph Fiennes in Schindler’s List as Amon Goeth, a Nazi concentration camp commandant. His portrayal of Amon was not just a two-dimensional evil Nazi that’s a pleasure to hate, but rather he played him with depth and complexity, which adds a level of tension and intensity.


MoviefiedNYC’s in-your-face Oscar Predictions: Who Will and Should Win!

Oscar Predictions 2016Here we are again, just a few short days away from the 88th Academy Awards.  For those of you who are doing some final research for that office pool and want to make a truly informed prediction, the Moviefied NYC team has done all of the leg work.  Managing Editors John David West and Myrna Duarte share their predictions along with Award Season Guru Ariadne Ansbro.  Below are our picks for who will win and which of the nominees should win, cause, as we know, Oscar can be a fickle mistress.

Best Picture: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight.


  • David: Who will win: This is one of the toughest years in recent memory to predict the winner—and I like it that way! I’m going to go with The Revenant winning, making Alejandro G. Iñárritu the first director to direct back-to-back Best Picture winners. Who Should Win: Spotlight was the most evenly excellent and riveting movie of the year.
  • Myrna: Who will and should Win: The Revenant
  • Ari: Who will Win: How is it that this is the toughest category for me to predict?!  The Big Short won the Producers Guild Award, Spotlight won the Screen Actors Guild Award, and The Revenant won the Golden Globe.  Statistically, the Producers Guild has correctly predicted the Best Picture winner in the eight of the last ten years, where as the SAGs have correctly predicted six of the last ten years. I am going to go out on a limb and say Spotlight.  To hell with statistics!  Who Should Win: For me the movie of the year was Spotlight.  Even though the audience knew exactly what the Boston Globe reports would find, this journalistic thriller still kept us rapt.

Best Director: Adam McKay, The Big Short, George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant, Lenny Abrahamson, Room, Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

George Miller directing Mad Max: Fury Road
George Miller directing Mad Max: Fury Road
  • David: Who will win: This year’s directors are quite strong, so this is a tough one but I’m going to go with George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road. Who Should Win: I’m leaning towards Adam McKay for The Big Short.
  • Myrna: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road – Teach those whipper snappers how to make a movie George.
  • Ari: Who will win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu will be the first director since Jospeh L. Mankowitz to receive back-to-back directing Oscars for The Revenant.  Who Should Win: Lenny Abrahamson somehow took a book with an extremely depressing premise and directed a hopeful story in Room.


Best Actor: Bryan Cranston, Trumbo, Matt Damon, The Martian, Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant, Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs, Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl.

The Renevant
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Renevant
  • David: Could, should, and will Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant. Missing from the nominees: Paul Dano, Love and Mercy.
  • Myrna: Leonardo DiCaprio‘s day has arrived.
  • Ari: Let’s face it, Leo is winning for his raspy voice and eating raw bison liver.  However, I really loved Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs.


Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Carol, Brie Larson, Room, Jennifer Lawrence, Joy, Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years, Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Brie Larson, Room
  • David: Who will win: This year’s Oscar for pretty blond girl goes to Brie Larson. Who should Win: Cate Blanchett, Carol. Missing from this list is Rooney Mara, Carol and Alicia VikanderThe Danish Girl.
  • Myrna: Brie Larson, RoomBecause BLar might even be cooler than JLaw and good.
  • Ari: Who will win: Brie Larson‘s heartbreaking performance as a kidnap victim will rain supreme on Oscar night. Who should win: Saoirse Ronan‘s beautiful portrayal of an Irish immigrant in 1950s Brooklyn was the performance of the year.

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Big Short, Tom Hardy, The Revenant, Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight, Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies,  Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Sylvester Stallone in Creed
Sylvester Stallone in Creed
  • David: Who will win: Supporting Actor category is really tough this year—and this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Sylvester Stallone for Creed. Who Should Win: Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight, and or Mark Rylance. Possible upset: very deserving Tom Hardy for The Revenant.
  • Myrna: Sylvester Stallone, Creed but I would not mind a Rylance upset.
  • Ari: Who will win: Honestly, this is the toughest of the big categories for me.  The actor who won the SAG award was not nominated in this category and the actor who won the Golden Globe was not nominated by the Screen Actors Guild.  However, I am going to follow the party line and say that Sylvester Stallone will win for playing the underdog character that he created 40 years ago.  Who Should Win: Mark Rylance‘s nuanced performance as a Soviet spy in Bridge of Spies.

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight, Rooney Mara, Carol, Rachel McAdams, Spotlight, Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl, Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs.

Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs
Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs
  • David: Who will Win: This year’s Young Pretty Actress Award goes to Alicia Vikander for her excellent (lead roll) performance in The Danish Girl. Who Should Win: Kate Winslet for her (Supporting) roll Steve Jobs. Upset: Jennifer Jason Leigh.
  • Myrna: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs because she is so loved but my heart belongs to Rachel McAdams, Spotlight.
  • Ari: Who will Win: Again, I am torn. This is truly a toss up between Kate Winslet and Alicia Vikander.  Winslet has won several awards for this film already, however, Vikander will probably win for the substantial role she played in The Danish Girl.   Who Should Win: Winslet was fantastic as the heart of Steve Jobs, the film and the man.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short, Brooklyn, Carol, The Martian, Room.

The Big Short 2
Christian Bale, The Big Short
  • David: Who will and should win: The Big Short.
  • Myrna: Who will Win:  The Martian. Who Should Win: The Big Short.
  • Ari: Who will Win: The Big Short will most likely get one of its only wins of the night in the category.  Who knew watching the demise of the American housing market could be so much fun?! Who Should Win: I read Brooklyn, I loved Brooklyn, so, Brooklyn.

Best Original Screenplay: Bridge of Spies, Ex Machina, Inside Out, Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton.

  • David: Who will and should win: Spotlight. Upset: a win for Straight Outta Compton could make things interesting.
  • Myrna: Ex Machina I ♥ Alex Garland
  • Ari: Who will and should Win: Spotlight (starting to see a trend here?)

Best Animated Feature:  Anomalisa, Boy and the World, Inside Out, Shaun the Sheep Movie, When Marnie Was There.

Inside out 1

  • David: Inside Out will and should Win
  • Myrna: Who will Win: Inside Out  Who Should Win: Anomalisa
  • Ari: Who will Win: Inside Out will continue Pixar’s domination of this category.  Who Should Win: Shaun the Sheep Movie was adorable!!!!  I kinda loved it.

 Best Animated Short: Bear Story, Prologue, Sanjay’s Super Team, We Can’t Live Without Cosmos, World of Tomorrow

World of Tomorrow
  • David: Who will win: Sanjay’s Super Team Who should win: World of Tomorrow
  • Myrna: World of Tomorrow hands down!
  • Ari: Who will win: World of Tomorrow Who Should Win: Bear Story. What can I say?  I like bears.

Best Cinematography: Carol, The Hateful Eight, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Sicario.

Carol 1
  • David: Who will win: If The Revenant wins this will three years in a row for Emmanuel Lubezki. Who Should Win: Edward Lachmann’s stylized look for Carol.
  • Myrna: Who will win: Tough category, The Revenant will win but Sicario is nipping at its heals.
  • Ari: Who will win: The Revenant will most likely win, for its use of natural light and beautiful photography.  Who Should Win: Carol was eye candy for me.  That is the true winner.

Best Costume DesignCarol, Cinderella, The Danish Girl, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant.

The Danish Girl
The Danish Girl
  • David: Who will win: the winner is The Mad Costume Showcase  Cinderella. I kid! I think the winner will be The Danish Girl. Who should win: Mad Max for its mad-creative, found-object costume design.
  • Myrna: Who will win: Carol Who Should Win:  Mad Max: Fury Road‘s design is mind blowing.
  • Ari: who will and should Win: Carol’s gorgeous 1950s designs were exquisite.  I am all for this win!

Best Documentary — FeatureAmy, Cartel Land, The Look of Silence, What Happened, Miss Simone?, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom.

Amy 2
  • David: Who will Win: Amy.  Who Should Win: This is tough, as they were all quite good, but I have to go with The Look of Silence.
  • Myrna: Who will Win: Amy,  I loved getting to know her. Who Should Win: What Happened, Miss Simone? A woman so head of her time.
  • Ari: Who will Win: Amy will most likely win for its look into at an artist who could not handle her fame.  Who Should Win:  I really enjoyed Winter on Fire, so I will have to go with that.

Best Documentary—ShortBody Team 12, Chau Behind the Lines, Claude Lanzman, A Girl in the River, Last Day of Freedom

A Girl in the River 1
A Girl in the River
  • David: Who will win: A Girl in the River.  Who should win: The nominees in this category are all very compelling documentaries, but A Girl in the River felt immediately important, stirring, and insightful.
  • Myrna: Who will win: A Girl in the River.  Who Should Win: Body Team 12.
  • Ari: Who will and should win: A Girl in the River feels a lot like a previous winner in this category, Saving Face (2011) about women in the Islamic world whose husbands throw acid on them.  Another film which makes me appreciate all of the freedom that I have.

Best Film EditingThe Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Spotlight, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Ryan Gosling plays Jared Vennett and Jeffry Griffin plays Chris in The Big Short from Paramount Pictures and Regency Enterprises
The Big Short
  • David: Who will win: The Big Short. Who should win: The Big Short.
  • Myrna: Who will win: Mad Max: Fury Road 
  • Ari: Who will win: Mad Max: Fury Road will reign supreme.  Who should win: The Big Short was put together in a way that made me feel a bit like I actually understood sub-prime mortgages.  That is Oscar worthy.

Best Foreign Language FilmEmbrace of the Serpent, Mustang, Son of Saul, Theeb, A War.

Son of Saul 3
Son of Saul
  • David: Who will win: Son of Saul.  Who should win: Son of Saul.
  • Myrna: Who will win: Son of Saul.  Who should win: Mustang.
  • Ari: Who will and totally should win: Son of Saul.

Best Live Action ShortAve Maria, Day One, Everything Will Be Okay, Shok, Stutterer.

Shok 1
  • David: Who will win: I’m predicting Shok. Who should win: Shok.
  • Myrna: Who will win: Shok  Who should win: Day One
  • Ari: Who will win: Shok  Who should win: Stutterer, I have a soft spot for movies about characters with speech impediments.

Best Makeup and HairstylingMad Max, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared, The Revenant

Mad Max: Fury Road
  • David: Who will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road, Who should win: Mad MaxIt’s insult to all the brilliant Makeup and Hairstylist that the Oscars can’t find five nominees.
  • Myrna: Who will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road  Who Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road two words, War Boys!
  • Ari: Who will and should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road had some pretty amazing makeup on every single character.  This will most likely be one of many technical awards Mad Max will win.

Best Original ScoreBridge of Spies, Carol, The Hateful Eight, Sicario, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Hateful Eight 1
The Hateful Eight
  • David: Who will Win: For sure Ennio Morricone will win his first competitive Oscar for The Hateful Eight. Who should win: Morricone!
  • Myrna: Who will Win: The Hateful Eight.  Who Should Win: Sicario
  • Ari:  Who will win: Ennio Morricone has been nominated six times since 1979 and has never won a competitive Oscar (He received an honorary Oscar in 2007).  Look for him to win for his career as opposed to just the work he did on The Hateful Eight.   Who should win: I honestly was not blown away by any of the scores this year.  I will abstain.

Best Original Song: “Earned It,” 50 Shades Of Grey, “Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction, “Simple Song #3,” Youth, “Til It Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground, “Writing’s on the Wall,” Spectre.

The Hunting Ground
The Hunting Ground
  • David: Who will win: The Oscars love to award a pop stars, so this year it will go to Lady Gaga, Diane Warren for “Til It Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground. It’s been a good year so far for Gaga! Who Should Win: Gaga!
  • Myrna: Who will Win: “Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction. Who should win: “Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction.
  • Ari: Who will Win: “Til It Happens to You”, The Hunting Ground.  I am sure that the Academy will continue its trend of awarding superstars with Oscars in this category (see Adele, Eminem, Three 6 Mafia).  Congrats, Lady Gaga.    Who Should Win: “Writing’s on the Wall”, Spectre.  Hey, it was the only thing good to come out of Spectre.

Best Production DesignBridge of Spies, The Danish Girl, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant.

Mad Max @
Mad Max: Fury Road
  • David: Who will win: Mad Max: Fury Road. Who should win: Mad Max: Fury Road.
  • Myrna: Who will and should:  Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ari: Who will win: Mad Max: Fury Road  Who should Win: Creating the terrain of Mars in The Martian was pretty incredible.  I really wish that the film would receive accolades for that, however, it won’t.

Best Sound EditingMad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Sicario, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Mad Max 2
Mad Max: Fury Road
  • David: Who will and should win: Seems like a no-brainer to me, Mad Max: Fury Road.
  • Myrna: Who will win: Mad Max: Fury Road.  Who should win: Mad Max: Fury Road.
  • Ari: Who will win: Mad Max: Fury Road will continue to rake in the technical awards.  Who should win: I think that The Martian should see some love in this category.

Best Sound Mixing: Bridge of Spies, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Mad Max 3
Mad Max: Fury Road
  • David: Who will win: it’s going to be a tech sweep for Mad Max: Fury Road, and it should be that way!
  • Myrna: Who will win:  The Revenant. Who should win: Mad Max: Fury Road.
  • Ari: Who will win: Mad Max: Fury Road, again who should Win: The Martian.

Best Visual EffectsEx Machina, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

  • David: Who will Win: This could be the one chance for Star Wars: The Force AwakensWho Should Win: Ex Machina.
  • Myrna: Who will win:  The Revenant  Who should win: Ex Machina
  • Ari: Who will win:  I am pretty sure that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will walk away with this one. Who should win: Ex-Machina was so cool!!!!!  This is a category where cool should win!

The 88th Academy Awards will be announced on Sunday, February 28 on ABC. Join MoviefiedNYC for live streaming at @MoviefiedNYC