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Michael Musto's 5 Craziest Oscar Wins, Losses and Upsets of All Time

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oscar-upsets.jpgPart of the fun of tuning into the Oscar nominee announcements every year is righteously screaming at the TV because X-deeply-worthy-actor/actress/movie didn't get a nod. (For us, it was Kristen Wiig being snubbed for Best Actress in Bridesmaids and Bill Cunningham New York getting shafted for Best Documentary Feature. Boo!) All of this, however, got us thinking about the biggest Oscar upsets, surprises and travesties over the years, which, in turn, got us thinking about Michael Musto, who is, in our book, the foremost expert on Oscars history. Below, he breaks down the craziest Oscars wins and losses of all time and weighs in on this year's nominees.


 


213882.jpgJUDY HOLLIDAY BEATS OUT GLORIA SWANSON AND BETTE DAVIS FOR BEST ACTRESS

In 1951, Judy Holliday won best actress for Born Yesterday. This was the year of the ultimate gay diva battle between Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard playing a grand-guginol gargoyle and Bette Davis as Margo Channing in All About Eve playing a grand-guginol gargoyle. This was a battle royale equal to King Kong vs. Godzilla. Gloria had won all of the awards up to that point and she was expected to bag the Oscar. I think Gloria and Bette ended up cancelling each other out, which was combined with the fact that Anne Baxter was also nominated in that category for All About Eve and may have taken some of the votes away, so Judy just snuck in there. This is one of the most traumatizing events in gay history. But I have to say I watched Born Yesterday again last year, and Judy was really transcendent. It wasn't really highway robbery that she won, but it was a surprise that has stood the test of time.


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GRACE KELLY TAKES DOWN A HOSPITALIZED JUDY GARLAND FOR BEST ACTRESS

The second biggest gay upset in Oscar history was in 1954, when Judy Garland was nominated for A Star is Born. She was actually giving birth to Joey Luft the night of the Oscars, so a camera crew had gathered around her to film her acceptance speech from her hospital bed. The winner, however, was Grace Kelly for The Country Girl. Are you noticing a trend here? It's always the younger, prettier actress who wins -- it's still the case today except for the year Helen Mirren won for The Queen. Grace Kelly had drabbed herself down for The Country Girl and proved she really had the chops, but most people thought she couldn't compare to Judy's incredible, luminous performance in A Star is Born. The problem, however, was that A Star Is Born was kind of a mess -- it was badly edited and just sort of all over the place -- and it didn't make much money. So Grace won and Judy sat there while the camera crew unplugged and left without saying a word. Poor Judy the loser.



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MARISA TOMEI GETS THE LAST LAUGH

In 1993, they announced Best Supporting Actress as Marisa Tomei for My Cousin Vinny. This was one of the biggest shocks of all time. Not just in the Oscars but in history. She was up against four really grand divas with hoity-toity accents, where as Marisa was featuring sort of a pre-Jersey Shore demeanor in My Cousin Vinny. She was a gum-popping Guidette and beat out Judy Davis, Joan Plowright, Vanessa Redgrave and Miranda Richardson. Conspiracy theories started immediately that they had read the wrong name, or that something really fishy had happened. But, like Judy Holliday, in retrospect, I don't think its horrible that she won. And she acquitted herself really well. She got two other nominations after that for In the Bedroom and The Wrestler, so she had the last laugh after that, proving herself to be a real Academy Award-type of actress. But, it really....people's jaws just dropped when she won. That had to have been rough for her.

sideways_l.jpg PAUL GIAMATTI STONE-COLD SNUBBED

Sideways, by Alexander Payne, was up for Best Picture in 2004, as well as a million other categories including Best Supporting Actor and Actress. The heart and soul of the movie, though, was Paul Giamatti, who was strangely snubbed for a Best Actor nomination. There was such a backlash when that happened and he got such sympathy from the media for having been left out. How could you have Sideways nominated for Best Picture and not nominate Paul Giamatti for Best Actor? It was almost criminal! You wanted to lock people up! That was the year Jamie Foxx won, and he deserved it, but I think they could have dumped Johnny Depp for Finding Neverland from the nominees and made a place for Paul.

THE HORROR: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN PASSED OVER FOR CRASH  

crash-movie4.jpgBut the biggest horror of all time was in 2006 when Crash won for best picture. I actually think Crash was a really fine film, but everyone was expecting Brokeback Mountain to win. It had won all of the awards so far at the Oscars and Ang Lee had even won Best Director earlier that night. So it was extremely bizarre when they announced Crash for Best Picture. Immediately, the media started delving into how this could have happened and the reality is that some of the Academy voters, when they knew it was a 'gay movie,' didn't even watch the screeners that were sent. Some even admitted, 'Oh, I saw what it was about and I didn't even want to watch it!' It's really sad that a movie like Crash, which is about bigotry, only won because of bigotry.

SO WHO WAS ROBBED WITH THIS YEAR'S NOMINATIONS?

I was upset that Tilda Swinton was left out for Best Actress for We Need to Talk About Kevin. It wasn't your typical sort of Best Actress role -- there wasn't a lot of screaming and histrionics and the Academy likes that. But she was so great in it and the whole movie was so amazing and darkly funny. I thought she deserved a spot.

I was also surprised that Albert Brooks didn't get in for Best Supporting Actor for Drive and a lot of people are surprised that Leonardo DiCaprio didn't get anything for J.Edgar. But, if you recall, he was snubbed for Titanic, which was nominated for everything under the sun in 1998. The Academy has some problem with him and I don't know what it is.
 
ANY NOMINATIONS THIS YEAR THAT REALLY SHOULDN'T HAVE MADE THE CUT?

I predicted War Horse would be nominated because it's an old-fashioned kind of Oscar-Nomination Film and could have been made by John Ford in the '30s. Extremely Glenn Close, as I call it, started good. I was actually moved by parts of it. And then it just became unbearable. But Stephen Daltry's movie always get nominated. Max von Sydow was so annoying and I'm also tired of people using Aspergers as their excuse for everything.

Crash image via ThatWasJunk.com


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