Best Picture 2014 Oscars

Readers suggest the 10 best Oscar snubs

Raging Bull film still with Robert de Niro as Jake LaMottaRobert De Niro as Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull. Photograph: United/Everett/Rex Features

1 | Raging Bull

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In what is widely regarded as an unforgivable gaffe in Academy history, Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull lost out the 1980 best picture award to Robert Redford’s Ordinary People. Furthermore, Redford won best director over Scorsese. However, Robert De Niro’s extraordinary performance as the troubled boxer Jake LaMotta, based on LaMotta’s memoirs, won him the best actor.

John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction. Photograph: Rex Features

2 | Pulp Fiction

Suggested by in 1994, Pulp Fiction was beaten to best picture by Forrest Gump. Featuring Samuel L Jackson and Bruce Willis, Pulp Fiction was characterised by wacky, cartoonish violence, witty dialogue and dark humour. The film brought director and screenwriter Quentin Tarantino to mainstream attention and single-handedly revived John Travolta’s career.

Joseph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth. Photograph: Rex Features

Still from Pulp Fiction starring John Travolta and Samuel Jackson3 | Elizabeth

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Some feel that Cate Blanchett, with her magnificent performance in Elizabeth, was robbed of best actress by Gwyneth Paltrow in rom-com-with ruffs Shakespeare in Love, which also won best picture in 1998. The film brought Australian actor Blanchett to international attention, starring alongside an experienced and impressive cast including Geoffrey Rush, Christopher Eccleston, Joseph Fiennes and Sir John Gielgud.

Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood. Photograph: Allstar

4 | Boyhood

An astonishing achievement, Richard Linklater’s epic Boyhood was 12 years in the making, but lost out on the 2014 best picture gong. The surprise winner, Birdman (Alejandro González Iñárritu) also won best director and best original screenplay (although lead actor Michael Keaton lost out on best actor to Eddie Redmayne, who won for The Theory of Everything). Patricia Arquette salvaged the day by winning best actress in a supporting role and giving a rousing speech calling for equal pay for women.

Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in the Shawshank Redemption. Photograph: Allstar

Joseph Fiennes and Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth 19985 | The Shawshank Redemption

Though everyone now loves this uplifting prison drama, it wasn’t a box-office hit at the time. Written and adapted from Stephen King’s short story by Frank Darabont, The Shawshank Redemption competed with Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction in 1994. Starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, it tells the story of a banker who is sentenced to life for the murder of his wife and her lover.

Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind. Photograph: Allstar/Universal Films

6 | A Beautiful Mind

Russell Crowe won wide acclaim for his depiction of the Princeton University mathematician John Nash’s struggle with paranoid schizophrenia, in this film released in 2001. The biographical drama won four awards, including best director for Ron Howard, but Crowe was pipped to the post as best actor by Denzel Washington for Training Day.

The poster for The Lego Movie. Photograph: Allstar/ Warner Bros

Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood7 | The Lego Movie

Suggested by johnny68, stevenjameshyde

The fourth-highest-grossing film of 2014 worldwide, The Lego Movie was inexplicably not even nominated for best animated feature, achieving just one nomination for best original song for its infectious anthem Everything is Awesome. The film, featuring the voices of Chris Pratt and Will Ferrell and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, was No 10 in the Guardian’s films of the year list, but the Oscar went to, directed by Dean DeBlois and produced by Bonnie Arnold – much to the outrage of Twitter.

Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino and Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. Photograph: Allstar/Warner Bros

8 | Goodfellas

Suggested by, starring Robert de Niro, lost out on best picture and best director awards to Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves.

Willard Pugh and Oprah Winfrey in The Color Purple. Photograph: Moviestore Collection/Rex Feat

9 | The Color Purple

The Color Purple, directed by Steven Spielberg, received 11 Oscar nominations in 1985 but failed to win a single one. Sydney Pollack’s Out of Africa won best picture, and Whoopi Goldberg, who played an African-American woman who survives abuse and bigotry growing up in the deep south, lost out to Geraldine Page for The Trip to Bountiful for best actress. Oprah Winfrey was also overlooked for best actress in a supporting role.

Colman Domingo, David Oyelowo, André Holland and Stephan James in Selma.

10 | Selma

Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in the Shawshank Redemption Russell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind Poster for The Lego Movie Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino and Joe Pesci in Goodfellas
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