20 Undeserved Oscar Wins of the Last 20 Years

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Sandra Bullock
Actress, Gravity
Sandra Annette Bullock was born in Arlington, a Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. Her mother, Helga Bullock (née Helga Mathilde Meyer), was a German opera singer. Her father, John W. Bullock, was an American voice teacher, who was born in Alabama, of Irish, English, French, and German descent. Sandra grew up on the road with her parents and younger sister...
“ Won 2010 for The Blind Side with a non-descript performance in an awful feelgood movie. All the other contenders were better, especially Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia who gave a masterclass in acting. ” - Tudorista
Penélope Cruz
Known outside her native country as the "Spanish enchantress", Penélope Cruz Sánchez was born in Madrid to Eduardo Cruz, a retailer, and Encarna Sánchez, a hairdresser. As a toddler, she was already a compulsive performer, re-enacting TV commercials for her family's amusement, but she decided to focus her energies on dance...
“ Won 2009 for Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Played a yelling Spanish. Yelled a lot. Did nothing else. Viola Davis showed an unforgettable acting stunt in Doubt. Lost. ” - Tudorista
“ Won 2008 with his brother for directing No Country for Old Man, an overlong wannabe-Western. Paul Thomas Anderson lost for There Will Be Blood. Watch the scene with the exploding oil field. That's called directing ” - Tudorista
Martin Scorsese
Martin Charles Scorsese was born on November 17, 1942 in Queens, New York City, to Catherine Scorsese (née Cappa) and Charles Scorsese, who both worked in Manhattan's garment district, and whose families both came from Palermo, Sicily. He was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy, which later provided the inspiration for several of his films...
“ He was robbed for Taxi Driver, robbed for Raging Bull, robbed for GoodFellas. Won 2007 for one of his weakest films, The Departed. All the other contenders were robbed. ” - Tudorista
Paul Haggis
Writer, Crash
Paul Haggis is the award-winning filmmaker who, in 2006, became the first screenwriter to write two Best Film Oscar winners back-to-back - Million Dollar Baby directed by Clint Eastwood, and Crash which he himself directed. For Crash, he won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay...
“ Crash won the Best Film Oscar in 2006. Wasn't the best film this year. The best film was Steven Spielberg's Munich. ” - Tudorista
Morgan Freeman
With an authoritative voice and calm demeanor, this ever popular American actor has grown into one of the most respected figures in modern US cinema. Morgan was born on June 1, 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee, to Mayme Edna (Revere), a teacher, and Morgan Porterfield Freeman, a barber. The young Freeman...
“ Freeman won in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby for a performance not better or worse than all his performances in the last twenty years. Thomas Haden Church gave a once-in-a-lifetime performance in Sideways. ” - Tudorista
Peter Jackson
Peter Jackson was born as an only child in a small coast-side town in New Zealand in 1961. When a friend of his parents bought him a super 8 movie camera (because she saw how much he enjoyed taking photos), the then eight-year-old Peter instantly grabbed the thing to start recording his own movies, which he made with his friends...
“ In 2004 his overloooooong and overrated The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won every Oscar it was nominated for. Including Best Picture. But the best picture was Lost in Translation. It is art, not bathos. ” - Tudorista
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Actress, Chicago
Catherine Zeta-Jones was born September 25, 1969 in Swansea, West Glamorgan, Wales, UK. She is the daughter of Patricia (Fair) and David James "Dai" Jones, who formerly owned a candy factory. Her father is of Welsh descent and her mother is of English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry. Her brothers are David Jones (born 1967)...
“ Won 2003 for being Michael Douglas' wife, no, for Chicago. Julianne Moore, one of the best actresses in American cinema, lost for The Hours. The Oscars are a farce. ” - Tudorista
Jennifer Connelly
Jennifer Connelly was born in the Catskill Mountains, New York, to Ilene (Schuman), a dealer of antiques, and Gerard Connelly, a clothing manufacturer. Her father had Irish and Norwegian ancestry, and her mother was from a Jewish immigrant family. Jennifer grew up in Brooklyn Heights, just across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan...
“ She won in 2002 for suffering and weeping and collapsing and suffering and screaming and suffering in A Beautiful Mind. Helen Mirren, stoically and steelily suffering in Gosford Park, lost. ” - Tudorista
Ang Lee
Director, Life of Pi
Born in 1954 in Pingtung, Taiwan, Ang Lee has become one of today's greatest contemporary filmmakers. Ang graduated from the National Taiwan College of Arts in 1975 and then came to the U.S. to receive a B.F.A. Degree in Theatre/Theater Direction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Masters Degree in Film Production at New York University...
“ Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, a martial arts movie with no significance except being a martial arts movie, won for Best Foreign Film in 2001. Amores perros, a disturbing masterpiece, lost. ” - Tudorista
Phil Collins
Music Department, Tarzan
Phil Collins was born in Chiswick, London, England, to Winifred (Strange), a theatrical agent, Greville Philip Austin Collins, an insurance agent. He spent most of his early entertainment life as a young actor and model. He played the "Artful Dodger" in the West End production of "Oliver!" alongside the future movie screen "Artful Dodger," Jack Wild...
“ Won for a sentimental piece of schmaltz ("You'll Be in My Heart) Best Original Song in 2000. Hollywood loves the pop stars. It hates real artist, though: Aimee Mann lost for "Save Me". ” - Tudorista
“ Hollywood went crazy in 1999: A clown won Best Actor. Maybe a funny clown but after all only a clown. A giant like Ian McKellen lost (for Gods and Monsters). ” - Tudorista
Kim Basinger
Kim Basinger was born December 8, 1953, in Athens, Georgia, the third of five children of Ann Lee (Cordell) and Donald Wade Basinger, a loan manager. Both her parents had been in entertainment; her father played big-band jazz, and her mother performed water ballet in several Esther Williams movies and modeled...
“ Play a pretty boring whore (in L.A. Confidential) and you win the Oscar 1998. Play a porn star (in Boogie Nights) and be absolutely breathtaking and briliant (like Julianne Moore) and lose. ” - Tudorista
Cuba Gooding Jr.
Cuba Gooding Jr. was born on January 2, 1968, in The Bronx, New York. His mother, Shirley (Sullivan), was a backup singer for The Sweethearts. His father, Cuba Gooding, was the lead vocalist for the R&B group The Main Ingredient, which had a hit with the song "Everybody Plays The Fool". His paternal grandfather was from Barbados...
“ Be black and play a funny black guy, that's Oscar fodder. Thus in 1997 Cuba Gooding Jr. won for Jerry Maguire. William H. Macy lost for Fargo. ” - Tudorista
Mel Gibson
Actor, Braveheart
Mel Columcille Gerard Gibson was born January 3, 1956 in Peekskill, New York, USA, as the sixth of eleven children of Hutton Gibson, a railroad brakeman, and Anne Patricia (Reilly) Gibson (who died in December of 1990). His mother was Irish, from County Longford, while his American-born father is of mostly Irish descent...
“ Since the actors are the majority of voters in the Academy actors/directors are a sure bet to win. Gibson did so in 1996 for his boring Braveheart. All the other contenders were much better (especially Mike Figgis for Leaving Las Vegas). ” - Tudorista
Tom Hanks
Thomas Jeffrey Hanks was born in Concord, California, to Janet Marylyn (Frager), a hospital worker, and Amos Mefford Hanks, an interant cook. His father had English and some German, ancestry, while his mother's family, originally surnamed "Fraga", was entirely Portuguese. Tom grew up in what he has called a "fractured" family...
“ Hanks plays an idiot in Forrest Gump, a film so reactionary it makes Fox News look progressive. Hanks wins in 1995. Travolta and Newman learned their lesson well this year. ” - Tudorista
Tommy Lee Jones
Tommy Lee Jones was born in San Saba, Texas, the son of Lucille Marie (Scott), a police officer and beauty shop owner, and Clyde C. Jones, who worked on oil fields. Tommy himself worked in underwater construction and on an oil rig. He attended St. Mark's School of Texas, a prestigious prep school for boys in Dallas...
“ Jones is a fine actor. He's fine in The Fugitive. But why didn't Ralph Fiennes win in 1994 for a performance (in Schindler's List) that makes your blood freeze? ” - Tudorista
Al Pacino
One of the greatest actors in all of film history, Al Pacino established himself during one of film's greatest decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies. Alfredo James Pacino was born on April 25, 1940, in the Bronx, New York, to an Italian-American family...
“ Al Pacino got his holdover Oscar finally in 1993 for Scent of a Woman. He was much much much better in mostly all the films he was nominated for but didn't win. Stephen Rea should have won this year for The Crying Game. ” - Tudorista
Jack Palance
Actor, Batman
Jack Palance exemplified evil incarnate on film -- portraying some of the most intensely despised villains witnessed in 50s westerns and melodrama. He received two Best Supporting Actor nominations early in his career, but it would take a grizzled, eccentric comic performance 40 years later for him to finally grab the coveted statuette...
“ Be afraid when the Academy nominates a veteran actor for a minor performance. They win. In 1992 Jack Palance for City Slickers. Better than Lerner, Keitel, Kingsley and Jones? ” - Tudorista
Kevin Costner
Kevin Michael Costner was born on January 18, 1955 in Lynwood, California, the third child of Bill Costner, a ditch digger and ultimately an electric line servicer for Southern California Edison, and Sharon Costner (née Tedrick), a welfare worker. His older brother, Dan, was born in 1950. A middle brother died at birth in 1953...
“ Dances with Wolves is a fine film, a moving film, maybe a great film. But Scorsese Goodfellas is a great film. Period. Costner won Best Director in 1991. ” - Tudorista