The Oscars have come in for their fair share of criticism over the years. While the golden statuette is regarded by many as the crown jewel of dramatic recognition, a host of accusations have been levied at the Academy over the years.
Be it allegations of bias and a lack of diversity or criticism arguing that the whole experience is no more than a publicity stunt for the films being released in the midst of the so called "Oscar season", the awards have become a hotbed of controversy.
The production value and prestige of the Oscars has also suffered over the years as the actual award winner seems to take a back seat in terms of public interest.
The Oscars' most recent newsworthy events have included the award for Best Picture being given to the wrong crew, John Travolta comically failing to pronounce Idina Menzel's name correctly, and of course, Will Smith attempting to decapitate Chris Rock with a slap. Hardly the vibe you want associated with the world's most prestigious acting honors.
In an appalling addition to their aforementioned shortcomings, the Academy has badly bungled several nominations, denying these films the recognition they deserved.
10. 2012: Zero Dark Thirty
The fact that Argo beat Zero Dark Thirty to the 2012 Oscar for Best Picture is utterly baffling when one considers that Kathryn Bigelow's thrilling espionage masterpiece detailing the search for Osama Bin Laden is quite simply superior to Argo in every regard.
While Argo is undoubtedly a strong film, the visceral telling of the story of the painstaking hunt for the most notorious terrorist in history blows it out of the water with the force of a humpback whale swatting an inflatable dinghy.
Zero Dark Thirty is a ridiculously thought provoking picture. Audiences are left genuinely unsure as to whether the moral victory of hunting down such a monster was justified by the barbaric torture methods used to obtain information leading to his death.
The quietly stoic Jessica Chastain is absolutely riveting in the lead role, owning every dread soaked scene while making the audience feel every ounce of raw emotion involved in her soul destroying assignment. Spearheaded by Kathryn Bigelow's peerless direction, Zero Dark Thirty conveys the unspeakably dark side of war, and the moral and ethical sacrifices that occur in the debatable furtherance of good.
While Argo is also a true story, it comes nowhere near the philosophical impact and internal debate that Zero Dark Thirty evokes within viewers. A truly superfluous piece of filmmaking, and one of the most egregious failures from the Academy to rightly recognize the greatest film of the year.