It's 2012, almost 2013, and the Academy Awards are still seen as the landmark ceremony in film. The fact is, Oscar long ago lost his relevance. The Academy is a congregation of elitism, looking to celebrate the movies that champion Hollywood and diverting from any work that may sway from contemporary. The Academy have always been a bit out of touch with most - by my count the last deserving Best Picture winner was in 1974 with The Godfather Part II - and every year the Academy seem to upset everybody from esteemed film critics to the casual film fan with their baffling selections. Ironically, the Academy always tries their utmost best to avoid controversy. From their bland hosts to nominations, the Academy just want to show to go smoothly, whilst they revel in self-congratulatory toasts and smile smugly for the cameras. From Vanessa Redgrave's anti-Zionist ramblings to Marlon Brando's "acceptance speech", the ceremony has always had a flair for controversy and that's without getting to the nominations. Everybody has a different opinion on what the best film was in that particular year. Some people preferred The Social Network over The King's Speech and vice versa, but there has been just so many times where the Academy just screwed up. Imagine a year where Slumdog Millionaire, Driving Miss Daisy or Dances With Wolves were actually the best of what film had to offer. It just doesn't bare thinking about.
10. Marisa TomeiMarisa Tomei, in 2012, is a very respected actress who has appeared in such things like Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, The Wrestler, In the Bedroom and The Lincoln Lawyer, but in 1992 she was an unknown commodity who somehow beat Judy Davis, Vanessa Redgrave, Miranda Richardson and Joan Plowright to the Best Supporting Actress award. She was really astonishing in My Cousin Vinny, but actresses like this, in films like that aren't *supposed* to win Oscar's. For my money, the Academy got this one just about right as Tomei is brilliantly wise-cracking as Joe Pesci's girlfriend. She offered a different variety to the other nominees - all highly distinguished stage actresses from Britain - and that probably won her the award, as the other four nominees split votes across the voting members. The controversy over Tomei's win stinks of Hollywood elitism as Brooklyn girls in comedies don't win awards. Tomei is a delight in My Cousin Vinny, as she is in most things, no matter what the pompous detractors say.