5. Shakespeare in Love
Evil genius, Harvey Weinstein's crowning sucess. And the definite proof that Academy voters were drinking something dodgy in 1999 because they literally got nothing right. Shakespeare in Love is a joyous comedy-drama but that is simply all it is. Weinstein's promotional blitzkrieg somehow coaxed the Academy to award SEVEN awards to the film over much more deserving winners such as The Thin Red Line, Affliction, American History X and Out of Sight. Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan was the clear favourite that year, and whilst it is vastly overrated, the decision to overlook it for Shakespeare in Love still has most critics befuddled. 1998 was hardly a vintage year for film, but the adoration Shakespeare in Love received was ludicrous. It's a charming comedy-drama, with decent performances from the likes of Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush and Colin Firth and visually it is beautiful but it has neither the sparkle or edge like other critically adored comedy-dramas such as Up in the Air, Juno or Silver Linings Playbook. Harvey Weinstein bullied his way into Academy members' minds and wouldn't leave and the result was Shakespeare in Love getting named the best film of 1998. And they wonder why Terrence Malick didn't make a film for twenty years.