12 Actors Who Won Oscars For Completely The Wrong Role

But a wins a win right?

Al Pacino Dog Day Afternoon
Warner Bros.

The Academy get things wrong all the time. Seriously, there isn't a year goes by where the Oscars aren't blighted by some catastrophic faux pas or other that turns the Internet against them precisely up to the point of the ceremony itself when everyone just tunes in anyway.

But spare a thought for the mistakes nobody is actually allowed to complain about when they happen to them. No actor could win an Oscar and grumble that they deserved it more elsewhere, because they'd look both ungrateful and discourteous. And not to mention arrogant beyond belief.

Sure, they won anyway, but it always slightly detracts from the victory when the acknowledgement comes for the wrong thing. And even if it is the absolute pinnacle of first world problems, the fact that history records their genius for entirely the wrong achievements - in some cases over films they somehow weren't even nominated for - is a source of eternal frustration...

12. Morgan Freeman

Al Pacino Dog Day Afternoon
New Line Cinema

Won For... Million Dollar Baby

Should Have Won For... Seven

A lot of people will say that Morgan Freeman deserved an Oscar for his work in Shawshank Redemption, but his turn as Red isn't as good as his performance in Seven in the face of far less charitable material. Red deserves to be remembered fondly, undoubtedly, but its genius comes down to a final voice-over and his baffling parole scene and it isn't as well-rounded or as subtly brilliant as his work next to Brad Pitt.

Both of those roles are arguably more deserving than what he actually won for; the excellent, but not superior Million Dollar Baby, which saw him win a fairly poor Supporting Actor category. Thomas Haden-Church could have won, but Freeman seems to have because of a lack of real competition thanks to the Academy erroneously ignoring Gary Oldman in Harry Potter, Alfred Molina in Spider-Man 2 and Adrian Brody in The Village.

He's good in Million Dollar Baby, of course, but in Seven his performance runs deeper, with a complexity that balances Pitt's passion and Kevin Spacey's coldness, and he is the true anchor of the film.

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