25 Astonishingly Dumb 21st Century Film Oscar Wins

Damn it, Academy!

Catherine Zeta-Jones Chicago 2002

If there's one thing the Oscars are known for more than anything else, it's bad decisions. You know, those wins that make viewers yell "What drugs were voters on?!" at the screen.

There are so, so many of those throughout the history of the Oscars, but some of the worst examples from the 20th century include:

- The repeated snubbing of Hitchcock, Scorsese, Kubrick. and so many other great directors.

- Art Carney and Roberto Benigni's Best Actor wins.

- Gwyneth Paltrow winning Best Actress.

- Tommy Lee Jones beating Ralph Fiennes to Best Supporting Actor and... well, at least half of those Best Picture winners didn't deserve it, let's be honest!

Even though the Oscars have been getting better and rewarding more interesting movies throughout the past two decades, there are still terrible decisions year in, year out.

So, what are some of the worst Oscar wins of the 21st century? Well, there are quite a few to choose from but these following 25 cases really linger in the memory, and if you don't follow the Oscars, make sure to sit down. Some of these will genuinely leave you speechless...

25. 2012: Hugo Wins Best Cinematography

Catherine Zeta-Jones Chicago 2002

Beat: The Artist, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Tree of Life and War Horse.

Should've Won: The Tree of Life.

This is a strange case. Hugo is a very good movie and it's absolutely gorgeous on a visual level, so normally it winning Best Cinematography wouldn't have been a problem at all. Normally.

But, in this case it was up against one of the most visually stunning movies of all time: The Tree of Life, shot by Emmanuel Lubezki, who's a contender for the best cinematographer working today.

The Tree of Life might be an insufferable exercise in self-indulgence, but that cinematography is among the best of all time and deserved the Oscar regardless of the quality of the rest of the movie.

It's odd really; The Tree of Life really over-performed at the Oscars but didn't get the only award it actually deserved.


Film Studies graduate, aspiring screenwriter and all-around nerd who, despite being a pretentious cinephile who loves art-house movies, also loves modern blockbusters and would rather watch superhero movies than classic Hollywood films. Once met Tommy Wiseau.