In the 90 years of the Academy Awards, there have been countless Oscar upsets. With the next ceremony only a week away, it's a perfect time to take a look at some of the most shocking.
Today, Oscar pundits track the guild awards, the Golden Globes and the British Academy Film Awards to put together predictions before the ceremony even starts. Many of them can even guess winners for all 24 Oscar categories, and any time they get it wrong, it's a shocker.
This year, things are — for lack of a better term — crazy with no clear cut frontrunners. Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water and Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri are considered the top contenders for Best Picture. But McDonagh is missing a Best Director nomination, which was considered a major bellwether until Ben Affleck's Argo won the 2012 Best Picture Oscar without it. However, Jordan Peele's Get Out and Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird are still considered contenders.
The other nominees for Best Picture this year are Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Phantom Thread and The Post.
Here is a look back into Oscar history and 10 of the biggest Oscar upsets.
Although anyone who obsessively follows awards season knew Moonlight had a shot at beating La La Land last year, the fact that it actually did is still surprising.
La La Land was an overwhelming success, both financially and with critics. Plus, it fell in line with the Oscars' recent trend of showering movies about the entertainment industry with awards. So when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as the winner, it was not a surprise. Then of course, it turned out they had the wrong envelope and Barry Jenkins' Moonlight was revealed to be the true winner.
Marisa Tomei's win for Best Supporting Actress for My Cousin Vinny in 1993 was so shocking that an urban legend claims Jack Palance accidentally announced her as the winner. This was not true, and Tomei really did deserve the Oscar. Her competition that year included Judy Davis (Husbands and Wives) and Vanessa Redgrave (Howards End).
The 1951 Best Picture race featured two of the greatest dramas ever made in Hollywood — George Stevens' tragic A Place In The Sun and Elia Kazan's blistering film of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire. While Stevens won the Best Director Oscar and three acting Oscars went to Streetcar, Vincente Minnelli's An American In Paris won the award. Its star, Gene Kelly, even won a special achievement Oscar for his choreography for the musical, which brought George Gershwin's music to life.
It seems like when an Oscar race has two clear frontrunners, they split the vote and a third ends up surprising everyone. The 1981 Oscar went to Chariots of Fire, a film about Britain's 1924 Olympians. Today, it is best remembered for its Vangelis score — and that beat Reds and On Golden Pond for Best Picture. Even Raiders of the Lost Ark was up that year and lost.
After 50 years in Hollywood, Lauren Bacall was finally up for an Oscar thanks to Barbra Streisand's The Mirror Has Two Faces. She was expected to win the 1996 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, but voters stunned everyone by picking The English Patient's Juliette Binoche instead. Binoche certainly did not expect it.
Clint Eastwood's Million Dollar Baby was not released until December 2004. Before then, Martin Scorsese's The Aviator was expected to be the big winner at the Oscars. After all, Eastwood already had Best Picture and Director awards for Unforgiven and it was Scorsese's "turn." It did not happen that way though, and Million Dollar Baby won four awards that night, including Oscars for Hilary Swank and Morgan Freeman.
Hollywood's "golden year" is often considered 1939, and the Oscars for that year certainly reflect it. Gone With the Wind won Best Picture, and Vivien Leigh won Best Actress. Clark Gable gave the best performance of his career in the film, but he surprisingly lost to British actor Robert Donat. Donat played the titular schoolteacher in Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
The upset to end all upsets came at the 1999 Oscars. Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan was expected to give the director his second Best Picture win after Schindler's List, but then Shakespeare in Love took it home. The film also pulled off an upset in the Best Supporting Actress category, as Judi Dench won for playing Queen Elizabeth I, despite her lack of screen time.
The 1953 Oscars for films from 1952 is one the Academy should want to block out from their memories. That year, they chose the embarrassing and horrendous The Greatest Show On Earth for Best Picture instead of High Noon. Today, The Greatest Show is rightly considered one of the worst Best Picture winners. Its win is more of a lifetime achievement honor for Cecil B. DeMille. It's also worth noting that Singin' In The Rain, which is now considered the greatest American musical, was only nominated for two Oscars that year.
No list of Oscar upsets is complete without the 2005 Best Picture Oscar winner Crash. Paul Haggis' film about racial and social tension in Los Angeles remains a controversial winner, since it beat Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain. It also beat three other great movies — Steven Spielberg's Munich, Bennett Miller's Capote and George Clooney's Good Night, and Good Luck.