11 Terrible Movies That Somehow Managed To Get Oscar Nominations

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Real Housewives of New Jersey Are You Kidding Me


Oscars season is all about recognizing extraordinary achievements of actors and directors, as well as all of the behind-the-scenes people who get zero attention every other time of the year. Also, it's sometimes about how fab or gross everyone looks on the red carpet, and it's usually about being freaking outraged. Do you know how you're supposed to respond to unexpected wins? Anger. Nomination snubs? Rage, of course. But, if you'll give me permission to speak for you for a sec, we don't spend enough time being shocked at actual Oscar nominations. The win before the win, if you will.

Because, it's like, even if a really undeserving movie doesn't get to have its name screwed up by the person presenting the award, it was still really close. Some might say too close, I would say dangerously close. Because, even though they don't get to brag about being Oscar-winning movies in obnoxious gold ribbon on their Blu-Ray disc cases, they can still say the second-best thing, which is “Oscar-nominated.” So, while I'm glad that in all of these cases, none of these horrible movies ended up winning the Academy Award, let us still point out how shockingly close they came to doing so. After all, if you don't learn about the past, it's doomed to repeat itself. And we can't have any movies like these up for any more Oscars, okay??

1. Avatar (2009)

Nominated For: Best Picture

It looked nice enough to fool my brain into thinking that it was a 3-D movie minus the headache that usually comes with an actual 3-D movie. But past that, the storyline wasn't very good and certainly wasn't worth anyone's Best Picture award, let alone the Academy's.

2. Borat (2006)

Nominated For: Best Adapted Screenplay

I feel safe in saying that this is one of the most annoying movies ever. It also doesn't feel too much like any kind of planning went on outside of, “let's get this person to say something really stupid on camera” so I'm double shocked that there was even a screenplay involved.

3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Nominated For: Best Picture

No matter how many points for originality I give this movie, they're all immediately taken away when I consider the irony that the movie's message is that you should cherish every moment in your life — but then proceeds to waste many of my own hours.

4. Chocolat (2000)

Nominated For: Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay

Here's the thing: this movie would be cool for a Netflix-and-Cheez-Its night in, but very bad for an Academy Award sort of night. It's an insanely subtle difference, I know.

5. The Godfather, Part III (1990)

Nominated For: Best Picture

Here we have a beautiful fantastic amazing example of why you should leave well alone. And what I mean by that saying that my grandma says a whole lot is that this is one of those things that we could've done completely without. Sort of like season 4 of Arrested Development, but that's a sensitive topic so we don't talk about that.

6. Babel (2006)

Nominated For: Best Picture

I could argue that this story had no purpose, but that isn't true. It just can't make me care about that purpose because the story is just so bad.

7. The Crucible (1996)

Nominated For: Best Adapted Screenplay

I know, we've all half-fallen asleep to this movie in our high school English classes. But someone out there was about to give this over-acting a whole Oscar for adapting a play into a screenplay. I'm sure it didn't take long at all, considering all they had to do was open the book and start rolling the cameras.

8. Bad Grandpa (2013)

Nominated For: Best Makeup and Hairstyling

While I'll admit that Johnny Knoxville was very convincing as an old man, I still can't get past the fact that his name is on a list of Oscar nominees. #NoOffenseToBenAffleckJohnnyKnoxville

9. Pirates (1986)

Nominated For: Best Costume Design

If you've seen this movie, you totally understand why it was such a box office f-l-o-p. And, if you haven't, you can still save yourself by continuing to avoid it.

10. Norbit (2007)

Nominated For: Best Achievement in Makeup

Are you freaking kidding me. I think we can all agree that this movie was an embarrassment (to everyone, not even just to those who were involved in making it). But in case you're about to say, “but the makeup — you gotta love the makeup,” don't. Because if you say that then you're going to have to be willing to support Eddie's racist yellowface in the movie.

11. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Nominated For: Best Sound Mixing

What's the opposite of a critical darling? Maybe something like critical Cinderella-before-meeting-her-Fairy-Godmother? I don't know, I'm still working through it. But what I'm 100% positive of is the fact that it's so bad that, despite its per-second explosion ratio, I still managed to fall asleep during it.