The Most Beloved Nominees for Best Picture That Didn’t Win an Oscar

The Most Beloved Nominees for Best Picture That Didn’t Win an Oscar

The Shawshank Redemption

This critically acclaimed drama is considered to be one of the best films of all time. Adapted from a wonderfully insightful Stephen King story, The Shawshank Redemption profoundly embraces and explores many themes such as friendship, guilt, and determination. Supported by fantastic acting from Morgan Freeman as Red and Tim Robbins as Andy Dufresne, this film follows the endeavors of a man wrongfully accused to life in prison. With all these classic cinematic elements, The Shawshank Redemption was a fan favorite from day one yet the Oscar for Best Picture ended up going to Forrest Gump.

The Graduate

This Dustin Hoffman classic was nominated for an oscar for best picture in 1968 but it lost to In the Heat of the Night. Despite its loss it is still frequently used for film classes and it has a deeper cultural impact. The soundtrack for The Graduate was also legendary with Simon and Garfunkel writing songs for the movie that went on to be a huge hit.

Pulp Fiction

The film Pulp Fiction was written by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avery and this movie redefined the way we look at the genre Film Noir. With a non linear timeline this movie is an exciting change of pace for the genre itself. It lost to Forrest Gump.


The stigma surrounding animated film can often be overwhelming. Animated movies often receive more criticism than they deserve and can be accused of lacking real human depth. However, the absence of actual human models does not take away from the mastery of film and Up proves this idea with elegance. Although it contains classic Disney movie elements and plot points, Up tells the unique fantasy story of an elderly man who sets out to accomplish his childhood dream in order to fill a certain void in his life. The real quality of this film can be attributed to the vivid and fluid animations which enhance the storyline and the fantastic dialogue between two main unique protagonists, allowing the film to be enjoyable by old and young alike. In 2009, the Oscar for Best Picture was awarded to The Hurt Locker.

Saving Private Ryan

Many people think of Saving Private Ryan as a best picture winner, but unfortunately this movie did not win this coveted award. Still considered a classic today, it lost out to a movie called Shakespeare in Love which was considered mediocre by film critics. Many people are surprised to know that such a classic movie lost out to a movie that failed to stand the test of time.


This Coen brothers classic lost out the movie The English Patient in the 1997 Oscars for best picture. This crime drama starred William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi. It did win the Oscar for best original screenplay and the best actress in 1997, but it failed to snag the best picture award.