The Academy Awards are the biggest recognition a western movie can get. The best movies of the year compete for the golden Oscar. Receiving a nomination is an honor but winning means everything.
The success of a movie can be measured on the nominations they receive, the box office and the cultural impact they have. You know a movie is good when people talk about years later. Those movies become references for future filmmakers. Students are often referred to those pieces to get inspiration.
One interesting fact, not all those movies make good money or receive awards. A movie can become a pop culture icon and yet fail the box office. It happened often before the internet, now people can share information about movies faster.
It is the dichotomy of the cinema. A movie can be changing the world and yet go unrecognized by the institutions. Here are 5 clear examples.
- Léon (1994)
Léon introduced Natalie Portman to the world. This movie that follows an orphan and an assassin became a reference for odd-pairings. This element is used frequently, a recent example would be Eleven and Chief Hopper from Netflix’s hit show, Stranger Things.
The movie stays relevant to this day. The performance from Gary Oldman was outstanding and yet he was not nominated. Léon did not receive a single nomination from the Academy Awards.
- Psycho (1960)
Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense. When we think of his work, Psycho is the first title that comes to our mind. This movie innovated not only the suspense genre but the entire industry. Even if a person did not watch the movie, they can recognize the scene in the shower and the music.
This iconic piece of art did receive four Oscar nominations, including best actress and best director. In the end, Psycho could not take any awards.
- The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo Di Caprio, The Wolf of Wall Street was one of the most popular movies of 2013. The movie had stellar performances by Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie. Overall, this movie was a masterclass on acting and filmmaking.
The critics were sure this movie would earn Di Caprio his first Oscar. Everything was going well, the movie received the nominations and then, Matthew McConaughey won. Out of the five nominations, The Wolf of Wall Street did not get any award.
- Fight Club (1999)
Only a few movies achieve the relevance and popularity of Fight Club. Starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, this masterpiece was directed by David Fincher. The rules of the Fight Club became common knowledge and a reference for movies on the genre.
Despite the success and impact on the pop culture, Fight Club only received an Oscar nomination. The movie was eligible for a technical award and nothing else. Fincher could not get that single award to everyone’s surprise.
- Taxi Driver (1976)
Young Robert De Niro was a force to be reckoned. He took part in some of the best movies of the 70s and 80s. His performances from those decades are the inspiration for many young actors. Taxi Driver was one of those career-changing movies.
The movie stays relevant to this day but when it premiered, it did not have the recognition the studio wanted. It received four nominations, including best actor, best supporting actress, and best movie. The movie struggled to get awards in America but that was not the case in Europe.
Jodie Foster won two BAFTA and the movie receive the Palm d’Or in Cannes.