Every year when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science announces their nominations for best picture, Oscar pundits and film critics inevitably cry foul over confounding inclusions and baffling exclusions. The academy is often criticized for their preference for dramas over comedies, as well as genre bias against horror, sci-fi and foreign films. In 2009, the academy expanded its best picture category to include up to 10 films instead of only five – similar to the academy's earlier days. Many thought it would help broaden the range of films vying for the prestigious award. But despite the wider nomination field, many films still miss out on a nomination. Here are some of the worst Oscar snubs for best picture since 2000.
73rd Academy Awards (March 25, 2001)
74th Academy Awards (March 24, 2002)
75th Academy Awards (March 23, 2003)
No nomination for... Far From Heaven
76th Academy Awards (Feb. 29, 2004)
77th Academy Awards (Feb. 27, 2005)
78th Academy Awards (March 5, 2006)
79th Academy Awards (Feb. 25, 2007)
80th Academy Awards (Feb. 24, 2008)
No nomination for... Zodiac or Ratatouille – though Ratatouille's snub arguably jumpstarted discussion on why animated films, particularly from Pixar, were getting passed over for best picture, despite their immense critical acclaim and box office draw. At the time, the only animated film to ever have been nominated for best picture was Beauty and the Beast, at the 64th Academy Awards in 1991. Ratatouille would go on to win the Oscar for best animated feature.
Best picture: No Country For Old Men, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
81st Academy Awards (Feb. 22, 2009)
No nomination for... The Wrestler, The Dark Knight or WALL-E – the outcry over the latter two films not getting nominated, especially when the critically divisive The Reader did, was arguably the catalyst that led to the academy expanding the number of best picture nominees. WALL-E would go on to win best animated feature.
Best picture: Slumdog Millionaire, directed by Danny Boyle
82nd Academy Awards (March 7, 2010) – the first ceremony after the expansion of the best picture category
The 10 nominated films were diverse and mostly fair from a critical standpoint, but there were supporters of more interesting projects like Where The Wild Things and Fantastic Mr. Fox getting nominated for best picture in lieu of middling fare like The Blind Side.