We Take A Look At The Biggest Oscar Upsets Over The Years
We here at Contactmusic.com really hope there's a massive upset at the Oscars on Sunday (February 24, 2013), for no other reason than it's fun to watch the actor who should have won sink into their chair and try and look happy for the surprise recipient, who is dancing in the aisle somewhere. Sometimes, you can pin-point the exact moment when the realisation of absolute failure kicks in. "I lost. I actually lost. I didn't win. Someone else won. I didn't win. I do not need to stand up."
Ok, so it looks unlikely that the 85th Academy Awards will throw up TOO many huge shocks, though should Daniel Day-Lewis miss out on Best Actor, that would certainly represent one of the biggest surprises in Oscar history. Then again, Tom Hanks was nailed on for Saving Private Ryan, and looked what happened there. We thought we'd take a look back at five unbelievable results at the Academy Awards, proving it's not always a done deal.
James Coburn Beats Ed Harris (Academy Awards, 1999)
HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN? It was written right across Ed Harris' face after he somehow lost out on the Best Supporting Actor gong to James Coburn in 1999. It was a biggest enough surprise when Coburn was NOMINATED for the Oscar, let alone winning the damn thing. Ed was considered the massive favourite to win for a flawless performance in The Truman Show, though it wasn't to be. Fellow nominees Billy Bob Thornton, Robert Duvall and Geoffrey Rush looked equally stunned at the result.
HOW THE HELL DID THIS HAPPEN? Again, written all over Vanessa Redgrave's face. In perhaps the biggest Oscars shock of all time, Brooklynite Marisa Tomei beat Redgrave, Judy Davis, Miranda Richardson and Joan Plowright to the award for Best Actress, despite being the massive outsider of the group heading into the ceremony. Her only other award for the performance was a lonely 'Most Promising Female' gong from the Chicago Film Critics, with rumors quickly emerging that presenter Jack Palance had actually read the wrong name. As such, Vanessa Redgrave's performance in Howard's End goes down as one of the truly great turns to never be rewarded with a golden statuette.
Juliette Binoche Beats Lauren Bacall (Academy Awards, 1997)
HOW THE HELL? Ok, we won't do it again, if only because it simply doesn't capture the amount of sheer anger across Lauren Bacall's face after she was beaten to the Best Actress award in 1997 by The English Patient's Juliette Binoche. Bacall was all set to win her first Oscar for The Mirror Has Two Faces, she'd done her hair, everyone said she was going to win, she had to win - she was DEFINITELY going to win. And then she didn't. Her reaction to Binoche's name being read out is one of those all-time classic Oscars moments. Years later, she blamed her loss on good old Harvey Weinstein, claiming his campaign for The English Patient was too powerful. We're hoping for something similar on Sunday.
Yep, he beat everyone, somehow. Jack Nicholson was well and truly robbed of the Oscar for Best Actor in 2002, for his stunning turn in About Schmidt. It's ridiculous that he didn't win, though it's also ridiculous that neither Day-Lewis, Cage or even Caine won before ADRIEN BRODY. We didn't need any body language experts to get to the bottom of what Jack was thinking, mouthing the word "WOW!" Brody's reaction said it all, he danced his way to the stage before kissing Halle Berry. Since then, he's been in some awful, awful films.
Roberto Benigni Beats Tom Hanks and Nick Nolte (Academy Awards, 1997)
In perhaps the biggest shock in Oscars history, Italian actor Robert Benigni won Best Actor in 1997 for Life is Beautiful. OK, so the movie's pretty good, but just look at the competition he had! Nick Nolte turned in arguably the finest performance of his career in Affliction, as did Edward Norton for American History X. We had stalwart Ian McKellen in there too, for Gods and Monsters, but we had TOM HANKS for SAVING PRIVATE RYAN as well. Tom Hanks playing an army officer in a World War II flick directed by Steven Spielberg, how the hell did he not win? We give up.