Anna Gragert
February 27, 2016 12:40 am
Kennedy Miller Productions

This coming Sunday, the masters of cinema will gather together to celebrate the phenomenal works we’ve admired on the silver screen this past year. Yet, only one can take home the shiny Oscar for Best Picture.

Since 1929, this super special Academy Award has been bestowed upon the crème de la crème of movies. It represents the finest directing, acting, music composing, writing, editing, and basically everything else you see when the credits roll. However… throughout the years, there have been some… unconventional nominees.

Let’s put on our movie critic caps and take a look at these unorthodox Oscar picks.

1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

MGM / Giphy

When we think of Oscar-nominated movies, the phrase “family-friendly” doesn’t come to mind. Yet, The Wizard of Oz made the cut as the very first children’s film to ever be selected (even though the flying monkeys are downright terrifying).

2. Dr. Dolittle (1967)

APJAC Productions

In addition to receiving terrible reviews, this film was dubbed a massive critical and commercial failure. It’s also said to have ended Rex Harrison’s career as a leading man.

3. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Jerome Hellman Productions / Giphy

When this movie was nominated, it was the first (and only!) X-rated film to actually win Best Picture. (I guess we’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.)

4. The Godfather Part II (1974)

Paramount Pictures / Giphy

As we all know, the sequel is almost always never better than the original, which is why it’s surprising to see a “Part II” on an Oscars list. Yet, this movie defied all odds, took home the statue, and gave hope to sequels everywhere!

5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Strong Heart/Demme Production / Giphy

This work of terror broke records when it became the first horror film to win Best Picture. To this day, it’s the only one in its genre to do so. What do you have to say to that, Clarice?

6. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Walt Disney Pictures / Giphy

Sadly, it’s not often that you see a Disney film on the Best Picture nominee list. That would explain why, as late as 1991, Beauty and the Beast became the first full-length, animated feature film – in the history of cinema – to be nominated in this category.

7. Babe (1995)

Kennedy Miller Productions / Giphy

While we love Babe, we have to admit that a Best Picture movie poster doesn’t typically feature a talking pig. (Though it would be cool to see Babe accept the award – we have a feeling he’d give a super inspirational speech.)

8. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)

New Line Cinema / Giphy

We normally don’t see big-budget blockbusters taking home the gold at the Oscars. Plus, this movie was the first/only fantasy film to win since Day 1 of the Oscars. Yay for imagination!

9. District 9 (2009)

TriStar Pictures / Giphy

What do you call a movie filled with aliens and lasers and sci-fi action galore? Not your average Oscar fave.

10. Toy Story 3 (2010)

Walt Disney Pictures / Giphy

The original Toy Story: no nominations. Toy Story 2: no nominations.

Toy Story 3: “We changed our minds!” – the Academy

11. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

If you think that Toy Story 3 is exceptional for having no prior nominations, just take a look at one of this year’s nominees: Mad Max: Fury Road. This picture (a 4th installment) represents the first of its kind to be nominated in this group. Plus, none of the films that came before it were nominated.

12. The Artist (2011)

Studio 37 / Giphy

This silent, black-and-white film won in 2011, proving that you don’t need CGI and special effects to make a 21st-century masterpiece.

13. Birdman (2014)

New Regency Pictures / Giphy

Comedies aren’t a shoo-in for Best Picture – especially if we’re talking about a dark, surreal, meta comedy.

Unconventional Oscar nominees, we love you, not in spite of your weirdness, but BECAUSE of it. Smooches from all of us weirdos out there.

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