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Leonardo Di Caprio
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Most Oscar Nominations But No Wins – A List of Oscar Robberies

Paola_Bassanese_itcher_contributorOprah Winfrey and Leonardo di Caprio fans look away now! These two actors were robbed of an Oscar! And why was The Color Purple completely snubbed? ~ Paola Bassanese

Let’s look at most Oscar nominations but no wins.

It’s a daylight robbery! How come these wonderful films with most Oscar nominations but no wins?

Why didn’t The Color Purple Win Any Oscars?

The movie with most Oscar Nominations with no wins.

Oprah fans look away now: The Color Purple (1985) starring Oprah Winfrey was nominated for 11 Oscars but went home with none.

Oprah has only been nominated once for an Oscar in The Color Purple

Oprah has only been nominated once for an Oscar in The Color Purple and her name did not appear in the list of finalists at the 2014 Oscars.

She played Forest Whitaker‘s wife in The Butler (2013).

Speculation is rife.

Let’s look at these 11 nominations:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role – Whoopi Goldberg
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Margaret Avery
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Oprah Winfrey
  • Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
  • Best Cinematography – Allen Daviau
  • Best Art Direction – Set Decoration – J. Michael Riva, Bo Welch, Linda DeScenna
  • Best Costume Design – Aggie Guerard Rodgers
  • Best Makeup – Ken Chase
  • Best Music, Original Score
  • Best Original Song (“Miss Celie’s Blues (Sister)”)

Can you Spot Anything Else? What’s Wrong in this List?

There’s no nomination for best director – The Color Purple was directed by no other than Steven Spielberg, winner of two Oscars: one for  Schindler’s List (1993) and one for Saving Private Ryan (1998).

Let’s look at the potential reasons why this film and its director and actors were overlooked.

According to some sources, critics were trying to punish Spielberg because he was already enjoying tremendous popularity and great sales at the box office.

Critics were trying to punish Spielberg

Supposedly other directors were envious of Spielberg’s success and thought it appropriate to punish him for it.

The Color Purple was also a departure for Spielberg from “lighter” subjects – Jaws, Close Encounters of Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Oscar Nominated Movies that didn’t Win

Same fate applied to The Turning Point (1977) which, regardless of a stellar cast including  Shirley MacLaine (more on Shirley MacLaine in my articles on her spiritual movies and her  appearance in Jerry Lewis’ films), Anne Bancroft and Mikhail Baryshnikov, won none of the 11 Oscars it was nominated for.

Tree of Life (2012) was nominated for three Oscars but won none

Tree of Life (2012) with Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain was nominated for three Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography) but won none.

I must say, when I watched this film it left me cold so you either “get it” or you don’t.

I found the photography to be absolutely stunning, but I felt no emotional connection with any of the characters.

I was particularly sad not to see more of Sean Penn in the film; I could have happily cut the dinosaurs sequence from the film, thank you very much!

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) was nominated for seven awards but won zero

A movie that was seriously robbed is The Shawshank Redemption (1994). It was nominated for seven awards but won zero:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Sound
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Music, Original Score

Actors who Never Won an Oscar

Among the actors with most nominations but no wins there’s Glenn Close and Deborah Kerr.

Leonardo di Caprio still isn’t dusting his golden statuette on the mantelpiece

Surprisingly, Leonardo di Caprio still isn’t dusting his golden statuette on the mantelpiece: he was nominated as best actor in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013), in Blood Diamond (2006), in The Aviator (2004)  and supporting actor in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).

Other actors who never won an Oscar include Peter O’Toole and Cary Grant.

Who Deserves an Oscar in Your Opinion?

Which movie and which actor do you think were robbed of an Oscar?

I’d love to read those comments below!

I am Paola Bassanese, and I love twitter – I think in slogans! I am a contributing author at itcher mag covering mainly quirky movies that I like and that I hope you′ll like too. [n-e-x-t] I have written a few books including The Foraging Home Cook, and also write about health and lifestyle for the Huffington Post. I consider myself to be a Londoner even though I was born in Italy. I love 80s music and foreign language films, but I also enjoy going to the opera and ballet.
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