There was a lot of talk this year about how the increasingly inclusive membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is producing more progressive selections. But that wasn't reflected by the choice of "Green Book" for best picture, which is sure to go down as one of the worst Oscar calls in history. Give or take "Bohemian Rhapsody," this year's big winner is the worst of the eight nominees this year, even if you overlook controversies that have surrounded it.
Often, the best movies don't even get nominated for the top prize (I'm looking at you, "Do the Right Thing," which was not nominated in 1990, when "Driving Miss Daisy" took the award). Here are five more of the worst best picture calls:
1. "Crash" over "Brokeback Mountain," for best picture in 2006. One of these movies is an all-timer that's still being discussed. It's not "Crash."
2. "The Greatest Show on Earth" over "High Noon" and "The Quiet Man" in 1952. The circus-themed "Greatest Show" had an enormous cast, so maybe they all voted for their leaden soap opera over those two classics?
3. "In the Heat of the Night" over "Bonnie and Clyde" and "The Graduate" in 1968. "Heat" nodded to classic Hollywood liberalism, while the losers represented the future of filmmaking. Never bet on Old Hollywood's desire to reward the future of filmmaking.
4. "The Sting," over "American Graffiti," "Cries and Whispers" and "The Exorcist" in 1974. "The Sting" is fine but it's arguably the worst nominee (the other is "A Touch of Class").
5. "Forrest Gump" over "Pulp Fiction" in 1995. "Forrest Gump" was all the things "Pulp Fiction" wasn't -- feel-good, reassuring, heartwarming and bland. Of course it won.