Awards are a funny thing. They’re designed to recognize the best entry in any particular category during a set period of time. Occasionally, this means that obviously great performances or movies go unrecognized if another is deemed to be slightly better, and it seems to happen every year. This is going on right now as many think Leonardo Dicaprio has a good chance to win the Best Actor Oscar this year, even though many argue this is not the best performance of his career.

We’re not saying DiCaprio won’t deserve the award if he wins. We’re also not saying that these 10 Oscar winners didn’t deserve their awards when they got them. But the fact is that many of the performances by actors or movies by directors that we will remember forever are for the ones where they lost the Oscar, not the ones that they ultimately took a statue home for.

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Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook
Jennifer Lawrence burst onto the scene in a big way when she went from nearly unknown to Academy Award nominated actress for the 2010 indie drama Winter’s Bone. Maybe it was her lack of name recognition at the time that kept her off the stage, although we can’t argue that Natalie Portman, who won the Oscar that year, was great in Black Swan. However, two years later the Academy made it up to Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook.

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