I believe we can all agree that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is not a perfect institution, and that if they haven’t fixed the problems in 86 years of award giving, they probably aren’t going to start any time soon.

But this isn’t just laughing and finger-pointing at what, for many years, came across as a bunch of stodgy old folks whose interest in stereotypes often overwhelmed proper decision making. This feature is meant to further champion the movies that we all know should have the distinction of being called Best Picture winners, but inexplicably didn’t make the cut. Too bad there wasn’t room for classic that didn’t even get nominated, like 2001 or Vertigo. Someone should make a movie about there being a big drawn-out conspiracy involving someone illegally winning the top prize in some way. Make sure it has an elderly woman shedding her bigoted behavior, a controversial person from America’s history, and put some songs, dances and death in it. Oscar voters sure do love those sorts of things.

And now, in no particular order, here are 10 of the most glaring examples -- in our humble opinion -- of the Oscars losing sight of what Best Picture actually means.

crash poster
Crash – 2004
Why it Won: Because some American movies are a reflection of America, and Paul Haggis probably watched Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros and 21 Grams the same day he heard someone use the N-word on the subway. The result? The disparate story-weaving "issue drama" Crash, where the surgical inspection of racial tension is handled while wearing a catcher’s mitt. It felt very much like important storytelling a decade ago, but mainly because it wasn’t just about people hating on black people. Crash hasn’t held up well at all, and repeated viewings just tear the holes wider.

What Should Have Won: Anything else, really, but mostly Brokeback Mountain, a beautifully told drama about homosexual love, years before legalized gay marriage had its watershed moment. Do the Right Thing, a much more important and relevant film about race, wasn’t even nominated, so imagine how well a film like Brokeback would do now that acceptance is wider. But even if that wasn’t a frontrunner, the other three nominees that year were Steven Spielberg’s Munich, George Clooney’s Good Night and Good Luck, and Bennett Miller’s Capote. But no, Ludacris carjacked Terrence Howard in the right place at the right time, I guess.

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