When it comes to any big time awards show like the Academy Awards, one of the longest standing tropes is that it's just an honor to be nominated. And yet, with the nine films we're about to discuss, that honor isn't exactly a memorable accolade. Sure these films were contenders in their time, but ultimately the odds were too high, the competition too heavy and their impressions not memorable enough to retain the honor of being nominated for Best Picture. This isn't always an indicator of the film's quality, but rather the race it ran in, and once you've seen our choices, the reality these films occupy now is obvious. Without further ado, and a firm warning to the most recent crop of Best Picture hopefuls, the winners of the "9 Recent Best Picture Nominees You Probably Forgot Were Oscar Contenders" are:

The Reader Kate Winslet David Kross reading in the kitchen

2008 - The Reader

Controversy follows The Reader nowadays because of the troubling case of Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual misconduct. But back in the Oscar race that pitted this film against such luminaries as Frost/Nixon and the eventual winner Slumdog Millionaire, The Reader was a controversial pick because Harvey Weinstein allegedly rushed the film to completion in order to be a surefire awards contender. While the film had gone through the replacement of its lead actress and cinematographer, as well as a publicized departure of one of its producers, The Reader snagged the big ticket nomination it had always intended to seek out. But ten years on, the film is barely remembered at all, much less as a Best Picture nominee.

District 9 Sharlto Copley transforming in the field

2009 - District 9

While Neill Blomkamp's directorial debut, District 9, is a fantastic sci-fi adventure that put the director's name on the map, it was a rather perplexing Best Picture nominee. The movie was an obvious grab for the faith of the moviegoing public who, in the year previous, chastised the Academy for not nominating The Dark Knight as a Best Picture of its class. So with the race now expanding to a field of 10 films tops, there was more room for token choices that better reflected the popular vote of the public. As we'd see in the years following the Academy's expanded Best Picture field, this just increased the odds for even less memorable films to hit it big with a temporary boost of awards season fame.

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