Braveheart named most undeserving Oscar-winner

Mel Gibson’s Braveheart topped a list of most undeserving films to win the Best Picture Oscar.

Mel Gibson’s Braveheart topped a list of most undeserving films to win the Best Picture Oscar.

The movie has been named and shamed alongside titles like A Beautiful Mind, Rocky, and Around The World In 80 Days.

The list has been published by film magazine Empire, just days before the 77th Academy Awards.

Some of the winners are less familiar today than the movies, like Singin’ In The Rain and Citizen Kane, which they beat to an Oscar.

Critics saved their most venom for the William Wallace story Braveheart, which won the Best Picture Oscar in 1996.

“This typical piece of Pom-bashing from Mel Gibson is just about the all-time worst Best Picture,” Empire magazine said.

“Randall Wallace (the writer) might have merited praise for making 14th-century history relevant to audiences who thought King Edward was a potato or a cigar, but his dialogue has all the thudding subtlety of a parody.”

A Beautiful Mind, featuring Russell Crowe as the mathematician John Nash, came second for its “galling” win in 2002.

The film’s “wilfully dishonest screenplay” and “clunkily intricate direction” added insult to injury, the magazine said.

The “tawdry circus spectacle” of 1952 movie The Greatest Show On Earth - which won in the same year as Singin’ In The Rain was not even nominated for Best Picture – ranked third.

The “revisionist nonsense” of 1995 winner Forrest Gump, starring Tom Hanks as the man who has accidental meetings with important events in the US, is fifth.

Around The World In 80 Days, based on the Jules Verne novel, which took Best Picture in 1957, is seventh.

Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky, which won in 1977, is ninth with critics stating: “It was hardly surprising that the Academy should hail a picture restoring the American dream.”

Other films in the least worth top 10 include 1981 winner Ordinary People, Terms of Endearment, starring Shirley MacLaine and Jack Nicholson, which won in 1984, and How Green Was My Valley, which beat greats like The Maltese Falcon and Citizen Kane in 1942.

Empire magazine writer Patrick Peters said: “Critical worth is almost irrelevant where bestowing the Best Picture award is concerned.

“Scope and scale, the civic validity of the storyline, the plushness of the production values and the tissue count during those crucial heart-warming moments are what matter.

“The Oscars aren’t about quality. They’re peer-group nods of approval and, as a result, there has been a surfeit of unworthy Best Pictures and, rest assured, there will be many more to come.”

The 10 Worst Best Pictures – from Empire magazine

1. Braveheart (1995)

2. A Beautiful Mind (2001)

3. The Greatest Show On Earth (1952)

4. Ordinary People (1980)

5. Forrest Gump (1994)

6. Terms Of Endearment (1983)

7. Around the World In 80 Days (1956)

8. Cavalcade (1933)

9. Rocky (1976)

10. How Green Was My Valley (1941)

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