The Oscars are considered the very pinnacle of the film industry. It's something everyone strives for or pretends they don't but they actually do. There's been many an upset in Oscar history, some now-classic films have been completely overlooked. So, on the run-up to the Oscars, we take a look back over some of the best films to never win an Oscar...



The Oscars are notoriously snooty and have been known to skew their decisions against certain genres. Horror has rarely managed to get a look in, and satirical horrors are less likely to do so. American Psycho is a truly divisive film. Some find it abhorrent, disgusting, misogynistic and shallow. Others see it as a pitch-black comedy satire on American values and societal norms. Christian Bale's vision of Patrick Bateman, an upstanding investment banker who is actually a demented serial killer is one of his key performances. Directed by Mary Harron and with a script by Guinevere Turner - who would later work on The L Word - American Psycho is now considered a cult classic. At the very least, Bale deserved a nomination for his performance here.



7. HEAT (1995)

We've professed our undying love for Heat many, many times and we're doing it again. Heat is the ultimate crime thriller. It has no equal as far as we can see. It has two of the greatest screen actors at the height of their game. It has a director working on a film which he'd been planning for a decade. There is literally no bank robbery scene in TV or film that doesn't liberally rob from it. Christopher Nolan owes The Dark Knight's success to Heat. And yet, for all its qualities, it never translated into Oscar gold. The film was roundly snubbed that year in favour of Forrest Gump. Did Forrest Gump have Val Kilmer in a ponytail and Tom Sizemore calling everyone 'slick'? Nope. Did it have some of the finest cinematography work by living legend Dante Spinotti and a vibrant, world-music soundtrack featuring Kronos Quartet and Brian Eno? Didn't think so.


6. FIGHT CLUB (1999)

Say what you want about Fight Club now, but when it was initially released, the film was a straight smack to the jaw. It made everyone sit up and take notice of all involved. Brad Pitt's manic performance as Tyler Durden, Jared Leto as the pretty boy, even Meat Loaf as the man with the moobs. Nothing. Nada. Zip. David Fincher's pitch-black humour mixed with the beautiful-but-disgusting visuals were completely overlooked by the Academy. In total, Fight Club received a grand total of ONE nomination – for Best Effects. Which it didn't win. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the Oscar nominations you get.



What's this? Although the Academy eats up anything animated nowadays, back in the early nineties, odd animations about Hallowe'en creatures that want to partake in the holiday season seems like a sinch to win. Not so, unfortunately. Henry Selick's unique tale of embracing our differences and Christmas itself only managed to be nominated for Best Visual Effects. It wasn't even mentioned in Best Soundtrack or Best Original Song.


4. STAND BY ME (1986)

Again, like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Stand By Me would have swept the boards if it was released this time around. Four young friends set out on a journey to discover – well, a dead body. The cast, which included River Phoenix, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cusack and directed by Rob Reiner, is one of the greatest coming-of-age stories out there. All it received was a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination, which it didn't even win.


3. SHAME (2011)

We may make jokes about Fassbender's dong, but the truth is that Shame is a truly powerful film that is deeply affecting. It's graphic, adult and most of all, human. Fassbender's performance is incredible and makes for some disturbing viewing in places. This, coupled with Carey Mulligan's vulnerable portrayal and Steve McQueen's restrained, beautiful direction, sadly didn't translate into Oscar nominations. It received a grand total of zero.


2. THE SHINING (1980)

If you've never seen The Shining, you've never watched a horror film. Like 2001, The Shining is the pinnacle of its genre – there are few, if any, that can touch it. Nicholson gave one of his greatest performances as Jack Torrance, a struggling writer whose slowly driven insane by forces beyond his comprehension. His wife, Shelley Duvall, is locked in with their young son and is forced to watch her husband deteriorate before her eyes. Kubrick, on top of his game, made a film for the ages. Did it win any Oscars? Nope. It wasn't even nominated. The Academy's notoriously stuck up when it comes to horror, and only began to take it seriously after Silence of the Lambs.



Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.