When do you think the Academy voted to give the Oscar to the wrong film (in any category), the wrong actor (lead or supporting), actress, director, score, song, or whatever?
Tops on my list are:
1968: "Oliver" over "2001: A Space Odyssey."
I think the Academy was showing its conservativism and probably had many members who would never vote for a movie they couldn't "understand" or that didn't have a traditional narrative structure.
1980: "Ordinary People" over "Raging Bull."
I think this was partially a show of support of Hollywood (Redford) over New York (Scorsese); middle class emotions revealed through psychotherapy over working class emotions revealed through violence.
Best Supporting Actress--
1993: Anna Paquin in "The Piano" over Winona Ryder in "The Age of Innocence." Paquin was captivating, but she was a child doing what many children do best--play. Ninety percent of her lines involved Paquin spinning tales about her mother, playing with her imagination, except that she was spinning the tales via the lines in the script.
Ryder, OTOH, had the difficult job of playing a young woman who had to make the audience believe she was truly nice and sweet only to have it revealed at the end that all along she had been a crafty manipulator in order to save first her engagement and then her marriage. Upon a second viewing of the film, Ryder gives subtle clues throughout her performance that May is not the simple, empty-headed cliche she portrays on the surface both in the film as a whole and to the other characters in the film, especially Newland Archer. Ryder also did exactly what a supporting actor is supposed to do--support the lead(s).
Although Paquin was enchanting, I felt the real acting chops were exhibited by Ryder. Not a criticism of Paquin, I just think Ryder gave the superior performance.
Do others have their own "wuz robbed" situations with the Oscars?