Continuing on with my series of movies that should have won Best Picture but didn’t, I am going to be looking at one of the greatest travesties ever at the Academy Awards: Shakespeare in Love winning over Saving Private Ryan.
Back in 1999, Saving Private Ryan won 5 Oscars while Shakespeare in Love won 7, including the coveted Best Picture. It also beat out John Williams incredible score.
The interesting fact is that Steven Spielberg won for Best Director AND Editing, which if you look at the correlations of winning Best Picture to winning those two categories, then you will see a trend where in the last 61 years, 32 Best Picture winners also won Best Editing.
Saving Private Ryan has become such a classic, mainly for its devastating and horrific opening D-Day scene which had never been done to the extent to which Saving Private Ryan did. It was so realistic that there was a surge in calls to veteran centers from those who had actually served in the war and it brought up a lot of cases of PTSD. It is often called one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, war films of all time, yet the sad sad truth is that it did not win Best Picture.
Now, looking at the IMDB rating system, which isn’t entirely accurate, Shakespeare in Love holds a 7.2/10. Saving Private Ryan has an 8.6. Shakespeare in Love is also considered a “comedy”, and it is only one of two comedies to have won Best Picture in the last 30 years, the most recent being The Artist.
The world may never know why Saving Private Ryan never won the Oscar it deserved. It has stood the test of time far better than Shakespeare in Love. The acting is on par, the battle scenes are mesmerizing and brilliant, the score and story are fantastic too.
So, now I ask, do you think Shakespeare in Love deserved its win? Comment below.