Most Undeserving Oscar Winners

The Top Ten
1 Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook

Sorry, but I am just disgusted and ashamed at how corrupted and messed up Hollywood is nowadays. Though Jennifer Lawrence can act, I just don't think she deserved such a prestigious award. The Oscar is like the top of the top for great actors. Sorry, but please just think for a moment. Katharine Hepburn, Vivienne Leigh, Julie Andrews all those amazing actresses then compare them with Jennifer Lawrence. I just want Hollywood to stop making crappy films and stop making celebrities famous just by their looks! If anything I thought Jessica Chastain should've gotten the award for her performance in Zero Dark Thirty.

Everyone else deserved the Oscar more than Jennifer Lawrence! I mean come on people she is staring on the new David O. Russell movie "American Hustler" alongside Amy Adams... Amy Adams! Amy Adams is an amazing actress but I don't see her Oscar anywhere. That's for shame. I don't know... Maybe I do her wrong but... Just put her next to Naomi Watts or Amy Adams and you will have your answer! The Academy really dissapointed me this year... And you can't turn back time! Next year I'm rooting for Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts!

Jennifer Lawrence is the most overrated actress in history in my opinion. Oscars are supposed to mean something. They aren't supposed to be just handed out like candy. Lawrence's performance was mediocre, and clearly wasn't anything she understood. She has said before that she's a really good liar, and that's what kind of actress she is, whereas the other nominees work very hard for their place in the acting business, and deserve the notoriety. Lawrence on the other hand, thinks that acting is just lying in front of a camera, when it's much more than that. It's an art where you completely embody yourself in the role, and truly understand the way your character thinks, why they would think that, what they would do, and what they would say in any situation. Jennifer Lawrence clearly didn't even look up her characters disorder, and just thought she'd scream and cry through the performance, as she does every time. Newsflash, J-Law, but screaming and crying doesn't equal crazy. Don't even ...more

Jennifer Lawrence isn't a particularly great actress, nor is she a particularly terrible one. The fact that she's number one on this list, and with such a higher percentage than anyone else, tells me that most of these votes are a pushback against her popularity rather than an objective appraisal of her performances. I understand that, and even kind of agree with their irritation, but don't agree with this vote. Her performance in SLP may or may not have been Oscar-worthy, but it certainly wasn't the most undeserved win in history.

2 Gwyneth Paltrow - Shakespeare In Love

Shakespeare in Love was a fluffy, entirely average romantic romp. To this day it's regularly featured at or near the top of lists of the "worst best picture winners" and with good reason. Nothing about the film stood out to me, including Gwyneth's performance. It served its purpose just fine and was then promptly forgotten, or at least would have been if Miramax hadn't bought the ceremony that year.

For the life of me I will never know how the towering, iconic and masterful performance of Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth, was snubbed for the soppy, over acted and generally average performance by Gwyneth. Oh wait, if you have Harvey Weinstein pulling the strings, and old performance is Oscar worthy...

Gwyneth Paltrow is NOT at all a good actress, let alone an academy awarding winning one?! Are you f-ing kidding me? The only reason she won the Oscar was the nepotism she carries in Hollywood, plus whatever (then) connections she had with Harvey Weinstein...Cate Blanchett was ROBBED big time over this!

I don't know what's the problem. She was heartbreaking in "Shakespeare in Love". Her character is one of the best of all time.

3 Reese Witherspoon - Walk the Line Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon, known professionally as Reese Witherspoon, is an American actress and producer.

If anybody should have won an oscar for that movie it's Joaquin Phoenix. Just look at the real footages of Johnny Cash and June Carter on YouTube and you will understand why Reese Witherspoon didn't deserve to win. She's just ( although she's a very good actress ) not convincing in that role.

Reese Witherspoon is for sure a worthy oscar- win actress but in this movie she was not that exeptional.
I think it was better that they had casted another actress for that movie because she doesn't really fit to play this role.

I think Reese Witherspoon was awesome in this film. I think that she should have won for "Election", too.

Her performance was very amateurish.

4 Denzel Washington - Training Day Denzel Washington - Training Day Product Image

I very much enjoyed Training Day and Denzel's performance in it. Many have said that he only won because Crowe was notoriously obnoxious, confrontational and self-aggrandizing during the campaigning, and thus didn't deserve the award. Others have said that Denzel's win was politically motivated as that year's historic ceremony also gave Oscars to Halle Berry, Sidney Poitier, and was hosted by Whoopi Goldberg. To be honest I don't think that either Training Day OR A Beautiful Mind were profoundly excellent cinema, nor were their performances among the best of all-time, but if I had to pick between them I'd probably lean a bit towards Denzel. I just thought that he left more of an impression.

Denzel Washington is a tremendous actor and a credit to his African American heritage in the business. I can not say he's not deserving for Training Day, I can only say there are performances he's been more award worthy

Denzel was most certainly deserving of the Oscar. He showed that he wasn't one dimensional. He went slap off in training day. I'm about to watch it now. Hey hey Jake...Jake...I need that money.

Should have given to Russell Crowe for Beautiful Mind. Russell Crowe shows class in the movie.
Definitely like an early comment from some one he should be won for The hurricane or John Q

5 Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables Product Image

This movie is about 167 minutes and Hathaway's screen time most likely about 15-20 minutes and aind doing anything special.. that's all about make up, costume and lightning. She ain't add anything groundbreaking

She comes in for a few minutes, sings terribly, and wins. Jennifer Lawrence gave one hell of a performance.

I think Anne Hathaway was the best in her category. Her "I Dreamed a Dream" is just awesome.

She should have won a razzie for sounding like a cat getting skinned alive. Les mis suck full stop.

6 Helen Hunt - As Good As It Gets

I only saw AGAIG once and don't really remember much about it. I thought that everyone in it was good, if not especially Oscar-worthy. In general though I don't think that Helen Hunt is a particularly great actress. Kind of cute and funny sometimes but that's about it. Her weird expressions and body language (she seems to always be sticking her face forward with confused eyes and her mouth half-open like some kind of lizard) just kind of annoy me.

I can't believe that a mediocre actress as Helen Hunt did get away with an oscar. The movie itself was not that great but Helen Hunt's performance ( like all her performances ) was certainly not good or even fair. She's just not a oscar-worthy actress ( and not only for that movie ).

All other nominees were better that year.She was just annoying in the movie

7 Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls Product Image

Amateur hour in any scene that involved actual acting. Best singer in the film by far but painfully bad acting. She was pushed so hard by the American Idol controversy that she won a sympathy Oscar.

No shade at JH, but she got the award from her singing performance. Last time I checked, she was a professional singer, there was no acting involved. I guess MJ should've gotten an Oscar for Space Jam.

She got this for one scene and that's when she is just singing. The one of the women from Babel deserved this award.

Terrible performance. Should not even have been nominated. And Effie White is the lead not supporting.

8 John Wayne - True Grit John Wayne - True Grit Product Image

John Wayne is not playing Rooster Cogburn, he's playing the only character he actually knows how to play: JOHN Wayne! Compare him to all the other nominees of that year and he just doesn't match them: John Voight and Dustin Hoffman in "Midnight Cowboy", Paul Newman in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and the legendary Peter O'Toole in "Goodbye, Mr. Chip" all prove more interesting, potent and just true to their characters than Wayne ever is.

John Wayne is overrated in general. Because the guy only knew how to play a swaggering, drawling blowhard I guess everyone was supposed to think that he was something special.

9 Renee Zellweger - Cold Mountain Renée Kathleen Zellweger is an American actress and producer. She has received critical acclaim and numerous accolades, including an Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, three Golden Globe Awards, and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

In my humble opinion, she did a lousy job of acting. It was obvious she was trying too hard. Her character did not seem natural or believable.

It was a pretty competitive year but I think that Renee did just fine.

10 Roberto Benigni - Life Is Beautiful Roberto Remigio Benigni, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI is an Italian actor, comedian, screenwriter and director.

Edward Norton walked away with the Oscar this year, but somehow a ranting, screaming maniac was allowed to run over and yank it from his hands. I think the Academy only brought him back one single time - the following year, to present the best supporting actress award (as is customary) - and then never mentioned him again. Seriously, when's the last time the world, let alone the Oscars, ever made a point of acknowledging this win? There's probably a good reason for that.

If his performance deserved and oscar, everybody in Hollywood should win an oscar!

Personally, I think he did an amazing job in Life is Beautiful.

The Contenders
11 Al Pacino - Scent of a Woman Alfredo James "Al" (April 25, 1940) Pacino is an American actor and filmmaker. Pacino has had a career spanning more than five decades, during which time he has received numerous accolades and honors.

Widely recognized as THE example of the Academy's habit of occasionally handing out an "overdue" Oscar to an inferior accomplishment to make up for previous snubs of more deserving efforts. Nothing more to see here.

Personally, I think the talent of Al Pacino exceeds that of most every actor in the book, and when it comes down to performances, and performances only, this is as good as any.

He should have won for Serpico, The Godfather: Part II, or Dog Day Afternoon instead of this. Hoo-Ah.

This seemed like a compensation for snubbing him from the best actor oscar for The Godfather part 2

12 Tommy Lee Jones - The Fugitive Tommy Lee Jones is an American actor and filmmaker. He has received four Academy Award nominations, winning a Best Supporting Actor.

Jones plays your everyday cop, as thousands of other actors have done on average T.V. crime dramas. If you want to see truly astonishing performances as cops, watch Frances McDormand in "Fargo" or Willem Dafoe in "The Boondock Saints". The latter of which wasn't even nominated for an Oscar.

Worst Oscar clip ever! I think the line was, "I don't care." Why do I know this? It's been over 20 years and I can't forget a clip so stupid. As far as the Oscar that year, well it's a toss up between all nominees, Tommy Lee Jones paid his dues and I can't argue with that

Ralph Fiennes should have won that year for Schindler's list... obviously. But this guy gets the oscar for his usual already seen a thousand times kind of performance

Totally disagree on this, Tommy Lee Jones deserved the award, period.

13 Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side Product Image

I remember laughing with shock when Sandra Bullock won an Oscar. I could barely reconcile those words: "Sandra Bullock has won an Oscar". And what did she win an Oscar for? An equally (and by equally I mean obscenely) overrated piece of inoffensive comedy sap in which she plays a sassy mama to some lumbering adopted goon of a football player. The popularity of this movie was a joke and she got by on sheer goodwill, not actual acting. The fact that she's all but disappeared from major motion pictures since that point makes me wonder if she decided to quit while she was ahead.

She's just an ok actress but certainly not exeptional. How she managed to win an oscar is therefor a real mystery. She's not worthy as an actress for oscar material. She's concidered as America's sweetheart ( how the hell is that possible by the way? ) and I guess they did gave her an oscar just to keep her fans happy. On the other hand I'm happy they give that year to her an oscar and not to the overrated Meryl Streep for her role in " Julie and Julia " where Amy Adams should have nominated and win for that!
So, undeserved ; yes, but rather her than Meryl Streep!

She was never and will never be a good actress. Just like C Diaz, american people seems to think that a woman who acts repeatedly in comedies is funny. Well the very truth is they are not, not even one bit of their expressions, body language or dialogue delivery is.
Sandra Bullock has been a pain since her girl in distress act in speed, and she should have disappeared form films like the swanks, Roberts and so did. I wonder what she is trying to prove with that botoxed face of hers nowadays...

Seems that she won that oscar for sympathy vote. This movie was not worth to be nominated at the first place, so her winning oscar is undeserved.

14 Emma Stone - La La Land Emily Jean "Emma" Stone is an American actress. One of the world's highest-paid actresses, she has won the Academy Award Best Actress Award, been nominated for two British Academy Film Awards and two Golden Globe Awards, and has won two Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Totally deserved. I didn't see the movie yet but I've read non-professional critics ( even non--fans of Emma Stone ) all saying that she was outstanding. As for Amy Adams, it's sure that she was snubbed but certainly not because of Emma Stone. They nominated Meryl Streep for best leading actress once again ( and very undeserved. Thank God she didn't win ) and that was in my opinion the snub for Amy Adams. Not Emma Stone.

Not sure if the problem if the problem is her acting or the characterization. Her acting was just monotonous all-throughout the film except for the 3 mins. "The Fools Who Dream." Maybe it is also the visuals and music that stood out in La La Land and not the acting

Her acting was just plain and boring, even her co-nominees Portman, Huppert and Negga did better than her. I wondered why she and that Meryl Streep received nominations while snubbing Amy Adams at the same time

Need I say more? It's obvious who really deserved the Best Actress during that time and it's not her

15 Sean Penn - Mystic River Sean Penn - Mystic River Product Image

An unpleasant character in a depressing movie filled with even more unpleasant characters. Penn was fine but didn't do much to earn the award other than yell passionately in one big scene. He's been better in other films, he just won for this because it was perceived to be "his time".

This performance is one of the best ever. Johnny Depp was also outstanding as Jack Sparrow, but Penn was a little better.

Laugh out loud @ johnny depp was better... Sean Penn was amazing in this. If any of this top ten list was innaccurate, this is.

Johnny Depp and Ben Kingsley were better in 2003.

16 Kevin Spacey - American Beauty Kevin Spacey Fowler is an American actor, producer and singer. He began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s before obtaining supporting roles in film and television.

This one is really not true. Kevin Spacey was brilliant in American Beauty. He pulled off a role that most actors would have "over-cooked" or made look sleazy/cliche. His subtle nuances, comedic timing and so many other things made this performance great...
Oh wait.. did I just vote that I didn't like the performance? Laugh out loud... So confusing this...

I think that Kevin Spacey was really good in that movie and he is surely a oscar worthy winning actor. The problem is that this movie was not a oscar worthy movie at the first place. So, it's almost a shame that he won an oscar for a stupid movie. They should let him win an oscar for one of his better films instead than this one.

Kevin Spacey was very good in American Beauty and I feel that the win is deserved. After the events of 2017 I just don't think I want to see it again.

Kevin Spacey is one of my favorite actors, and he was very deserving for this award.

17 Robin Williams - Good Will Hunting Robin Williams - Good Will Hunting Product Image

This was a very strong category in 1997 and pretty much any of the nominated performances would have been a justified win. Longterm goodwill (no pun intended) probably made Williams the sentimental favorite but the fact remains that this was one of his best performances. As a character who had multiple facets of patience, understanding, frustration, joy, and quiet heartbreak, Williams nailed a complex role with subtlety and credibility. A well-deserved win in my opinion.

He got that award for speaking slowly with a serious face. Greg Kinnear should have won.

He deserved this award

18 Cuba Gooding Jr. - Jerry Maguire Cuba Gooding Jr. is an American actor. He is best known for his breakthrough role as Tre Styles in Boyz n the Hood, his role in Tuskegee Airmen, TheThe Tuskegee Airmen', 'his Academy Award–winning role as Rod Tidwell in Cameron Crowe's Jerry Maguire, his role in the epic Pearl Harbor as historical ...read more.

How this clown won an Oscar for this over-the-top, cringe-inducing performance is beyond human comprehension. Especially when you consider that Edward Norton gave one of the greatest performances ever in Primal Fear. Then, not to be out done, his acceptance speech is equally awful. Pathetic.

If anyone from this movie was going to win an oscar, it should've been tom, then again I don't see why it got a single nomination..

If I were in the audience during his acceptance "speech",I would take his Oscar and give it to anyone on the streets.

William H.Macy or Edward Norton deserved this one

19 Michael Caine - The Cider House Rules Sir Michael Caine, CBE (born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, 14 March 1933) is an English actor, producer and author. He has appeared in more than 130 films in a career spanning 70 years and is considered a British film icon. Known for his cockney accent, Caine was born in South London, where during his ...read more.

Michael Caine was the definition of class and humility when he accepted the award, which immediately nullified the irritation that I felt upon hearing his name called. That said, I feel that each of the other nominees happened to put in objectively superior performances that year (with the exception of Jude Law, whose film I didn't see).

Extremly undeserving. This was Tom Cruise's Oscar. Michael Caine is a great actor but this wasn't one of his best works. He was the weakest of the nominees by a large margin and he shouldn't have even been nominated as Chris Cooper in American Beauty was far better.

I really love this actor, but he didn't deserve to win. Either Tom Cruise (Magnolia), Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile), or Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense) should've won.

Michael Clarke Duncan should have won. His performance in The Green Mile was phenomenal.

20 Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona Product Image

Awful English pronunciation? She is a Spanish woman in Spain in this movie. Would you expect a woman from Spain to have a perfect English accent? You don't know what you are talking about! And as for her talent, look the movies she did in Spain. Maybe you will understand that she is very talented or maybe not, but in what you are writing here I can say that you're wrong all the way.

I didn't see this one because I've never been impressed by Cruz' alternately cutesy / sassy feisty little Latina shtick. if she brought more than that to this performance then, well, more power to her I suppose.

Awful actress. Awful English pronunciation. Absolutely undeserved award.

Overacting at his fullest. Mediocre actress in every movie she has done.

21 Charlton Heston - Ben-Hur Charlton Heston was an American actor and political activist. As a Hollywood star, he appeared in almost 100 films over the course of 60 years.

Charlton Heston was good at who he actually plays: himself!

22 Frances Mcdormand - Fargo Frances Mcdormand - Fargo Product Image Frances Louise McDormand is an American actress. She is the recipient of numerous accolades, including two Academy Awards, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and a Tony Award, making her one of the few performers to achieve the Triple Crown of Acting.

It was a cartoon cariacature of transparently disingenuous face pulling. It was entertaining and in the spirit of the film but is that really good acting?

23 Marlee Matlin - Children of a Lesser God Marlee Matlin - Children of a Lesser God Product Image

She was OK but Sigourney Weaver (Aliens), Jane Fonda (The Morning After) and Kathleen Turner (Peggy Sue Got Married) were much more impressive!

24 Natalie Portman – Black Swan Natalie Portman is an actress, film producer and film director with dual American and Israeli citizenship. Portman is best known for her roles as Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and Nina Sayers in Black Swan. She won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and a Screen Actors Guild Award, ...read more.

Really? Natalie Portman is so amazing in this film. One of the most deserved of the last years.

I think she deserved. Her performance in Black Swan was incredible.

She's an ok actress ( nothing special ). An oscar-worthy actress? Certainly not. She's too overrated.

25 Ingrid Bergman - Murder on the Orient Express
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