Alternate Oscars (1993) is a book written by film critic Danny Peary citing instances in Oscar history where the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences wrongly selected award winners in the categories of Best Picture, Actor, and Actress. The book examines each year within the Academy Awards' existence: righting the wrongs of Oscar choices from the loss of Sunrise to Wings in 1927-28 to the loss of An Angel at My Table to The Silence of the Lambs in 1992. Often, Danny Peary provides an argument for the underdog, the films and performances with supreme value that have been snubbed by the more popular, often better-funded and marketed features that won on the grounds of franchise rather than talent. By referencing film and acting technique, individuality, as well as each feature's influence over time, Peary works to give dedicated movie-goers points of departure for further discussion and debate on what makes films worthy of the esteemed Academy Awards, and why the best choice is often not the loudest or most popular.
Film has many purposes. The obvious is entertainment; however, the entertaining factor of a film or performance should not be the only catalyst for winning awards. It is a film's ability to inspire, to educate and enlighten the viewer through artistic mastery and the powerful intellectual and emotional collaboration of story, performance, visual artistry, and sound. The best films also take risks, push audiences to the edge of their seats, to tears, or toward a new worldview, all the while redefining the definition of cinema and what it means to be human.
My goal is to offer current film lovers a point of dialogue for more recent films. I will start where Peary left off with the Academy Awards of 1993, also the year of my birth, and continue up until present day. The films, actors, and actresses I choose for the categories of Best Picture, Actor, Actress, and Supporting will be decided based on technique, influence, originality, and risk as well as consider matters of representation and how wins should not depend on honorary entitlement or presence alone.
My views are not endorsed by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, nor do they represent sentiments of Danny Peary. Although many critical reviews and perspectives were researched and evaluated as influences for my decisions, my choices rely entirely on my opinion of these films and performances. I cannot claim to have watched every film from every year; however, I have watched, reviewed, and analyzed many as well as performed massive research of various online and text criticisms of these films and performances to inform a coherent, professional argument for each alternate win. I will post my choices for each year leading up to the 2020 Academy Awards. Please comment with suggestions and points of conflict.