Why clueless Oscar panel got it wrong over Alicia


It has taken 21 years but Alicia Silverstone has finally won a best-actress Oscar for her role in the 1995 film, Clueless. Well, almost.

The Jewish star was due to be honoured at the Vintage Film Award this week, a new set of prizes aimed at retrospectively correcting Oscar judges' decisions.

Silverstone starred as Cher Horowitz in the cinematic updating of Jane Austen's novel Emma, which was turned into a coming-of-age comedy with a razor-sharp take on 1990s teenagers.

According to Vintage Films Awards creator, James Rogers, her performance should have won her that year's Oscar. Instead it was Jessica Lange who triumped for her role in Blue Sky.

Mr Rogers, an American journalist, said inspiration for the awards came to him during research for an article about which films were illegally downloaded the most.

"What I found is that, in any given year, many great films were nominated for Oscars that aren't talked about or watched much now.

"For instance: can you quote more lines from The Color of Money or Top Gun? They were released in the same year and feature Tom Cruise. The Color of Money was nominated for major awards, but it's Top Gun that is quoted endlessly and still watched widely."

Mr Rogers explained that he had created an algorithm to assess historical films' current popularity, including how often they were bought or streamed, and how they had been rated online in recent years.

The resulting shortlist of 10 was narrowed down to five through an online poll, before a further vote, involving more than 1,000 people, reached the final decision.

Awards for the years 1965, 1975, 1985, and 1995 were handed out at a ceremony in Brussels on Wednesday. Of the movies winning the Vintage best film awards for those years - Thunderball, Jaws, Back to the Future and Seven - only Steven Spielberg's Jaws (1975) was even Oscar nominated at the time.

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