The 1995 Academy Awards featured some of the stiffest competition in the ceremony’s history. That year, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction was up against some of the most iconic films of the entire 1990s, including Forrest Gump, The Shawshank Redemption, Four Weddings and A Funeral and Quiz Show. In the end, Forrest Gump took home the Oscar for Best Picture, a decision that left many Tarantino fans distinctly miffed despite Pulp Fiction bagging The Oscar for ‘Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen’.
Speaking about the snub shortly before the release of his most recent film, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Tarantino answered a question fans have been asking for decades: why didn’t Pulp Fiction take home the Best Picture Oscar that night? According to the director, it’s all the Golden Globes’ fault. The awards body categorised his movie as a drama rather than a musical or comedy, setting a trend that lasted the entire awards season.
Tarantino told The Reel Blend podcast: “I will tell you what I would rewrite if I could for ’94 and I think it would have made the Oscars ceremony … it would have made the campaign more exciting. I wasn’t involved with this, I didn’t know I should have been involved with, and I should have been. It was ridiculous that Pulp Fiction was put in the drama section of the Golden Globes. It obviously should have been put in the comedy.”
The director added that, in actual fact, he thought it had been categorised as a comedy. “It wasn’t until a couple of days before the actual ceremony that I realised we were in the drama section. It’s like, ‘We’re comedy!’ Now, the only reason it wasn’t is because everyone was talking about how violent it was. But, what made it special is that it was as violent as it was and it was really funny. It’s a comedy. Every video store in America put it in the comedy section when it came out. And the fact that we were in the drama. I was shocked about that.”
He went on to conclude: “But, if we had been in comedy, I think Forrest Gump would have won drama, we would have won Best Comedy, and it would have been catch-as-catch-can for the entire season after that.”
These days, Tarantino isn’t exactly short of Oscars. He has recieved no less than eight Academy Award nominations and has taken home two trophies: one for Pulp Fiction and one for his 2012 Western Django Unchained, for which he won Best Writing, Original Screenplay. Recently, Tarantino suggested he might be working on the third instalment of Kill Bill, which could be his final film. As it stands, the details of the potential project remain the subject of speculation.