Oscar losers, style winners
By Matt Glazebrook, 20 February 2015
It's the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday but you'll be forgiven for not staying up to watch the whole thing. If you're not actually sitting at one of the tables quaffing complimentary fizz and having a crafty rummage through your gift bag, the ceremony itself can be a bit of a bore.
Part of the problem is that the Academy has a track record of picking the more conservative options when handing out the main prizes, and this is equally true when looking at the nominees from a sartorial perspective. So, without further ado, here's our pick of the films that may not have snagged many statues, but instead walked away with the equally important (albeit imaginary) trophy for providing excellent and enduring style inspiration.
East Of Eden (1955)
Didn't win: Best Actor, Best Director
Should have won: Best Checked Shirt
James Dean's breakthrough role as angry young farmer Cal Trask was accompanied by some lush California scenery and equally lush classic Western workwear.
The Graduate (1967)
Didn't win: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay
Should have won: Best Heritage Jacket
Dustin Hoffman's Benjamin Braddock is a man out of time, adrift between the smug suburban comfort of his parents' generation and the emerging 60s counterculture of his peers. As such, he favours ageless casualwear – corduroy blazers and tweed sports coats – which ensures he always looks good enough to seduce.
Malcolm X (1992)
Didn't win: Best Actor
Should have won: Best Zoot Suit
Following on from the Academy's failure to recognise the super fresh 80s hip-hop styles of Do The Right Thing, Spike Lee's biopic missed out on the gong for Denzel Washington's journey from flamboyant 40s zoot suiter to dapper 60s revolutionary in horn-rimmed glasses, sharp suits and trilbies.
Lost In Translation (2003)
Didn't win: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director
Should have won: Best Adapted T-Shirt
Sofia Coppola's second film swam in such a sea of melancholy cool that it managed to make a neon orange camo T-shirt look fly via the simple act of turning it inside out and pairing it with Bill Murray's world-weary face.
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Didn't win: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor
Should have won: Best Outerwear
Ang Lee's overlooked opus was essentially a two-hour treatise on staying warm on the windswept prairie – whether through cowboy-on-cowboy cuddles or rugged American outerwear, like Jake Gyllenhaal's snug shearling or Heath Ledger's classic Carhartt.
A Single Man (2009)
Didn't win: Best Actor
Should have won: Best Original Suiting
It's no surprise that a film directed and financed by Tom Ford would look amazing. Yet Colin Firth's ultra-suave tailoring and signature specs – a beautifully buttoned-up counterpoint to his character's inner turmoil – are so strong, they're practically a character in themselves.