Originally Posted by FilmNerdJamie
You know... I was looking back on Spielberg and how he was constantly the "Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride" with the Academy during the 70's/80's.
The fact they didn't even nominate him for directing Jaws and The Color Purple is what's so damn egregious. But I get why he lost to Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Sir Richard Attenborough. The latter especially gets all the Hell-storm for besting ET but Gandhi is a fine movie. It gets categorized unfairly in the "Oscar Bait" line of films but it was considered a risky project at the time and Attenborough spent 20+ years trying to get it made.
Part of the drive that makes Schindler's List work so well is that rejection from his peers in the industry that fueled him to prove them all wrong. Which granted... he did already prove them wrong with the aforementioned Color Purple and the criminally-underrated Empire of the Sun.
I don't think Jaws is a great example of a Spielberg snub, as great as Jaws is. The five nominees that year were Kubrick, Forman, Altman, Lumet, and Fellini. I can see the idea of "tie goes to the guys with the proven track record, not what may be a one time flash in the pan". Yeah, if they had a crystal ball and knew Spielberg would be seen as a peer to all of them, maybe the voting would have gone differently, but not one of the five stands out as an obvious mistake either.
A great film / director losing out to another great film / director isn't really a snub in my book.