The Pianist vs. Chicago (2002)
"The Pianist" earned Roman Polanski the Oscar for Best Director and Adrien Brody the Best Actor award. "Chicago" only nabbed Best Supporting Actress for Catherine Zeta-Jones. However, in the year after 9-11, the Academy was bound to side with the more comforting film when it came time to decide Best Picture. That's why "Chicago," a high energy musical about women on Death Row who ride their infamy to successful showbiz careers, took home the statue and "The Pianist," a stark account of starvation and hard-won survival during the Holocaust, got shoved aside. We would've liked to say that Polanski's rape conviction also made "The Pianist" the edgier choice, but since he won Best Director, that doesn't seem to be a factor.