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Thu, 23 Feb 2012 03:15:41 GMT | By Sean Plummer
Oscars’ biggest upsets

Tom Hanks loses to Roberto Benigni

Tom Hanks loses to Roberto Benigni (© HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Taxi Driver loses to Rocky (© Julian Wasser/TIME & LIFE Images/Getty Images)
  • Raging Bull loses to Ordinary People (© Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images)
  • Tom Hanks loses to Roberto Benigni (© HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)
  • James Cameron loses to Kathryn Bigelow (© Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment)
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For a brief period, comic Italian actor Roberto Benigni had a Hollywood career which is incredible to contemplate given how quickly his particular form of clowning wears thin. That is why Benigni's Best Actor win for 1997's "Life is Beautiful," which he also directed and co-wrote, came as a surprise, especially given that Tom Hanks was favoured to win for another Second World War movie, Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan." Granted, Benigni does modulate his more clownish tendencies to play an Italian Jewish bookkeeper trying to keep his family together during imprisonment in a concentration camp, but Hanks should have clinched this one.