These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: The Elephant Man
Award Snub: At the time, Best Makeup at the Oscars was a "Special Citation" award that was given out twice note For 7 Faces of Dr. Lao and Planet of the Apes So, this film's failure to get the citation was seen as a snub. The resulting controversy was the instigator for the establishment of the Best Makeup Oscar the following year.
Receiving 7 nominations in other categories, but winning none of them.
Given that it was competing with Raging Bull, it's hard to really call this a snub. Though many would argue that Raging Bull was snubbed as well.
Complete Monster: The Night Porter. Terrible a person as he is, at least Bytes had the delusion that keeping Merrick in a freakshow was for his own good. The porter has absolutely no qualms with what he does and is convinced that it's how freaks are meant to live and how he can make good money.
Treves lampshades it in their confrontation: "YOU'RE the monster! YOU'RE the freak!"
Heartwarming Moments: When Merrick is put back into Bytes' freakshow and the other freaks help him escape, showcasing that, despite appearances, they are some of the most humane characters in the film.
Also the night at the Opera, where Merrick is introduced to the crowd as a person of note... and receives a standing ovation.
Merrick being told that the hospital is his home now and his reaction.
The final scene of the movie. Merrick had just had the best day of his life after being invited to an Opera by a beautiful woman who seemed to care about him, and given a standing ovation by the audience when pointed to as a member of note. He goes to his bed and discards the huge amount of pillows that he needs to use to keep from dying in his sleep, gets down to the last one, looks at a painting of a man sleeping "normally" in his room, and... just watch the damn thing, it's too moving to convey right in print.
Treves confirming that Merrick's condition is incurable, which he'd held off from asking from fear that this would be the case.