My Worst Oscar Snubs
If you’ve read my column before, you know that I am not a fan of the Oscars. It’s like being invited to a high school prom where mostly the popular kids showed up, and most of the people you actually like are just quick glimpses across the room. Somebody makes some (occasionally awkward) jokes, someone goes home upset, someone else gets surprised. Hollywood is doing little more that capitalizing on the celebrity factor, making us feel like we’re part of the glamour instead of what we really are: on the outside looking in.
Despite all this, what probably surprises me the most is the number of films and people who not only don’t win, but aren’t even nominated (take The Butler, which wasn’t nominated at all for the 2014 Oscar, despite its incredible cast). There’s been a few over the years, but here are the four that I just can’t understand at all.
I’m not sure whether or not I’m just easily impressed or if the councils are hard to move, but I thought Tom Hanks’s performance in Captain Phillips was nothing short of absolutely astounding. There are some actors who never seem to turn in a bad performance, and Tom Hanks is one of those people for me. I can’t think of anyone who could have played the role better and more emotionally than him. Apparently the council didn’t agree. Hanks wasn’t nominated for an Oscar at all this year.
Someone please explain to me how one of the greatest directors in the history of film never won an Oscar? In the span of his career, Hitchcock made nearly FIFTY feature films, but was only nominated for Best Director five times. That’s one for every ten films, people! He did finally receive a Memorial Oscar award, obviously because the Academy realized the injustice of someone like him never being properly recognized. But for Alfred Hitchcock, master of suspense, to never win Best Director, not even once? That’s just sad.
Speaking of directors, how on Earth did Ben Affleck get missed on the Best Director ballot last Oscars for Argo? If you’ve seen the film and enjoyed it, then chances are you agree. Not only did he direct a riveting film with many excellent shots to enhance the tension, but he also incorporated real footage and broadcasts whenever possible to bring that extra piece of life to the film. Clearly I’m not the only person who felt this was an injustice — there was a good deal of backlash about him being missed (as well as Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty).
Please, please, please someone explain to me how one of the best and emotional movies to come out in years managed to get completely snubbed not only by the Oscars but the Golden Globes? (that’s not entirely true — it got a Globe nomination for Best Song… it’s like the people weren’t even watching the film and only stayed for the credits when you hear the song). I’m not a huge Clint Eastwood fan by any means. I thought Mystic River was exceptional and his other films are definitely worth seeing. But Gran Torino almost felt like a send-off film, a film that said “If I make nothing but terrible movies after this, I want this to be the one that everyone remembers”. It pays homage to John Wayne’s The Shootist in a lot of ways (which was also underappreciated). Watch Gran Torino and tell me that it shouldn’t have gotten something.