The yearly spectacle known as the Academy Awards is supposed to represent the feelings of Hollywood and the film industry. It is the collective agreement between all the different groups that comprise this business we call show. If that is true than the film industry has once again proved it is confused, unoriginal, and full of twelve year old girls. Lists like this are not uncommon these days but one thing that bugs me about them is that people complain without solution. My rule, if you are going to say a person or movie got shafted, then who or what would you take out? Because unless you’re the Academy you can’t just add on as many nominations as you’d like. So without further ado…
Who Got Snubbed: Jackie Earl Haley, “Watchmen” – Remember, playing a pedophile will get you an Oscar nod, but playing a masked psychopath will get you squat. Two years ago Haley was nominated for his role in “Little Children” but I believe his best performance was in this year’s “Watchmen” as the unyielding, uncompromising Rorschach. Ask anyone who saw it, his performance stood out and sticks with you. Who should be cut: Matt Damon, Invictus. Everything about the movie including the performances were underwhelming. A good South African accent shouldn’t be enough to get nominated.
Who Got Snubbed: Robert Downey Jr., “Sherlock Holmes” – Why can’t an actor have some fun and still get a nod? I would go so far as to say he should have also gotten credit for last year’s “Iron Man” to help push him over the top. Who should be cut: George Clooney, “Up In the Air” – Is there a rule he has to get nominated every year. I’ve seen this performance before and it was one-note then too.
Who Got Snubbed: Sharlto Copley, “District 9”; Sam Rockwell, “Moon”; and Viggo Mortensen, “The Road” – I’ll include them all in one to highlight the fact that the Academy ignored multiple strong performances that might not have been quiet as safe as Clooney’s but were far more impactful and difficult. Check out these films and you’ll see what I mean, they are not your standard fare. Who should be cut: Colin Firth, “A Single Man”; George Clooney, “Up in the Air”; and Morgan Freeman, “Invictus” – Don’t worry, you’ll see these kinds of performances every year so you’d have plenty of chances to nominate them again.
Who Got Snubbed: “Zombieland”, Best Original Screenplay – Wait, wait, here me out. I would not put this up for Best Picture (although the if the Academy opens it up a little more it might get there) but it’s screenplay was genius. The strength of this film was the writing and it is some of the most original you will ever see. Rottentomatoes.com is a site that compiles critics grades from all over the country and gives each film a score, “Zombieland” currently has a score of 89%, to put that in perspective four of the films up for Best Picture have lower scores (“Avatar” 82%, “Inglorious Basterds” 88%, “The Blind Side” 70%, and “A Serious Man” 87%). Who should be cut: “The Messenger”, a tough call since there are some good choices here but this one had better acting than script.
Who Got Snubbed: “Star Trek”, Best Picture – A sci-fi film featuring Aliens and Zoe Saldana in a lead role did get nominated but it was the wrong one. J.J. Abrams re-imagined an old favorite and created something that was tense, fun, gripping, emotional, and funny. And what’s more is it makes you want to watch it over and over again. Who should be cut: “Avatar”, while it may look great in 3-D on a big theater I feel this will be a movie that three years down the road when you’re watching it at home on a normal TV you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about. It may look great but the writing is cliché and the story is ripped right out of ten other films. And to further use Rottentomatoes.com to prove my point, “Star Trek” 94% and “Avatar” 82%, so I’m not alone.
Who Got Snubbed: Zoe Saldana, “Avatar” – Just to show this isn’t all an “Avatar” hate-fest I want to say that Zoe got screwed. She got left out because the Academy cannot get the fact that acting through CGI is still acting. I thought Andy Serkis should have been nominated for playing Gollum and I’ll continue my rant here. If Zoe had been painted blue and wearing prosthetics then she would have had a good shot given how good her performance was (About the only one in the movie that wasn’t one-note). Maybe in ten years the Academy will get past their prejudice here, but until then these kinds of performances are left out. Who should be cut: Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air” – I may be alone on this but she is flat, boring and I just don’t get this choice at all. Not even close to the emotional force that Saldana’s performance had.