Sunday, March 05, 2006

"I like to watch"

My list of greatest Oscar snubs (since the 1970s ... I don't have all day here, and, presumably, neither do you):

Al Pacino ("The Godfather") to Joey Grey ("Cabaret") for BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR ... back when Pacino was understated, and often brilliant. Francis Ford Coppola also got robbed that year for BEST DIRECTOR, losing to Bob Fosse ("Cabaret").

One of my all time faves, the late Madeline Kahn, for her spot-on Marlene Dietrich parody in "Blazing Saddles." She lost out to Ingrid Bergman ("Murder on the Orient Express") for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS.

"Network" and "Taxi Driver" losing to "Rocky" for BEST PICTURE!?! Martin Scorsese wasn't even nominated that year for BEST DIRECTOR; Sidney Lumet ("Network") was, but, inexplicably, John Avildsen ("Rocky") took home the prize.

"Being There" was royally robbed; it wasn't nominated for BEST PICTURE, but "All that Jazz" was ... egads! No nomination for its lead actress, Shirley MacLaine, either, despite pulling off the funniest masturbation scene in film history. And, of course, not recognizing Peter Sellers for BEST ACTOR as Chance the Gardner stands as the greatest injustice in Oscar history.

"Ordinary People" over "Raging Bull" and "The Elephant Man" for BEST PICTURE? Robert Redford winning BEST DIRECTOR over Scorsese and David Lynch?? And no nomination for Anthony Hopkins (who may have done his best work as the caring doctor in "Elephant Man")??? Damn fools.

Should've been the year of "The Verdict." Instead, it was the year of "Gandhi." Would've been Paul Newman's first, and most-deserved, Oscar. And what have these people got against Lumet, who directed Newman?

Only David Lynch was nominated for "Blue Velvet." Nothing for Dennis Hopper, who was nominated, deservedly, for "Hooisers."

Woody Allen losing out to Oliver Stone for BEST DIRECTOR. "Crimes and Misdemeanors" is a classic; I dare you to sit through "Born on the Fourth of July" again.

"Goodfellas" not only didn't win BEST PICTURE, it lost out to "Dances with Wolves"?!? And Scorsese loses to Kevin Costner for BEST DIRECTOR?? And Lorraine Bracco ("Goodfellas") to Whoopi Goldberg ("Ghost") for BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS?? I remember screaming at the television many times that year, and not just when Billy Crystal was performing one of his interminable musical numbers.

The year that ruined Pacino, who won BEST ACTOR over Denzel Washington ("Malcom X") and Clint Eastwood ("Unforgiven"). Pacino's been in overdrive ever since. I'd be remiss not to mention Marisa Tomei, who won BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS over the likes of Judy Davis ("Husbands and Wives.")

Like Pacino, when Anthony Hopkins keeps it subtle, he's sublime. Should've won BEST ACTOR for "Remains of the Day," but instead Tom Hanks got the nod for his showy turn in the overrated "Philadelphia."

At least Frances McDormand won BEST ACTRESS. But "Fargo" should've also landed trophies for BEST PICTURE, BEST DIRECTOR (Joel Coen) and BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (William H. Macy). Instead, those awards went to "The English Patient," Anthony Minghella (for "The English Patient") and Cuba Gooding Jr., who went on to star in "Boat Trip."

Robert Duvall ("The Apostle") did his best work ever, yet Jack Nicholson ("As Good as it Gets") gets recognized for one of his more medicore performances. And Atom Egoyan ("The Sweet Hereafter") was much more deserving for BEST DIRECTOR than the "Titanic"-egoed James Cameron.

By now everyone must regret giving 15 minutes of fame to BEST ACTOR Roberto Benigni (the Italian Robin Williams ... not a compliment). Nick Nolte ("Affliction") should've won. And, regardless of what you think about Spielberg, "Saving Private Ryan" was a helluva lot more worthy a BEST PICTURE winner than "Shakespeare in Love." And anyone would've been more worthy than BEST ACTRESS Gwyneth Paltrow.

A fairly weak crop, as evidenced by the criminally overrated "American Beauty" winning BEST PICTURE. "The Insider" would've been a better choice across-the-board.

Julia Roberts shows some clevage and finally wins an Oscar; Laura Linney ("You Can Count on Me") should've beat her out for BEST ACTRESS.

"Gosford Park" was a better movie than "A Beautiful Mind," and are you really going to tell me Ron Howard is a better director than Robert Altman?

Hard to say what movie should've won BEST PICTURE, but there's no doubting "Chicago" was the worst choice since "Oliver" in 1968.

The year DragonCon took over the festivities, leaving Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray ("Lost in Translation") empty-handed in favor of, uggh, "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the Kings" (and Sean Penn/BEST ACTOR).


  1. Don't forget Madeline Kahn was also robbed of Supporting Actress for Paper Moon, because she was only in it for minutes, but was inexplicably competing with Tatum O'Neal, who was in almost every scene.

    Helen Hunt robbed Kate Winslet of her Titanic Oscar.

    The Lord of the Rings award was basically a cumulative win for the series. But LOTR is a love it or hate it thing, & never the twain shall meet

  2. Man, you can't be dissing Rocky... The rest I'll give you, but don't be dissing Rocky

  3. kate blanchette in Elizabeth was ROBBED, i tell ya! and in broad daylight, too.


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