S.G. Browne

Movie Review Monday: Oscar Edition

In light of the fact that both The Town and Ben Affleck were left off of the list of 2010 Oscar nominees for Best Picture and Best Director, I’m dedicating this week’s Movie Review Monday to some of the biggest snubs by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences over the past twenty years.

Feel free to agree or disagree…

1990 Best Picture (Goodfellas)
Scorsese had to wait until 2006 to finally get a Best Picture and Best Director win for The Departed, but it should have happened sixteen years earlier with Goodfellas. Instead, it lost out to the painfully long Dances With Wolves. This was probably the most disappointing end to an Academy Awards show I ever watched, second only to…

1997 Best Picture (L.A. Confidential)
When Titanic won for Best Picture, I threw up a little in my mouth. Two-dimensional characters, a predictable ending, and a forbidden romance apparently makes for an Oscar-winning combination. L.A. Confidential was a far superior film on all counts. It shouldn’t have even been close. But the Academy likes its grandiose, epic films with clear cut good guys and bad guys. This is me, giving them the finger.

1999 Best Actor (Jim Carrey)
Being a Kevin Spacey fan, I can’t say I wasn’t happy he won for American Beauty or that he didn’t deserve the award. But the fact that Jim Carrey wasn’t even nominated for his portrayal of Andy Kaufman in Man on the Moon was just ridiculous. Even more so than his snub for The Truman Show the year before.

2001 Best Actor (Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce)
I didn’t think Denzel Washington’s portrayal of a villainous cop in Training Day was anything special. Of the five nominees, I felt Russell Crowe deserved to take home the gold for Best Actor in A Beautiful Mind. Considering he nabbed the Golden Globe and the SAG, I’m not the only one who thought Crowe was more deserving. But if you ask me, Guy Pearce should have won for Memento, but he didn’t even get nominated.

Those are just the top few that come to mind and are obviously just one writer’s opinion. What are some of your biggest Oscar snubs?

Filed under: Move Review Monday,Movies and Books — S.G. Browne @ 9:14 am


  1. Scott,

    All of your points are well made, although I didn’t find Affleck’s performance at playing a Townie enough of a stretch for him to qualify for an Oscar. In fact, this role mirrors much of what he did in Good Will Hunting.

    I am thrilled that The American wasn’t nominated. Ugh. Ebert calls the performance enigmatic. I’ve also heard it called a Stoic performance. For all I know, it could have been a silent movie.

    As far as Inception, it had an ending as cheap ending as Repo Men. I understood the ending, and found that there were too many websites dedicated to explaining what the ending meant. As a dissertation on reality, I found it muddled and unreal.

    I’ve heard great things about the others on the nomination list for this year, though. I haven’t seen them, but view them as my homework. It should be fun.

    Comment by Weston Ochse — February 7, 2011 @ 10:32 am

  2. Actually, I mentioned Affleck for Best Director, not actor. He’s been passed over twice, both for The Town and Gone Baby Gone in 2007, which was much more deserving than There Will Be Blood, Michael Clayton, and Atonement, if you ask me.

    As for this year, I think The Town was worthy of the nomination and should be one of the top five, along with The Fighter, True Grit, The Social Network, and The King’s Speech. Tough to argue with any of those. The others on the list (Inception, Black Swan, etc.) are really second tier compared to the others. Says one man.

    Comment by admin — February 7, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

  3. Oh, man! I’m so elated that you posted this. Gotta say, 1994 stands out as a bs year, in my opinion. I’m no Forrest Gump hater, but it was the vanilla, fluffy pick. Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption were far superior films, but were on the darker side. Then don’t get me started about 1996 when the English Patient trumped Fargo.
    As far as the biggest, balls out snubs (no mention at all):
    Jim Carrey (Man on the Moon)-agreed; Mike Myers – 54, supporting; Sam Rockwell – Moon, actor; Angelica Huston – Choke, supporting; Daniel Craig (for really anything…but specifically Flashbacks of a Fool, Enduring Love, Casino Royale…there’s so many)…

    Comment by Eric — February 8, 2011 @ 3:57 am

  4. Who can forget Gweneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love) beating out Cate Blachett (Elizabeth). While I feel comedies are under-represented in the academy awards, it was not Paltrow’s performance that deserved accolade in that movie. Blanchett, on the other hand, beautifully portrayed Elizabeth and moved from timid princess to one of the most powerful queens ever in the space of that movie.

    Now I’m mad all over again.

    Comment by LibrarianMarian — February 8, 2011 @ 10:05 am

  5. Eric, I feel your pain. I thoroughly enjoyed Forrest Gump but thought Pulp Fiction got slighted and I thought Fargo was deserving of the award, even more so than No Country For Old Men. And The Shawshank Redemption is one of those films I can watch whenever it comes on TV no matter when I start watching it.

    Comment by admin — February 8, 2011 @ 4:19 pm

  6. And Marian, I’m glad I could help to rekindle your anger. :)

    Comment by admin — February 8, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

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