Thursday, May 5, 2011

Academy Award Snubs: The Actors in the 2000s

Well Daniel Radcliffe was not nominated for Tony yesterday, and although I have not seen the show I have seen and heard things online, and across the board people agreed that he deserved to be nominated for the role that has won Tony Awards for other actors.  This made me think about films, actors, directors, screenplays etc that have been left out of the Academy Awards.  In each decade I could up with a list of ten items within each category.  Since the snub that occurred yesterday was an acting snub I am going to focus on the actors who should have been nominated for great performances in the 2000s but were not.

1-Paul Giamatti-American Splendor (2003) and Sideways (2004) Its funny Paull Giamatti plays two, well losers in each of these films (and ironic his first nomination came with a boxing coach-a winner).  The Academy Awards are not a fan of the schmo, the hapless loser type.  Giamatti is brilliant in both of these films, neither of them glamorous roles, but he just is so natural and makes you route for him.

2-Naomi Watts-Mullholland Dr. (2001)-What can I say about this performance, except it took my breath away.  It is hard to describe without giving away major plot points in the film, and if you have not seen this movie (which many people still have probably not) you need to go in fresh.  All I can say is this is probably one of the biggest snubs of all time!  She is sweet innocent raw and powerful-the best performance she has ever given!

3-Uma Thurman-Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2 (2003 and 2004) Thurman is the ultimate kick ass woman in these films.  As she goes to take down each of her enemies one by one for attempting to kill her at her own wedding, her journey is captivating.  Thurman does her best work in both of these films and we get to see her character develop and mature throughout her quest for revenge.  There is also heart and love behind her.  Thurman deserved a Lead Actress nomination for both films!

4-Jim Carrey-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)-Many people haven't appreciated Carrey's work, but his acting in this film magnificent; he plays against type well.  He is sullen morose and awkward.  Carrey brings so much depth to this role, and has amazing chemistry with Kate Winslet.  There is no doubt Carrey should have a two nominations for Lead Actor and this was one of the,.

5-Leonardo DiCaprio-Catch me if you can (2002) and The Departed (2006) In his post Titanic days DiCaprio has grown into probably one of the best working actors.  The sad thing is that his role as Frank Abignale in Catch me if you can was so layered with humor and pain.  In my mind many people were not taking him as seriously as they should have this year.  Now DiCaprio was nominated in 2006 but for The Blood Diamond, really?  You gave The Departed Best Picture and thought DiCaprio was better in Blood Diamond.  DiCaprio deserved Best Actor nominations for both his roles in these films

6-Sally Hawkins-Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) No pulls off a genuinely happy person quite like Sally Hawkins did in her film.  What could be seen as annoying and childish in the hands of a lesser performer is handled with such wit and grace.  When she is on screen you can't help but smile, and realize that you are watching one of the best performances of the decade.  Hawkins won the Golden Globe but failed to garner a nomination for Best Actress.

7-Guy Pierce-Memento (2001) Pierce attempts to piece his memory together by using mementos from his interactions with others.  As a man with short term memory loss Pierce is utterly heartbreaking in his role, and as you realize his story.  He captures the pain and suffering he goes through as time after time you realize he can't live a normal life in the situation he is in.  Pierce should have been a lead actor nominee that year.

8-Michael Sheen-The Queen (2006) Playing a real life character and capturing their spirit while they are still alive and well is a difficult task.  Sheen did a brilliant job with playing former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.  Going toe to toe with Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II is no easy task and he handled it adeptly.  This man was robbed of a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

9-Melanie Laurent-Inglorious Basterds (2009) Laurent plays Shosanna Dreyfuss/Emmanuelle Mimieux  the woman hell bent on getting revenge on the Nazi who killed her family when she was a young girl.  As Laurent is invited to dinner with Colonel Hans. Landa he knows who she is and she knows who he is but neither knows the other knows (sounds complicated) but as she realizes he he knows she is the look on her face says enough.  Laurent deserved a supporting actress nomination.

10-Emile Hircsh-Into the Wild (2007)- Emile Hirsch plays the real life person Chris McCandless  who burns up his social security card and driver's license and leaves himself behind to go "into the wild."  Hirsch's portrayal is one of true grit and honesty, sure he is selfish, and it is this that leads to his demise, but he plays the character with honesty.  This performance earned him a lot of buzz and he deserved a nomination.

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