TThe Oscars don’t usually reward bad acting. The worst cinematic crime scenes feature talented stars trying to salvage what they can, from Viola Davis making the best of it The helpto Colin Firth taking off his royal socks The king’s speech.
In truth, the Oscars are more confusing than offensive. A lot of actors seem to win for the wrong performances (don’t everyone superior Still Alice is Julianne Moore’s best work?), while interesting performances in provocative films tend to be overlooked to give more traditional Oscar bait.
That means it’s a lot easier to make a list of “what the heck?” wins when it’s the really bad ones. These are times when the winner seemed far less deserving than the other nominees, or when a juicy Oscar narrative overwhelmed the performance itself: who hadn’t won in a while? Who has been snubbed too many times? Who was risking their health the most with all that weight loss/weight gain/possible hypothermia and so on?
In the run-up to this year’s Academy Awards, which takes place on March 28, we’ve gone through more than 30 years of ceremonies to find 13 of the most frustrating Oscar misdemeanors in the acting categories.
Daniel Day Lewis in Lincoln
To say anything negative about Daniel Day-Lewis is tantamount to sacrilege, so I won’t do it. But Steven Spielberg’s biopic about Abraham Lincoln is also one of the actor’s least exciting works. His performance as one of America’s greatest presidents is fueled by stoicism and restraint – traits that are essentially the kryptonite of the Oscars. With that in mind, it’s admirable that he triumphed in 2013. Still, one wishes Oscar had ventured elsewhere this year based on Day-Lewis’ other nominees. Compared to an electric Bradley Cooper in silver linings Playbookor Joaquin Phoenix’s weird and bewitching work in The masterDay-Lewis was feeling (dare I say it?) a bit boring.
Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady
Meryl Streep is the queen of technology. She’s never been a particularly naturalistic performer, but it’s still exciting to watch her move, gesture and project. But in something like The Iron Woman, where she played Margaret Thatcher, it’s almost unbearable. As hard as she tries, she never seems to get a handle on the character, possibly because The Iron Woman isn’t a very good movie, but it’s incredibly distracting. This Oscar year (2012) was also a great year for performances by women, most of whom were not even nominated – Charlize Theron among them young adultTilda Swinton in We need to talk about KevinKristen Wiig in bridesmaidsElizabeth Olsen a Martha Marcy May Marlene. Despite all that stiff competition, Streep was particularly outrageous in the various Best Actress races.
Julianne Moore in Still Alice
That was an It’s Time Oscar. Still Alice was Julianne Moore’s fifth Oscar nomination, and the Academy decided she finally deserved a spot on the podium. While she is very good as a woman with early-stage Alzheimer’s, the film itself is forgettable. A simple solution would have been to give Moore her well-deserved Oscar in 1998 for her great work boogie nights. Or in 2003 for Far from heaven, where she embodied heartbreaking fragility as the tormented housewife of the 1950s. With such “It’s Time” narration, unnecessary in 2015, this year’s Best Actress Oscar could have gone to a terrifying Rosamund Pike Ex girlfriend instead of this.
Martin Landau in Ed Wood
Everyone loves Martin Landau, so it’s difficult to begrudge this win too much. His work as Bela Lugosi in this underrated Tim Burton drama is also compelling and poignant. But he also competed against Samuel L Jackson pulp fiction. Jackson’s work in the Quentin Tarantino classic is a truly cinematic achievement, creating stars if there ever was one. She’s funny, scary, and endlessly quotable. It seems bizarre that it wasn’t an awards ceremony back then.
Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained
Or the second time Samuel L. Jackson missed his Oscar. While you could excuse Landau’s win based on the quality of his performance Ed WoodIt remains mysterious that the Oscars won Waltz the most outstanding Django Unchained Ensemble – especially when he won for another Tarantino film, Inglourious Basterds, just three years earlier. None from Waltz django Co-stars – Jackson and a similarly awesome Leonardo DiCaprio – reaped supporting actor nominations, and he ultimately triumphed The master‘s Philip Seymour Hoffman in Hoffman’s last major performance before his tragic death.
Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby
For someone who has won two Best Actress Oscars, Hilary Swank has had an odd career. Last seen as a psychotic cop in the lurid thriller FatalSwank probably didn’t need a second Oscar for the tearjerker Clint Eastwood Weepie million dollar baby. Instead, Kate Winslet was awarded this year’s Best Actress Oscar for her stunning performance in Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind — would have stripped her of an It’s Time narrative four years later too (when she won for her role in the staid courtroom drama). The reader). Ah, what could have been.
Michael Caine in The Cider House Rules
This is the quintessential Harvey Weinstein Oscar, as it came courtesy of a treacherous period drama that he aggressively promoted and was then quickly forgotten. It was also an odd triumph – Michael Caine had already won in 1986 Hannah and her sistersso he didn’t have a particularly strong “It’s Time” narrative around him, and he also faced a quartet of really brilliant and still much-discussed performances (Tom Cruise in magnoliaMichael Clarke Duncan in The green mileHaley Joel Osment in The sixth Sense and Jude Law in The talented Mr Ripley).
Jim Broadbent in Irises
This was another win for Harvey Weinstein’s factory. An Iris Murdoch biopic being distributed by Weinstein’s Miramax Films, in which both Judi Dench and Kate Winslet play the late journalist, was practically made for an Oscar. Broadbent is fine as Murdoch’s doting husband, but not nearly as memorable as his supporting actor competition earlier this year, which included Ben Kingsley’s hilariously fleeting work sexy beastand Ian McKellen as Gandalf.
Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody
In this botched Freddie Mercury biopic, Rami Malek gives less of a performance than a bizarre jumble of fake teeth, bad wigs and odd voice acting. To be fair, most of Malek’s direct competitors were in the Best Actor category in 2019 – including Viggo Mortensen Green Book and Christian Bale Vice — were various shades of awful, but how Malek swept awards season this year remains one of Hollywood’s greatest modern mysteries. Bradley Cooper’s rough and heartbreaking work A star Is Born was right there!
Jessica Tandy in Driving Miss Daisy
This is such a famous Oscar-winning performance that it’s easy to forget that it almost didn’t happen. In the run-up to the 1990 Oscars, Michelle Pfeiffer had won all the important precursors to The fabulous Baker Boys – with her Oscar loss becoming one of the big surprises of the night. But it would have been a great win. Her role as a working-class lounge singer boasts one of cinema’s most memorable moments — as she slides across a piano top to sing “Making Whoopee” — and Pfeiffer, as of 2021, has yet to win an Oscar despite so many accolades. worthy achievements. Also, with all due respect to Tandy, Drive Miss Daisy has aged like milk.
Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl.
Speaking of “aged like milk”: The Danish girl! Played by Eddie Redmayne with almost surreal levels of viciousness, this aggressive backfire about a seminal trans woman won its only Academy Award for Alicia Vikander’s portrayal as Redmayne’s on-screen wife. It’s a classic Best Supporting Actress win, with Vikander cast as a long-suffering spouse who gets at least one juicy scene of pathetic anger. But what a slumber! Especially compared to her fellow contestants, which included Rooney Mara Carol and Jennifer Jason Leigh The Hateful Eight – talk about a deserved “It’s time” Oscar. Oh.
Gary Oldman in the darkest hour
This is a true case of impressive prosthetic makeup that earned an actor an Oscar. Gary Oldman had been worthy of an Oscar for decades at this point, but probably for something more intriguing than a drab Winston Churchill biopic. This oldman took on a trio of incredible performances (Daniel Day-Lewis in phantom threadTimothy Chalamet in call me by your name and Daniel Kaluuya in Go out) only contributed to making his work seem so uninspired by comparison. Even Denzel Washington’s wacky performance in the little-seen one Roman J Israel, Esq a win would have been less confusing.
Mahershala Ali in the Green Book
Mahershala Ali is a phenomenal actor, but there’s an undeniable darkness to this win. Green Book was slammed by critics who argued that it perpetuates the tropes of the white savior and twists the truth of Ali’s character – real-life musician Don Shirley. Such an unwieldy and ill-considered undertaking spoiled something worth celebrating. Mahershala Ali is great! It was his second Oscar in three years! but Green Book, in contrast to the haunting and beautiful Moonlight, really stunk! Worse, it meant rejecting Richard E Grant’s wonderful work can you ever forgive methat should have been a much bigger award player than it was.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/oscars-worst-mistakes-wins-nominations-b2033675.html The 13 most confusing Oscar mistakes of all time