Cinema Especiais

When the Oscars got it wrong awarding actors!

The Academy Awards are the biggest in the film industry, but they not always reward the actors that have just the most amazing roles. These roles are probably roles of a lifetime, or it can so happen that the actors who won simply didn’t have such a demanding role as the ones I picked. Just a quick reminder: I loved all the performances, but if it was up to me to give the award, this would be the scenario. Also, I only picked years where I have watched all the movies involved in the categories:

1999

Best Actor in a Leading Role

 

Who Won: Roberto BenigniLa Vita è Bella

Who Should Have Won: Edward NortonAmerican History X

This is a tough one because I am a huge fan of La Vita è Bella, but I felt that Benigni, at least deserved the best directing award. As for the performance, it was endearing and charming, of course… but Edward Norton was beyond incredible in American History X. Such a portrayal of a Nazi supporter can really mess you up in the head, so Norton was clearly the winner, as the role is more demanding than Benigni’s.

Best Actress in a Leading Role

 

Who Won: Gwyneth PaltrowShakespeare in Love

Who Should Have Won: Cate BlanchettElizabeth

As I said in the previous article, I find Shakespeare in Love to be highly overrated. Gwyneth Paltrow is not that big of an actress to be rewarded here, instead, just have a look at Cate Blanchett and her first big role as Queen Elizabeth I. Being joyous all the time doesn’t mean your performance is difficult, and Paltrow certainly did not live to the expectations. Blanchett portraying such a hard warming monarch is definitely a safer bet.

2000

Best Actor in a Leading Role

 

Who Won: Kevin SpaceyAmerican Beauty

Who Should Have Won: Richard FarnsworthA Straight Story

Okay, despite all the Kevin Spacey crap that happened, he was a good actor and in American Beauty he was fine, as the film gives its actors the best material to work with… but my heart needs to support Richard Farnsworth on this one. The old veteran carries the whole movie forward and he is amazing and flawless. I cried, I laughed, and I envy his ability to be in such a good shape as performer in his 70s. I think that favoritism for American Beauty helped this one be forgotten…

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

 

Who Won: Michael CaineThe Cider House Rules

Who Should Have Won: Michael Clarke DuncanThe Green Mile

I mean… I guess the Academy switched the Michaels… oh wait, MyCocaine won. But… how about that gut-wrenching performance that Clarke Duncan had in The Green Mile? I mean, the role was so powerful and yet so tragically sad that we haven’t yet started to recover. It became History, unlike Caine’s performance in The Cider House Rules.

2002

Best Actor in a Leading Role

 

Who Won: Denzel WashingtonTraining Day

Who Should Have Won: Sean PennI Am Sam

I am a huge fan of Denzel Washington and I absolutely loved him in Training Day… but that year… oh man, my heart just can’t stop remembering all the tears I cried while watching I Am Sam. And Sean Penn is absolutely marvelous, as his role is both physically and psychologically far more demanding. He plays a mentally disabled man, whose daughter the government wants to take away from him. Well… I don’t think I need to say anything else.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

 

Who Won: Jim BroadbentIris

Who Should Have Won: Ian McKellenThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

I also adore Jim Broadbent and he is quite the gentleman actor, but nobody remembers his Iris performance because Gandalf the Grey was being written in the History of Cinema books. McKellen should have been recognized for his protrayal of the Tolkien’s adaptations and in the Fellowship of the Ring he is way better than Broadbent was on Iris.

2004

Best Actor in a Leading Role

 

Who Won: Sean Penn – Mystic River

Who Should Have Won: Johnny DeppPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Don’t get me wrong, Sean Penn is one of my favorite actors and in Mystic River he provides another class act performance. But, Jack Sparrow is one of the most original characters that was created in 2003. We all remember him, we all know his lines, he touched our hearts and souls and I could never forget him. Despite the downfall of Depp’s career, this was his biggest and most certain role, and should he should be rewarded.

2006

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

 

Who Won: George ClooneySyriana

Who Should Have Won: Jake GyllenhaalBrokeback Mountain

I am not particularly a fan of George Clooney as an actor. I like his directing though, and in Syriana, although he is okay (the film is an example of complete boredom), Gyllenhaal’s sweetness and whole-hearted acting in Brokeback Mountain was absolutely marvelous.

2011

Best Actor in a Leading Role

 

Who Won: Colin FirthThe King’s Speech

Who Should Have Won: Javier BardemBiutiful

This is another case where I think Colin Firth was adorable in The King’s Speech, but Javier Bardem still manages to prove that is one of the greatest actors of his generation. His performance is raw, strong and drives the whole picture, making the audience feel the pain the character feels.

2012

Best Actress in a Leading Role

 

Who Won: Meryl StreepThe Iron Lady

Who Should Have Won: Viola DavisThe Help

Meryl Streep is a legend, there is no doubt in that. Portraying Margaret Thatcher is also a risky task, and Meryl is amazing, but the movie not so much. I think that Viola Davis was underlooked for her role in The Help. She is even greater, as the role is more demanding than Streep’s was.

2013

Best Actress in a Leading Role

 

Who Won: Jennifer LawrenceSilver Linings Playbook

Who Should Have Won: Emmanuelle RivaAmour

Jennifer Lawrence is one talented actress for sure, but in 2013 I don’t particularly know what the Academy saw for her role in Silver Linings Playbook. I mean she’s fine and all, but veteran actress Emmanuelle Riva was absolutely flawless in Amour. Probably a time where the Academy should have made history by merit and chose not to.

2016

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

 

Who Won: Mark RylanceBridge of Spies

Who Should Have Won: Sylvester StalloneCreed

I mean… I was neither rooting for Rylance nor Stallone. This award should have gone to young Jacob Tremblay for his hauting and brilliant performance in Room, but since Rylance’s (with all due respect) is kind of a bore in Bridge of Spies, ol’ veteran Stallone manages to capture all the magic again by returning to his roots.

2017

Best Actor in a Leading Role

 

Who Won: Casey AffleckManchester by the Sea

Who Should Have Won: Viggo MortensenCaptain Fantastic

I really don’t understand the fascination with Casey Affleck. I mean… he is who he is in EVERY SINGLE ROLE HE HAS. He is obnoxious, and such a boring actor… on that year, Mortensen was absolutely masterful as a father of I-don’t-remember-how-many-kids. He is so extraordinary that the his performance alone will bring you to tears.

2019

Best Actor in a Leading Role

 

Who Won: Rami MalekBohemian Rhapsody

Who Should Have Won: Bradley CooperA Star is Born

I hated Bohemian Rhapsody. It could have been called the Queen’s Parody and although I can see the effort put by Malek, he was highly superficial. While compared to the broken Crazy Heart-style performance by Bradley Cooper (who is an actor I don’t particularly like), I must say that was sure his year. He was more than amazing.

2020

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

 

Who Won: Laura DernMarriage Story

Who Should Have Won: Scarlett JohanssonJojo Rabbit

I mean… I love Laura Dern, but her role in Marriage Story is so trivial that I can’t see why the Academy felt it was the right time to give her the Oscar. I just feel like Scarlett Johansson was really funnier and charismatic than the Big Little Lies‘ star. I feel that Oscar injustices are there and we need to talk about them.

Feel free to share your opinions on the matter.

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