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Top List Thursdays – Top ten Oscars snubs

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It’s Oscar season! Next week is the big event, as someone is walking away with a naked gold man in their purse. Probably Kervyn, because he’s trying to infiltrate his way in with a different disguise this year. This year has seen the usual nominations announced with quite a few surprising snubs as well, right Ben Affleck?

But the Oscars have a history of this. So without further ado, let’s take a look at ten noticeable omissions from the gold man group.

Ralph Fiennes loses to Tommy Lee Jones for the Best Supporting actor Oscar

Schindler’s List won its fair share of awards back in 1993 at the Oscars, but actor Ralph Fiennes went home empty handed that night. Despite putting in a sizzling and terrifying performance in as Nazi officer Amon Goeth, the academy saw fit to instead award Tommy Lee Jones with the best supporting actor naked gold dude statue instead.

And while Jones was a pretty decent actor, it was amazing that he was even considered in the first place. Fiennes was the very embodiment of cruelty and evil in Schindler’s List, an unstable madman who woke up each morning to take part in some live target practice. A performance that Jones in The Fugitive simply could not live up to at the end of the day.

Goodfellas fuggehds about winning the Best Picture Oscar thanks to Dances with wolves

I won’t deny that Kevin Costner had a pretty decent film under his belt when he started the lupine tango. But c’mon! If I had to give you a choice between watching either Kostner avataring things up, or the Martin Scorsese gangster masterpiece, which would you really choose?

It says something mighty powerful when a film that happens to now be 23 years old, is infinitely more rewatcheable than Dances with Wolves. Costner was on the top of his game back then, but then out of nowhere, came this tale of three friends caught up in the underworld connections and dealings of the Cosa Nostra.

It was a surprise nomination then, but it was a well deserved one. An underdog at the Academy Awards, Goodfellas never stood a chance, before Costner slipped an icepick in the back of the neck of this classic flick, winning all the awards that night.

Saving Private Ryan fails to establish a forward Best Picture Base on Shakespeare in Love beach

When it comes to Oscar award years, 1998 is pretty much the very worst of them. It was also the year of the World War 2 film, that saw the very excellent Thin Red Line go head to head with Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan.

Both were excellent pieces of wartime drama. And while Saving Private Ryan is considered the better movie at the end of the day, they both share the distinction of being a helluva lot better than the long-winded romantic comedy that was Shakespeare in Love. Hell, just take a look at how visibly disappointed Harrison Ford was when he read out the winner for the best movie of 1998.

Gary Oldman gets shafted for two decades

Poor Gary Oldman. He’s been acting for decades now, and in all those years, he was ignored by the Oscars awards committee. It wasn’t until 2012 when he was finally recognized and nominated for an award, that Oldman finally got some much needed recognition.

Just take a look at some of his films, that never got the nod; Sid and Nancy, The Professional, JFK and more among many others. It’s impossible to not be entertained by the thespian

The judges refuse to f%$ing look at Dennis Hopper in Blue Velvet

Here’s the thing about Dennis Hopper. The man was in some terrible movies throughout his career. But no matter how bad the role was, he played it with an incredible amount of decication and a heart attitude. And between starring in a few direct to DVD turkies, Hopper also got the chance to flex his acting chops on some more notewoerthy roles as well.

The 1986 Blue Velvet is just such an example, as Hopper pulled out all the crazy stops for his role as the nitrous oxide-huffing sadist Frank Boothe. How on earth could Hopper not win an Oscar in the year that this was release? Simple, because he got nominated for another film that he starred in, by the name of Hoosiers. And compared to the rest of the Oscars competition and Blue Velvet, it was a dead certain that he wouldn’t walk away with the coveted prize that year.

But man, can you imagine the speech that he would have given had he won for his Frank Boothe performance? Sigh…

Denzell Washington gets squat for Philadelphia

Philadelphia is often seen as a Tom Hanks movie, as he portrayed a character battling with the AIDS virus and social discrimination. But it was Denzell Washington who really carried the film. As a prejudiced lawyer who wanted nothing to do with the court case of a century, Washington was the point of view character that the audience really identified with. Overcoming his own ignorance to fight the mother of all legal cases was no easy task, but Washington pulled it off with style.

It’s just a shame that it took so long for the Academy to eventually realise his talents, before he got a proper Oscar nod and award.

Titanic triumphs over Jack Nicolson and Matt Damon

I won’t deny that Titanic is one epic movie, but it was a feature film that scored big thanks to director James Cameron knowing where to spend his bloated budget. Size isn’t everything, and in that same year, we saw Jack Nicholson back on screen in As Good As It Gets, while Matt Damon and Robin Williams got serious in Good Will Hunting.

Those are two films which hook you in, and keep you there, all without the use of an ear-bleedingly terrible Celine Dion song or massive amounts of CGI. As Good As It Gets was a great spin on a feel good movie, with Nicholson putting in a stunning performance as usual, while Good Will Hunting cut to the heart of a troubled genius and laid it all out on a table for the world to see.

But that damn iceberg man, that damn iceberg…

Citizen Kane gets Rosebudded by a green valley

Mention top 100 movies of all time, and you’d be hard pressed not to include the Orson Welles classic Citizen Kane. Ahead of its time, and perhaps too far ahead of the judging committee, the film is as watchable today as it was back in 1941. But despite some sterling direction and action, Citizen Kane lost out in the end. Still, Orson Welles did walk away with an award for best screenplay. The only Oscar that he ever received.

The Iron Giant gets sent to the scrap heap

It’s taken a long time for animation to get to a point where it can stand shoulder to shoulder with live action contemporaries  Despite the scoffing from the old gurad, this year has seen some great nominees from the short story section, from Pixars Paperman through to The Simpsons take on world war two prisons, The Longest Daycare.

Cue 1999, and director Brad Bird hits audiences with The Iron Giant, a movie with storytelling that could put most big Hollywood flicks to shame. It scooped numerous awards when it was released, but when Oscar season came knocking, it got even less than love The Colour Purple, garnering no such nods for anything, whatsoever.

Stanley Kubrick never gets recognised for his direction

There’s a lot that can be said about Stanley Kubrick. The man was an absolutely intense perfectionist, exacting a heavy toll from any actor who took up the challenge to work with him on a film, and the thespian abuse stories that surround his legend are epic.

But just take a look at his films. Look at how that devotion to the perfect shot paid off. Each frame is a materpiece, each scene feels real and each movie offers something different entirely. And not once, in his entire career, did Kubrick ever win an Oscar for his directing work.

Kubrick directed movies that had a massive impact on the industry, from 2001: A Space Oddysey through to The Shining, but through all those years he was often overlooked by the Academy. On the  plus side though, he’s not alone, as I’m certain Alfred Hitchcock can relate to his snubbings.

Hey now, there might be a movie in that idea…

Last Updated: February 21, 2013

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