Shawshank Redemption

Do The Academy Awards Matter?

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Everyone likes to get praised for their work. Awards season for the film industry is important to so many people and winning an award really matters to them. The Academy Awards is considered the most prestigious film award a person can win. Actors dream of winning Oscars in particular and many not just actors but anyone who works in the film industry would be so honored to have their work recognized. However with mixed opinions on films and performances do awards really matter? There have been many roles by actors which I feel were undeserving of Academy Awards and many actors who have missed out on an Oscar nomination despite receiving praise by other awards for their performances. Some have actually made me really angry and even though some may be my personal opinion towards a performance or film I can still show my disapproval and approval of what happens at the Academy Awards.

Meryl Streep is a fantastic actress and has received so much recognition from the Academy Awards but one thing has really annoyed me recently. She won best leading actress for The Iron Lady. Now I can only say this is my opinion but I know many agree with me. In The Iron Lady it is not a powerful biopic about Margret Thatcher it is a pathetic attempt at a dementia awareness the film. He performance was so weak and she only got nominated because she gets nominated. There were better roles that year for the actresses who would have loved to have won an Oscar instead. Also many of Streep’s nominations mean that other new actresses are not getting recognized just because of the Academy’s stupid obsession with Streep. Some nominations are good but some are just put there for the sake of it and it is unfair.  I really don’t get how she won and it really makes me angry. I think this is one of the biggest mistakes the academy has ever made.

Tommy Lee Jones is a fantastic actor and gives great performances in all his films. However he won an Oscar for The Fugitive. Now if you have seen the film it is hardly a pioneering film in the world of cinema and Jones basically plays himself. Its not a terrible performance but its not an Oscar worthy performance. Compared to the other nominees in that category I am surprised that Jones came out on top. I personally would have awarded the Oscar to either Pete Postlethwaite for In The Name Of The Father or Ralph Fiennes for Schindler’s List. The other two nominees were John Malkovich for In The Line Of Fire and Leonardo DiCaprio for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. These were all worthy performances except for Jones who has done many better roles than The Fugitive that were worthy of Oscar nominations and even wins. What were the academy thinking when they gave the Oscar to him? I really don’t know.

There are many snubs made by the academy. Some have been nominated and still have not won whereas some great performances have been ignored  completely. As I said there were many better performances when Tommy Lee Jones won. Also more recently I felt Anne Hathaway was an unworthy winner of the academy award for Les Miserables.  I felt her role really lacked something but that is my opinion. Someone else should have won but I am torn at who should have though.

Gary Oldman finally received a Oscar nomination  for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy two years ago. However he did not win despite giving a fantastic performance. Jean Dujardin won for The Artist which I think is another overrated film. That is only my opinion. Oldman has been snubbed by the Oscars on many occasions but I would not have wanted him to win for just because the academy was trying to make up for snubbing him on in my opinion on 5 separate occasions. I feel that the academy did this with Russell Crowe. He won for Gladiator which was a great performance but I think he only won to make up for him not winning the previous year for the film The Insider.

Michael Fassbender received recognition for his role in Shame at the Golden Globes but was snubbed at the Oscars. He gave a really intense and powerful performance but the academy deemed the topic too sensitive and ignored his fantastic performance. Will Ferell a well known comedy actor gave a brilliant performance in Stranger Than Fiction which I felt was Oscar worthy as well as actor Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. I thought that range would be recognize range in performances.  I worry this will be done again for this years academy awards with Steve Carell. He is playing a serious role in the film Foxcatcher but because of his body of work the academy may snub him. I think the Academy needs to look at range of actors performances and not just the performances they are being marked on.

Snubs are not just for actors but it has been done for directors as well. Martin Scorsese winning for The Departed seemed to make up for snubs for his films such as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Raging Bull and Casino. Although I liked The Departed I felt some of his other films are more deserving of recognition. The Departed is actually a remake which most people don’t know.

It has also been done for best film at the Oscars. The Hurt Locker won Best Picture a few years ago and I don’t think it was the best film of that time. I felt District 9 was more deserving of recognition. Also it is controversial that Forrest Gump won Best Picture over both Pulp Fiction ans The Shawshank Redemption. There two films are considered some of the best pieces in cinema history and The Shawshank Redemption is number one on Internet Movie Data Base’s top 250 list. I personally did not like Forrest Gump and I think most people would say that both The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction are much better films despite the Academy disagreeing.

Overall I do like to keep up with the Academy Awards and other awards but I do think they have made the wrong decisions on many occasions to the point that if you work in the industry that winning an award is a bonus and may help your career but sometimes the voters don’t have a clue and it is down to personal preference and if something is good but not recognized critically it does not mean it is any lesser than a film that has received recognition.

What do you think about the Academy Awards? Do you think they are unfair and they make the wrong decisions often? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

Top 5 Performances

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Many motion pictures get made every single year with some amazing performances and some not so amazing performances. There are so many great performances too many to mention but here is my top 5 performances.

5. Morgan Freeman – The Shawshank Redemption

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Arguably not the lead of The Shawshank Redemption but he is the actor who steals the show in this film. Morgan Freeman has one of the greatest voices ever and in this film he shows his authoritative narration to the evolution of the story. This is a subtle performance but Morgan Freeman brings so much to the role and this is a role that is always remembered in film history.

4. Kevin Spacey – The Usual Suspects

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The Usual Suspects in one of my favorite films of all time. The film is clever and the story is fantastic. Arguably the film has the best twist in film history ever. But Kevin Spacey carries this film. The piece works as an ensemble but Spacey shines above all the other actors in the film. We feel sorry for him as his character but at the same time we understand that he is a criminal and basically a scumbag. Its annoying that Spacey only received the Academy Award for supporting actor rather than lead for his Portrayal of Verbal Kint.

3. Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight

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Controversial choice but Heath Ledger gave a stunning performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight. I remember when it was announced he was cast and people were outraged. They thought this heartthrob cannot play such an evil character. His performance shines and he is the best thing about The Dark Knight. Many people said he only won the oscar because he died but his performance is a classic and will be remembered forever. Its good to see a ‘superhero’ movie have such an interesting and evil character.

2. Robert De Niro – Taxi Driver

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Considered by most people to be the greatest actor in the world. His performance in Taxi Driver is breathtaking. His character is at a breaking point and despite his sinister intentions we care so much about his character. His character is out of sync with reality but he is very believable due to his presence and how he reacts to the rest of the characters of the film. This is truly De Niro’s Best Performance.

1, Daniel Day Lewis – There Will Be Blood

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This is my favorite performance given by any actor ever. It Daniel Day Lewis is a fantastic actor and I think he always gives fantastic performances. He is the only actor to win three Academy Awards for Leading actor. Other notable films he has started in include Lincoln, In the Name of the Father and My Left Foot. In There Will Be Blood he steals the show and creates one of the most believable characters ever to appear on our screens.

Do you agree with these 5 actors? Would you put them in a different order? Would you pick completely different ones? Please comment below if you want to. Thanks for reading.