Steve Carell

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.

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Early Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Supporting Actor

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The Oscars is still a few months away but that does not stop people predicting who will be nominated. Here are some of my predictions for Best Supporting Actor.

Michael Fassbender – 12 Years A Slave

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Michael Fassbender is currently one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. He has been busy doing many projects for the past couple of years starting in both big budget and independent movies. This year he is re collaborating with Shame and Hunger director Steve McQueen. After his snub at the Oscars two years ago for his role in Shame it is highly likely he will receive a nomination for 12 Years A Slave. Last year Django Unchained brought slavery back to the attention of filmmakers however whereas Django Unchained contained many sub genres 12 Years A Slave will be more focused and more dramatic. Despite being leads in McQueen’s other motion pictures Fassbender will likely receive a best supporting nomination for this role as he is not the focus of the film but i’m sure he may steal the show.

Bradley Cooper – American Hustle

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I didn’t think much of Bradley Cooper as an actor until I saw Silver Linings Playbook and I was able to go back and watch some of his other films. I do think he is a really good actor and I am annoyed that he did not get more recognition for his role in Silver Linings Playbook for playing a man suffering from mental illness. I personally feel his performance was stronger than that of Jennifer Lawrence who won her category at the Oscars last year. Cooper is teaming up again with David O’Russel the director of Silver Linings Playbook. Cooper plays an FBI agent who teams up with a con artist. I don’t know much about the plot of American Hustle but its cast and production team is enough for me to go see it. After not winning last year Cooper should at least get a second nomination for this film.

Daniel Bruhl – Rush

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Daniel Bruhl is a bit of an unknown to me however I am aware that he was in Inglorious Basterds and more recently The Fifth Estate. He seems like the generic foreign nominee for this year however from the trailer it looks like he gives a powerful performance as the formula one drive Nicki Lauda. I will be seeing Rush soon hopefully and I will judge whether he gets nominated on the performance in the film once I’ve seen it. However there is lots of talk already about him receiving a nomination. Rush is directed by Ron Howard who has won two Oscars for A Beautiful Mind. The fact he is directing the film may give the academy the chance to see Daniel’s work and hopefully he will receive a nominated.

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

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Now I’m not sure if this role will be nominated for Leading or supporting but I think most likely supporting. This may seem like an unlikely nomination but from what I have heard of the story this will be a very unusual performance from Steve Carell. Carell is well known for his portrayal of Michael Scott in The Office and is known for working in Comedy. In Foxcatcher he will play John Du Pont a millionaire schizophrenic who murdered his best friend. The film will follow the Schultz brothers story up until Du Pont commits the murder. I am surprised that Carell took this role but I think this shows his determination to stop being typecast. He even wears a lot of make up and a fake nose and is almost unrecognizable in this role. This is the role that I am most looking forward to seeing this year. I think The Oscars will give him a nomination because in this he will show how much range he really has as an actor.

Jonah Hill – The Wolf Of Wall Street

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Jonah Hill who as many of you know started off in comedy movies but has moved into more serious films such as Moneyball which he also received a supporting actor nomination a few years ago. Hill has not left his comedy roots having recently stared in 21 Jump Street bit is also starring in The Wolf Of Wall Street directed by acclaimed director Martin Scorsese. The film will likely receive some attention from the Oscars but Hill may miss out on a nomination.

Wild Card

Javier Bardem – The Counselor

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The Counselor seems to me to be a wild card at the Oscars this year and I would not be surprised if it is overlooked completely. It has a star studded cast, Ridley Scott is directing and the story was written by Cormac McCarthy who wrote No Country For Old Men which also featured Javier Bardem who won a best supporting Oscar for that film. Javier Bardem is also supporting another crazy hair cut as he did in No Country For Old Men, but will this be enough to get him noticed? Probably not. I will have to see the film before I can judge how good his performance but if Bardem delivers I can defiantly see him picking up a nomination.