ONTD Original: When the Academy Awards the Wrong Performance from an Actor

Jun 04, 2021 17:33

Don't you just hate when politics gets involved in your award shows and RUINS it all? Have you ever seen an actor give a performance so amazing, so life altering, only for them to go home empty handed come award season? Have you seen the same actor get awarded either the next year or twenty years later and the role is the epitome of "her?" Well, grab your reading glasses geriatrics and indulge in all 20 10 some of the times the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have awarded the wrong performance from an actor.

The following is judged based on the criteria:
2. Overall display of acting talent -- meaning a role that hits the individual actor's strengths
3. Material
4. The staying power of the performance in popular culture


Nicole Kidman
Won for "The Hours" (2002) Should have won for "Moulin Rouge!" (2001)

image Click to view

Let's face it, Nicole wasn't taken as seriously as she should have been before her Oscar win. With credits like, Dr. Chase Meridan in "Batman Forever" and fan fave "Practical Magic" it's not hard to see why. However, Nicole's turn as Satine, the headliner of the Moulin Rouge, hit all of Nicole's strong points as a performer. She was funny, she was silly, she made you laugh, she made you ugly cry, she made you a little horny, she made you feel alive. Ultimately, at the 2001 Oscar Ceremony, Halle Berry's historic win (despite the role not aging well on multiple levels, the acting remains iconic) was the correct choice. But it did make Nicole's turn in the following year in "The Hours" seem especially baity with her prosthetic nose. She knew the Academy LOVES a pretty woman in "ugly" make-up. Nicole has yet to take a role as versatile and fun as Satine, and it seems unlikely she'll do so again.

Viola Davis
Won for "Fences" (2016) Should have won for "Doubt" (2008)

image Click to view

Oof. Only one other performer has been awarded an Oscar for less than 10 minutes of screen time, Judi Dench. Viola is the most recent performance to join the list of FIVE performances nominated for 8 minutes or less of screen time. This role is the role that put Viola on the map. She plays a complicated, messy, (the now iconic Viola special) yet devoted mother to a boy who may or may not be being abused by a priest. With her limited screen time she absolutely steals the show from the other four nominees from the film. At the ceremony, the Oscar went to Penelope Cruz for "Vicky Christina Barcelona" so you can see how poorly that aged in comparison to Viola's performance.

Brie Larson
Won for "Room" (2015) Should have won for "Short Term 12" (2013)

image Click to view

So, the gag is that Brie wasn't even nominated for this performance. She did manage to get nominated, and win, for several Critic Choice awards. If you managed to see "Short Term 12" before you saw "Room" you would know what could have been. The fire and determination and nuance felt a little lacking in comparison to her breakout role. Had she gotten the traction, she would have been up against Cate Blanchett for "Blue Jasmine" and that was a whole lock the entire season so, the academy made good on giving Brie some sort of recognition.

Al Pacino
Won for "The Scent of a Woman" (1992) Should have won for "The Godfather: Part II" (1974)

image Click to view

I mean, come on. Even if you know nothing about Al Pacino, you know he played Michael Corleone in the Godfather. This was the film in which Michael fully embraces his role as the new Don of the family and goes full mob boss and wacks a lot of people, including his older brother, Fredo. I haven't seen Scent of a Woman, but I've heard enough jokes that the win is more of a "make-up Oscar" than a legitimate win. Pacino lost to Art Carney for Harry and Tonto, a literal who?

Leonardo DiCaprio
Won for "The Revenant" (2015 what is time) Should have won for "Catch Me If You Can" (2002)

image Click to view

Honestly, literally any other movie that Leo was nominated for could have been a better more deserving performance than the "I am vegan and actually got inside a horse" performance. Now, oddly enough, this was another role that wasn't even acknowledged, and it is by far Leo's most consistent performance. Here he still had his youthful looks and leaned into the heart throb yet still serious actor, that we all loved Leo for (until we learned he was gross and the women he dated didn't age with him). "Catch Me if You Can" remains a criminally underrated film for both Leo, Tom and Steven yet spurred a new cultural obsession with Pan Am and the "Carl Hanratty" accent.

Julianne Moore
Won for "Still Alice" (2014) Should have won for "Boogie Nights" (1997)

image Click to view

Julianne is on the list of any win is the right win, but in terms of pop culture relevance, "Boogie Nights" remains her most iconic role. The movie certainly hasn't aged well, but Moore's Amber Waves is the consistent strong point in the film.

Honorable Mentions
aka not included because I don't want to wank bait

Kate Winslet -- Won for "The Reader" should have won for "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"

Sandra Bullock -- Won for "The Blind Side" should have won for "Gravity"

Joaquin Phoenix -- Won for "The Joker" should have won for "Literally Any other Nomination (my personal choice being "Walk the Line")"

Jennifer Lawrence -- not included because it's one of ONTD's talking points that she should have won for "Winter's Bone"

***Final Note: This started out fun, but then got really depressing knowing there was zero diversity of these lists, but I had already done too much HTML to completely waste my time and scrap the idea. :(


nicole kidman, leonardo dicaprio, viola davis, ontd original, julianne moore, award show - academy awards, brie larson