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Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't 
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Post Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
Pretty straightforward topic here. With annotations please, for maximum interest, give five performances that you find terrific that didn't get a nomination from the Academy. No need to explain whether it would have been for supporting or lead, as it's a fairly arbitrary distinction a lot of the time, and no rules. Let's see what unacknowledged acting we treasure.

In no order:

Ben Foster - 3:10 to Yuma (2007) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV4WFBjc01I

I've seen a lot of movie sidekicks, but I've never seen one like Charlie Prince. It's not that hard to play a convincing psychopath, but Foster does so much more with his character. Just the way he carries himself, so upright and haughty, adds dimension to the role, as does the intensity in his eyes and the inflection he puts into his lines. Beyond psychosis, he has to be utterly devoted to Crowe's Ben Wade for the ending to work as well as it does, and he pulls it off perfectly.

Vincent D'Onofrio - The Salton Sea (2002) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OME0n5USovo

This probably never had a chance in the world for a nomination, but it's such a singular performance. According to the special features, almost all aspects of the character were devised/improvised by D'Onofrio himself, and what a character it is. Squeaking through a prosthetic nose, toying with Kilmer's lead character, he's a force of pure volatility and a treat to watch.

Steve Buscemi - Fargo (1995) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqIGiVLOY4E

I guess William H. Macy got the Academy's eye for quirky Fargo-ness, but man is Buscemi good here. I suppose the knock is that he often plays roles like this, but he's so good here at being only one step away from desperation (and sometimes less than that, e.g. after his encounter with Shep) that he deserved a nod.

Paul Giamatti - Sideways (2005) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7xwX8mfayA

Alright this one isn't unique in the slightest, as just about every film critic with a voice complained loudly that Giamatti was snubbed (and it might well have led to his nomination the following year for Cinderella Man) but I can't make a list like this without including it. He imbues his character, who could easily have been detestable or pitiable, with such utter humanity that it's a crime he wasn't acknowledged.

Allison Janney - Juno (2007) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5U3Qf9KQW8

I can't believe this one didn't get any attention. Janney's performance as Juno's stepmother is funny yet caring in a way that screams Oscar love. Plus she's just delightful.

What do you guys have?

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Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:20 pm
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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty, it's a crime she wasn't nominated.


Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:57 pm
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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
Vexer wrote:
Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty, it's a crime she wasn't nominated.


*Rolls eyes*

That's one performance, and it was nominated. Way to be, Vexer, way to be

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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
Recent? As in, during my dog's lifetime?

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:28 am
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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
JamesKunz wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty, it's a crime she wasn't nominated.

That's one performance, and it was nominated.

Right, I meant to say she should've won cause I initially thought the thread was for performances nominated that didn't win, my bad.

Anyways here's my five that should've won:
Nicole Kidman-To Die For
Linda Fiorentino-The Last Seduction, disqualified due to the film being shown on HBO before going to theaters.
Reese Witherspoon-Election
Eric Bana-Chopper
Viggo Mortenson-History Of Violence.


Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:46 am
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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
Great thread. An apology (or word of warning?) for all of you feminists lurking around the dark corners of the forum: I'm sorry for the majority of actors.

Michael Shannon: Take Shelter (2011)

Regardless of your thoughts about the film as a whole, its hard to deny the powerhouse performance of Michael Shannon in Take Shelter. I guess the Academy didn't see the inherent greatness in my favorite scene from the film, where Shannon flips a table and declares to his community that a storm is coming; to "Sleep well in your beds. Because if this thing comes true, there ain't gonna be anymore."

Leonardo DiCaprio: Django Unchained (2012)

Now don't get me wrong, I love me some C-Waltz, but did anyone else feel like Leo got the short end of the stick here? I really thought Leo stepped out of his box for this one, and its a crying shame that the Academy didn't even offer him an accolade for his work as a sadistic plantation owner who wasn't afraid to break a few skulls.

Ryan Gosling: Blue Valentine (2010)

Ah such a depressing, but arguably great film. I was kinda shocked when I found out Gosling didn't get a nod for his role in this gritty, broken relationship drama. I know a good amount of people who weren't bothered by this, but I still have my picket sign that says "Gosling Was Snubbed!"

I'll also plug in Gosling for Half Nelson, maybe not as fine of a job as Blue Valentine but still pretty admirable.

Jim Carrey: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Another prime example that comedic actors can do wonders in the genre of drama. Plus, I always found Carrey's performance here simply superb, and extremely emotional.

Tilda Swinton: We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)

I know theres some WNTTAK hate around the forum, but I've got a satchel full of love for this film. By no means is We Need To Talk About Kevin an easy film to watch or even digest for that matter, yet Swinton's performance is worth the toll this film takes on viewers. Swinton serves a soft, subdued performance with visible cracklings of anger and confusion that are completely convincing and at times mesmerizing.

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Last edited by JackBurns on Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:03 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:54 am
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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
For me a better example of a film Winton should've been nominated for is "The Deep End", Swinton did the best she could in "Kevin" but IMO her character was just too poorly written for her to really be able to make much of an impression on me.


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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
Jennifer Garner, Juno - Seeing the movie mentioned in the op reminds me of this. So earnest it almost hurts, and Juno softens considerably around her.

Doona Bae and Jim Broadbent, Cloud Atlas - The heart and comedic souls of the movie.

Tom Hardy, Warrior - In building an unusual sports movie where you root almost equally for both sides, one side gets a sympathetic background story with more screen time, while the other, Tom Hardy's character, gets by just from giving a volcanic performance full of barely contained rage, hurt, and tragic backstory.

Chloë Grace Moretz, Let Me In


Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:33 am
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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
Good topic. Here be my musings -

1. Paul Giamatti for Sideways - In agreement with the OP. How can such a heartfelt, career-defining, and funny turn in a great film be passed over. Ridiculous

2. Jim Carey for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - in agreement with Jack. I think the only (or main) reason he was passed over is his prior reputation as a rubber-faced comic. Not only is this a great turn, I also can't imagine anyone else in the role. A sure-fire sign of a deserved Oscar.

3. Ian Mckellen - I actually think he deserved something for his Lord of the Rings shifts

..... writers's block here. More to follow

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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
The first to come to mind:

Peter Saarsgard-Shattered Glass: As New Republic editor Charles Lane, Saarsgard had a tough task. Playing a character who isn't entirely sympathetic when we first meet him, yet the audience needs to be in his corner as the movie progresses and the audience realizes that the true villain of the piece is the lead character. Saarsgard pulls it off brilliantly. To me the key scene comes late in the movie when Hayden Crhistensen is trying to lie and rationalize away his actions and keeps saying "I didn't do anything wrong" and Saarsgard finally snaps "I really wish you'd STOP saying that". The slow burn in that is priceless.

Ed Harris-Gone Baby Gone: Amy Ryan deservedly received some notice from the Academy (and it's a shame that the film itself got no Best Picture nomination). But Harris is truly fantastic as well in his role as the detective trying to do whar he feels is right. His goal is noble. But his methods are questionable. He's neither a clear cut hero or villain. Hard role to pull off. But Harris does it.

Albert Brooks-Drive: So far outside of his normal range and pulled off so well.

More to come.

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:04 am
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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
Vexer wrote:
Linda Fiorentino-The Last Seduction, disqualified due to the film being shown on HBO before going to theaters.


In the words of High Fidelity: Ugh that's so good that should have been mine

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:36 am
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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
JackBurns wrote:
Great thread. An apology (or word of warning?) for all of you feminists lurking around the dark corners of the forum: I'm sorry for the majority of actors.

Michael Shannon: Take Shelter (2011)

Regardless of your thoughts about the film as a whole, its hard to deny the powerhouse performance of Michael Shannon in Take Shelter. I guess the Academy didn't see the inherent greatness in my favorite scene from the film, where Shannon flips a table and declares to his community that a storm is coming; to "Sleep well in your beds. Because if this thing comes true, there ain't gonna be anymore."

Leonardo DiCaprio: Django Unchained (2012)

Now don't get me wrong, I love me some C-Waltz, but did anyone else feel like Leo got the short end of the stick here? I really thought Leo stepped out of his box for this one, and its a crying shame that the Academy didn't even offer him an accolade for his work as a sadistic plantation owner who wasn't afraid to break a few skulls.

Ryan Gosling: Blue Valentine (2010)

Ah such a depressing, but arguably great film. I was kinda shocked when I found out Gosling didn't get a nod for his role in this gritty, broken relationship drama. I know a good amount of people who weren't bothered by this, but I still have my picket sign that says "Gosling Was Snubbed!"

I'll also plug in Gosling for Half Nelson, maybe not as fine of a job as Blue Valentine but still pretty admirable.

Jim Carrey: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Another prime example that comedic actors can do wonders in the genre of drama. Plus, I always found Carrey's performance here simply superb, and extremely emotional.

Tilda Swinton: We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011)

I know theres some WNTTAK hate around the forum, but I've got a satchel full of love for this film. By no means is We Need To Talk About Kevin an easy film to watch or even digest for that matter, yet Swinton's performance is worth the toll this film takes on viewers. Swinton serves a soft, subdued performance with visible cracklings of anger and confusion that are completely convincing and at times mesmerizing.


Great answers. I wasn't impressed enough by Leo to be actively angry at his snub, but the rest I agree whole-heartedly with/on. Definitely Jim Carrey. He's an extrovert playing an introvert.

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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
Jeff Wilder wrote:
The first to come to mind:

Peter Saarsgard-Shattered Glass: As New Republic editor Charles Lane, Saarsgard had a tough task. Playing a character who isn't entirely sympathetic when we first meet him, yet the audience needs to be in his corner as the movie progresses and the audience realizes that the true villain of the piece is the lead character. Saarsgard pulls it off brilliantly. To me the key scene comes late in the movie when Hayden Crhistensen is trying to lie and rationalize away his actions and keeps saying "I didn't do anything wrong" and Saarsgard finally snaps "I really wish you'd STOP saying that". The slow burn in that is priceless.

Ed Harris-Gone Baby Gone: Amy Ryan deservedly received some notice from the Academy (and it's a shame that the film itself got no Best Picture nomination). But Harris is truly fantastic as well in his role as the detective trying to do whar he feels is right. His goal is noble. But his methods are questionable. He's neither a clear cut hero or villain. Hard role to pull off. But Harris does it.

Albert Brooks-Drive: So far outside of his normal range and pulled off so well.

More to come.


Agree x3. Particularly since Sarsgaard needs to be acknowledged for SOMETHING, right?

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:38 am
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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
NotHughGrant wrote:
Good topic. Here be my musings -

1. Paul Giamatti for Sideways - In agreement with the OP. How can such a heartfelt, career-defining, and funny turn in a great film be passed over. Ridiculous

2. Jim Carey for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - in agreement with Jack. I think the only (or main) reason he was passed over is his prior reputation as a rubber-faced comic. Not only is this a great turn, I also can't imagine anyone else in the role. A sure-fire sign of a deserved Oscar.

3. Ian Mckellen - I actually think he deserved something for his Lord of the Rings shifts

..... writers's block here. More to follow


McKellan did get a nomination for Fellowship FWIW

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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
He did yes. The year Jim Broadbent won for Iris.

4. Javier Bardem for Skyfall - totally neglected, beyond reason IMO.

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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
Vexer wrote:
Anyways here's my five that should've won:
Nicole Kidman-To Die For
Linda Fiorentino-The Last Seduction, disqualified due to the film being shown on HBO before going to theaters.
Reese Witherspoon-Election
Eric Bana-Chopper
Viggo Mortenson-History Of Violence.


Those are excellent picks.

Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind would have made my list too if it hadn't been mentioned already. I've never been a fan of his comedy, but his performances in Gondry's film and The Truman Show are probably on my Top 10 list of male performances from the last two decades.

I'll limit my choices to the last handful of years:

Sam Rockwell - Moon

Duncan Jones' debut feature was probably too small a release to be considered for any Oscars, but an exception should have been made here. It's not an easy task to carry an entire film, with nothing to act against other than a piece of machinery and yourself, but Rockwell makes it seem effortless.

Elizabeth Olsen - Martha Marcy May Marlene

Another film that may have been too "small" or edgy for Oscar talk. Occasionally though, there will be recognition for breakout performances in lower-profile films (Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone or Demián Bichir in A Better Life, to name a couple), and Olsen certainly deserved similar attention.

Michael Stuhlbarg - A Serious Man

The Coen brothers' 2009 film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture, but was snubbed in the performance area. Michael Stuhlbarg is pretty much perfect here, and a case could be made that Fred Melamed should have been recognized too for giving the world Sy Ableman.

Belén Rueda - The Orphanage

Juan Antonio Bayona's debut is a horror film and it's in Spanish, which means it had no chance of getting recognized by the Academy. But between her performance here and in 2010's Julia's Eyes, Rueda has proven capable of delivering far beyond what is normally expected from the horror genre.

Corey Stoll - Midnight In Paris / Mark Strong - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

These two were high on my ballot for Best Supporting Actor last year for the Pedros, and are prime examples of making the most out of limited screen time. Stoll as Ernest Hemingway maybe has four or five scenes but completely steals the show whenever he shows up, and Strong may just be one part of an amazing ensemble, but he ends up being the heart and soul of Tomas Alfredson's spy film.

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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
The two that IMMEDIATELY leap to mind are...

Christian Bale-- American Psycho-- I read the book before seeing this movie, and Bale fucking OWNED this role. He's in nearly every scene and is perfect for what I imagined Patrick Bateman would be like.

Michael Fassbender-- Shame-- One of the most vulnerable, intense performances I've ever witnessed. There's seemingly nothing he wouldn't do for this role. Too bad the NC-17 rating carries such a stigma.

And some others:

Liam Neeson-- Kinsey-- Call me crazy but I think it's the most fascinating character he's ever played. I'm glad Laura Linney was nominated for this movie, but Neeson should've been in there as well.

Scarlett Johansson-- Lost in Translation-- This movie pretty much announced her to the world and the Academy couldn't find room for her. What a shame.

Shailene Woodley-- The Descendants-- Ditto.

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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
Blonde Almond wrote:
Vexer wrote:
Anyways here's my five that should've won:
Nicole Kidman-To Die For
Linda Fiorentino-The Last Seduction, disqualified due to the film being shown on HBO before going to theaters.
Reese Witherspoon-Election
Eric Bana-Chopper
Viggo Mortenson-History Of Violence.


Those are excellent picks.

Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind would have made my list too if it hadn't been mentioned already. I've never been a fan of his comedy, but his performances in Gondry's film and The Truman Show are probably on my Top 10 list of male performances from the last two decades.

I'll limit my choices to the last handful of years:

Sam Rockwell - Moon

Duncan Jones' debut feature was probably too small a release to be considered for any Oscars, but an exception should have been made here. It's not an easy task to carry an entire film, with nothing to act against other than a piece of machinery and yourself, but Rockwell makes it seem effortless.

Elizabeth Olsen - Martha Marcy May Marlene

Another film that may have been too "small" or edgy for Oscar talk. Occasionally though, there will be recognition for breakout performances in lower-profile films (Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone or Demián Bichir in A Better Life, to name a couple), and Olsen certainly deserved similar attention.

Michael Stuhlbarg - A Serious Man

The Coen brothers' 2009 film was nominated for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture, but was snubbed in the performance area. Michael Stuhlbarg is pretty much perfect here, and a case could be made that Fred Melamed should have been recognized too for giving the world Sy Ableman.

Belén Rueda - The Orphanage

Juan Antonio Bayona's debut is a horror film and it's in Spanish, which means it had no chance of getting recognized by the Academy. But between her performance here and in 2010's Julia's Eyes, Rueda has proven capable of delivering far beyond what is normally expected from the horror genre.

Corey Stoll - Midnight In Paris / Mark Strong - Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

These two were high on my ballot for Best Supporting Actor last year for the Pedros, and are prime examples of making the most out of limited screen time. Stoll as Ernest Hemingway maybe has four or five scenes but completely steals the show whenever he shows up, and Strong may just be one part of an amazing ensemble, but he ends up being the heart and soul of Tomas Alfredson's spy film.


Agree with all of these, though I haven't seen the Orphanage (I take it I should?) Corey Stoll seemed like he might have a shot too. Good call with Mark Strong. Wouldn't have thought of that one

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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
KWRoss wrote:
The two that IMMEDIATELY leap to mind are...

Christian Bale-- American Psycho-- I read the book before seeing this movie, and Bale fucking OWNED this role. He's in nearly every scene and is perfect for what I imagined Patrick Bateman would be like.

Michael Fassbender-- Shame-- One of the most vulnerable, intense performances I've ever witnessed. There's seemingly nothing he wouldn't do for this role. Too bad the NC-17 rating carries such a stigma.

And some others:

Liam Neeson-- Kinsey-- Call me crazy but I think it's the most fascinating character he's ever played. I'm glad Laura Linney was nominated for this movie, but Neeson should've been in there as well.

Scarlett Johansson-- Lost in Translation-- This movie pretty much announced her to the world and the Academy couldn't find room for her. What a shame.

Shailene Woodley-- The Descendants-- Ditto.


Nice ones here. I think Shailene Woodley hits a few false notes though, even as I like her and the movie

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Post Re: Five Recent Performances You Love That the Academy Didn't
JamesKunz wrote:
I haven't seen the Orphanage (I take it I should?)


With October around the corner, you should definitely set aside some time to watch it, although I think I value it a lot higher than most people on this forum (Pete if I remember right also found it worthwhile). Guillermo del Toro serves as the executive producer, and it has a similar feel as The Devil's Backbone.

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