The 10 most notorious Oscar snubs of all time
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There's always drama around this time of year after the Oscar nominations are delivered like anvils of theatrical success, with the weight borne even more heavily by those who are left without one.
Let’s be real for a second; the Academy Awards are not the Nuremberg Trials. They’re about super rich people patting themselves on the back so that they can earn even more money and be watched by even more millions of people. Some people seem to be perpetual favourites - hello, Meryl Streep - and others not so lucky.
This year Leonardo DiCaprio (as usual), Ben Affleck and Nicole Kidman are all among the surprising non-starters in the awards race. Today, we’re celebrating the overlooked underdog with ten misser-outerers over the years.
10. Anthony Perkins in Psycho, 1960
His character Norman Bates contributed a whole lot of creepiness to this classic, yet all the praise was showered (deservingly) upon the star, Janet Leigh, with not even a nomination to his name.
9. Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby, 1968
Her co-star Ruth Gordon took away an Oscar for playing Rosemary’s crazy neighbour, but Mia Farrow’s more subtle performance – as the mother-to-be of Satan, no less, she was tortured enough to drive you to paranoia – in Roman Polanski’s iconic horror, left Mia Farrow out of the Oscar race completely.
8. Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange, 1971
Again, the 'cult role in a cult film but no Oscar' pattern emerges. It takes a considerable amount of talent to express the brutality exuded and then endured by Alex DeLarge. It’s worth noting, too, that not even Hitchcock, unarguably one of the greatest directors of all time, has ever scored an Academy Award. But then again, does it make the slightest difference to those who appreciate his work? Doubtful.
7. Sigourney Weaver in Aliens, 1986
While she missed out on the top gong, this snub was ultimately a triumph because the nomination itself was such a game-changer. A woman? Kicking butt in a sci-fi/action/horror film? The blokes taking orders from her? Oh yeah, this brought the genres, and gender roles in cinema, to a new level.
6. Denzel Washington in Philadelphia, 1993
While Tom Hanks won big for his role as an AIDS sufferer, he couldn’t have pulled it off without Denzel Washington beside him. Washington’s Joe Miller, who gradually shakes off his own homophobia as he represents fellow lawyer Hanks, steals the show with a passionate portrayal of his own personal transformation, but no, there was no award for him.
5. Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction, 1994
Jules Winnfield was the role that earned him international fame and critical adoration, but it wasn’t quite reflected in his Oscar nom – for Best Supporting Actor, even though he shared about equal screentime with John Travolta, who was up for Best Actor. (And he didn’t win anyway). 1994 was a contentious year, with Pulp and Shawshank Redemption overshadowed by Forrest Gump. Life's like a box of chocolates, etc.
4. Emile Hirsch in Into The Wild, 2007
This was Hirsch’s breakthrough role – as a headstrong young man so hellbent on abandoning all the trappings of “society” that he literally sacrifices his life for it. But despite it being one of the most widely acclaimed films that year, the emotional intensity of his performance wasn’t deemed worthy of a running in the Oscars race.
3. Mark Wahlberg in The Fighter, 2010
Poor Marky Mark. At the 2011 Oscars, Christian Bale was nominated for playing his brother, Amy Adams for playing his girlfriend, and Melissa Leo for playing his mum – but the muscle man himself missed out.
2. Tilda Swinton in We Need To Talk About Kevin, 2011
It’s been called the best performance of her career, and she was featured in countless Best Actress lists and won numerous other awards, but she didn’t even receive an Oscar nom for her role as killer Ezra Miller’s harrowed mother that, much like Rosemary's Baby, is a potent contraceptive in the widely acclaimed and difficult-to-watch Kevin.
1. Leonardo DiCaprio in Django Unchained, 2013
Leonardo, King of Snubs. His portrayal of inhumanly evil slave owner, Calvin Candie, is an unparalleled steals-the-show performance that, predictably, failed to result in an Oscar nomination. His counterpart Christoph Waltz, meanwhile, scored a nom for Best Supporting Actor, but this is just one in a long line for Leo, who, incredibly, has never got his hands on that little golden statuette in his entire illustrious career. Poor Leo.
Lead Image via Django Unchained.