…And the Oscar goes to… psych!

We are a week removed from the 87th Academy Awards ceremony. Did all of your favorites win? I know there was a lot of backlash this year due to The Lego Movie not being nominated for the Best Animated Feature category and David Oyelowo being passed over for a Best Leading Actor nomination for his breathtaking performance as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma. Hell, there are even some people that will argue that Michael Keaton was robbed that night.

We all know some of the more famous snubs in Academy Awards history; probably the most noteworthy being Saving Private Ryan losing out Best Picture in 1998 to Shakespeare In Love. Someone got paid handsomely that night, I’m sure.

Here, let’s concentrate on some of the biggest snubs of the past decade:

Paul Giamatti Sideways 

Paul Giamatti has been hanging around Hollywood since the early 90s. You might have caught him during his quick cameo in Cameron Crow’s Singles. Then again, you may remember him as Pig Vomit from the Howard Stern biopic, Private Parts. He also appeared in the well respected, The Truman Show and Man on the Moon. While Giamatti had been acting for many years, he never really had his chance to shine. That all changed in 2004 when he turned heads in the leading role of Alexander Payne’s drama, Sideways. He put out an absolutely amazing performance as Miles, a wine connoisseur who is at a crossroads in his life, in one of the year’s greatest films. How is he repaid? By not even getting a nomination from the Academy. Meanwhile, his co-stars Thomas Haden Church and Virginia Madsen, received a Best Supporting Actor and Actress nod respectively. Giamatti’s snub was so notable that they attempted to make it up to him the very next year by nominating him for his role in Cinderella Man. While he was excellent in that film as well, it was seen as an apology. Really though, does Giamatti even care? Probably not. He’ll just keep dishing out memorable performance after memorable performance.


I’m going to say it: Crash is one of my least favorite Best Picture winners ever. I mean, it wasn’t a bad film but it really had no business winning the coveted Oscar during the 78th annual ceremony, especially not over Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain. The latter was a beautifully shot, emotionally gut wrenching flick that has you hooked throughout its 134 minute runtime. The excellent performances by Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Michelle Williams blew every actor in Crash out of the water, including Matt Dillon. The difference in writing is also apparent with Crash’s dialogue sounding incredibly hokey. The praise that movie gets is just baffling to me to this very day. I guess the Academy wanted to capitalize on a bigger social commentary. Sorry Paul Haggis, Spike Lee did it much better.


Two noticeable snubs took place during the 79th broadcast. First off, after tons of critical acclaim, Children of Men failed to achieve recognition in the categories of Best Picture, Best Leading Actor (for Clive Owen), and Best Director (for Alfonso Cuaron). This was a huge one for me as it was one of the most creative movies of the decade and in my personal top three of that year.


However, the biggest swerve that night was when Eddie Murphy, who at this point was pretty much a lock, failed to win Best Supporting Actor for his greatest role in years, as James “Thunder” Early in Dreamgirls.


Instead, Alan Arkin took home the award for Little Miss Sunshine. It’s been highly speculated that Murphy failed to win because the Academy didn’t want to see his then latest film, the poorly received comedy, Norbit, billed as starring an Oscar winner.


Mickey Rourke was a shoe-in to win the Best Leading Actor Oscar in 2008 for The Wrestler. Portraying a washed up grappler who tries desperately for one more shot at glory both in the ring and out was his greatest role in his entire career. After gaining both the Golden Globe and BAFTA award for his performance, it was pretty much a given that he’d win the Oscar.

Then he opened his mouth.

Rourke gave an interview with Access Hollywood mentioning that he was invited to appear at WWE’s flagship event, Wrestlemania, for a confrontation with superstar, Chris Jericho. The Academy didn’t want their winners associated with the comical world of professional wrestling so instead, Sean Penn was given the award for Milk.


Drive was surprisingly one of the best movies of 2011. I say surprisingly because there was really no hype surrounding it during the beginning of its release. It was originally put out as a sleeper hit during the summer, but quickly drummed up interest and award recognition as the year drew to a close. While the entire cast was great, it was Albert Brooks’ performance as shady mobster, Bernie Rose, that really got people talking. He was nominated for a Golden Globe for his role but when it came time to announce the Oscar contenders, his name was glaringly left out. Brooks himself even poked fun at the snub by tweeting “And to the Academy, you don’t like me… you really don’t like me!”.


I was left confused over the situation but I can’t really complain too much since Nick Nolte received a much deserved Best Supporting Actor nod for Warrior.

Last year, after earning his fourth academy award nomination, everyone speculated that 2014 will finally be Leonardo DiCaprio’s year. He re-teamed with Martin Scorsese and gave a memorable performance as an unethical stockbroker in The Wolf of Wall Street. While the world sat on the edge of their chairs waiting for DiCaprio’s name to be called, Matthew McConaughey‘s was announced instead. This one is a bit more understandable since McConaughey was excellent in Dallas Buyers Club. Yeah, we all would have liked Leo but what we got wasn’t undeserving. Hey, DiCaprio is still young so I have no doubt that he’ll win the big one someday. Maybe even sooner than you think. Still, it was hard for poor Leo to hide his frustration when the camera cut to him.


It’s safe to say that nobody will get be fully satisfied following any sort of awards ceremony.

Know of anymore snubs in the past 10 years that frustrated you? Post them in the comments section below.


Written by Matthew Reine

is a New Yorker with a strong passion for film and television. Also the biggest Keanu Reeves fan you know.

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