Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thursday Triple: Great 00s Oscar Losers

Part 1 (the 1980s) Part 2 (the 1990s) and now... we conclude. Part 3

3 Great Oscar Losing Lead Performances of the 00s

Kidman so colorful in Moulin Rouge! loses to Berry drabbed down (01)
Moore, Far From Very Close to Heaven loses to her co-star Kidman whose Hour had come (and gone) the previous year...(02)
Depp's inspired Pirate loses to Penn on that Mystic River(03)

I'm grouping these all together because you can see how it's so clearly interconnected. Why won't the Academy notice the cause and effect? You award people when they're award-worthy. You don't wait. That way you don't have to award them as a make up when it's someone else's shining moment (see also the 1990s) . If you give Kidman her gold in Moulin Rouge! you don't feel the need to snub Moore's prize away the following year.

And if you've awarded Sean Penn back in 1995 or even earlier when he rocked, you don't have to deny the gold to a genius comic actor in the same year. And then if you don't deny him (Depp) his deserved statue you don't have to award him with a throwaway nomination the following year (Finding Neverland) when he isn't half as good as the guy you have to snub (Paul Giamatti, Sideways) to do so. And then that guy you snubbed? You might even have to give him an Oscar the next year for a generic boxing movie! Break the chain Oscar voters, Break it!

(sigh) "but I still hear you saying you will never break --never break the chain."

It's all so very simple. When it's time it's time. Don't wait. It may never be time again. See also: 1980s, Glenn Close.


Javier Aldabalde said...

Shame on you for not mentioning Ellen Burstyn ;)

And I thought you would link Denzel Washington's loss in the 90s to Tom Wilkinson losing in 2001.

Anonymous said...

I just will never get it. Nicole Kidman was HORRIBLE in "Moulin Rouge." Absolutely the worst part of an otherwise good movie. I cannot believe so many people are now considering her to be the one most hurt by the Halle Berry win when Sissy Spacek gave an truly brilliant performance and was considered the overwhelming favorite to win the Oscar until the SAGs. Revisionist history is a very very very bad thing, even in Oscarland.

Just my two cents...maybe I'm missing something.

Anonymous said...

I'm still split on 2001. I loved Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge! as well as Sissy Spacek and Naomi Watts. Who do I choose? They were all so brilliant!

Gerry said...

Kidman was great in MR! (and 100000x better than Berry) but I still prefer Watts and Spacek that year and wouldn't exactly call Kidman "all-time" caliber, an adjective I'd certainly apply to Moore and Depp.

If making a trio of the "greatest losing turns of the '00s", I'd add Wilkinson or McKellen losing to great actors in '01 who were nowhere near the top of their game.

OhMyTrill said...

I think that MR is Kidman's best performance...and one of my favorite performances...although Naomi in Mulholland Dr is probably my favorite performance ever. However, she wasn't even nominated, so it isn't really an issue in this discussion is it? Nicole should have got the oscar. I agree with Nathaniel: it would have solved a lot of problems.

Anonymous said...

God - was there EVER a worse crime than Julianne Moore not winning for Far From Heaven? I look at those Revlon ads and can't believe that Halle Berry and Susan Sarandon have Oscars and that Julianne doesn't. That ain't right.

Shoreh Aghdashloo was devastating in House of Sand and Fog and should have won, as should Annette Bening's Julia Lambert over Swank's white trash boxer


javier -i wanted Burstyn to win too. but i can't really begrudge the queen of hollywood getting hers for the best performance of her career. even if it wasn't as good as burstyn's. Now, had Burstyn never won, i'd feel much angrier.

j -revisionist history is necessary, especially in the arts ;) sometimes we love things or they love things that are complete headscratchers later on. you need distance.

david -go with Nicole. I gave my own gold medal to Naomi that year. BUT her subsequent work has convinced me that the person who shoulda won gold that year was David Lynch. just sayin'

omt -thank you. kidman is pretty damn great in Birth too.

adrian -ugh. i know. I just know that Julianne Moore is now officially the next Glenn Close. She's never going to win. They missed giving it to her all three times that she deserved it. and now, it looks to be too late.

and i didn't mention BENING vs. SWANK because i figure everyone is sick of that argument by now.

Javier Aldabalde said...

Naomi's dinner party scene alone would merit an Oscar in my opinion.


wait. dinner party scene? in mulholland dr. i'm blanking on that one.

Javier Aldabalde said...

Naomi's last scene with Laura...

NicksFlickPicks said...

My 00s Best Actress balloting (among the nominees): Roberts, Dench, Moore, Theron, Winslet.

I didn't really dislike the winning performances by Berry, Kidman, or Swank, and in the case of '01, I felt roughly the same about all the nom'd performances except Zellweger's, so I didn't really care what happened.

Anonymous said...

I'd replace Kidman in MR with Kidman in Birth for worst Oscar loses this decade.

As for Moore, I still think it's an Oscar worthy turn but I'm in the process of just about hating due to all the fanboy emotions it evokes. Anyone would think God himself came down to earth and acted the part the way people carry on. Diane Lane deserved the prize.

And Depp. I love him but didn't love this performance. Jude Law should have won but Penn was very worthy.


im afraid i don't understand. are you saying that julianne moore is NOT, in fact, god. Because you know. i beg to differ.

Anonymous said...

I think Nicole Over Julianne in 2002 was well deserved...

Just kidding!! But you should've seen the look on your face...

I reckon if Vera Drake, Julia Lambert, and Clementine K. ganged up on Maggie Fitzgerald, they could take her down... What do you think?

After Sunday, add Ennis Del Mar to your list.

(By the way, I liked, really liked Laura Linney in You Can Count On Me...)

Anonymous said...

I certainly hope Juli isn't the next Glenn Close. You already know (thanks to my drunken post last week) that I'm pretty optimistic for her. After all, she's got some really exciting stuff coming up. After Dangerous Liaisons, Close didn't have any particularly promising projects lined up. Am I wrong? I might just be remembering wrong.

Anonymous said...

Also, re: Naomi Watts...

I'm not willing to credit all her talent to Lynch just yet. (Though I'm obviously not going to argue she doesn't owe himg a huge amount of gratitude for helping her shape the performance)

She was good in 21 Grams. Granted, it was an extremely one-note performance, but it was an excellently sustained note, even if I wish she would have found more layers to her character where the script didn't. (Her performance is somewhere in the bottom half of my top ten in that category for that year)

I thought she was also pretty effective in I Heart Huckabees and excellent in King Kong.

chofer said...

Nathaniel, NOW I beg to differ.
I know your a die-hard for MOULING ROUGE. But you know, this was ALL fireworks, the spectacle over the intimacy, the over the top histrionics over subtlety, was a good movie nonethless, but Nicole? Do you REALLY think she's better in MR than her full portrait -not showing off- in DOGVILLE?
I just don't think a musical -ANY musical- can take the best of an actor, you know? It's not about acting, it's about, well, performing...She sings pretty well, tough.
By the way, THE BEST LEAD FEMALE PERFORMANCE of 00 didn't get a chance at all. For Naomi Watts did't get a nomination for her amazing dual Betty/Diane in MULHOLLAND DRIVE.
My shrink really DID like her, tough:)

NicksFlickPicks said...

Ooo, it is getting hot in herre for the Julianne fans! I'm sensing a giant Shark/Jet-style flaming throwdown any. moment.

But to keep things innaresting, I'm with pen that Jude would've got my vote in '03. (And I would've consoled Sean. My damn self.)

NicksFlickPicks said...

Oh, and re: Glenn, she deserved a supporting nod, if not the win, for Reversal of Fortune in '90.

chofer said...

Very good comments on the chain curse, that's what I meant in the blog I posted in the 90's.
That's what I expect Jake Gyllenhaal to be awarded this year: The Academy can wait next year and give him an Oscar for THE GOOD GERMAN, can't they??:)


chofer -you lost me when you dissed the musical genre. No genre has inherent blockage to great performances. It's all in the script, direction, and what the actor can bring.

i give you
judy garland -a star is born
liza minelli -cabaret

two of the best performances of their entire decades and in musicals.

let's rumble!

chofer said...

Nat, don't get me wrong. I love musicals. I just don't see it as a vehicle for THE greatest performances in acting (and Cabaret is one of my all time faves- though you have to admit this picture don't go for the BIG BAM BOOM the way MR does- it is a strangely intimate picture)
Still, you didn't answer my question: Is Nicole better in MR than in DOGVILLE?
Look, it seems I have a pretty degree of coincidence with your movie choices, otherwise I will be bothering the people in Oscarwatch:) You don't expect me to agree with you on a 100% basis, do you?
PD: I'm a Libra, so I always look for the other side of things...and a good argument:)

John T said...

My three would be:

Laura Linney being beat by Julia Roberts (of course Roberts gives a star-making role, but Linney gives a perf for the ages).

Annette Bening being beat by Hilary Swank (how come this didn't make your top three Nathaniel?)

Depp and Murray losing to Sean Penn (sorry to Nick, but these two are comedic gems).

Oh, and on the subject-how on earth did Scarlett for Lost in Translation and Mark Ruffalo for You Can Count on Me?

Glenn Dunks said...

Chofer, Libran here as well!

But, I disagree on the whole musicals debate. If anything a movie like Moulin Rouge! asks more of an actress like Kidman. However, I like her performances in Dogville and Birth more.

The year of '02 was strong with three great performances from Lane, Moore and Kidman. My fave was actually Diane Lane that year.

It's sort of annoying that in 2001 of my two favourite female perfs, one wasn't even nominated and the other was seemingly a third placer after the disappointing winner that was Berry (worst Best Actress winner of the last 10 years) and Spacek who I also wasn't exactly enamoured with (Tom Wilkinson on the other hand deserved the gold).

Nat, the dinner scene in MD was after Naomi Watt's character is driving along Mulholland Drive and stops "We don't stop here!" and then Laura shows up and they walk to a dinner party where she talks about her jitterbug contest with Ann Miller and the cowboy walks past and so does Melissa George. I know that movie back to front.

Anonymous said...

Michelle Pfeiffer for "The Age Of Innocence" Should have been nomated for Best Actress and should have won. Same with "White Oleander"........!

chofer said...

Ok I will have to explain myself further.
I'm NOT saying you don't have to act in musicals. That's absurd, since acting is inherent in any role, in any genre.
It's just honestly don't pop out in my head musical performances that I recall as the greatest I've ever seen in movie history.
Yes, I loved Liza Minelli in Cabaret and even Julie Andrews in Victor/Victoria (both movies in my top 20 or so)but, even then,both performances have enough of drama and comedy (because the script in both cases asked for it)for the stars to shine in more than the singing/dancing department.
I just don't like in the genre that performers sing their hearts out and don't have the chance to show much more of their OTHER SKILLS. If that happens, well it's a case that the story is rather flat OR the director didn't found the ebbs and flows of it (I'm thinking Evita right now) What's more, musicals are really hard to make it well done (for you can easily fall into a cartoonish portrait of one character)(Evita, again)
Having said that, I really liked MR and I looove Nicole Kidman (the reason I watched the movie)The only letdown is that I found the story rather flat (forgive me Nat!!)although visually stunning.
Maybe this little dissapointment prevents me for choosing Nicole Kidman for the Gold that year (I even found Ewan Mc Gregor's naivetè more compelling)
That's all.

Javier Aldabalde said...

Glenn and I shall bombard you all with "Mulholland Drive" thoughts for the rest of time.

Anonymous said...

I guess by the 00s choices you've lost me a little, since I wouldn't have handed any of them the win, preferring Sissy Spacek, Diane Lane and Bill Murray respectively.

Kidman's win for The Hours is my biggest gripe though. (1) supporting turn, (2) it's not like they couldn't have made her wait longer a la Winslet, (3) by no means a career best from her, (4) I actually find her train station scene kinda hammy, (5) anyone who messes with Diane Lane's performance in Unfaithful messes with ME!


Anonymous said...

Nick: you're absolutely right! Okay, Glenn deserved a nod in 90. I HOPE Julie DESERVES a nod this year (for either Cuaron's film or for Kalin's, if it ever gets made). If her career fizzles out I will die.


chofer - i don't expect anyone to agree with me 100% of the time. nobody's taste is that good --ha ha. kidding.

mostly i'm just throwing things out there for discussion. Bening's loss in 04 hurts me much more than Kidman's loss in 01, really. but i figure i must've talked about Bening's loss for the past 11 months and I'm done. i need to let it go ;( ;)

the truth is when selecting the three for each decade there were many places I could have gone with this. the thing i most wanted to discuss was the chain of problems that are caused.

if they just stopped "make ups" altogether and used their lifetime achievement award for people who got screwed along the way the universe would be better.

the truth is even if you solely voted on JUST the performances in that one year. you'd have some very worthy people never win. (which is, again, a perfect reason to have a lifetime achievement)

Marcelo said...


Glenn Close was excellent in "The House of the Spirits" and even in "Hamlet".

Anthony said...

I will join the chorus in singing the woes of Ellen Burstyn ("Requiem") and Julianne Moore ("Heaven").

russtifer said...

And so you've perfectly shown why I hate the Oscar acting winners these days.

Anonymous said...

Even though I feel Julianne should have won over Nicole in 2003, she certainly shouldn't have lost to Catherine Zeta Jones. Talk about a farce. A person would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to be emotionally moved by Julianne's performance in The Hours.

The bottom line is that the Oscar's need to stop giving free passes to mediocre actors. Through history great actors have been penalized for their greatness. It's almost like the Academy has this assumption that these actors will certainly be nominated again and eventually will win a lets give it to the lesser who will never be back. With the exception of Hiliary Swank and Charlize Theron who have both somehow slipped through the cracks for their white trash performances.

Just look to the 2003 Oscars when they gave Peter O'Toole the Honorary Award. The man was nominated seven times and never won. So, at the end of his career they figured they better throw him a bone before he bites the dust.


Anonymous said...

Don't say Sean Penn should've won in 95. You're living in denial. Nicolas Cage absolutely rocked. Can you understand that? Nicolas Cage deserved that Oscar more than every other actor in the 90's.
See Leaving Las Vegas again.

Cal Roth.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I was a little bit rude.

Cal Roth.

chofer said...

No offense Cal

I totally disagree with that movie.
THE MOVIE (the performances of both Shue and Cage are fine)I actually hated it. It is a bogus representation of doomed love through alcoholism. A TOO stylish romantization of the thing (the director wanted us to sympathise TOO MUCH with Cage) BAAAD. And the soundtrack (as much as I like Don Henley) was simply ANNOYING. It resembles and endless clip with Cage wasted at the pool.
It was as if the repetitive sequences of Cage at the pool forced into our heads to make us feel guilty for the poor little man. I have a name for that kind of movies: MANIPULATIVE.
It's because Cage, and specially Shue (the sympathetic conscience) that barely survives boredom.
I wonder where is the body of work of Mike Figgis if he is THAT GOOD.
Please Nat, can you suggest a blog of OSCAR's ONE- SHOT WINNING/NOMINATED DIRECTORS.
We talked so much about the actors, but what happend with BOGUS directors?
The fact that the great ROBERT ALTMAN is receiving a "BONE" this Sunday just give me the creeps.
And Sam Mendes, Anthony Minghella, Michael Cimino, etc, etc. (which may be good, but can't look at the eyes of THE MASTER)ALREADY HAVE the Golden for their jobs.

Glenn Dunks said...

Javier and I should team up, move to LA and run Mulholland Drive tours 24 hours of the day (you need to be able to attend Silencio at 2am obviously). At the start of ever tour each person gets a mysterious blue key and at the end one person receives a special mysterious blue box and inside is a special (probably mysterious) present. omg i RULE.

I'd still give the 2003 Actress prize to Diane Lane... sorry (i love Juli in Heaven but Diane stole my heart with that performance)

chofer said...

I'll join you both, my librian pal:)
I have a book about interpretation of dreams for the naysayers. We can share them out at the entrance.
Then, we'll see a lip-synched show by "La Llorona".
How do you like it??

Anonymous said...

Julianne Moore's performance in "Far From Heaven" is simply THE BEST of the 00s. There are not enough or the right words to describe how great she is in "Far From Heaven". It's incredible.

And Nicole Kidman was much better in "Mouling Rouge" than in "The Hours".

I think Julianne is even better than Nicole in "The Hours".

MB - you're absoloutley right.
"Chicago" Catherine Zeta Jones better than Julianne in "The Hours"??? NO WAY. I just watched Chicago again two weeks ago, and I like the film, I like the great performances of Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, John C. Reilly and also Zeta-Jones but she wasn't THAT good as Julianne Moore in "The Hours". Really I tried to believe that Catherine's performance is oscar-worthy but it didn't work.
Even if Julianne Moore is still better in "FFH" than in "Hours".

And I don't think that Julie won't win as Glenn Close. She WILL win some time, I'm sure she will get her chance.
For example. Shirley MacLaine was nominated FIVE times before her win and she got her golden boy finally with her 6th nomination!!! Julianne Moore will make it. I hope so much that she will be nominated for The Children Of Men, Savage Grace (go!!!!!!) or "I'm Not There" by Todd Haynes (!)... but I don't know how she can top her "FFH"-turn.

Anonymous said...

Bjork deserved a nod for DANCER IN THE DARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree the best performance of that year by any man or women was Julianne in FFH. That was a down right slap in the face that she did not win. But I also feel that her performance in The Hours was better then Nicole Kidman's. She had the two best performance of that year. Quite frankly she should have won two Oscars. But Nicole was going through a divorce so they wanted to cheer her up.

After the shocking Golden Globes win by Nicole and the nauseated win by Renee in the SAG. I knew Julianne was not going to win. Because Hollywood has no clue what good acting is. They feel if a pretty women is gutsy enough to wear no make-up or change her appearance then that's worthy of an Oscar. Poor Annette Benning has been kicked in the guts twice by Hilary Swank.

It also doesn't help that some of them...probably most of them....don't watch all the movies. As Emma Thompson admitted herself on Oprah. She said she wouldn't vote for something she didn't see. How is this fair to all the nominees?


Anonymous said...

Actually wasn't Sissy Spacek "supposed" to win for in the Bedroom? I never thought Nicole had a shot that year - especially after I saw the Others and wondered "Why didn't they nominate her for THAT?" She was but one (if a key and very important) part of the overall fabulousness of MR, but she WAS The Others. (That moment when she enters the "junk room" and turns her head toward the camera hearing faint voices - I've never been scared to death by a character's onscreen fear before.)

Anonymous said...

Kamikazi camel - I'll second you on Diane Lane in Unfaithful. God, she was superb in that.