Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday Oscar Retrospective: The Big Snub of 2003

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Wednesday Oscar Retrospective. The Big Snub is the second in a series of projects looking back at the past eight years of the Oscars, dating back to the first ceremony I watched and closely followed.

Each year, the Oscar nominations announcement presents several notable omissions. This series is devoted to analyzing the biggest and most shocking snub of all (in any category). It has nothing to do with personal opinion but rather with what seemed likely at the time and what most people were predicting. Once again, this is a film/director/actor who didn’t even earn a nomination.

The Big Snub of 2003:

Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen) for Best Actress

Why it was all set to happen: There were a number of snubs this year – like “Cold Mountain” and Maria Bello – but this one strikes me as the most surprising. Wood was a young actress (only sixteen years old when the film came out) who performed tremendously in a very difficult, disturbing role. She earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for her hard work, and even managed to be classified as the leading actress while past Oscar winner Holly Hunter was rightly relegated to the supporting category. Wood was the only Globe nominee who made it over to the SAGs with winners Charlize Theron and Diane Keaton, cementing her as a frontrunner…

Why it probably didn’t: …but there were too many other contenders at play. SAG-nominated but Globe-snubbed Naomi Watts made it all the way to the Oscars, while Samantha Morton, who had early on been named as a potential nominee but lost steam as the race went on, took another slot for her performance in “In America.” The biggest surprise, which also served as a slap in the face to Wood, was to promote the definitive star of “Whale Rider,” Keisha Castle-Hughes, who was nominated for a SAG in the supporting category, to lead actress. With Theron and Keaton taking up the other two slots, there was no room for Wood. This situation is probably most similar to 2007 with Angelina Jolie, albeit minus the shock of a thirteen-year-old scoring a nom for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Also possibly hurting Wood was the fact that some guilds, like the Satellite Awards, recognized her and costar Nikki Reed together, as if they delivered only one performance.

Who took its place: Keisha Castle-Hughes & Samantha Morton

Consolation prize: Sadly, none. Hunter did earn a supporting actress nomination, but didn’t win. Wood hasn’t had a part anywhere near as good as “Thirteen” since, the closest being a starring role in “Across the Universe” and a guest spot on “True Blood.”

Come back next week for a look at the Big Snub of 2002. If you have a prediction or a suggestion, please leave it in the comments. This one’s a no-brainer, although I suppose it could be argued for two different people (one’s an actor, the other’s not).

No comments: