Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday Oscar Retrospective: First Five Forgotten in 2009

Welcome back to a weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Wednesday Oscar Retrospective. The First Five Forgotten is the sixth 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, not to be confused with my first series, the Forgotten Five, which looked at the five films that came closest to getting nominated for Best Picture and ended up getting shut out entirely.

As Oscar season goes into hibernation for more than half the year, it’s a time to take a look back at past races. This time, I’ll be spotlighting the five performers that came closest to earning their first Oscar nominations and then ended up getting snubbed, in alphabetical order. If you feel I’ve left anyone off, please say so in the comments!

First Five Forgotten in 2009

Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria): After earning a Golden Globe nomination for “The Devil Wears Prada” three years earlier, Blunt got the lead role in an epic regal drama and netted herself another Globe nod. Had the Best Actress race not been so locked up, she could have made it in. She continues to get good parts, though it’s not clear that she’s aiming for an Oscar on her mantle with the roles she chooses.

Abbie Cornish (Bright Star): The well-reviewed romance from Oscar winner Jane Campion never quite caught on with awards bodies, but Cornish definitely had her fans for her lead role. She’s not yet as well-known in the United States, and supporting parts in “Sucker Punch” and “Limitless” aren’t going to help change that anytime soon. She’ll need another role like this one to draw attention again.

Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds): Though her costar Diane Kruger ended up with a SAG nomination, Laurent’s role was always much juicier, and it’s likely that she didn’t miss out by much, though category confusion may have kept her out of both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Since then, Laurent has turned in fine performances as alluring Jewish girls in difficult situations, and I suspect an Oscar opportunity will present itself again sometime in the future.

Christian McKay (Me and Orson Welles): This British actor came from out of nowhere with a debut tour de force performance in an otherwise unremarkable film as the incomparable Orson Welles. The film couldn’t rally enough support for him to earn a mention, but he’s definitely one to keep an eye on, though he’d better to focus on parts in films like “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” than as the lone non-American in “I Melt With You.”

Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man): The lead role in the well-received Coen brothers film put Stuhlbarg as close to an Oscar nod as he’s ever likely to get, mainly because he’s usually found embedded in the ensemble. Stuhlbarg got a Golden Globe nomination for “A Serious Man,” and his next awards venture is more likely to be a mention for his under-featured performance as tycoon Arnold Rothstein on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.”

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