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!
Zach Braff (Garden State): The star of NBC’s hit series “Scrubs” made a strong transition to film as the writer and director of this light-hearted drama about being thirty. At the height of his show’s popularity, Braff scored a WGA nod for his original script and, though he was snubbed by Oscar, probably garnered some votes for his mature, honest performance as well.
David Carradine (Kill Bill Vol. 2): The title villain was nearly absent from Quentin Tarantino’s first film, but he was central in the second, and Carradine managed to earn a Golden Globe nod for his layered portrayal. This particular Tarantino flick didn’t catch on with Oscar voters, which is probably why Alan Alda took the late actor’s spot for Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator.”
Jim Carrey (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind): The famous comedian won two Golden Globes for his more serious performances, and his third such role seemed primed to get him all the way to Oscar. There was too much competition, however, and the film earned a Best Actress nod for costar Kate Winslet and also took home the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
Colin Farrell (Alexander): This is one of those choices that wasn’t actually quite so close to Oscar, but, a year out, it seemed like one of the frontrunners. Oliver Stone’s epic was a huge failure, and Farrell, who later won a Golden Globe for “In Bruges,” had to endure this flop before getting back on track and becoming a major star in the United States.
Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland): This mature twelve-year-old actor, who would go one to score the lead roles in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “The Golden Compass,” and others, got his big start with this story of the genesis of “Peter Pan,” for which he earned a SAG nod. Ultimately, he may have been too young, and he’s likely to get his chance eventually.