Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wednesday Oscar Retrospective: First Five Forgotten of 2003

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 2003

Maria Bello (The Cooler): The former star of “ER” got Golden Globe and SAG nominations for her performance as the woman that made William H. Macy’s luck turn around, and she seemed a sure thing until a veteran heavy hitter and another newbie stole her slot on nominations day, leaving Alec Baldwin as the sole representative of her film. She earned another Globe nod for “A History of Violence” and is likely to brush with Oscar again someday.

Paddy Considine (In America): This British actor came close to an Oscar nod for Best Actor when his two adult costars, Samantha Morton and Djimon Hounsou, managed surprise bids on nominations day. Unfortunately, Considine’s devoted father was left out, but he’s now doing quite well for himself, earning prizes for stepping behind the camera as a director.

Peter Dinklage (The Station Agent): This little independent film had a hugely unexpected showing at the SAG awards with three nominations, and Dinklage seemed primed to upset the Best Actor race, as is usually the case with late-breaking SAG inclusions. Ultimately, the film was entirely shut out, but Dinklage now stars on HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” for which he won an Emmy this past year and is likely to win again.

Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation): With only “The Horse Whisperer,” “Ghost World,” and a few other films under her belt, the nineteen-year-old charmed with her breakout turn as Bill Murray’s muse in Japan. He scored his first Oscar nod, but she had to stay content with a Golden Globe since she’s not everyone’s cup of tea and some may not have felt her performance was terribly demanding. She’s not quite Oscar-bound these days, but she does have a great career ahead of her.

Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen): At age sixteen, Wood delivered an astounding performance as an out-of-control teenager that earned her both Golden Globe and SAG nods. She was ultimately snubbed in favor of a surprise nominee and another young actress, while veteran actress Holly Hunter scored a supporting nod for the same film. Being considered a costar with the also excellent Nikki Reed probably didn’t help, and Wood has done somewhat well to show that she has great ability, most evident in her recent performances in “The Ides of March” and the miniseries “Mildred Pierce.”

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