Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wednesday Oscar Retrospective: First Five Forgotten in 2001

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, or further, in the case of this specific series, 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 2001

Hayden Christensen (Life as a House): Before winning Razzie Awards for Worst Supporting Actor for two of the “Star Wars” prequels, Christensen actually netted both Golden Globe and SAG nods for his performance in “Life as a House,” a film that was entirely ignored by Oscar voters. It’s a shame, too, since that and “Shattered Glass” are almost universally considered to be his only decent performances.

Cameron Diaz (Vanilla Sky): Between 1998 and 2002, Diaz netted four Golden Globe nominations and no Oscar love. Cameron Crowe’s mind-bending science fiction thriller was her first true dramatic role, and showed that she could be serious as well as seductive and funny. Since then, she’s made more action films and comedies, but that seems to be where her strengths lie following this surprisingly strong performance.

Dakota Fanning (I Am Sam): This young actress delivered her breakout film performance at age seven as the precocious daughter of a mentally-challenged man (played by nominee Sean Penn). She got a SAG nomination for that performance and a slew of strong follow-up roles in comedy, action, and drama. She may yet cross paths with Oscar, and her younger sister Elle is already following in her footsteps.

Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge): This Scottish actor tends to pick good roles in good movies, but he doesn’t usually get the attention for them. After a breakout turn in Danny Boyle’s “Trainspotting” five years earlier, McGregor costarred with nominee Nicole Kidman in the year’s acclaimed musical sensation. He only got a Globe nomination for his troubles, and if charming subsequent parts in “Big Fish” and “Beginners” couldn’t attract him Oscar attention, I’m not sure what will.

Carl Reiner (Ocean’s Eleven): The now 90-year-old actor has won eight Emmys, for work both in front of and behind the camera. He got his best shot at Oscar as one of the standouts of a furiously entertaining ensemble in this insanely popular heist flick. Though it fared well with audiences, Oscar voters ignored it, missing out on what could have been an extremely fun inclusion.

No comments: