Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday Theoretical Oscar Category

Welcome to a weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. In my love for everything Oscar, it’s always fun to speculate on who or what might have been included given different circumstances. Though there are twenty-four fields recognized on Oscar night, that still neglects a handful of key players. As a result, I’d like to take a look each week at imagined categories, and who or what might have benefited from their existence.

The category: Best Limited Performance

Why it should exist: This is actually a crucial category since “supporting” isn’t a very definitive term, meaning that actors with essentially bit parts like William Hurt (“A History of Violence”) and Mark Wahlberg (“The Departed”) get lumped in with people who actually appear throughout most of their films. It’s a great way to single out scene-stealers and reward them for outstanding work in a small yet significant role.

Why it doesn’t exist: Aside from the obvious problem of adding additional acting categories, would a screen time limit need to be imposed? Would there be one category, or two, one for men and one for women? Could actors be nominated in supporting and here (I vote no, which means some of my nominees below would have only been recognized here)? On top of that, there are just too many contenders since this opens up the field infinitely.

Who might have been nominated the past five years:
2011: Kathy Bates (Midnight in Paris), Adrien Brody (Midnight in Paris), Judy Greer (The Descendants), Charlotte Rampling (Melancholia), Mark Strong (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
2010: Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom), Rooney Mara (The Social Network), Cillian Murphy (Inception), Guy Pearce (The King’s Speech), Pete Postlethwaite (The Town)
2009: Judi Dench (Nine), Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds), Heath Ledger (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), Sophia Loren (Nine), Rosamund Pike (An Education)
2008: Patricia Clarkson (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Tom Cruise (Tropic Thunder), Viola Davis (Doubt), Emile Hirsch (Milk), Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road)
2007: Sacha Baron Cohen (Sweeney Todd), Ruby Dee (American Gangster), Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement), Paul Schneider (The Assassination of Jesse James), Tilda Swinton (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)

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