Most reporters who cover the industry are cowards. When the Oscar nominations came out last month, they all had opinions about who was robbed. That’s fine, but no one bothered to explain which nominee should be tossed out to make room for their personal choice. Sure, anyone can say Matt Damon’s best friend deserved a nomination for best director, but you have to back up that opinion by declaring who should’ve been left out.
Well, this kid’s mom didn’t raise a coward. I love speaking my mind, especially when no one knows who I am. So let’s take a closer look at this year’s acting nominations, and I’ll explain where the mistakes were made and how they could’ve been corrected.
We’ll start with the men:
Best Supporting Actor
Take out Alan Arkin. He’s just doing what he always does. His performance in “Argo” is just like his performance in every other movie he’s made in the last few years. So let’s replace him with Matthew McConaughey, an actor I don’t even like. Why? Think about it. The man has completely reinvented himself. Just look at his work in movies such as “Killer Joe” and “Magic Mike.” Hell, he even had a film at Sundance this year. An Oscar nomination would give him the encouragement he needs to keep his shirt on.
Take out Denzel Washington. Replace him with John Hawkes. “Flight” is the most overrated film of the year. Except for the crash, there’s nothing remotely original about this story. What’s the writer trying to say? Drinking is bad, especially when you’re a pilot? Yawn. Denzel makes this snoozefest work because he’s a talented guy, but he shouldn’t be nominated for playing a character we’ve all seen before.
On the other hand, have you ever seen a movie like “The Sessions”? This is a refreshing piece of work, dealing with issues I’ve never considered. And John Hawkes, as always, creates an original character that stayed with me long after the lights went up. This man is one of our most gifted actors, and if he doesn’t deserve to be nominated, then there’s something really wrong with the Oscars and it might be time to shut the whole thing down.
(Some reporters felt Matt Damon’s best friend deserved an acting nod for “Argo,” but that’s absurd. His role in that film is similar to the one Mark Wahlberg played in “The Fighter.” They’re both at the center of the storm, surrounded by much stronger performances.)
Now let’s move on to the women:
Best Supporting Actress
Take out Sally Field. She’s already got two Oscars. Does she really need a third? And let’s be honest: Her role in “Lincoln” isn’t memorable. The politics are front and center. Hell, you could lose half her scenes and the story would still flow. That’s why I say replace Field with Samantha Barks. She’s the strongest singer in “Les Misérables,” and her acting is just as good. I would even argue that her performance as Éponine is more powerful than anything Amanda Seyfried does with Cosette.
Take out Quvenzhané Wallis. She’s just a kid. Replace her with an adult. I’m thinking Marion Cotillard for “Rust and Bone.” Then again, that was only half a character. So let’s go with Zoe Kazan for her portrayal of the title role in “Ruby Sparks.” (Am I the only one who saw this film?) It’s hard to talk about her acting choices without spoiling the movie, so just trust me when I say there’s a fine line to this part and Kazan nails it.
As for the actual nominations, allow me to help you win your Oscar pool. Daniel Day-Lewis is a lock. Ditto for Anne Hathaway. And I’ve got a good feeling about Jennifer Lawrence and Christoph Waltz.
See you on the red carpet!