Alternate Oscars: Paul Thomas Anderson Wins! Leonardo Di Caprio Wins! Daniel Craig Wins!
Oscars Snubs: We unveil our Alternate Academy Awards winners
Imagine for a minute an alternate Academy Awards. An Oscars ceremony that decided against rewarding biopics, inaccurate thrillers and lightweight sort-of-indie flicks mainly directed by David O'Russell. This Sunday (February 24, 2013), a rather predictable bunch of nominees will take their seats at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.
Daniel Day-Lewis will take home Best Actor, Spielberg will probably add to his collection of Best Director gongs, hell, maybe grumps himself Tommy Lee Jones will snatch a prize. It begs the question: is this really a collection of the very best performances and movies of the year? We present to you our alternate Academy Awards - who missed out on a nomination, though wouldn't have looked out of place with the golden statuette in their hand?
Best Film: Skyfall
Come on, who didn't love Skyfall? The slickest movie of the year, directed with aplomb by Oscar winner Sam Mendes, didn't get a sniff of a nomination in the movie categories, though most critics agree it was the best James Bond movie for years and easily one of the best pictures of the year. An all-star cast, including Ralph Fiennes, Judy Dench and Javier Bardem supported a flawless Daniel Craig, who offered a glimpse at 007's vulnerabilities for the first time. Here was a Bond who chugged down Heineken, had a little stubble and wasn't the best of shots, anymore. There was murmurings of a nomination for Best Picture, but in the end, nothing. A pity.
Best Actor: Daniel Craig (Skyfall)
As mentioned, Craig turned in a career best performance in Skyfall, harking back to his turn in the excellent Layer Cake and demonstrating his adaptability as Bond. It's a tough franchise to sign up for if you want any hope of a serious career afterwards, though Craig will remain one of the most sought after leading men in Hollywood when he finally hangs up the tuxedo.
Best Actress: Marion Cotillard (Rust And Bone)
We couldn't believe our eyes when Marion Cotillard's name failed to be read out during the Academy Awards nominations announcement in January. Some bookmakers even had her pencilled as one of the favourites for her performance in Rust and Bone prior to the announcement, though she received nothing on the day. How can that be? The Los Angeles Times called the movie a "powerhouse," signalling Cotillard out for specific praise. The French actress is already a winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress, though her latest movie is arguably stronger than La Vie en Rose. She is a major oversight on this year's shortlist.
Best Supporting Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)
Another year, another baron awards season for poor old Leo. Is he the best actor never to have won a golden statuette? Perhaps not, though he's certainly turned in plenty of Oscar worthy performances. Django Unchained was supposed to be the movie for which he landed his first Academy Award. Playing the evil plantation owner Calvin Candie in Quentin Tarantino's gory slave movie, DiCaprio showed his comedic side while simultaneously turning in a rather unnerving performance. The 38-year-old has probably accepted the Academy's disinterest in his work by now - saying that, he probably accepted it when Titanic scored a giant 14 Oscar nods though missed him off the list entirely. Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York, Revolutionary Road, Shutter Island, and Inception came and went without so much as a nomination. How Leonardo didn't score a nod for The Departed is one of the many mysteries in Hollywood history.
Best Supporting Actress: Maggie Smith (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was one of the most underrated movies of the year, held together perfectly by an experienced supporting performance from Maggie Smith. The quirky comedy did good business around the world and made it onto the BAFTAs shortlist for Best British Film of the Year. Smith's performance landed her a nomination at the prestigious SAG Awards, though she got nothing from the Academy. The Best Supporting Actress category at the SAG's also featured Helen Mirren and Nicole Kidman, other notable Oscar snubs, though Smith's omission was arguably the most glaring. Of course, Anne Hathaway will probably rightly win the award on Sunday for Les Miserables, though the veteran British star should have been amongst the nominees, perhaps at the expense of Jacki Weaver, who was in Silver Linings Playbook for about 3 minutes.
Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master)
Forget Ben Affleck. One of the more ridiculous Oscar snubs for 2013 was the omission of Paul Thomas Anderson from the Best Director shortlist. The enigmatic filmmaker, who previously helmed Oscar winner There Will Be Blood, didn't get a sniff of a nomination for his dramatic project The Master, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as a character not unlike L Ron Hubbard. The movie scored critical acclaim, though Anderson's fingerprints were all over the damn thing. Affleck's omission was partly understandable as he hasn't yet established his own directorial style, though The Master IS Paul Thomas Anderson. Paul Thomas Anderson IS The Master. It's a strange one. A very strange one.