For most actors, winning an Oscar is the ultimate goal. It is the ultimate honor for any person in the film business. The gold statue is a recognition for all the hard work and all the sacrifices you make to achieve your goal, voted by a committee of your peers that states "you are the best at what you do".

The Academy isn't perfect though, and many films and actors/actresses get snubbed year after year, either by not winning or by not even getting the opportunity to be nominated. With my own film blog to finally vent my frustrations, I would like to present to you three actors who the Academy has failed to recognize despite some amazing performances.

1. Jim Carrey

He did win a Golden Globe at least.
Should Have Been Nominated For: Man on the Moon

I have been a fan of Jim Carrey since the age of 6 when I saw his parody of Vanilla Ice on In Living Color. In 1994, he became the biggest comedic actor in the country starting with the Ace Ventura films and continuing on with The Mask, Dumb and Dumber, The Cable Guy, and other films. Now, I love Jim Carrey's slapstick comedy; being a kid in the 1990's makes me predisposed to this, but here's the thing: Carrey is also an excellent dramatic actor. He showcased this in 1998's The Truman Show and 2004's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, playing characters as far removed from his comedic past as could be. The biggest snub of his dramatic career has to be for his portrayal of avant garde comedian Andy Kaufman in Milos Foreman's 1999 biopic Man on the Moon.

In a world where everyone who plays a real person gets at least a nomination (many of them win), the fact that Carrey didn't get the nod is a complete snub. Carrey didn't just play Kaufman; he became Kaufman. The movie itself was a little far fetched and smudged the true story a little to make for a more compelling watch, but Carrey shined. He had the mannerisms, the voice, the look, everything. It was a flawless performance and should have been Carrey's redemption of his dramatic career...but nothing. I just hope that someday Carrey will finally get the respect he deserves; sure he's great with comedy and slapstick, but his acting is also vastly underrated.

2. Sam Rockwell

Should Have Been Nominated For: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Originally when I was going to write this article, I would have seen Moon and been able to decide if the internet was right and he got horribly snubbed. Unfortunately, I haven't yet so I'm going to take their word for it and assume he got snubbed here. Instead, I want to bring up his performance as Chuck Barris in 2002's Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the directorial debut of George Clooney (an Oscar winner himself).

I know; Chuck Barris is a real person and in theory, this could end up being the same argument as I just made for Jim Carrey previously. However, this story is different. The film is based off of Barris' novel in which he has boldly claimed to being an agent for the CIA. There's no way to prove (or disprove DUNDUNDUN) this, but Confessions of a Dangerous Mind plays it like it happened...well sort of anyway. The movie follows Barris as he becomes king of the game show (he created The Newlywed Game, The Gong Show, and others) and lives his normal life; in between then, it follows Barris being recruited into the CIA and carrying out missions for them. It's a dual life film...and it works brilliantly. Rockwell hits it completely out of the park, being able to balance both personalities well and as the film comes to a conclusion, Barris' mental collapse is played hauntingly and beautifully.

Rockwell is simply great in everything he does, regardless of the movie's quality itself (paging The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy...), but Confessions of a Dangerous Mind should have at least garnered him a nomination. If you want to see what the hooplah is about Rockwell, rent this movie as quick as you can.

3. Paul Giamatti

Should Have Been Nominated For: Sideways

I know, I know: you are completely shocked. If anyone has read anything on this site, you know that I am a ridiculously huge fan of Paul Giamatti as an actor. Everything I have seen him in, I have loved, from American Splendor to The Haunted World of El Superbeasto to Shoot Em Up. He is the greatest actor currently going in the business, but his look and age have kept him from truly breaking out the way he should have.

Sideways should have been his ticket to an Oscar. Miles Raymond is the greatest sad sack character in the history of cinema (anyone who read my Sideways article, get ready for deja vu). Giamatti portrayed him beautifully and painfully and comedically...every emotion you can think of, Giamatti threw right up on the screen. From the way he delivered his lines with a hint of deflated sadness to the mannerisms which all portrayed the inner turmoil of his character, Giamatti created an iconic cinema character...and you know what? HE WASN'T EVEN NOMINATED.

The other three principal actors/actresses got nods at the 77th Annual Academy Awards, but Giamatti was snubbed. Harshly. He was the best part of Sideways, not to mention its main character, but he got nothing. At all. To make it more annoying (for me at least), this was the year Jaime Foxx got the Oscar for playing Ray Charles in a performance that stands as one of the most overrated in recent memory.

Giamatti did eventually get an Oscar nomination (a supporting nod for 2006's Cinderella Man), so he did at least ascend higher than Carrey and Rockwell got to, but the fact he didn't even get nominated for Sideways is a black eye on the Academy and something I will always bring up in Oscar talks until the day I die.

Agree? Disagree? Did I miss someone? Comment and let me know!

4/11/2010 09:00:18 am

Uhhh...Bill Murray.

I know you didn't like Lost In Translation much, but if not that then for Broken Flowers.

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