Michelle Williams & Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine
Michelle Williams & Ryan Gosling in Blue ValentineEvery Oscar season, there are the Academy Award nominees, and there are the snubs. That doesn't mean we have to be happy with the choices -- because sometimes (often) the Academy is straight-up nuts in their decision-making.
This year's snubs include: Mark Wahlberg for his lead role in The Fighter, Halle Berry for her lead in Frankie & Alice, Leonardo DiCaprio for his lead role and Marion Cotillard for her supporting role in Inception, Julianne Moore for her lead in The Kids Are All Right, both Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake for their supporting roles in The Social Network, and both Barbara Hershey and Mila Kunis for their supporting roles in Black Swan. Frankly, all those Oscar snubs are just fine with me.
There's only one 2011 snub that makes my brain explode -- and that's the Best Actor snub on Ryan Gosling for his lead in Blue Valentine, co-starring Michelle Williams (who got a Best Actress nomination!).
I've had a beef with the Oscar-nominating Academy since 1983. Yeah, that's an almost 30-year grudge I've been carrying around. However, what on earth was the Academy thinking when they voted the movie Gandhi for Best Picture over E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial that year? What planet were they living on when they decided Gandhi was a better overall film? E.T.'s planet, I guess ... I mean, Gandhi was a beautiful story about a beautiful man, but it wasn't as extraordinary a film as E.T.! It didn't make entire families cry and bond nor did it change movie-making history!
Of course, I'm not going to say Ryan Gosling's portrayal of Dean in Blue Valentine changed movie-making history or anything, but I am going to say his performance -- just like his performance in Half Nelson and Lars and the Real Girl -- was stellar. Gosling took on a character, cranked open that character's chest cavity, and invited us right inside. Gosling nails the performance, skillfully delivering up the complexity of Dean's misery with his infectious and intense neediness -- and makes him lovable at the same time!
If you haven't seen Blue Valentine, I highly recommend it (obviously not a happy movie). Both Williams' and Gosling's portrayals of marital despair are raw, heartbreaking, painful, and completely outright. It's unimaginable to me that Gosling could be overlooked, especially considering his previous portfolio of great work.
I didn't need Ryan Gosling to win, but he totally needed to be nominated. And if nothing else, they could have created an award for him, something like the Biggest Babe of a Great Actor award. Would that have been so hard? To tide me him over?
And thus begins another long-standing grudge to carry around against the Academy. This stuff is getting awfully heavy.
Do you think Ryan Gosling was wrongly snubbed for the Best Actor nomination? Who was the biggest snub this year in your opinion?