BRUCE DERN MUST WIN BEST ACTOR 2013! HERE’S WHY!

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NOMINEE Best Actor 2013 BRUCE DERN NEBRASKA

NOMINEE Best Actor 2013
BRUCE DERN
NEBRASKA

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been known to award film actors and actresses less for the particular performance they created that particular year but more, for their body of work over many years.  For instance, Geraldine Page received eight nominations in her career. There are only three actresses in Academy history to exceed that number. They are Meryl Streep with 18 nominations. 18!

MERYL STREEP 18 NOMINATIONS  3 WINS

MERYL STREEP
18 NOMINATIONS
3 WINS

Then Kathryn Hepburn with 12 nominations,

KATHARINE HEPBURN 12 NOMINATIONS 4 WINS

KATHARINE HEPBURN
12 NOMINATIONS
4 WINS

then Bette Davis with 10 nominations

BETTE DAVIS 10 NOMINATIONS 2 WINS

BETTE DAVIS
10 NOMINATIONS
2 WINS

and then comes Geraldine Page with a very admirable 8 nominations.

GERALDINE PAGE 8 NOMINATIONS 1 WIN

GERALDINE PAGE
8 NOMINATIONS
1 WIN

So, she is in excellent company, except the aforementioned actresses are multiple winners and Geraldine Page was never a bride, as they say, until she finally got won Best Actress 1985, for her performance in The Trip To Bountiful. That was also the year Whoopi Goldberg gave her Academy calibre performance in Steven Spielberg’s incredibly underrated masterpiece, The Color Purple.

WHOOPI GOLDBERG NOMINEE Best Actress 1985 The Color Purple

WHOOPI GOLDBERG
NOMINEE Best Actress 1985
THE COLOR PURPLE

So, as I say, the only way Geraldine Page could have surpassed Whoopi Goldberg is if the Academy knew that after eight nominations over the years this would probably be this great actresses’ last kick at the can. Her health was no longer robust. Sure enough she would pass away just two short years later in 1987.

GERALDINE PAGE Best Actress 1985 THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL

GERALDINE PAGE
Best Actress 1985
THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL

Too bad they didn’t give that same kind of consideration to Peter O’Toole when he was nominated for Venus in 2006,

Peter O'Toole NOMINEE Best Actor 2006 VENUS

Peter O’Toole
NOMINEE Best Actor 2006
VENUS

losing to Forest Whitaker

FOREST WHITAKER WINNER Best Actor 2006 THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND

FOREST WHITAKER
WINNER Best Actor 2006
THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND

who played a role that would have won any competent actor an award because it was the outlandish, exaggerated character of that horrible Idi Amin. Don Ameche could have played Idi Amin and won an Academy Award. OK maybe not Don Ameche. By the way Forest Whitaker should have been nominated this year for his performance in The Butler.

SNUBBED BY THE ACADEMY 2013 Best Actor FOREST WHITAKER The Butler

SNUBBED BY THE ACADEMY 2013
Best Actor
FOREST WHITAKER
The Butler

Oprah Winfrey should have been nominated, too. We have plans for Oprah. Look forward to DeOscarize 1985.

SNUBBED BY THE ACADEMY 2013 OPRAH WINFREY The Butler

SNUBBED BY THE ACADEMY 2013
OPRAH WINFREY
The Butler

 Anyway as you can no doubt surmise I am not against the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences giving its coveted award every once and awhile to a film artist for his or her body of work as much as for a particular performance in a particular year. Speaking of Don Ameche, I think he got his award for Cocoon at age 77 because of his legendary list of credits from the golden age of Hollywood.

WINNER Best Supporting Actor 1985 DON AMECHE Cocoon

WINNER Best Supporting Actor 1985
DON AMECHE
Cocoon

It should have been Eric Roberts who got Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Runaway Train. Brilliant! And I mean that in the North American sense;

SNUBBED BY THE ACADEMY 1985 Best Supporting Actor ERIC ROBERTS Runaway Train

SNUBBED BY THE ACADEMY 1985
Best Supporting Actor
ERIC ROBERTS
Runaway Train

the same with 78 year-old Melvyn Douglas in Being There.

WINNER Best Supporting Actor 1979 MELVYN DOUGLAS Being There

WINNER Best Supporting Actor 1979
MELVYN DOUGLAS
Being There

His last days are the only reason I can think of to have his performance in a supporting role prevail over the great film performance Robert Duvall created in Apocalypse, Now.

NOMINEE Best Supporting Actor 1979  ROBERT DUVALL Apocalypse, Now

NOMINEE Best Supporting Actor 1979
ROBERT DUVALL
Apocalypse, Now

Here’s what I’m getting at. This year Bruce Dern has been nominated Best Actor 2013 for his performance in Nebraska. 

NOMINEE Best Actor 2013 BRUCE DERN Nebraska

NOMINEE Best Actor 2013
BRUCE DERN
Nebraska

Even if he actually wins the award, there’s still a great possibility that the majority of movie-goers would never see it because it’s in black and white and only people who grew up with black and white tv can abide black and white movies. And only people who grew up with black and white tv are most aware of some of the great screen performances of Bruce Dern over the past five decades. Bruce Dern first left an impression on me when I saw him in the opening scenes of Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte.

BRUCE DERN 1964 in  HUSH...HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE

BRUCE DERN 1964
in
HUSH…HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE

He stayed with me after that and throughout the sixties playing all sorts of character roles but I’d say starting in the late sixties and throughout the seventies he was coming up with Academy Award calibre performances that were unfairly snubbed by the members. He should have been nominated Best Supporting Actor for They Shoot Horses, Don’t They but Gig Young got the nod instead and the award. By the way, it is of morbid interest which is a guilty pleasure for all of us from time to time, that Gig Young died in a murder suicide five years later. Apparently, he shot and killed his bride of 22 days and then turned the gun on himself. Just goes to show ya’.

MR. & MRS. GIG YOUNG MARRIED: Sept. 27, 1978 DEATH BY MURDER/SUICIDE: Oct. 19, 1978

MR. & MRS. GIG YOUNG
MARRIED: Sept. 27, 1978
DEATH BY MURDER/SUICIDE: Oct. 19, 1978

In 1972, the Academy snubbed John Wayne for his performance in The Cowboys

SNUBBED BY THE ACADEMY 1972 Best Actor JOHN WAYNE The Cowboys

SNUBBED BY THE ACADEMY 1972
Best Actor
JOHN WAYNE
THE COWBOYS

as they also did, Bruce Dern.

SNUBBED BY THE ACADEMY 1972 Best Supporting Actor BRUCE DERN The Cowboys

SNUBBED BY THE ACADEMY 1972
Best Supporting Actor
BRUCE DERN
The Cowboys

Yet, he must have had an impact on audiences because his very next role was a starring role. His first, I think in a big budget sci-fi film called Silent Running.Silent Running poster It’s become a sci-fi cult classic. That same year he also should have been nominated for The King of Marvin Gardens;220px-Marvin_gardens_moviep a film in which Ellen Burstyn was particularly brilliant and recently became the New Best Supporting Actress 1972 at DeOscarize dot com

NEW Best Supporting Actress 1972  ELLEN BURSTYN  The King of Marvin Gardens

NEW Best Supporting Actress 1972
ELLEN BURSTYN
The King of Marvin Gardens

when we DeOscarized Eileen Heckart, poor soul. 

EILEEN HECKART    DeOscarized  Best Supporting Actress 1972

EILEEN HECKART
DeOscarized
Best Supporting Actress 1972

A couple of years later Bruce Dern sparkled in an underrated, unrecognized little gem, directed by Kirk Douglas called Posse;

SNUBBED BY THE ACADEMY 1975 Best Director KIRK DOUGLAS POSSE

SNUBBED BY THE ACADEMY 1975
Best Director
KIRK DOUGLAS
POSSE

a great film that also experienced an academy snub. Then in 1975 another film that has since taken on cult status and is in so many prestigious Top Tens and Bruce Dern was its star; a film called Smile directed by Michael Ritchie.Smile_(1975_film) Bruce Dern finally got some recognition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with a Best Supporting actor nomination in 1978 for Coming Home.

NOMINEE Best Supporting Actor 1978 BRUCE DERN Coming Home

NOMINEE Best Supporting Actor 1978
BRUCE DERN
Coming Home

There are many further interesting, quirky performances in interesting, quirky films throughout the 80’s, less so in the 90’s and on rare occasions in the past ten years or so. Then, last year Alexander Payne

NOMINEE Best Director 2013 ALEXANDER PAYNE Nebraska

NOMINEE Best Director 2013
ALEXANDER PAYNE
Nebraska

was casting for his next production Nebraska. Paramount studios insisted he use a big name star. They wanted Gene Hackman but Hackman has retired. Then they wanted DeNiro, then Robert Duvall, then Jack Nicholson, then Robert Forster. Robert Forster!? If you’re down to Robert Forster, you might as well give Bruce Dern a shot having performed the many roles I’ve already described. Good decision on Payne’s part, as has proven to be true with a Best Actor nomination for Bruce Dern to be decided early this year. Now I realize there are some terrific actors in the running for Best Actor 2013

NOMINEE Best Actor 2013 LEONARDO DI CAPRIO  THE GREAT GATSBY

NOMINEE Best Actor 2013
LEONARDO DI CAPRIO
THE GREAT GATSBY

NOMINEE Best Actor 2013 MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

NOMINEE Best Actor 2013
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

NOMINEE Best Actor 2013 CHIWETEL EJIOFOR 12 YEARS A SLAVE

NOMINEE Best Actor 2013
CHIWETEL EJIOFOR
12 YEARS A SLAVE

NOMINEE Best Actor 2013 CHRISTIAN BALE AMERICAN HUSTLE

NOMINEE Best Actor 2013
CHRISTIAN BALE
AMERICAN HUSTLE

but frankly they all have many more years ahead of them to get another crack at the Academy Award and Bruce Dern doesn’t deserve the fate of Peter O’Toole any more than Peter O’Toole deserved it.

PETER O'TOOLE 1932 - 2013 RECIPIENT HONORARY AWARD 2002

PETER O’TOOLE
1932 – 2013
RECIPIENT HONORARY AWARD 2002

No honoraries for Bruce Dern. Let`s do it this year. So, look forward to DeOscarizing any actor who wins Best Actor 2013 and is not Bruce Dern. It would have happened thirty years from now. Might as well do it now while Bruce and I are both still around.

WINNER Best Actor 2013 BRUCE DERN Nebraska

WINNER Best Actor 2013
BRUCE DERN
Nebraska

 By the way I’m wondering if the academy doesn’t have it in for the entire Dern family. Look at these nominations for some wonderful performances by the great Diane Ladd

NOMINEE Best Supporting Actress 1991 DIANE LADD RAMBLING ROSE

NOMINEE Best Supporting Actress 1991
DIANE LADD
RAMBLING ROSE

and their wonderful daughter Laura. She should have won for Ramblin`Rose.

NOMINEE Best Actress 1991 LAURA DERN RAMBLING ROSE

NOMINEE Best Actress 1991
LAURA DERN
RAMBLING ROSE

Something to look into in a future DeOscarize moment.

 

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Copyright © 2014 Thomas O’Neill

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