Oprah? No-prah! Did she peak too soon this Oscar derby?

Oprah? No-prah!

The Oscar nominations were revealed Thursday, and Oprah Winfrey was shockingly snubbed as Best Supporting Actress for “The Butler.”

Oprah was such a sure thing for Gold Derby’s Experts that she came in first place for a nomination as far back as September 1 (see above-left chart) and even prompted Tariq Khan (Fox News) to write up five reasons why Oprah was a lock for the Oscar win.

So what happened?

It could be that Oscar voters were so sick of being told what to do that they decided to go their own way here in the Supporting Actress race. Well, “go their own way” as far as throwing Oprah off their telecast, as the other four nominees predicted by Experts as of yesterday still made the cut (see above-right chart).

Lupita Nyongo (“12 Years a Slave“), Jennifer Lawrence (“American Hustle“), June Squibb (“Nebraska“) and Julia Roberts (“August: Osage County“) all secured their bids as we predicted. The fifth nominee turned out to be Sally Hawkins (“Blue Jasmine“); did she steal Oprah’s spot?

Remember, Oscar voting just took place from Dec. 27 through Jan. 8, meaning academy members had been hearing nothing but Oprah, Oprah, Oprah for no less than four months. Did her supposed frontrunner status get the better of her?

She attended early screenings of “The Butler” and appeared on several talk shows promoting the movie, so she can’t be blamed for not campaigning. And let’s face it, she gave a wonderful performance in “The Butler” opposite Forest Whitaker that was arguably worthy of an Oscar nod, so perhaps this year’s Supporting Actress field was just too crowded.

Oprah’s awards woes started back on Dec. 12 when she was snubbed by the Golden Globes. Just the day prior, she had taken the Screen Actors Guild by storm with two nominations — Best Film Supporting Actress and Best Film Ensemble — so that Globe snub was extra shocking.

Two years ago, Oprah was feted with an honorary Oscar, so she already has a trophy on her mantel. She was previously nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “The Color Purple” (1985), bot lost out to Anjelica Huston (“Prizzi’s Honor”).

Were you surprised by Oprah’s Oscar omission? Do you think she peaked too soon this awards season? Sound off in the comments section below!


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17 thoughts on “Oprah? No-prah! Did she peak too soon this Oscar derby?

  1. Actually, I am not surprised by the snub…. I was surprised when the GG snubbed her and at that point I knew her chances were damaged…. although Oprah was good in the Butler, the other nominees were OUTSTANDING and come on… if you compare Lupita’s performance to Oprah’s, you understand why Oprah was no longer a front runner… I hope that she isn’t dejected by this… she can buy her own Academy Awards! LOL

  2. I’m not surprised at all.
    The race this year has been incredible and after the bAFTAS got announced, I thought the Academy would swing with Hawkins. Lo and Behold they did

  3. Not surprised. All of the nominees this year were in films released much later, so they stuck in voters’ minds more. Plus, the only reason people kept mentioning Oprah for a nomination is because she drinks a lot, ages onscreen and ****SPOILER ALERT**** dies in the film. Those are three ingredients that bring a nomination. But when you stack the film up against others, it doesn’t match, and tends to be too self-indulgent.

  4. Jeff Commings: Actually Blue Jasmine, for which Sally Hawkins is nominated for, was released last summer, prior to The Butler.

  5. not at all – just because you are “Oprah” doesn’t mean you get an oscar nom…she wasn’t that great – period. I don’t know what all the hub but is about, I thought she was mis-casted anyway.

  6. Not sure why so many had Oprah still in their predictions. The Butler has pretty much been forgotten. Even Weinstein Company abandoned a big Oscar push for the film, trumpeting instead Philomena and Osage County. Seems to have paid off.

  7. I didn’t include Oprah in my predictions. So no shock for me at all. To get nominated on the first role of her return to acting just feels too privileged especially when the field is crowded.


  9. A. Duong- a nomination for her first role of her return to acting feels too privileged? Hello? Jared Leto? He’s going to win

  10. D Hel, Jared lost weight and “transgenderized” himself. He was only gone for 6 years, not decades like Oprah. Further, Jared is considered a thespian, whereas Oprah more a media mogul, her oscar nomination for her first film notwithstanding. She’s only been in like a handful of film projects (what, 3?)

  11. I thought Oprah was terrific in “The Butler”!!! I thought the same of the movie. At the showing I saw, the audience gave an enthusiastic round of applause. You don’t hear that much anymore at the movies. So, I guess at least that audience loved it!

  12. I’m glad she wasn’t nominated, her role in the butler was overrated, she was horrible in the movie. Though I do think Forrest Whitakker deserved a nomination!

  13. Ms. Winfrey is an adequate actress, but her inexperience and inability to dig deep and deliver (like most professional working actresses do) was apparent in The Butler. It was a great part on the written page. Just think what working professionals like Angela Bassett or Alfre Woodard could have done !

  14. This article has completely lost the ball on what happened to The Butler.. I have never encountered such a laughable contractual name change as ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’ for a frickin BIOGRAPHY! Haha. Did he own that man’s life?! Cause that’s how it comes across. It was a better film than I expected it to be amd I quite liked Whitaker and Winfrey in their roles. I’ve yet to see someone discuss the name change with a straight face.

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