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!
COMPLETE OSCAR NOMINATIONS COVERAGE: