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Best Actor 2005: the most anti-trend/anti-stat race ever?

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  • Beau S.
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    #108618

    I was recently rewatching Capote and the experience ended with me reading Philip Seymour Hoffman’s wikipedia page.
    I was surprised to see that he is only 46 years old. As we know, most actors do not win Best Actor until they are past the age of 50.

    Upon further research, I found that the lineup that year was surprisingly young.

    Philip Seymour Hoffman – Capote (age 38 on Oscar night)
    Terrence Howard – Hustle and Flow (age 36 on Oscar night)
    Heath Ledger – Brokeback Mountain (age 26 on Oscar night)
    Joaquin Phoenix – Walk the Line (age 31 on Oscar night)
    David Strathairn – Good Night, and Good Luck (age 57 on Oscar night)

    As you can see, four men under the age of 40 (has to be a record). If we were going by stats/trends, David Strathairn should have been a no-brainer here.

    What are your thoughts? Did this happen any other year? 

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    Scottferguson
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    #108620

    The most unconvential thing about 2005 was Crash winning – no significant best film wins previously, not that big a commercial hit, not that critically acclaimed, a specifically LA set film (with LA as its subject, the first time among BP winners), not even nominated for a GG best picture award, another film’s winner won DGA (a strong correlation with Oscar BP, even stronger than with director), and didn’t win best director. One can find winners with a couple of those elements, but all combined make it an extremely outside the box winner.

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    Jake
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    #108621

    That was not very great year for movies, I’m afraid. Probably my least-favourite from the 2000s. PS Hoffman winning this was obvious as far as I can remember and as of then he was already long enough in the business. Strathairn was 4th at best. I don’t know whether this age thing should be that valuable, there are better examples in that department, like Adrien Brody or Richard Dreyfuss winning over veterans. 

    Not to beat that dead horse but… damn… I rewatched “Transamerica” and still feel, despite all this aclaim, that Felicity Huffman was underrated for what she did there. It was nearly Charlize-Theron-on-“Monster” level. And Reese Witherspoon didn’t live up to the hype of Best Actress winner anyway. It’s disappointing where careers of both women went since then. 

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    BrokenFan
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    #108622

    Phillip Seymour Hoffman looks older than most men his age, imo. I thought he was in his late fifties. Even in Boogie Nights, he looked..er…’mature’. and I agree that this was a boring year for the Oscars. I wonder what the heck happened. . 

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    dsps84
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    #108623

    The most unconvential thing about 2005 was Crash winning – no significant best film wins previously, not that big a commercial hit, not that critically acclaimed, a specifically LA set film (with LA as its subject, the first time among BP winners), not even nominated for a GG best picture award, another film’s winner won DGA (a strong correlation with Oscar BP, even stronger than with director), and didn’t win best director. One can find winners with a couple of those elements, but all combined make it an extremely outside the box winner.

    What do you think it was about BM that led to it losing in such unprecedented fashion? It also won the BAFTA and PGA. Why do you think No Country, The Artist, Slumdog, King’s Speech and Argo were able to hold on to their frontrunner positions, but BM suddenly stumbled?

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    Scottferguson
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    #108624

    1) It didn’t live up to expectations for a lot of members who saw it after the hype was created – Focus decided to let the film open and be acclaimed before most members saw it (unlike Slumdog, for example, which opened around Thanksgiving, all members got the screener right at that point, many saw it that weekend and decided they loved it before it was a hit; members also thought they discovered King’s Speech and Hurt Locker, but that Social Network was being decided for them; Argo/Lincoln the same thing somewhat

    2) Crash really was loved by a strong core of members

    3) Homophobia in the sense of fear, not hatred – I heard at the time from male straight members that they were sick and tired of being ribbed by their golf partners and similar about the “gay” movie winning, and unlike other cases where members went ahead and voted for the film they were suppose to for BP, they didn’t in this case; similarly a sense from some members who resented they were obligated to vote a film for which they on their own thought was good. not great

    4) A brilliant campaign orchestrated by Cynthia Swartz, ex-Miramax awards maven, who went out on her own and pushed all the right buttons, for Crash, then after it got in, winning SAG ensemble and later becoming, instead of Munich, the alternative to BM 

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    dsps84
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    #108625

    So basically the members thought that Focus was playing some sort of “gay card”, that they HAD to vote for BM because of that factor, and were thus turned of by the campaign?

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    Scottferguson
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    #108626

    Focus correctly positioned the film to attract audiences, and had a commercial success (and won two major Oscars). It sort of was hurt (like TSN was hurt) by winning too many awards and making some members the decision was being taken away from them.

    It also was badly hurt when the business just stopped nearly dead a couple weeks after the nomination and it showed little additional ability to reach further audiences. The timing of a film playing during nominations is crucial (this killed Reds for 1981 as well).

    Sometime it’s better to have played already and be on DVD (like The Hurt Locker).

    It was likely a very close vote, and all sorts of factors, including homophobia, entered into it. I don’t think Focus did anything wrong. The Oscars were on March 5. Maybe they could have opened limited just at Xmas – but then they might not have had the momentum that got them the critics’ groups awards and other nominations.

    A great film doesn’t need a Best Picture win. It is forgettable, mediocre ones, like the ones that most often do that need it more.   

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    Scottferguson
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    #108627

    Focus correctly positioned the film to attract audiences, and had a commercial success (and won two major Oscars). It sort of was hurt (like TSN was hurt) by winning too many awards and making some members the decision was being taken away from them.

    It also was badly hurt when the business just stopped nearly dead a couple weeks after the nomination and it showed little additional ability to reach further audiences. The timing of a film playing during nominations is crucial (this killed Reds for 1981 as well).

    Sometime it’s better to have played already and be on DVD (like The Hurt Locker).

    It was likely a very close vote, and all sorts of factors, including homophobia, entered into it. I don’t think Focus did anything wrong. The Oscars were on March 5. Maybe they could have opened limited just at Xmas – but then they might not have had the momentum that got them the critics’ groups awards and other nominations.

    A great film doesn’t need a Best Picture win. It is forgettable, mediocre ones, like the ones that most often do that need it more.   

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