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Category frauds at the Oscars

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  • FreemanGriffin
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    #198627

    This year there are a few potential nominees who really belong in the lead catgegory but are being campaigned in the supporting category (Rooney Mara, Alicia Vikander, Jacob Tremblay, Paul Dano, and others think Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams (I disagree and think these last three are supporting performances)) – the academy has a long history of nominating actors in the wrong categories. Here is my own subjective view on nominees in the wrong categories:

    Best Supporting Actress
    1938 Beulah Bondi, Of Human Hearts (Gene Reynolds and James Stewart play the lead character, but Bondi has the most screen time)
    1940 Jane Darwell, The Grapes Of Wrath (Henry Fonda is the lead but Darwell is def. the female lead)
    1941 Sara Allgood, How Green Was My Valley (she’s def. the female lead in the movie; Roddy McDowall is the lead)
    1941 Mary Astor, The Great Lie (co-lead with Bette Davis)
    1944 Jennifer Jones, Since You Went Away (romantic lead, and co-lead with Claudette Colbert)
    1951 Thelma Ritter, The Mating Season (the largest role, co-lead with John Lund and Gene Tierney)
    1953 Grace Kelly, Mogambo (co-lead with Clark Gable and Ava Gardner)
    1953 Geraldine Page, Hondo (female lead opposite John Wayne)
    1954 Eva Marie Saint, On The Waterfront (female lead)
    1955 Betsy Blair, Marty (female lead)
    1955 Natalie Wood, Rebel Without a Cause (female lead)
    1956 Patty McCormack, The Bad Seed (title character and co-lead with Nancy Kelly)
    1957 Diane Varsi, Peyton Place (co-lead with Lana Turner)
    1960 Janet Leigh, Psycho (dies half-way through film but is nevertheless the female lead of the movie)
    1962 Mary Badham, To Kill a Mockingbird (lead character)
    1962 Patty Duke, The Miracle Worker (co-lead with Anne Bancroft)
    1963 Lilia Skala, Lilies Of The Field (female lead)
    1968 Lynn Carlin, Faces (female lead in an ensemble film)
    1968 Sondra Locke, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (female lead & lead character)
    1969 Dyan Cannon, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (co-lead with Robert Culp, Natalie Wood and Elliot Gould)
    1969 Goldie Hawn, Cactus Flower (co-lead with Walter Matthau and Ingrid Bergman)
    1973 Tatum O’Neal, Paper Moon (the lead character)
    1975 Ronee Blakley, Nashville (female lead in an ensemble film)
    1978 Maggie Smith, California Suite (lead in her storyline with Michael Caine)
    1982 Jessica Lange, Tootsie (female lead)
    1985 Meg Tilly, Agnes Of God (she plays Agnes!)
    1989 Brenda Fricker, My Left Foot (female lead)
    1995 Mare Winningham, Georgia (co-lead with Jennifer Jason Leigh)
    1996 Juliette Binoche, The English Patient (much more of the female lead than Kristin Scott Thomas)
    1996 Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Secrets & Lies (the true lead of the film)
    1998 Brenda Blethyn, Little Voice (co-lead with Jane Horrocks and Michael Caine)
    1998 Rachel Griffiths, Hilary & Jackie (co-lead with Emily Watson)
    1999 Samantha Morton, Sweet and Lowdown (female lead)
    2002 Julianne Moore, The Hours (the lead in her section of the movie; Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep were leads in their sections)
    2002 Meryl Streep, Adaptation (female lead)
    2002 Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago (co-lead with Renee Zellweger and Richard Gere)
    2004 Natalie Portman, Closer (co-lead with Jude Law, Julia Roberts and Clive Owen)
    2005 Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener (female lead)
    2006 Cate Blanchett, Notes On a Scandal (co-lead with Judi Dench)
    2006 Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls (co-lead; Effie is in many ways the lead character)
    2006 Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine (title character and lead of the movie)
    2009 Vera Farmiga, Up In The Air (co-lead with George Clooney and Anna Kendrick)
    2009 Anna Kendrick, Up In The Air (co-lead with George Clooney and Vera Farmiga)
    2010 Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit (the lead character)
    2011 Berenice Bejo, The Artist (female lead; she won Best Actress Cesar and Lumiere Awards for it)
    2013 Julia Roberts, August: Osage County (co-lead with Meryl Streep)

    Supporting Actor:
    1940 Walter Brennan, The Westerner (co-lead with Gary Cooper)
    1940 James Stephenson, The Letter (male lead opposite Bette Davis)
    1941 Charles Coburn, The Devil and Miss Jones (the lead character!)
    1943 Charles Coburn, The More The Merrier (co-lead with Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea)
    1944 Barry Fitzgerald, Going My Way (nominated in both categories; he was the co-lead with Bing Crosby)
    1944 Clifton Webb, Laura (has as much if not more screen time than both Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney)
    1945 John Dall, The Corn Is Green (male lead)
    1945 J Carrol Naish, A Medal For Benny (movie is about his character)
    1946 Harold Russell, The Best Years Of Our LIves (co-lead with Dana Andrews and Fredric March; film is about all three of them)
    1947 Edmund Gwenn, Miracle On 34th Street (has a larger role than both John Payne and Maureen O’Hara)
    1949 John Ireland, All The King’s Men (co-lead with Broderick Crawford)
    1950 Ralph Richardson, The Heiress (male lead)
    1952 Richard Burton, My Cousin Rachel (co-lead with Olivia de Havilland)
    1952 Jack Palance, Sudden Fear (male lead opposite Joan Crawford)
    1953 Brandon de Wilde, Shane (the real lead character and co-lead with Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur and Van Heflin)
    1956 Don Murray, Bus Stop (male lead opposite Marilyn Monroe)
    1956 Mickey Rooney, The Bold and the Brave (male lead)
    1956 Robert Stack, Written On The Wind (actually has more screen time than Rock Hudson and co-lead with Hudson and Lauren Bacall)
    1962 Terence Stamp, Billy Budd (title character and co-lead with Peter Ustinov)
    1963 Melvyn Douglas, Hud (co-lead with Paul Newman)
    1966 Walter Matthau, The Fortune Cookie (def. co-lead with Jack Lemmon!)
    1968 Gene Wilder, The Producers (co-lead with Zero Mostel)
    1967 Elliot Gould, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (co-lead with Robert Culp, Natalie Wood, and Dyan Cannon)
    1970 Gene Hackman, I Never Sang For My Father (the true lead of the movie)
    1972 Al Pacino, The Godfather (co-lead with Marlon Brando)
    1973 Jason Miller, The Exoricst (the true lead of the movie)
    1974 Jeff Bridges, Thunderbolt & Lightfoot (co-lead with Clint Eastwood)
    1975 George Burns, The Sunshine Boys (def. a co-lead!)
    1977 Peter Firth, Equus (lead character & co-lead with Richard Burton)
    1980 Timothy Hutton, Ordinary People (lead character and co-lead with Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland)
    1980 Michael O’Keefe, The Great Santini (co-lead with Robert Duvall)
    1981 Howard E. Rollins, jr., Ragtime (co-lead in an ensemble film)
    1985 Eric Roberts, Runaway Train (co-lead with Jon Voight)
    1987 Albert Brooks, Broadcast News (triangle with Holly Hunter and William Hurt)
    1988 River Phoenix, Running On Empty (the lead character)
    1989 Martin Landau, Crimes & Misdemeanors (the real lead of the movie)
    1992 Jaye Davidson, The Crying Game (co-lead with Stephen Rea)
    1994 Samuel L. Jackson, Pulp Fiction (co-lead in an ensemble film)
    1995 Kevin Spacey, The Usual Suspects (co-lead in an ensemble film)
    1996 William H. Macy, Fargo (male lead)
    1999 Haley Joel Osment, The Sixth Sense (co-lead with Bruce Willis)
    2001 Jim Broadbent, Iris (male lead)
    2001 Ethan Hawke, Training Day (co-lead with Denzel Washngton)
    2001 Ben Kingsley, Sexy Beast (co-lead)
    2002 Chris Cooper, Adapatation (co-lead with Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep)
    2004 Clive Owen, Closer (co-lead with Jude Law, Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman)
    2005 Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain (co-lead with Heath Ledger)
    2007 Casey Affeck, …Robert Ford (co-lead)
    2009 Christopher Plummer, The Last Station (he plays Leo Tolstoy, the lead male character)
    2009 Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds (co-lead)
    2010 Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right (male lead)
    2010 Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech (co-lead with Colin Firth)
    2011 Christopher Plummer, Beginners (co-lead)
    2012 Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained (yes, he is out of the last 20 minutes of the movie, but he is def. the co-lead with Jamie Foxx)
    2014 J K Simmons, Whiplash (co-lead)

    In additon, there have been a few lead nominations that really were supporting performances:
    1936 Luise Rainer, The Great Ziegfeld (very little screen time)
    1936 Spencer Tracy, San Francisco (a supporting role; Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald were the leads)
    1937 Spencer Tracy, Captains Courageous (Freddie Bartholomew was the only lead in the movie)
    1938 Fay Bainter, White Banners (def. a supporting perf.)
    1939 Greer Garson, Goodbye, Mr. Chips (def. a supporting perf., very little screen time)
    1941 Walter Huston, All That Money Can Buy (he plays the devil; very little screen time)
    1951 Eleanor Parker, Detective Story (very little screen time)
    1951 Shelley Winters, A Place In The Sun (killed half way through the movie; Liz Taylor is the true female lead)
    1957 Anthony Franciosa, A Hatful Of Rain (supporting role; Don Murray is the lead)
    1960 Trevor Howard, Sons and Lovers (the lead is Dean Stockwell)
    1961 Piper Laurie, The Hustler (this is a supporting perf.)
    1967 Anne Bancroft, The Graduate (very little screen time; Hoffman is the only lead in this movie)
    1972 Paul Winfield, Sounder (the boy and his mother – Cicely Tyson – are the real leads; very little screen time)
    1974 Valerie Perrine, Lenny (the film is about Lenny; Honey is def. a supporting role)
    1975 Ann-Margret, Tommy (supporting perf.)
    1978 Geraldine Page, Interiors (borderline, but it feels more supporting; Diane Keaton is the true female lead)
    1996 Kristin Scott Thomas, The English Patient (Juliette Binoche is the true female lead in the movie)
    2006 Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada (Anne Hathaway is the true lead)
    2011 Viola Davis, The Help (Bryce Dallas Howard plays the real lead in the movie)

    Reply
    jf123
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    #198629

    Amy Adams was a supporting performance for American Hustle

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    SupaDupa Fly
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    Oct 12th, 2014
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    #198630

    How was Bryce Dallas Howard more of a lead than Viola?

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    Rooney Moore
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    Aug 2nd, 2014
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    #198631

    ^LOL. If anyone was lead in that movie, it was Emma Stone. But you can call Davis a co-lead I guess, since the story was told through her perspective. And Meryl Streep was NOT a lead in August. Being the sarsactic matriarch of the house and gave ironic one-liners doesn’t make you an automatic lead. It was Barbara’s story all along.

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    FreemanGriffin
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    #198632

    I may have gotten Howard and Stone confused? The girl who is doing the investigation feels like the lead character to me. That’s why I said my list was subjective!

    Streep was def. the co-lead in A:OC

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    Baby Clyde
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    Nov 8th, 2010
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    #198633

    Category fraud is my biggest issue with the modern Academy Awards. It’s always happened but has become an epidemic in the last few years.

    There are many valid examples listed above but have to take issue with the idea of male/female lead, which makes no sense at all.

    Lead roles aren’t divided by sex. The lead is the protagonist, the person who the story is about. You may be the women with the most screen time but unless it is your story being told you’re not the lead.

    For example Eva Marie Saint and Betsy Blair aren’t leads. They have large supporting roles and happen to be women. If the characters were male you wouldn’t be listing them as lead.

    Also ‘lead in an ensemble cast’ or ‘female lead in her story arc’ are by definition supporting role and going by the title character is a terrible way to determine who is the lead (Meg Tilly is definitely not). 

    There are enough egregious proper examples around without the need to artificially create more.

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    seabel
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    Nov 21st, 2012
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    #198634

    Dear FreemanGriffin, we have already a thread for Category Frauds.

    Please, next time, do a little research in the forum before posting and adding threads.

    I’m not a moderator, but I feel isolated when I see that no one does this function here, causing pages and pages of threads and making it difficult to look for something in particular that’s actually interesting. 

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    Baby Clyde
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    #198635

    Of this list I would only choose the following as being true category fraud and some of these are debatable…………

    1951 Thelma Ritter, The Mating Season (the largest role, co-lead with John Lund and Gene Tierney)
    1953 Geraldine Page, Hondo (female lead opposite John Wayne)
    1956 Patty McCormack, The Bad Seed (title character and co-lead with Nancy Kelly)
    1962 Mary Badham, To Kill a Mockingbird (lead character)
    1962 Patty Duke, The Miracle Worker (co-lead with Anne Bancroft)
    1968 Sondra Locke, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (female lead & lead character)
    1973 Tatum O’Neal, Paper Moon (the lead character)
    1995 Mare Winningham, Georgia (co-lead with Jennifer Jason Leigh)
    1998 Rachel Griffiths, Hilary & Jackie (co-lead with Emily Watson)
    2002
    Julianne Moore, The Hours (the lead in her section of the movie; Nicole
    Kidman and Meryl Streep were leads in their sections)
    2005 Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener (female lead)
    2006 Cate Blanchett, Notes On a Scandal (co-lead with Judi Dench)
    2006 Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls (co-lead; Effie is in many ways the lead character)
    2006 Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine (title character and lead of the movie)

    2010 Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit (the lead character)
    2011 Berenice Bejo, The Artist (female lead; she won Best Actress Cesar and Lumiere Awards for it)
    2013 Julia Roberts, August: Osage County (co-lead with Meryl Streep)

    Supporting Actor:

    1945 J Carrol Naish, A Medal For Benny (movie is about his character) (Been such a long time since I’ve seen this I can’t remember).
    1952 Richard Burton, My Cousin Rachel (co-lead with Olivia de Havilland)
    1956 Don Murray, Bus Stop (male lead opposite Marilyn Monroe)
    1962 Terence Stamp, Billy Budd (title character and co-lead with Peter Ustinov)
    1966 Walter Matthau, The Fortune Cookie (def. co-lead with Jack Lemmon!)
    1968 Gene Wilder, The Producers (co-lead with Zero Mostel)
    1970 Gene Hackman, I Never Sang For My Father (the true lead of the movie)
    1972 Al Pacino, The Godfather (co-lead with Marlon Brando)
    1974 Jeff Bridges, Thunderbolt & Lightfoot (co-lead with Clint Eastwood)
    1975 George Burns, The Sunshine Boys (def. a co-lead!)
    1977 Peter Firth, Equus (lead character & co-lead with Richard Burton)
    1980 Timothy Hutton, Ordinary People (lead character and co-lead with Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland)
    1988 River Phoenix, Running On Empty (the lead character)
    1996 William H. Macy, Fargo (male lead)
    2001 Jim Broadbent, Iris (male lead)
    2001 Ethan Hawke, Training Day (co-lead with Denzel Washngton)
    2005 Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain (co-lead with Heath Ledger)
    2007 Casey Affeck, …Robert Ford (co-lead) (The most egregious example in Academy History. He’s no co-lead he THE lead)
    2010 Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech (co-lead with Colin Firth)
    2012
    Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained (yes, he is out of the last 20
    minutes of the movie, but he is def. the co-lead with Jamie Foxx)
    2014 J K Simmons, Whiplash (co-lead)

    In 1953 Thelma Ritter is clearly the lead in Pickup On South Street.

    We have to be slightly careful about shouting category fraud on films from years ago though. Back then actors were very much divided into Lead and Supporting. Someone like Walter Brennen in The Westerner may seem like a co lead to us now but at the time was very much a Supporting actor and was never going to be nominted in the Lead category all the time there was a major star such as Gary Cooper on screen with him. It’s only really when big stars started getting nominated in Supporting roles that attitudes changed.

    The whole thing has got completely out of control these days when any film with same sex co leads immediately demotes one to Supporting in a fraudulent attempt to get more gold. There is no doubt that were Midnight or The Defiant Ones released today Jon Voight and Sidney Poitier would be placed in Supporting and the Academy would allow it to happen.

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    Anonymous
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    #198636

    Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick are 100% SUPPORTING in “Up in the Air”.

    Viola Davis is co-lead with Emma Stone in “The Help”. Bryce Dallas Howard is supporting.

    I do agree that JK Simmons is a co-lead in “Whiplash”, maybe even Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood”.

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    Anonymous
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    #198637

    ^LOL. If anyone was lead in that movie, it was Emma Stone. But you can call Davis a co-lead I guess, since the story was told through her perspective. And Meryl Streep was NOT a lead in August. Being the sarsactic matriarch of the house and gave ironic one-liners doesn’t make you an automatic lead. It was Barbara’s story all along.

    Meryl Streep & Julia Roberts were both 100% LEAD in “August: Osage County”. They were in most scenes, as significant characters. Easy.

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    babypook
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    Nov 4th, 2010
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    #198638

    I wonder if the Academy will ever write up some ‘rules’ and guidelines about Lead and Supporting.

    Until that happens, Casey Affleck can be Supporting and so can anybody under the age of puberty or thereabouts, like Hailee Steinfeld….

    I suppose it makes for  good conversation.

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    Sasha
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    Nov 24th, 2013
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    #198639

    There’s nothing I hate more about awards season than category frauds! They’re like Hitler to me.

    As for The Help these are the only category placements I can accept: Stone is leading, everyone else is supporting / everyone is supporting / Stone, Davis AND Spencer are leading, everyone else is supporting. You can’t have Stone and Davis leading and then Spencer supporting, it’s just fucking stupid.

    I’m actually dreading this year because we might have a record when it comes to this despicable shit. If sheep follow the campaigns then we might have Mara, Vikander, Tremblay and Dano contending in supporting. And these are gonna be the biggest category frauds ever. EVER. In case of Mara and Tremblay they’re gonna be even bigger frauds than Affleck or O’Neal. It’s absolutely APPALING.

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    SupaDupa Fly
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    #198640

    If they really wanted to crack down on the category fraud, they would just start snubbing the nominees. Don’t even announce anything. Nothing would stop it like not hearing
    your name called on nominations morning.

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    Sasha
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    #198641

    If they really wanted to crack down on the category fraud, they would just start snubbing the nominees. Don’t even announce anything. Nothing would stop it like not hearing
    your name called on nominations morning.

    Yes! Yes! Yes! 

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    ENGLAND
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    #198642

    If they really wanted to crack down on the category fraud, they would just start snubbing the nominees. Don’t even announce anything. Nothing would stop it like not hearing
    your name called on nominations morning.

    Thats what I was saying. They should reject the submissions or snub them to teach thema  lesson.

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