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Michael Shannon's nod – An Unusual First

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  • Filmatelist
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    #1201995015

    It just occurred to me that Michael Shannon’s nomination is, if I’m not mistaken, singularly unique in Oscar history because he’s the first person to be nominated for playing an imaginary character.  By this I mean that within the narrative world of NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, his persona doesn’t exist– he is just a character in a story within a story.  And as far as I can tell, that has never happened before.

    Some other notable examples of imaginary characters would be Brad Pitt in FIGHT CLUB or Ed Harris & Paul Bettany in A BEAUTIFUL MIND (none of whom got nominations for those parts) or the hallucinations Jack Nicholson sees in THE SHINING.

    Perhaps the closest would be Kevin Spacey in THE USUAL SUSPECTS, except that while Keyser Soze may be imaginary, Verbal Kint isn’t.  He’s real flesh-&-blood in that film, so that wouldn’t count.

    Can anyone else think of an example of a character within a narrative space who is exclusively a product of someone’s imagination who got nominated for an Oscar?

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    Cédric Léria
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    #1201995042

    good to know !… but the fact he was nominated shows that academy members don’t vote according all major precursors  awards (GG, SAG, BAFTA, etc…), everybody expected, his co-star Aaron-Taylor Johnson to get the nod instead…

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    Moviebuff22
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    #1201995045

    Funny thing is that I think ATJ’s win is what got him nominated. ATJ won the globe and got the BAFTA nomination, so people actually watched the movie and recognied that Shannon was great in the film, Johnson was good too and worthy of a nomination but Shannon is my #1 supporting performance this year

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    Filmatelist
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    #1201995089

    And of course, ATJ’s character is just as imaginary.

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    Maxwell
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    #1201995205

    Nicolas Cage’s Adaptation nom was I suppose half-imaginary, for both Charlie and Donald Kaufman.

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    Filmatelist
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    #1201995240

    Nicolas Cage’s Adaptation nom was I suppose half-imaginary, for both Charlie and Donald Kaufman.

    Essentially an alter-ego, though played by the same person.  So great suggestion, if more of an asterisk example.

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    Riley
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    #1201995253

    I should avoid this thread for the spoilers.

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    Atypical
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    #1201995380

    Major spoilers here! Read at your own risk. :-/

    I thought this thread was about Shannon getting Oscar nods AGAIN without Globes/BAFTA/SAG support, and what I’m guessing is the first to accomplish this twice exclusively in two nominations.

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    Roney Moore
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    #1201995389

    It’s not. Marcia Gay Harden.

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    Atypical
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    #1201995395

    Right. The SAG nod was for Ensemble, not SA. Still, the point about spoiler tags stands.

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    Filmatelist
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    #1201995417

    I should avoid this thread for the spoilers.

    Not really.  The entire premise of the film is that Amy Adams is reading a book/manuscript, the content of which we see dramatized, knowing it’s that same book.  It is completely unlike FIGHT CLUB or BEAUTIFUL MIND, where these imaginary characters were part of a dramatic twist.  This is laid out explicitly toward the beginning of the film and has no bearing on how one views the plot.

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    Eddy Q
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    #1201995578

    I should avoid this thread for the spoilers.

    Not really. The entire premise of the film is that Amy Adams is reading a book/manuscript, the content of which we see dramatized, knowing it’s that same book. It is completely unlike FIGHT CLUB or BEAUTIFUL MIND, where these imaginary characters were part of a dramatic twist. This is laid out explicitly toward the beginning of the film and has no bearing on how one views the plot.

    I think he meant spoilers for the other movies you mentioned.

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    Filmatelist
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    #1201996102

    Lol, what’s the statute of limitations on spoilers for films that are Oscar-nominated, incredibly popular and over 15 years old?  Should I not mention that Bruce Willis is really dead?  That Rosebud is a sled?

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    Jake
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    #1201996115

    Of course there were no Oscar nominations for it but if you’re interested in similar films, you should check out “Stranger than Fiction” (2006) and “Words” (2012). Both in the same neighborhood whether presented characters are fictional within the world on-screen and what are the rules of those worlds.

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