August 18, 2016 at 8:41 am #1201909824
Given the goings on with Birth of a Nation’s Nate Parker, the odds of its Oscar chances be dwindling.
However, this is not the first film to have controversy call into question its awards chances.
Which films/actors/directors/writers completely lost any chance of awards glory because of controversy. And which managed to turn it around?August 18, 2016 at 8:55 am #1201909838
A Beautiful Mind won despite charges that the guy Crowe played, John Nash, was anti-Semitic, though that may also have been due to a scattered field and lack of a clear alternative.August 18, 2016 at 9:07 am #1201909852
Harold Becker’s chilling drug addiction drama The Boost, released in late December to qualify for the ’88 awards season, was initially hailed as the film that would win James Woods his Oscar but quickly sidelined by truly cray-cray, National Enquirer-covering controversies involving Woods and his co-star Sean Young. The two had an affair during the production and, after Woods broke it off, Young reportedly stalked Woods and his new fiancee, allegedly delivering disfigured dolls and dismembered animals to his home. There was also a rumor that Young super-glued Woods’ penis to his leg when he confronted her about breaking up.
Whatever the facts really were, The Boost landed with a thud at the box office and Woods’ amazing turn (Young was excellent too, for that matter) only garnered a paltry ISA nom.August 18, 2016 at 3:24 pm #1201910069
Zero Dark Thirty was accused by some as being pro-torture propaganda, or at least, taking an uncritical stance of the method’s effectiveness or lack thereof. The film was also criticised for failing to illustrate how enhanced interrogation techniques had led to false and misleading information on bin Laden. It’s hard to say how much this affected ZDT’s support from the Academy; the Bigelow snub may have been due to other factors, and it was never much of a contender for other categories. The fact that it tied with Skyfall in the one category it was predicted to win outright may or may not be significant.August 18, 2016 at 8:48 pm #1201910300
Vanessa Redgrave’s march to the podium for Julia was not without plenty of controversy. The Jewish Defense League condemned her for the documentary she produced called The Palestinian. The JDL made threats to blow up theaters showing the film (and at least one bomb did go off outside a theater). They made threats against Redgrave and people from Julia (even some that were Jewish) that supported her right to her beliefs. So when Redgrave refers to “Zionist hoodlums” in her Oscar speech, that’s who she’s talking about.August 18, 2016 at 9:17 pm #1201910321
Despite being nominated twice after her controversial speech members of the Academy have said they’re reluctant to vote for her again due to the unpredictability of what she’ll say. Hence Sally Field and Marisa Tomei owe Vanessa Redgrave a thank you card.August 18, 2016 at 10:27 pm #1201910361
The Redgrave win is a really fascinating year to watch on youtube. Not only did she speak but Paddy Chayefsky’s rebuttal makes for riveting TV. Apparently the network and producers encouraged him to say something. There were genuine fears of security at the Oscar ceremony. They had sharp shooters on the roof and everything. The odd thing to think about is what would have happened had voters denied Redgrave the award like some people wanted.
Who’d have won? It wasn’t a strong year. I could see little Quinn Cummings winning and being thrust into the middle of a strange Oscar moment at 10 or however old she was.August 18, 2016 at 10:36 pm #1201910362
Jane Fonda in Klute had huge controversy due to her Vietnam stance.
She still won, it is a brilliant performance and frankly one of the best Best Actress wins ever so it may have been hard to deny her votes. Plus the rest of the nominees were all British and not really the strongest competitors. This must have been a suspenseful ceremony to see live since there was great anticipation as to what she would say. She ultimately decided to say, there is a lot to be said but this is not the place to do it. She does get a dig in at the people who didn’t clap. In the youtube video you can’t really see people not clapping but I’ve noticed some of those videos have been edited and the reaction shots are different from what aired live.August 18, 2016 at 11:19 pm #1201910366
Redgrave approached Chayefsky afterwards and he walked away/didn’t want to hear what she had to say and was apparently miffed when he saw people speaking to her (the gall!).
Fonda was locked for Klute. There were other worthy performances in the category but she swept the major critics groups, had proven herself earlier with Horses, while Glenda Jackson (Sunday, Bloody Sunday) had just won, and Julie Christie (McCabe & Mrs. Miller) was a previous victor as well. Although she was a political lightning rod, some say Fonda partially won her second because people wanted to apologize to her about being right on Nixon.
Redgrave was definitely the front runner for Julia. Won LA, the Globe — she was on her fourth nomination after three lead losses, the film was up for eleven Oscars.August 18, 2016 at 11:31 pm #1201910369
I remain appalled that a writer of the caliber of Paddy Chayefsky advocated against free speech. His chastisement of Vanessa Redgrave amounted to a public reprimand for exercising her right to share an opinion.
During the remaining years of his life, Chayefsky suffered ill health and only wrote one more significant script Altered States, based on his book. He deeply disagreed with his director Ken Russell and used a pseudonym on the film credits.August 19, 2016 at 6:37 am #1201910465
Vanessa Redgrave’s march to the podium for Julia was not without plenty of controversy. The Jewish Defense League condemned her for the documentary she produced called The Palestinian. The JDL made threats to blow up theaters showing the film (and at least one bomb did go off outside a theater). They made threats against Redgrave and people from Julia (even some that were Jewish) that supported her right to her beliefs. So when Redgrave refers to “Zionist hoodlums” in her Oscar speech, that’s who she’s talking about.
And I find it astonishing that people didn’t realise that at the time. She might have chosen her phrasing more carefully, but how could they possibly not have expected her to even mention the numerous direct threats she had received? Of course, her stances on Palestine and Zionism are now more widely held, so time has diluted the controversy a little. (Not that Redgrave hasn’t had other political problems.)August 19, 2016 at 7:38 am #1201910483
In terms of runners-up to Redgrave and Fonda, I would agree both undoubtedly finished way ahead, with Cummings and Jackson (who had two Oscar-calibur leading turns in ’71, Sunday Bloody Sunday and Mary, Queen of Scots) likely most closely trailing. If I recall correctly, some pundits at the time actually predicted Cummings for the upset, suspecting the Academy would want to keep Redgrave off the stage.
OSCAR FLASHBACK: Best Original Song (1996) – Space Jam on the SidelinesAugust 19, 2016 at 3:10 pm #1201910705
If I recall correctly, some pundits at the time actually predicted Cummings for the upset, suspecting the Academy would want to keep Redgrave off the stage.
OSCAR FLASHBACK: Best Original Song (1996) – Space Jam on the Sidelines
According to writer and critic Emanuel Levy, ‘Redgrave’s win was interpreted as yet another sign of the New Hollywood’s “maturity”–it is unlikely that she would have won the Oscar in the 1950s.’ So it’s possible that some Oscar-voters may even have anticipated potential accusations of snubbing based on political grounds if Redgrave lost, and they felt they had something to prove.August 19, 2016 at 4:43 pm #1201910732
There was controversy with The Color Purple – many voiced their distaste for Spielberg’s particular spin on the story/backlash to him being a white man and the depiction of the black male characters, among other things (Overly earnest, stereotypical). Even though it received 11 nominations, there was a kind-of buyer’s remorse and by Oscar night, it was dead.August 19, 2016 at 7:14 pm #1201910755
Redgrave goes over the speech pretty closely in her biography.
The problem was the phrase “zionist hoodlums”. She meant it to mean the Jewish Defense League and the other extremist groups who had been against her. It apparently came across as anti-semitic to a lot of people and that is why Paddy was encouraged to denounce her. During Paddy’s speech you can see Neil Simon and Arthur Laurents (two writers) cheering him on and Shirley MacLaine looking non-committal and refusing to join in with Laurent’s applause.
It was a really polarizing night.
(although maybe Neil Simon was just mad that Quinn Cummings lost.—–kidding.)
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