1994 was a
great year for movies. The competition was really strong in the Best Actor
category with many great performances. The 5 nominees were Tom Hanks (Forrest
Gump), Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption), Nigel Hawthorne (The Madness
of King George), Paul Newman (Nobody’s Fool) and John Travolta (Pulp Fiction).
Who do you
think was closer to get a Best Actor Nomination that year?
Grant, Four Weddings and a Funeral
Pitt, Legends of the Fall
Robbins, The Shawshank Redemption
Depp, Ed Wood
Hugh Grant definitely. It was a shock when he wasn’t nommed. After his Golden Globe win and charming speech he was thought to be safe.
I don’t remember the others being in the conversation.
Replace Brad Pitt with Ralph Fiennes. Out of those, I’d say Robbins first, followed by Fiennes, Grant, then Depp. The curse of the comedies.
I think that it was Robbins and im surprised that he wasnt nominated, he was also snubbed for The Player 2 years earlier.
Two decades later, The Shawshank Redemption director Frank Darabont said the less than enthusiastic review appearing in the influencial LA Times hurt. Its one sentence dismissal of Tim Robbins may be what cost the Oscar winner to be an Oscar nomination, despite a Best Actor nod for Morgan Freeman as well as a Best Picture nomination.
In his review Kenneth Turan summed up his lukewarm response to the lead performance as convicted killer Andy Dufresne, “Though Tim Robbins always seems to be playing a part, he is good at it . . . “
I’m not convinced the LA Times review had much to do with Robbins missing out. It’s quite easy to see why it happened when you break it down; Hanks, Newman and Travolta were automatically in, Nigel Hawthorne had major passion despite missing a SAG nom, and then Freeman was obviously the stronger of the two Shawshank men.
I suspect either Robbins or Grant were sixth in line for the nom: Robbins had the SAG nom, but Grant had Globe and BAFTA wins. At the nomination stage the former achievement probably carried more weight. I wish Johnny Depp had been more in the conversation at the time though; I don’t think I’ve ever seen him better than as Ed Wood.