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Comeback Stories at the Oscars

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  • Jeffrey Kare
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    #1201955401

    Usually when an actor/actress is making a comeback, it becomes a big deal when they have a film coming out with Oscar buzz. Many people even feel they could win big.

    That happened in 1954 when Frank Sinatra won for From Here to Eternity. One year later, Judy Garland was nominated for her comeback in A Star is Born. She was unable to attend the Oscars that year as she was in the hospital giving birth to her son. Everyone felt so confident that she was going to win, that NBC sent a camera crew out to the hospital room where she was at so that they could film her acceptance speech…all before William Holden announced that the Oscar went to Grace Kelly for The Country Girl.

    Since then, John Travolta was nominated for his comeback in Pulp Fiction, lost to Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump; Mickey Rourke was nominated for his comeback in The Wrestler, lost to Sean Penn in Milk; Michael Keaton was nominated for his comeback as a faded movie star trying to mount himself a comeback in Birdman, lost to Eddie Redmayne for giving a Daniel Day-Lewis level performance in The Theory of Everything.

    Last year, Sylvester Stallone was nominated for his comeback in Creed. Even though he was up against performances from Best Picture nominees as well as the fact that he didn’t receive prior nominations from SAG nor BAFTA, almost everyone thought he was going to win. Yet, Mark Rylance ended up winning for Bridge of Spies. If you ask me, that pretty much hit the final nail in the coffin.

    I personally feel the Academy never buys into these big comeback stories. So what do you think?

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    GusCruz
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    #1201955489

    I personally feel the Academy never buys into these big comeback stories. So what do you think?

    I agree. And I think it’s a great thing that they are so averse to what are usually big publicity stunts pushed as awards narrative.

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    AayaanUpadhyaya
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    #1201955808

    Agree 100%. For me, the biggest example of this is Lauren Bacall in 1996, and I even made a thread about it last year, but still ended up predicting Stallone because everyone convinced me that his ‘buzz’ and ‘comeback status’ are enough to get him the win.

    Won’t be making that mistake this year for any categories.

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    BenitoDelicias
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    #1201955855

    Sometimes they loose, sometimes Kim Basinger wins…

    I wouldn’t place Keaton along with some of these people, that was actually a great performance that lost to a huge Oscar bait role. It’s understandable. It would’ve been a very worthy win regardless of the comeback publicity angle. Same could be said about Travolta who still might have had Freeman to deal with.

    But yeah, sometimes you want somebody like Stallone to win because of what Hollywood, blogs and reporters put him through, not really because of the performance. A second Oscar nomination for the same role 39 years later after what is a very shitty list of films and performances throughout the years and basically ending up in a very close second place, it’s enough of a reward. But it would’ve been cool. Like Mikey Rourke or Eddie Murphy.

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    Alex Meyer
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    #1201955948

    Comeback stories are nice, but that shouldn’t be the basis of somebody winning an award. That and nostalgia. With Creed, I felt like everybody wanted Stallone to win more for the fact that there was so much nostalgia from him playing Rocky Balboa for 40 years. In my opinion, Mark Rylance truly deserved the Oscar for Bridge Of Spies, because he always maintained my attention the most in every scene.

    So, at the very least, I’m glad the responsible Oscar voters look at an actor’s individual performance rather than their overall public persona.

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    Atypical
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    #1201955951

    Stallone would have been a perfectly deserving winner for “Creed,” and plenty of “discerning” people thought this outside of “Rocky” nostalgia (of which I have none since I think it’s a cheesefest) and intense media hype.

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    clay bryce
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    #1201956364

    I still think Mark Rylance won because many voters have seen his wacky, poem-quoting Tony speeches and they were hoping he would do the same at he Oscars. Unfortunately, he didn’t.

    Anyway, forget about comebacks. Every year there is an Oscar backstory that just warms everyone’s hearts so much that they vote for that particular actor. (remember 10 years ago when every article about Jennifer Hudson and her “brilliant” performance started off with, “She came in 7th on American Idol and on it went, even though, let’s face it, her performance itself, is far from Oscar worthy even more now than it was then) So far, looking over the list of potential nominees, I can’t think of one actor who fits that description.

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    babypook
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    #1201956469

    Any actor who can make comebacks and stay relevant et al in this cut-throat business usually has me cheering for them.

    There are many to mention; outside of what’s aleady been cited, I was very glad to see Jackie Earle Haley storming back after all that time.

    Say what you will about Mickey Rourke, but he’s working again. And despite everything, I’m happy for him.

    And O yes; I was rooting hard for Sylvester. Why not? Since when, is emotion and sentiment somehow less important than “assessing the performance” etc; when that, is entirely subjective as well?

    Lol.

    So, GO WARREN BEATTY.

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