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What are the WORST Cases of Category Fraud at the Oscars Ever?

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  • babypook
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    #70410

    Forgot about Affleck. That’s another example. What’s worse in this case is that the other lead in the movie wasn’t going to show up anywhere for awards, so the path was clear for him (unlike Gyllenhaal or Zeta Jones, for example), he didn’t have to compete with a huge star. But of course, when the movie didn’t excite anybody and wasn’t considered a contender for the top awards, he gets to commit fraud because getting in for lead was too much for Affleck and his little movie to achieve.

    Having said that, that’s such an amazing movie that was incredibly underrated and unseen, that I gladly accept this fraud because at least it’s in the books and some people will see it because of that nomination.

    “Forgot about Affleck.”

    The film was one of my favorites of the year, and certainly Affleck’s perf was the very best imo, out of every single nomination that year, Lead and Supporting combined. So it’s hard for me to ‘forget’. Maybe I could accept it a smidgeon more if the title of the film was “The Assassination of Jesse James; plus, there’s this guy who shot him, here and there”

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    Jake
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    #70411

    Thank you, Tom, for your mention of Martin Landau in “Crimes and Misdemeanors”. It’s probably the best male performance out of Woody Allen’s films, truly great performance leading a fantastic picture. Landau plays one lead and Allen plays another. There’s no way he’s supporting, it’s his story (probably even more than Allen’s).

    Also Julianne Moore being in supporting for “The Hours” is nonsense if she’s the only one placed there and both Kidman and Streep were in the lead. She has more screentime than Nicole and among the 3 she’s the only one to crossover into another segment! I know it happened only to allow her not to compete with herself for “Far From Heaven”. If she was supporting, then I guess Toni Collette was cameo?! I’m glad she didn’t submit in supporting for “The Kids Are All Right” as she has more screentime than Annette Bening.

    I can live with Hailee Steinfeld in supporting as from some point the focus shifts to Jeff Bridges but she would be better off in the lead. I’m glad she was nominated but I’d prefer to see her in the lead over Michelle Williams and Mila Kunis getting in for “Black Swan”. There’s no way to justify Tatum O’Neal and Timothy Hutton other than their young age and unfair advantage over shorter performances from truly supporting players. Again, Hutton had more screentime than his on-screen mother, Mary Tyler Moore, nominated in the lead. I know he would be against Robert De Niro and his performance was truly beautiful but in the same film Judd Hirsch was truly supporting and also deserving of accloades (not to mention Donald Sutherland).

    Cate Blanchett, Casey Affleck, Ethan Hawke and Al Pacino should be in the lead without a doubt!

    Berenice Bejo, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jennifer Hudson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Foxx and Marcia Gay Harden are all debatable.

    Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Connelly and Haley Joel Osment are impactful enough to be considered as leading but they belong in supporting, I think, as they support characters of Renee Zellweger, Russell Crowe and Bruce Willis respectively. 

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    Gabriel
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    #70412

    Hailee Steinfeld is the PROTAGONIST of True Grit. It’s her story, and the film is completely from her perspective and, if I remember correctly she’s in every single scene. She is absolutely the lead of the film. If anything Jeff Bridges is the one supporting HER! There’s no way her being in the supporting category is justifiable!

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    Halo_Insider
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    #70413

    Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Connelly and Haley Joel Osment are impactful enough to be considered as leading but they belong in supporting, I think, as they support characters of Renee Zellweger, Russell Crowe and Bruce Willis respectively. 

    Agreed. Each supporting character gets a certain focus throughout the film, but there’s no mistake that those stories are centered more on the adventures of Zellwegger, Crowe, and Willis, respectively. To be honest, I’d never even considered Connelly and Osment as true co-leads.

    I actually watched a “Siskel and Ebert: If We Picked the Winners” special a while back (for 1987) and they introduced something to me that could be worth mentioning. Does anyone think that maybe William Hurt was in the wrong category that year? He was nominated for Best Actor, but the story seems to be told more through Holly Hunter’s eyes than through anyone else’s. Someone brought up that Brooks was a fraud to place in Best Supporting Actor, but I’m unsure whether they would each deserve to be considered co-leads or co-supporting actors.

    A few suggestions here actually piqued my interest.  While I can understand how certain ensemble films like “Traffic” and “Magnolia” can have characters that stand out more than others, I would hardly regard Del Toro or Cruise as the leads of their films (though SAG obviously disagreed in Del Toro’s case). While they can each be acknowledged as being some of the more fleshed-out characters of their films, it’s not like we see the story more through their eyes than anyone else’s – they aren’t the characters with primary focus.

    Kevin Spacey in “Usual Suspects” was one that I spent a lot of time thinking about, but in my opinion, you could very well consider him a supporting character in the film (albeit a very prominent one). While the story is told through his eyes, the film rarely focuses on him when he’s onscreen; when he converses with Gabriel Byrne and Chazz Paliminteri, most of the focus is on Byrne’s or Paliminteri’s reactions. Even when we find out his true role in the story, I still don’t think that means that he was necessarily a leading character.
     

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    Chatan
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    #70414

    Casey Afleck. That year he has Gone Baby Gone, as the clear lead and a co-lead with a huge star in other film..
    Same as Julianne Moore in 2002 with The Hours & Far From Heaven. 

    About Zeta-Jones (Lead in GG), Haley joel Osment, Jen Connelly (lead in SAG), yes, they were supporting characters to the lead character. But the same you can say to Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line. 
     

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    Gabriel
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    #70415

    Reese Witherspoon definitely should have been supporting, IMO.

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    Pieman1994
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    #70416

    I would include Marlon Brando. Yes, he gives a performance of a lifetime in The Godfather, and he is commanding, but he is not the main character. It is not his transformation that we look at most. 

    Also, Peter Finch in Network has always skewed supporting to me. While the story centers around him, it’s more about what his impact is on television is, more than an arch of his. 

    Forrest Whitaker could go either way, but he really feels more of a supporting character.

    As much as I love her performance, and as deserving as she is of her Oscar, Louise Fletcher is supporting in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. 

     

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #70417

    Hailee Steinfeld is the PROTAGONIST of True Grit. It’s her story, and the film is completely from her perspective and, if I remember correctly she’s in every single scene. She is absolutely the lead of the film. If anything Jeff Bridges is the one supporting HER! There’s no way her being in the supporting category is justifiable!

    Good point.

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #70418

    Reese Witherspoon definitely should have been supporting, IMO.

    Agree 100%.

    At any rate, even though I didn’t love TRANSAMERICA, I’d rather watch Felicity Huffman’s much more interesting performance any day.

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    CoolioD1
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    #70419

    Patricia Neal won a lead oscar for her role in HUD, and to me that was definitely a supporting performance.

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    Logan
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    #70420

    I like Witherspoon in WTL (prefer her work in in Election and Legally Blonde) – outside of the musical elements that were impressive, I do recall a scene where she’s in a store and a woman comes up to her saying that divorce is an abomination – there was an old thread about “Perfect line readings,” and one that sticks out was Witherspoon’s delivery here: “I’m sorry I let you down, ma’am.”

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    Carbon Based Lifeform
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    #70421

    My objections to WTL were from what I heard was the film’s mischaracterization of Johnny Cash’s first wife. Supposedly it was a real slap in the face to her and to Cash’s daughter Roseanne. Other than that, I generally find Witherspoon’s performances annoying, and man was she annoying esp. in the earlier scenes of the movie.

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    Baby Clyde
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    #70422

    ^
    Well, for me Casey Affleck in TAoJJBTCRR is the most egregious example of category fraud I’ve ever personally seen. And he wasnt a minor at the time…..

    It’s certainly the worst in recent times. He was the title character and it was his story that was followed from beginning to end. Absolutely shameful.

    Same goes for Don Murray in ‘Bus Stop’. There is now way he can be anything but lead. The whole film is about him but he was a newcomer so he got shoved in Supporting.

    Greer Garson’s Best Actress nom for ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’ is preposterous. She’s only in it for about 15 minutes. If I remember correctly Louis B Mayer insisted on her going Lead as he was preparing to turn her into a major star.

    It getting worse as time goes by. The Academy really needs to clamp down on this. It’s becoming ridiculous.

    There are some very odd suggestions being made above.

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    Scottferguson
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    #70423

    Jake Gyllenhaal’s inclusion as supporting in Brokeback was something that never would have happened if you make the story about a male/female couple.

    Change to story to a man and a woman who are forbidden to be an open couple, keep everything else in the story the same, have Maggie Gyllenhaal as the woman, and never in a million years who that character be considered supporting.

    Ledger had a small edge in screentime, but Gyllenhaal was in most of the film, and had several scenes and a story arc in which Ledger did not appear.

    Cate Blanchett in  whatever that film was with Judi Dench is another ridiculous case. Nearly equal screentime, nearly equal in story arc, some scenes on her own. If that had been a male character, slam duck lead performance consideration.

    Most of the worst cases are when the two leads are of the same gender. These two are among the worst scandals in terms of category fraud.          

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    Baby Clyde
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    #70424

    Having said that, that’s such an amazing movie that was incredibly underrated and unseen, that I gladly accept this fraud because at least it’s in the books and some people will see it because of that nomination.

    I saw it because if the nomination. I would very much like those 3 hours of my life back.

    Cut to an 1.45 it would have been sensational, as it was I slept through most of it.

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