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What was the reaction to Don Ameche's win for Cocoon?

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    RobertPius
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    #1202492866

    I just watched that again on TCM. That is such a career award. He barely registers in the film. I’d say Wilford Brimley, Brian Dennehey or even Jack Gilford should have had the nominations.

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    Aameson
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    #1202492903

    What I remember of his performance was that devil-may-care, charismatic looseness I’ve found the Academy OFTEN rewarding – and interestingly other past wins I would put in that category were also controversial; Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side, Roberto Benigni in Life Is Beautiful, Julia Roberts in Erin Brokovich..

    These are not “great” performances (at all lol) but they were all oozing with some identifiable form of charisma and energy behind them..

    Then there are the consensus or semi-consensus wins (too many to mention).

    Look at the Supporting category for Actor in 1993. I know a lot of people looked at that and thought Tommy Lee Jones might have been the least deserving of the nominees – and yet he won.

    It seems pretty clear to me that the voters of the Academy are as interested in the swagger and behavioral eccentricities of a performance as they are in technical brilliance if not more so. It’s charisma they’re after. Charisma, charisma, charisma.

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    Zooey the Dreamer
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    I saw the film for the very first time a couple of weeks ago. I remember reading a quote by Hume Cronyn who had said something like: The most unpopular guy on set got an Oscar because of a dance. I wish I had done the dance. Or something like that.

    But hey, we’ve all seen the clip on Youtube. He got a standing ovation at a time when nearly nobody got one. He is a Golden Age star and this explains why he won. And I believe the reaction should have been this. Klaus Maria Brandauer had the most wins. Was he considered a strong favorite to win?

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    AwardsConnect
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    The nomination was more shocking than the win – Best Supporting Actor was widely seen as a supremely anemic affair in ’85, so it wasn’t terribly unexpected for the sentimental favorite to prevail. Many viewed awarding Ameche was a way to honor the entire cast. Brandauer was the favorite heading into Oscar night but hardly an overwhelming one. Loggia (whose nom was just as perplexing as Ameche’s) and Roberts hadn’t a prayer and while Hickey had support, he wasn’t seen as a threat for victory either. The Eric Stolz snub (for Mask) was a surprise.

    For the finest in film reviews and awards analysis (and my annual Oscar predictions contest), please visit me at The Awards Connection!

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    Filmatelist
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    #1202493228

    Ameche was a Hollywood legend/trooper, and the fact that it won VFX (easily the least impressive of the nominees) proved that there was a lot of love for COCOON overall too. After all, it pandered to the Codger demographic and gave plenty of older stars the center stage the way the industry rarely did in crowd-pleasing tentpole pictures. Ameche’s no better than anyone else in the film but he gets the showier role and always has an air of class about him, so that was clearly enough. Brandauer & Hickey were very good in Best Picture nominees but as highly unlikeable characters (as often a liability as a benefit) while Ameche was just one big valentine.

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    ArtIsntEasy
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    I definitely agree with all of that has been said. This was a prime example of a career win pure and simple…and that of the cast Wilford Brimley would’ve made more sense in terms of a performance to honor and even then that might be pushing it.

    I also agree that Klaus Maria Brandauer would’ve been one of only maybe 3 awards I could’ve justified OUT OF AFRICA winning for. And then 11 years later, they were actually willing to overlook the veteran (Bacall) to reward a performance in a overlong epic that was actually a deserving win (Binoche).

    Oh yes and Eric Stoltz was robbed of a nomination when he could’ve easily won. Another candidate who should’ve slipped in here was John Gielgud for THE SHOOTING PARTY.

    As much of a legend as Ameche is/was, I still just don’t think this was an Oscar worthy performance.

    “The art of making art is putting it together...”

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    RobertPius
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    Poor Eric Stoltz really had a rough year. No Oscar nomination when one was expected and then fired from Back to the Future. (or vice versa, don’t know which happened first.)

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    joesilver
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    #1204012069

    It’s still a better win than Laura Dern (and her parents) career win in Marriage Story.

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