Ah, the 90s. Some would say that this was the last good decade that the world would ever experience. It was certainly a good decade for films! Still, there were some notable Oscar snubs during this decade. Here are ten of them.
1990: Ray Liotta Is Not Nominated For Goodfellas
The fact that Ray Liotta did not even receive a nomination for playing Henry Hill in Goodfellas will always astound me. While the film did receive several nominations (and really, it should have won the majority of them), Ray Liotta was snubbed despite the fact that it was his performance that pretty much held the film together. Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, and Val Kilmer were among those who were considered for the role before Liotta received it. They’re all fine actors but it’s hard to imagine any of them bringing Henry to life quite as well as Ray Liotta.
1991: John Goodman is Not Nominated for Barton Fink
“I WILL SHOW YOU THE LIFE OF THE MIND!”
It’s a little bit amazing that John Goodman has never received an Oscar nomination. I don’t think he’s ever been scarier (and, in his way, more poignant) than when he played Charley “Mad Man Mundt” Meadows in Barton Fink.
1993: The Age of Innocence Is Not Nominated For Best Picture
While we’re on the subject of Scorsese films that were snubbed by the Academy, it’s amazing to me that Scorsese’s witty, smart, and visually stunning adaptation of The Age of Innocence did not receive a Best Picture nomination.
1993: Dazed and Confused Is Completely Snubbed
Okay, maybe this one isn’t as surprising as the Academy snubbing as Scorsese picture. Even today, it’s doubtful that the Academy would embrace a film about a bunch of stoned Texas high school kids. Still, it bothers me that Dazed and Confused received not a single nomination. It’s certainly better remembered than many of the films that were nominated that year.
1995: Heat Is Completely Ignored
Considering that the film is now regularly cited as one of the best crime films ever made, it’s interesting to note that the Academy totally ignored Heat. The film received no acting nominations. Michael Mann was not nominated for his skill in juggling several different storylines. The film didn’t even receive any technical nominations. The cinematography was ignored. You would think that the massive shoot-out would have gotten the film a nomination for Best Sound Editing but, even in that category, Heat was ignored.
Needless to say, Heat was not nominated for Best Picture. The 1995 Best Picture line-up has always seemed like an odd mix of films, with Babe, Apollo 13, Sense and Sensibility, and Il Postino all losing out to Mel Gibson’s Braveheart. Apollo 13 and Sense and Sensibility didn’t even receive nominations for their directors, Ron Howard and Ang Lee. It was an odd year, I guess. Heat was not the only acclaimed film to miss out on a Best Picture nomination but at least Casino, Leaving Las Vegas, and Dead Man Walking still received nominations in other categories. Heat was totally snubbed.
1996: Steve Buscemi Is Not Nominated For Fargo
Despite being a cultural institution, Steve Buscemi has never received an Oscar nomination. I would have nominated him for Fargo.
1997: Boogie Nights Is Not Nominated For Best Picture, Best Director, or Best Actor
Despite receiving two acting nominations for Burt Reynolds and Julianne Moore and a screenplay nomination, Boogie Nights missed out on the big award. To be honest, I have a feeling that the film would have been nominated if it had been released today. But, in the year of Titanic, the Academy may not have been ready to embrace a film about the Golden Age of Porn. And they certainly weren’t ready to embrace Mark Wahlberg, despite his award-worthy performance of The Touch. Given a choice, the Academy will always embrace the James Camerons of the world before it embraces the Jack Horners. That said, as we saw in the film, Dirk and Angels Live In My Town swept the AFAA awaards and that’s the important things.
1997: Billy Zane Is Not Nominated For Titanic
C’mon, he was the best thing about the movie! If Billy Zane can’t receive a nomination for shouting, “I hope you’ll be very happy together!” while chasing Leo and Kate through a sinking ship, what is the point of even having the Oscars?
1999: Reese Witherspoon Is Not Nominated For Best Actress For Election
Reese Witherspoon’s performance as Tracey Flick is iconic precisely because it feels so real. Everyone has known as Tracey Flick. Everyone has been annoyed by a Tracey Flick. Everyone has hoped for a Tracey Flick to fail. And everyone has inwardly lost a little faith in karma as the Tracey Flicks of the world have continued to find work as mid-level bureaucrats. In fact, I imagine that might be the reason why Reese Witherspoon was not nominated for her outstanding performance in Election. No one wanted to reward Tracey Flick.
1999: Bruce Willis Is Not Nominated For Best Actor For The Sixth Sense
Seriously, everyone really took him for granted. Just try to imagine The Sixth Sense with someone else in his role.
Agree? Disagree? Do you have an Oscar snub that you think is even worse than the 10 listed here? Let us know in the comments!
Up next: A new century brings new snubs!