Friday, April 23, 2010

Acting Oscars in an alternate universe

Acting Oscars in an alternate universe:
I'm just sort of reimagining the Oscars here dating back to 1989. I tried to keep myself to a certain number of rules in limiting what I wanted and what was realistic. One rule was that the number of Oscar winners in the alternate version must equal the number of Oscar winners in history. For example, if I penciled in Russell Crowe for a second Oscar, that would make it one less Oscar winner total. It was a matter of balancing multiple Oscar winners with single Oscar winners.
Secondary rules were to balance dues, be realistic in who would win, and make sure that as many of the deserving actors, if I deprived them an award somewhere, I'd give it back to them later.
By dues, I mean the dues that go into whether an actor wins an Oscar is dependent on whether they've won one before and if so, how recently that would be.

Without further ado, let's start:
Best Actor: Tom Cruise, Born on the Fourth of July*
Best Supporting Actor: Martin Landau, Crimes and Misdemeanors*
Best Actress: Jessica Tandy, Driving Miss Daisy
Best Supporting Actress
: Brenda Fricker, My Left Foot
I was originally planning to just do the 20-year period of the 90's and 00's but I needed to strip Denzel Washington of his 89 supporting Oscar to even things out so I went back a year.

In this year, I decided to give the Oscar to Tom Cruise becasue as I wrote in a seperate post, Cruise really needs an Oscar somewhere for the good of Hollywood. I picked Cruise to get the Oscar for 4th of July because I realized when I replaced Day-Lewis for Brody in 2002, I deprived history of its first and only Best Actor winner under 30-years old. To take his place, I thought, I could either give it to Tom Cruise for Born on the 4th or snub Ryan Gosling for Lars and the Real Girl and I chose the former being that the latter wasn't particularly likely.

Best Actor: Jeremy Irons, Reversal of Fortune
Best Supporting Actor: Joe Pesci, Goodfellas
Best Actress: Kathy Bates, Misery
Best Supporting Actress
: Anjelica Huston, Grifters*
Everything here is kept as is. Kathy Bates performance in Misery was iconic and Joe Pesci gave one of the best supporting roles ever so there's no need to change either of them. Jeremy Irons is a well-respected theater veteran who deserves nothing less than an Oscar. I was considering keeping Whoopi Goldberg because she couldn't guest-star on 30 Rock as an INGOT winner without this award.

Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins, Silence of the Lambs
Supporting Actor: Harvey Keitel, Bugsy*
Actress: Laura Dern, Rambling Rose*
Supporting Actress: Amanda Plummer, Fisher King**
In 1991, I wanted to take the opportunity to reward either Bugsy and JFK with an acting Oscar and I ended up going with Harvey Keitel. Tommy Lee Jones and Ben Kingsley both deserve Oscars elsewhere and being that I found room for that, I thought I'd reward Harvey Keitel for his fairly distinguished career as mobster Mickey Cohen in Bugsy.
I decree Jodie Foster needn't have two Oscars so I took her Silence of the Lambs win away. This prevents Silence of the Lambs from being just the third film to win actor, actress, director, screenplay, and picture, but it's just a horror film anyway. Laura Dern is also Hollywood royalty and has had a relatively respectable career. Shy paramour Amanda Plummer stuck out more in The Fisher King than nagging girlfriend Mercedes Ruehl in my opinion.

Best Actor: Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman
Supporting Actor: Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven
Best Actress: Susan Sarandan, Lorenzo's Oil*
Best Supporting Actress: Greta Sacchi, Player**
I initially had thoughts of rewarding "The Player"'s Tim Robbins for his role as a creepy Hollywood executive a little too willing to get away with cold-blooded manslaughter. It would have compensated for my not awarding Robbins in 2003 and I still wanted to give him an Oscar (his acting wins me over, his politics don't). I was considering bumping Pacino down to supporting for Glengarry Glenn Ross but after 7 failed noms, Pacino deserves better than supporting actor. I could have even awarded Pacino a second supporting nom and a 9th nomination with the Insider in 1999 but I decided that Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman is one of my favorite performances and one that I needed to defend against the detractors and I feel equally highly of Eastwood in Unforgiven. I wanted to give Susan Sorandon something. 

A chance to void Marissa Thomei's controversial win, fortunately, gave me the opportunity to award Altman's film with a win for unnominated Greta Scacchi, who played the "Ice Queen"-Robbins' equally dark lover whom he meets in the most immoral of circumstances.

Best Actor: Tom Hanks, Philadelphia
Supporting Actor: Ralph Feinnes, Schindler's List*
Best Actress: Holly Hunter, Piano
Best Supporting Actress: Anna Paquin, Piano

As a fan of Anna Paquin and Holly Hunter, I didn't want to mess with their Oscar wins and the back-to-back wins that defined Hanks career (as well as cinema in the 90's) didn't need tampering either. Tommy Lee Jones gets his own down the road, and Ralph Feinnes one of the UK's finest, gets his for Schindler's List.

Best Actor: Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump
Best Supporting Actor: Martin Landau, Ed Wood
Best Actress: Jessica Lange, Blue Sky
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Tilly, Bullets over Broadway*
94 was such a great cinematic year and I didn't really want to mess with anything here. I like that also-rans Ed Wood and Bullets Over Broadway got love in the acting categories and I think Jessica Lange (in a bizarre win) deserves a second Oscar. I switched Dianne Weist for Jennifer Tilly, however. This avoided a double win for Weist, who's career has been unremarkable.

Best Actor: Sean Penn, Dead Man Walking
Best Supporting Actor: Ed Harris, Apollo 13*
Best Actress: Elizabeth Shue, Leaving Las Vegas
Best Supporting Actress: Mira Sorvino, Mighty Aphrodite
Apollo 13 is my favorite film of the 90's and wanted to award Ed Harris for it, who conveys all the tension and drama of the space race with his frenetic pacing as mission director Gene Kranz. Presidential portraits seem award-worthy enough and giving Hopkins a second Oscar ensures that he won't be remembered just for his performance as a serial killer. Let's switch up Dead

Best Actor: Ralph Feinnes, English Patient
Best Supporting Actor: Armin Muehler-Stahl, Shine*
Best Actress: Frances McDormand, Fargo
Best Supporting Actress Juliette Binoche, The English Patient
James Woods for Ghosts of Mississippi and Tom Cruise were under consideration here. I wasn't particularly impressed with Rush in Shine but I felt Rush deserved an Oscar and couldn't give it to him in 2000 or 1998. Gooding Jr. who has single-handedly diminished the value of the award with poor post-Oscar career choices, gets to be erased and a man with a mesmerizing performances gets in instead.

Best Actor: Rob Duvall, The Apostle*
Best Supporting Actor: Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting
Best Actress: Helena Bohman Carter, Wings of the Dove*
Best Supporting Actress: Kim Bassinger, LA Confidential

Best Actor: Joseph Feinnes, Shakespeare in Love**
Best Supporting Actor: James Coburn, Affliction
Best Actress: Fernando Montonegro, Central Station*
Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Griffith, Hillary and Jackie*

Best Actor: Matt Damon, Talented Mr. Ripley**
Best Supporting Actor: Michael Clarke Duncan, Green Mie*
Best Actress: Annette Benning, American Beauty*
Best Supporting Actress: Chloe Seveigny, Boys Don't Cry*

Best Actor: Russell Crowe, Gladiator
Best Supporting Actor: Benicio del Toro, Traffic
Best Actress: Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovitch
Best Supporting Actress: Kate Hudson, Almost Famous*

Best Actor: Russell Crowe, Beautiful Mind*
Best Supporting Actor:Jon Voight,Ali*
Best Actress: Halle Berry, Monster's Ball
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Connelly, Beautiful Mind

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs of New York
Best Supporting Actor: Dennis Quaid, Far From Heaven**
Best Actress: Rene Zellweger, Chicago*
Best Supporting Actress: Meryl Streep, Adaptation*

Best Actor: Ben Kinglsey, House of Sand and Fog*
Best Supporting Actor: Jonny Depp, Pirates of the Carribean**
Best Actress: Charlize Theron, Monster
Best Supporting Actress: Scarlett Johannsen, Lost in Translation**

Best Actor: Jamie Foxx, Ray
Best Supporting Actor: Alec Baldwin, Aviator**
Best Actress: Hillary Swank,, Million Dollar Baby
Best Supporting Actress: Virginia Madsen, Sideways*

Best Actor: Joaquin Pheonix, Walk the Line*
Best Supporting Actor: George Clooney, Syriana
Best Actress: Reese Whitherspoon, Walk the Line
Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Weicz, Constant Gardener

Best Actor: Ken Wattanabe, Letters from Iwo Jima**
Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
Best Actress: Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal*
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls

Best Actor: Virgo Mortgensen, Eastern Promises*
Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men**
Best Actress: Julie Christie, Away from Her*
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There*

Best Actor: Sean Penn, Milk
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, Dark Knight
Best Actress: Kate Winselt, Reader
Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Milk

Best Actor: Morgan Freeman, Invictus*
Best Supporting Actor: Christophe Waltz, Inglorious Basterds
Best Actress: Helen Mirren, Last Station*
Best Supporting Actress: Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air*

Existing multiple oscar winners who have lost Oscars (unless otherwise noted, they've gone from 2 oscars to 1 oscar) in my multiple reality: Jodie Foster, Michael Caine, Jack Nicholson (3 Oscars to 2 Oscars), Hillary Swank, Kevin Spacey (2 to 0), Denzel Washington
Existing Oscar-winners who have gained an Oscar in this alternate timeline: People who have gone from 1 oscar to 2 oscars (or 2 to 3): Meryl Streep, Rob Duvall, Ben Kingsley, Martin Landau, Julie Christie, Russell Crowe, Anjelica Huston, Jon Voight

People who no longer have Oscars: Mo'nique, Jeff Bridges, Jim Broadbent, Gwenyth Paltrow, Cuba Gooding Jr., Maria Thomei, Chris Cooper, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Nicole Kidman, Adrian Brody, Roberto Begnini, Whoopi Goldberg, Sandra Bullock, Helen Hunt, Marion Cotillard

People who are now suddenly very much due an Oscar: Nicole Kidman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kevin Spacey

Long due people who now finally have an Oscar in this alternate timeline: Ed Harris, Annette Benning, Ralph Feinnes, Tom Cruise, Lynn Redgrave, Harvey Keitel


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