A brief Twitter debate broke out this morning between myself, Mark Harris and Vulture‘s Kyle Buchanan over the “due” narrative that has all but ensured Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Best Actor nomination for his Revenant performance. Harris complained that said narrative had been “reinforced by press way before the film was seen, [and] was a punditry low.” I asked both if they’ve ever been pleased when a favorite of theirs won an Oscar because he/she was due, and asserted that despite Harris’s distaste Leo “is due…23 years of slamming it plus his Wolf of Wall Street triumph plus suffering during long Alberta shoot plus bison liver tartare…like it or lump it.”
This led me to a 2.20.15 Christopher Borelli Chicago Tribune piece that lamented how actors often win Oscars for the wrong roles, and that the reason is that (a) they’re due or (b) they’ve waited long enough or (c) they need to be given a make-up for either a relatively recent snub or a long string of them over a decade or two.
Due: Julianne Moore’s 2015 Oscar for a good performance in the dreadful Still Alice. Due: Jeff Bridges wins Best Actor for playing a jowly, boozy, over-the-hill singer in Crazy Heart after having been snubbbed for many fine performances (including his legendary turn in 1997’s The Big Lebowski). Delayed/make-up: Al Pacino’s Scent of a Woman Oscar after being nominated and passed up for both Godfather movies, Dog Day Afternoon, Serpico, et. al. Delayed/make-up: Denzel Washington winning an Oscar for Training Day after his nominated performances in Malcolm X and The Hurricane fell short on votes.
Leo is definitely the big “due” guy this year but is anyone else holding owesie chips due to snubbed past performances?
None among Leo’s competitors, but you know who’s really, really due among Best Actress competitors? Charlotte Rampling, sublime not just in 45 Years but over the last five decades. Among expected Best Director nominees The Revenant‘s Alejandro G. Inarritu is in a debit position as he was taken care of last year when he won for Birdman. The Best Supporting Actor due-sies — not Creed‘s Sylvester Stallone (when has he even tried to deliver a nominatable performance over the last 35 years?) but Michael Shannon (consistently solid and arresting in film after film) and Paul Dano (ditto).