Shock waves rippled across social media this week when the Academy Award nominations were announced and several actors who were anticipated to make the cut didn’t. Among them:
Adam Sandler for “Uncut Gems,”
Eddie Murphy for “Dolemite Is My Name,”
Awkwafina — who recently took top honors at the Golden Globes for “The Farewell” — and, yes,
But Hollywood, apparently, was not surprised.
After all, they’re the ones who didn’t vote for their dejected peers.
“First of all, ‘Hustlers’ is not an ‘Oscar movie.’ It’s a little too rough around the edges, and I’m assuming some other people in the acting category didn’t see it,” said a longtime character actor and Academy member. “Florence Pugh seems to have gotten the J.Lo spot — maybe because ‘Little Women’ is a prestige movie and she’s a bright, new star.
“Actors tend to think of Jennifer Lopez as a phenomenon more than an actress, per se. [It’s like last year, when] Lady Gaga lost the Oscar to Olivia Colman — a real actor’s actor.”
And even those who enjoyed Sandler’s much-lauded performance in “Uncut Gems” said there remains a skepticism in Hollywood about viewing him as a serious actor.
“That [performance] was a tour de force. He’s emerging as a truly great actor, but then he does cheesy Netflix comedies that are really dumb,” said a character actor.
He admitted that, as with “Hustlers,” some voters may not even have bothered to watch Awkwafina’s “The Farewell” or Sandler’s “Uncut Gems.”
“There are a lot of movies, a lot of performances per year for us to watch. Unfortunately, actors become brands. Sandler’s brand doesn’t scream ‘Oscar,’ but Leo DiCaprio’s and Jonathan Pryce’s do,” the character actor said, name-checking 2020 nominees for “Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood” and “The Two Popes,” respectively.
Insiders add that there can be resentment among the voting body — there are some 1,324 voting members in the acting branch — when actors perceived as outsiders don’t play the game right.
Last month, Sandler may have rubbed some of them the wrong way when he joked on Howard Stern’s show: “If I don’t get [the Oscar], I’m going to f–king come back and do [a movie] again that is so bad on purpose just to make you all pay.”
“There was an arrogance to [Adam],” huffed a voting member. “It’s a lack of respect.”
As for Eddie Murphy, some voters disliked how hard he seemed to be campaigning for a nomination — including hosting “Saturday Night Live” after giving his old show the cold shoulder for 35 years.
Still, the voting member conceded: “If Adam Sandler has another great film, he’ll be nominated. If Eddie Murphy has another great film, he’ll be nominated.”
And while there’s little consolation for your peers turning up their noses at you, F. Murray Abraham, who won best actor in 1985 for “Amadeus,” has a message for this year’s snubbed crop: “Either you can accept it graciously, or you can fight against it.”