Monday, August 08, 2005

Hollywood's Most Snubbed #1: Reese Witherspoon

Welcome to the first edition of Hollwood's Most Snubbed, which is my excuse to profess my adoration of certain actors/actresses while having a go at the Academy at the same time, which let's face it, needs to be done. Firstly, you may all have different opinions on what consitutes a "snub" so let me make this clear:

Snub (Verb): To dismiss, turn down, or frustrate the expectations of

Not that I'm saying the "snubbed" expected to be nommed -- at least some of them probably didn't anyway. In that way, the academy has frustrated my expectations, so you could say I've been snubbed as well. Anyway, you will certaintly get my drift by the time I've finished speaking my mind on the subject.

So onto the main event, and one of Hollywood's most snubbed leading ladies. The divine Reese Witherspoon, who continues to produce brilliant performances in so-so movies, is also continually snubbed for her good work. Despite receiving a Globe nod and three critics awards (KCFCC, NSFC, OFCS) for her riveting, show-stealing performance in Election, she was snubbed by both SAG and AMPAS. I appreciate that the competition in '99 was decent (Swank, Bening, McTeer) but this is a shameful snub. She also gained a Globe nod in 2001 for her wonderful performance in Legally Blonde. If there wasn't such a comedy bias, she may have been recognised by the Academy, but they didn't go for her in the universally acclaimed Election so it was unlikely they would oblige for such a mainstream comedy. It's a shame, because this tour-de-force epitomises the energy that Witherspoon brings to the screen and her hypnotic nature. Indeed, Witherspoon has a habit of lifting the films she appears in to relatively dizzy heights. As well as carrying Election and Legally Blonde on her insanely talented shoulders, she moved on to another mainstream comedy, Sweet Home Alabama. Personally, the movie was slightly above average, but only because of Witherspoon, only because of the charisma she exudes. She is worth infinitely more than the script is, and has made herself into one of the best comedic actresses around.

The question is: Will she be snubbed this year?

Well, lets review her chances. The Walk the Line trailer looks very good, and she looks a decent bet. If she goes supporting, there is a lot more competition, and they don't have to go along with the whole "babe" pick. If she's leading she'll have a better chance. She's avoiding the comedy bias, even though Walk the Line will undoubtedly be placed in the comedy/musical (this is insanity btw). It's a biopic -- playing a real person has its benefits, especially when you're looking for a nomination. I think she could do it, I hope she will do it, but will she?

Hmm.. any thoughts? What do you think Witherspoon has been 'oscar-worthy' in, and where does she rank on the grand scale of things?

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