Why Zach Galifianakis Was Robbed of an Oscar Nom
By Mike Ryan Posted Feb 4th 2010 08:08AM
Why is it so difficult for actors playing a comedic role to be recognized? Almost universally, actors agree that comedy is the harder genre to master than drama. If that's true, why doesn't the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences think so when they hand out their Oscar nominations every year? Basically, this is just our convoluted way of saying: Zach Galifianakis ... you were robbed! Our reasons why after the jump.
Look at the list of nominees this year. The closest thing to a comedy nomination is Meryl Streep's Best Actress nod for her performance of Julia Child in 'Julie & Julia,' though it's quite a stretch to call that a comedy. Wasn't the inclusion of an extra five films for Best Picture supposed to open the doors for other genres? Sure, it did open the door for weepy, "no one believed in me," football-themed dramas. What about comedy? What happened to the supposed revolution of comedy 32 years ago when 'Annie Hall' swept the Oscars? 'The Hangover' -- in no way are we comparing 'Annie Hall' and 'The Hangover' ... but we kinda are -- is one of the most successful comedies of all time and won a Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy. And it couldn't even sniff one of the 10 nominations? Fine, but Galifianakis carried this film. If Robert Downey Jr. could be nominated for a pretty overrated performance in 'Tropic Thunder,' this year Galifianakis should have been a shoo-in.
Look, Christoph Waltz from 'Inglourious Basterds' is, deservedly, going to win Best Supporting Actor. That's a given. Would it have been that hard to recognize one comedic performance as a token gesture? Especially, for the second year running (Heath Ledger was a lock last year), where no other actor has a chance to win? Really, Academy, you're going to make poor Matt Damon schlep all the way over to the Kodak Theater just to watch Waltz give his acceptance speech? Don't you think Woody Harrelson has more recreational things to do with his time? (Admittedly, Harrelson was fantastic in 'The Messenger.') Do you know what would have been great to see walking the red carpet this year? A shaggy bearded, preferably pantless, Zach Galifianakis. That's who.
Zach's 'Hangover' Highlights
(Warning: Foul Language)
(Warning: Foul Language)
Historically, Oscar is not a friend to comedy. This was all supposed to change when Woody Allen and Diane Keaton won Oscars for 1977's 'Annie Hall.' 'Hall'-type comedies were green lit at a blistering pace. Of course, the next three Best Picture winners were the not quite as funny: 'The Deer Hunter,' 'Kramer Vs. Kramer' and 'Ordinary People.'
In the last 10 years, only three comedic acting roles were honored with an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor: Thomas Haden Church in 'Sideways' (not entirely a comedy), Alan Arkin, who won for 'Little Miss Sunshine,' and the aforementioned Downey in 'Tropic Thunder.' That's three out of 50 total nominations! And forget about Best Picture: Only 'Juno,' 'Little Miss Sunshine,' 'Sideways' and, for unintentional purposes only, 'Crash,' could be considered comedies.
Galifianakis can take solace in the curious case of Jim Carrey. He wasn't just nominated for two consecutive Golden Globe acting awards -- for 'The Truman Show' and 'Man on the Moon' -- he actually won in back-to-back years. Carey, however, is still waiting for his first Academy Award nomination.
So, we feel for you, Zach. You carried 'The Hangover' on your shoulders and made it the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time. It's just apparent that, unfortunately, the Academy doesn't have much of a sense of humor. And, if it does, maybe it just doesn't appreciate the old taser to the face gag.
Zach Galifianakis Snapshots
The mightily-bearded Zach Galifianakis is seen here on the set of 'Due Date,' which he's shooting alongside Robert Downey Jr. Click for More Zach Pics >>>
Zach Galifianakis Snapshots
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