The Oscar nominations this year were not without the usual surprises and snubs.
Frontrunners “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle” earned the expected nods, but other films like “Saving Mr. Banks” and “Captain Phillips” didn’t do as well as expected.
One oversight that sparked outrage among the stars is the failure to nominate Emma Thompson. The acclaimed actress picked up a Golden Globe nomination for her role as P.L. Travers but was not quite as fortunate with the Oscars.
Several stars expressed their disappointment at the slight, but it’s hard to make too much a fuss since the category is a tough one. Actresses like Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock all made it into the nominations for Best Actress.
So what happened to Emma Thompson?
Meryl Streep, a best actress nominee and close friend of Emma Thompson, took to the Ellen DeGeneres show to express her anger at the snub. She said that she didn’t expect a nomination for her performance in Osage County, but was shocked when her friend Emma’s name was not mentioned. Streep said she wrote Thompson a heartfelt email to let her friend know how bad she felt. Emma replied and said “good.”
In spite of her shock at the nomination, Meryl received lots of praise for her performance. The three-time Academy Award winner spoke briefly with Ellen about her 18th nomination.
One cannot help but feel happy for her because she’s such an amazing actress. Streep has some tough competition in the Best Actress category – Judi Dench, Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams and Cate Blanchett were also nominated.
The Osage County actress commented that snubbing Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson was an example of Oscar surprises and injustices.
So while celebrities shook their heads in disappointment and fans bawled their eyes out at the slight, how did Emma Thompson feel about the entire affair? It seems she wasn’t as upset as expected. She said, it means that she could continue working in March instead of donning another frock and heels.
While Emma seemed ready to brush off the lack of a nomination, some analysts tried to find a reason for the snub, especially when many pundits expected a shoo-in. It’s been ages since the British actress has had such a juicy part, so Saving Mr. Banks seemed like an opportunity for the actress to shine again.
It appears that the role is the main reason for the snub, and not so much the performer.
Thompson, 54, does a superb job bringing Travers to life. This is easier said than done since the character is far from fascinating – she’s a person who refuses to compromise even when everything is on the line. And she’s quite offensive when she wants to be.
Disney studio chief, Alan Horn, expressed satisfaction with Thompson’s performance. He says she managed to pull off the challenge of being unlikeable yet lovable in the portrayal.
Thompson did her research well; she studied Travers’ books, letters and photographs in order to make the character believable.
Tom Hanks said that the role was Thompson’s from the very beginning. Hanks played Walt Disney in the film.
By all accounts, the actress nailed the character, but the Oscars have traditionally rewarded parts where the characters’ lives take a tragic turn. So Thompson might have had a better chance of being nominated if the role involved dying or contracting a disease onscreen. Those are the parts that appear to seal the deal.
Still, Emma Thompson is a genius. Best of luck to all the nominated actresses, and may the best woman win.