By now most people have seen Quentin Tarantino’s slavery non-epic, Django Unchained. Through all of the back and forth about the movie’s portrayal of the heinous institution of forced human labor, is the absence of a serious actor portrayal discussion. People have been so worked up, that discussions about Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington have gone by the wayside.
Today’s Oscar nominations announcement, will probably thrust that discussion into the limelight. I’m sure some people will scoff at the fact that neither Foxx, Washington nor Samuel L. Jackson were nominated for their roles (neither was Tarantino) and that somehow they were wronged. Well, they weren’t. Foxx basically played a slightly different version of himself and didn’t even manage to work in a believable accent. Washington had roughly ten lines of dialogue and mostly played some sorta damsel-in-distress sad woman. And Jackson, whose portrayal of super-loyal slave “Stephen” was memorable, put forth arguably the most over the top performance of his career.
Christoph Waltz was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a dentist/bounty hunter hybrid, but most surprisingly is the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio was snubbed. He by far had the most powerful performance in the movie and his portrayal as a slave owner was both inspired and original. If anyone should be pissed, it’s him.
In a victory for those of you who need it, Denzel Washington grabbed a nom for Best Actor for his role as a pilot in Flight and Quvenzhane Wallis was selected as a Best Actress nominee for Beasts Of a Southern Wild.