There are always Oscars snubs. There are plenty this year beyond James Franco in "The Disaster Artist." Perennial favorites Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg didn't even get nominations. But now we have to wonder -- was James Franco left off the 2018 Oscar nomination list because voters simply preferred the performances of the other more drama-heavy nominees, or was he punished for his alleged sexual misconduct?
Plenty of people are assuming he's being punished, which may be true in light of the Time's Up and #MeToo campaigns that didn't exist last year when Casey Affleck won Best Actor after his own allegations. However, Franco's previous wins this awards season came from comedy categories. The Academy Awards only has five Best Actor spaces and they tend to go to dramatic roles.
Right after James Franco won a Golden Globe Award for his performance in "The Disaster Artist," allegations came out on social media, and then in more detailed news reports, about things he'd reportedly done in the past. He addressed what happened on "The Late Show," and then kept a low profile. He won Best Actor in a Comedy at the Critics' Choice Awards, but didn't show up to accept the trophy. He was nominated at the SAG Awards, but didn't win.
And now he's not nominated for an Oscar.
Here are the Best Actor nominees:
- Timothée Chalamet, "Call Me by Your Name"
- Daniel Day-Lewis, "Phantom Thread"
- Daniel Kaluuya, "Get Out"
- Gary Oldman, "Darkest Hour"
- Denzel Washington, "Roman J. Israel, Esq."
Awards season goes on for months, and those are the same names we've been seeing the whole time. One reason James Franco may not have made the cut -- beyond his own headlines -- is that he won the Golden Globe and Critics' Choice awards in the comedy categories and the Oscars only has one combined category. They do tend to prefer dramatic roles in general, so if someone was going to be cut, it was going to be a comedy guy.
Franco was on the list of Best Actor nominees in another Critics' Choice category, along with Tom Hanks in "The Post" and Jake Gyllenhaal in "Stronger," and they didn't get Oscar nominations either. Denzel Washington and Daniel Day-Lewis haven't been on every awards list, but they're like Meryl Streep -- if they show up in something, they're very likely to get Oscar nominations. Tom Hanks was once in that boat (and so was Steven Spielberg) but not so much anymore. DD-L is retiring from acting, so it's possible this nod is a tribute to his entire career beyond just "Phantom Thread."
Gary Oldman is the favorite to win this year's Best Actor Oscar statue -- and would've been with Franco in the race or not -- despite his own problematic past. Academy members tend to just reward the films and performances they like -- hence giving Roman Polanski an Oscar despite the fact that he pleaded guilty to drugging and raping a 13-year-old. The Academy may be changing, but the performance still tends to come before the personal. Then again, "The Boss Baby" got an Oscar nomination, so maybe they just closed their eyes and pointed.
The 90th Academy Awards, hosted for a second time in a row by Jimmy Kimmel, will air Sunday, March 4 at 5 p.m. PST on ABC. Here's the full list of nominations.
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