The best way to describe these two categories is by referring to Goodfellas. Why? Because that’s what came to mind when I thought about them. It’s the moment right after they shoot Joe Pesci in the head, at the end of “Layla,” when De Niro and Ray Liotta think he’s gonna get made. And De Niro’s on the pay phone with the other guy, who is actually Martin Scorsese’s father, and he’s expecting them to be like, “Ceremony went well, it’s official,” when instead he says, “We had a problem, and we tried to do everything we could.” And De Niro’s like, “What, what do you mean, problem?” And the guy says, “I mean he’s gone. And we couldn’t do nothing about it.” That’s what best describes these races. They won, and we couldn’t do nothing about it.
There wasn’t anything that could be done about either person winning these races, even though one was a bit undeserving for the performance alone, but was hugely deserving as an actor, and the other shouldn’t have even been attending the ceremony as a guest. Quite simply one of the worst Best Actress choices of all time. And I say that because, had they given her an Oscar in a year that didn’t feature an amazing performance, like say, 2005, when the exact same thing happened, or 2006, one of those years, where you really couldn’t definitively single out one performance to vote for, then an Oscar like this is okay. This year, it counts as one of the worst decisions of all time (right up there with 1970, and oh boy, wait until we get to 1970). And there wasn’t nothing that could be done. (more…)