EW's critics face off on Best Supporting Actor
February 12, 2003 1:52 PM
Here we are once again, Lisa, talking about the Academy Awards, and I have to say: It's hard to believe that a year has passed since the golden statuette was handed out to... well, offhand, I can't exactly remember who won last year. Okay, now that I think about it, I do remember: It was ''A Beautiful Mind,'' Denzel Washington, Halle Berry. Still, unless I'm imagining it, there does seem to be an ever-widening divide between the extreme levels of cultural/infotainment/media noise that the Oscars inspire and the actual lingering effect of all those honors.
That said, the noise does have a way of feeling unreasonably vital (maybe more vital than the awards themselves), if only because Oscar movies, good and bad, tend to be supreme conversation pieces. There is art to celebrate, hype to denigrate, and, as always, more snubs than I can tally.
This year, for instance, I thought I'd kick off our discussion of the Best Supporting Actor category with three simple words: Where's Dennis Quaid? Even given the safe middlebrow tendencies of Academy voters, I can hardly fathom the fact that a Hollywood veteran like Quaid wasn't nominated for his brilliant, fearless, and universally acclaimed performance -- a study in tormented dignity -- in ''Far From Heaven,'' where he played a repressed gay husband in the repressed suburban '50s in a movie that turns repression into pure emotional poetry. Quaid has already won honors for this movie, and he's done it in a year that began with his triumphant turn in ''The Rookie,'' a wholesome sleeper that movingly mirrored the comeback arc of his own career. That he failed to receive a nomination makes me think, What were they thinking?