Tomorrow brings the 89th Academy Awards, the yearly ceremony that bestows the crème de la crème of honors upon what they believe to be the best that the movie world has to offer.
And, just like in pretty much any other year, horror has gone unnoticed and unappreciated. It’s upsetting because there have been fantastic films that came out this year, and they deserve to be recognized. Alas, that’s something that the Academy seems ill at ease doing, unless your film is made by someone with clout behind their name.
Instead of picking performances from the past year that deserve recognition, I figured I’d look into the past to find several actors who got snubbed when it came to appreciating their immense talent. These are actors who put their all into a role, transforming into their characters and creating something that made an impact that cannot be denied.
So, without further ado, here are 10 actors who should have won the Best Actor award!
Gregory Peck – The Omen
Playing a father to the Anti-Christ can’t be easy, especially when you’re also a diplomat. Therefore, you’ve got to be studious, educated, and possess the ability to maintain poise, integrity, and your wits under pressure. Peck managed to do all of this while also bringing a touch of class and elegance to The Omen. His inner turmoil at the thought of having to kill his own son is palpable, and the desperation he goes through to seek answers feels all too real.
Peter Mullan – Session 9
For many years, Session 9 was a criminally underseen film. Hell, I only found out about it when I was at a Best Buy one day and, feeling a bit depressed, used a $20 gift card to buy the movie because the cover looked like it was inspired by Silent Hill 3. What I watched that night was a film that has stuck with me ever since.
Mullan’s performance as Gordon is, for lack of a better word, inspired. He channels the inner turmoil of a man driven by desperation to provide not only for his friends/co-workers but for his family, his wife and daughter. That leads him to accept a job that is seemingly impossible, one that will add untold amounts of stress to his already heavily burdened shoulders. As the days of the week during which the story takes place pass, the inner demons of Gordon and his crew begin exposing themselves, creating a boiling pot of intense frustration and unresolved conflict. Gordon’s descent into chaos is something that has to be seen to be believed.
Jack Nicholson – The Shining
For some (myself included), The Shining is one of the greatest horror films ever put to celluloid. Directed by the infamous Stanley Kubrick, it plays out as one of the most intense visions of cabin fever ever put to film, and Nicholson evolves his character with terrifying authenticity. Already a troubled man when the film starts, Jack Torrence’s descent into madness is exacerbated by the grand emptiness of the Overlook Hotel, a place he thought could be his salvation, only to unknowingly become victim to its solitude.
If ever there was a horror performance that should’ve had critics cheering and demanding validation, it was Jack Nicholson in The Shining.