Oscar Underdogs

And the Academy Award goes to… not who you were expecting: 5 Oscar underdogs, past and present.
Some films are a sure bet on Oscars night (La La Land and Manchester By The Sea, we’re looking at you.) And some stars think they’ve got it in the bag. But do they? Here are five underdogs we’ll have our eye on this year…

1. Hacksaw Ridge: Could Mel bring home Best Director, after a few years spent bulldozing his career with a series of bad-taste incidents? Some are predicting it could be his big comeback.

Hacksaw Ridge
Source: [Lionsgate]

2. Michelle Williams: Three Oscar nominations over the past ten years, but no cigar… here’s hoping this’ll be the year for the Manchester By The Sea star, who’s in the race for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

Manchester By the Sea
Source: [Amazon Studios]

3. Rogue One: Despite serious love at the box office, the first standalone Star Wars film only got two Oscar nods – for Sound Mixing and Visual Effects. In the former category, it’ll have to clean-sweep the likes of La La Land, Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge and others to win… time to use the Force?

Rogue One
Source: [Lucasfilm] 

4. Ruth Negga:
The Loving star may be up for Best Actress against La La Land’s Emma Stone and Jackie’s Natalie Portman, but given her Golden Globes nod and critics hailing her performance ‘powerful’ and ‘flawless’, you never know.

Ruth Negga Loving
Source: [Focus Features]

5. Viggo Mortensen: Nominations at the Globes and the SAGs clearly helped propel the Captain Fantastic star into the Best Actor line-up, with many staggered that Sully’s Tom Hanks and Loving’s Joel Edgerton got the snub. Fingers crossed, Viggo!

Viggo Mortensen Captain Fantastic
Source: [Electric City Entertainment]

And… the blast-from-the-past Oscars underdogs we’ll never forget

So often, the name pulled out of that little gold envelope is not the one you wanted to hear! Here are some past Oscar night upsets no one expected.

1. In 2016… Superb acting and an incredible story about the Boston Globe’s investigation into abuse in the Catholic Church propelled Spotlight to a Best Picture win, much to the howls of Mad Max Fury Road fans. Whoops.

2. In 2010… When Kathryn Bigelow scored best director for her small budget war movie The Hurt Locker, she made Oscars history as the first woman director ever to win. She also beat ex-husband James Cameron who was nominated for Avatar, which cost about a bajillion dollars to make and actually made $2.7 billion at the box office. (He got up and pretended to strangle her before giving her a hug.) 

3. In 2002… The Pianist star Adrian Brody blindsided Hollywood A-listers Jack Nicholson, Michael Caine, Daniel Day Lewis and Nicholas Cage to win Best Actor. Oh, and he also took the opportunity to pash Halle Berry on stage at the same time. Cheeky.

4. In 1999… Who could forget Gwyneth Paltrow winning Best Actress for Shakespeare in Love over the infinitely more deserving Elizabeth star, Cate Blanchett? Gwyneth’s blubbery thank-you speech will go down in history as one of the award show’s worst ever.

5. Also in 1999… Shakespeare in Love beat Spielberg’s epic war movie Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture. Words failed us. 

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