As I continue to look through some of the biggest Missed Oscartunities throughout the years, I wanted to go back to the 1996 Academy Awards where the wrong performer won Best Actor.
Before I dive into who I think should have won, I also wanted to mention that Ewan McGregor not being nominated for Trainspotting was a HUGE miss. I understand the movie might not have been the Academy’s cup of tea at the time, but McGregor was brilliant in this performance.
The nominees for this year were loaded with some incredible performances.
- Geoffrey Rush – Shine
- Tom Cruise – Jerry Maguire
- Billy Bob Thornton – Sling Blade
- Ralph Fiennes – The English Patient
- Woody Harrelson – The People Vs. Larry Flynt
Now don’t get me wrong, Rush was great as David Helfgott and I do not think he didn’t deserve the Oscar, but I believe the man that should have won was Tom Cruise for Jerry Maguire.
I know you are probably reading this and thinking I am out of my mind…and that is okay because Cruise would have never won, especially for this role. Cruise displayed some incredible range within this role that captivates the audience in so many different ways. Not only does Jerry win the heart of Dorothy Boyd, but he wins our hearts with a character arc that was written perfectly by Cameron Crowe. I am a sucker for football movies, but tossing in some great performances, writing and adding in a beautiful love story was the icing on the cake.
Rod Tidwell got shown the money, Cuba Gooding Jr. got shown the Oscar (with an AMAZING acceptance speech), and Jerry Maguire got the girl and should have gotten the Oscar.