They all deserved the Oscar, well maybe not Al Pacino…
I love Hollywood award shows. All of them. I love seeing the stars and celebrities dressed up and walking the red carpet. I know it is all a show, even the shows are an act of sorts, but I love them anyway. I used to watch the entire show even when they ran so late I didn’t much care who won anymore. I cheered when my favorite won and boo-ed when they didn’t. But one night that changed and I remember the exact second it happened. Before this moment, I believed the awards were granted, based on careful consideration by professionals, to which actor had the best performance each year. After this moment, I began to realize it was a popularity contest and in an instant lost interest.
The Oscars - Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman (1993) Best Actor.
As a reminder, the nominees in 1993 for best actor were:
Robert Downey, Jr – Chaplin
Clint Eastwood – Unforgiven
Al Pacino – Scent of a Woman
Steven Rae – The Crying Game
Denzel Washington – Malcom X
First, there is no correct answer here.
Second, if I was forced to rank this list from best to worst, Al Pacino’s performance in Scent of a Woman would literally have been last.
Third, each one of these performances deserves recognition for being amazing and well…it just isn’t fair to the other nominees to say they were not the best when their performances were possibly the best they had or would ever do.
At the time, I just boo-ed for a bad call, but couldn’t get the bad taste out of my mouth. I rationalized several options for how this could have happened. The best I could come up with was that Al Pacino had been looked over so many times for amazing performances that “they” felt he was owed an Oscar. I agree, Pacino is amazing and does deserve an Oscar or two or four, but not for that movie. It also struck me that the other actors nominated put out what was possibly their best work…ever…that year. Why should some actors get denied recognition for the best work they have ever put out just because the award deciders realized they missed a good performance in the past and were trying to make up for it?
This led to SASSAwards.
I wanted to find a way to celebrate each actor’s personal best, regardless of who else did well that year. My thought was just because someone else created an amazing performance that should not take away from anyone else’s amazing performance. While competition is good and drives quality up, SASSAwards is designed to celebrate everyone’s best and encourage them to keep working on their craft and do better with each role. I like the idea of looking at a career of performances and watching the actor/actress grow. Sometimes you see peaks. Sometimes they turn out to be a one-hit-wonder. Sometimes they get better with age and experience. SASSAwards lets us choose best performances within the skill set and style of each individual actor/ess. I am much more comfortable comparing Al Pacino in Scarface and Serpico than Al Pacino and Denzel Washington…I mean, come on how can you pick one over the other??