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Oscar Bitchfest: 10 Oscar Nominations We Wish They'd Rescinded

By Peter Knegt and Matthew Hammett Knott | /Bent January 30, 2014 at 1:22PM

So yesterday the Academy decided to take back an Oscar nomination for original song "Alone Yet Not Alone" due to its composer (a Music Branch executive committee member) internally promoting the song. This was the first time a nomination was retroactively disqualified for alleged campaign malpractice, though we're pretty sure this ain't the first time there's been such a thing (I mean, aren't the Oscars one giant campaign malpractice?). Either way, the news got us thinking and wishing and bitching... About 10 nominations from the past we wish had been rescinded...
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"The Iron Lady"
"The Iron Lady"

So yesterday the Academy decided to take back an Oscar nomination for original song "Alone Yet Not Alone" due to its composer (a  Music Branch executive committee member) internally promoting the song.  This was the first time a nomination was retroactively disqualified for alleged campaign malpractice, though we're pretty sure this ain't the first time there's been such a thing (I mean, aren't the Oscars one giant campaign malpractice?). Either way, the news got us thinking and wishing and bitching... About 10 nominations from the past we wish had been rescinded... Please feel free to post your own in the comments.

"Doctor Dolittle" for best picture
Knegt: I'm going way back here (please don't ignorantly think I'm under the impression the Eddie Murphy version got a best picture nomination), but seriously, picture it: It's 1967. A great year for film. And "The Graduate," "Bonnie and Clyde," "In The Heat of the Night" and "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" are all -- to varying degrees ("Dinner" isn't the greatest, but compared to "Dolittle" its Citizen fucking Kane) -- reasonably among the Academy's choices to represent it in the best picture category. And then they nominated "Doctor Dolittle" alongside it? A little Hollywood history: "Dolittle" was basically 20th Century Fox trying to match the insane successes of their "Sound of Music." Except it went three times over its $6 million budget (a huge number back then) and was released to bad reviews and bad box office. But Fox decided to pour a shit ton of money into an Oscar campaign that included huge, pricey dinners for Academy members. Talk about 

campaign malpractice (and if you find this interesting, read Mark Harris' "Pictures at a Revolution" -- seriously).

Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady”

Knott: Obviously Meryl is an acting god. And there was something extraordinary about her rendition of Margaret Thatcher. But only in the same way that there was about the Amy Winehouse drag queen I saw in a club in Havana a few years back. Let’s be honest - this was not an immersive performance in any sense. The acting was impossible to miss, in the worst possible way. I was more impressed by Jim Broadbent’s baffling impersonation of a creepy children’s entertainer pretending to be Casper the friendly ghost. That same year, Viola Davis showed us all how to give a great performance in a bad film. And she was robbed.

Meryl Streep for "August: Osage County"

Knegt: I can't believe we are back-to-back attacking Meryl! I love Meryl Streep. She is potentially my favorite person living. And I stand by the vast majority of her Oscar nominations (even "The Iron Lady"), and bow down to almost everything she's done. But not "August: Osage County." I mean, it was definitely a hoot to watch in a grand soap operatic kind of way, but in a year when Emma Thompson, Julie Delpy, Greta Gerwig, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Brie Larson were all in the running, did the Academy really need to give Meryl nomination number 18 for this over-the-top performance? No.

"Cold Mountain"
"Cold Mountain"
Renee Zellweger for everything

Knott: It feels like a bad dream, looking back on the previous decade and seeing that Ms Zellweger departed it an Academy Award winner and two-time Best Actress nominee. But it is almost beyond belief that such garlands were for “Bridget Jones’ Diary”, “Chicago” and “Cold Mountain”. Hell, where was the Special Achievement award for “Miss Potter”? I am all for the Academy rewarding non-dramatic roles more often - so I can stomach the first two nominations. But stumbling around on a hillside with a bad accent and a dodgy hat and beating Patricia Clarkson in the process is no fair way to get your hands on your very own golden boy.

Elizabeth Taylor for "BUtterfield 8"
Knegt: Elizabeth Taylor somehow won her first Oscar for perhaps her worst performance: A super campy take on a call girl in a film that even she OPENLY hated. In fact, she only made "BUtterfield 8" because she had to. She was under contractual obligation at MGM and to be allowed to depart to Fox to make "Cleopatra," she made the film under protest to fulfill her obligation. Her now-famous response to the success of the film, even after it finally gave her a golden boy: "I still say it stinks." We agree, as does the Academy's bizarre decision to reward it (over Shirley MacLaine in "The Apartment"!).

This article is related to: Awards Season Roundup, Academy Awards