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“We Had No Campaign": Robert Redford Explains His Oscar Snub For 'All Is Lost'

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 16, 2014 5:41 PM
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All season the long, many prognosticators were calling a nomination for Robert Redford for his turn in "All Is Lost" a slam dunk. Not only is he a beloved, veteran actor and the man behind the Sundance Film Festival, the survival picture found him delivering a near wordless performance in a movie that featured only one character: himself. It all seemed so inevitable... until this morning. Among the Biggest Shocks, Snubs & Surprises was Redford getting shut out of the Best Actor field, despite certainty from nearly every corner of the awards blogosphere all season long. So, why did he miss out? Well, that's what journalists asked Redford this morning.

At a press conference for the Sundance Film Festival, Redford was fairly candid about why he thinks "All Is Lost" didn't have the gas in the tank to earn him a nomination. “In our case, we suffered from little to no distribution. I don’t know what they were afraid of. They didn’t want to spend money or they were incapable,” he said. Redford added: “We had no campaign to cross over into the mainstream.” 

That said, he acknowledges that campaigning "can be very political,” and at the end of the day he's "not disturbed by it or upset by it.” 

However, is Redford being a bit unfair? As the sole face of "All Is Lost," Redford wasn't as present on the promo circuit this fall for his film as some of his other contenders (such as the Best Actor nominated Bruce Dern, who was everywhere). And then there's the simple fact that Roadside Attractions is a small company and doesn't have the kind of money to spend as a major studio. Not to mention that selling a worldless movie about a guy on a boat isn't easy.

Sour grapes or honest assessment? Let us know below.

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  • James S. | January 17, 2014 3:54 PMReply

    He didn't get a nomination because the movie isn't that great, and he isn't that great in it. You don't necessarily get an Oscar nomination simply for being beloved and legendary; just ask Orprah.

  • bruce | January 20, 2014 1:32 PM

    Oprah is beloved and legendary? Uh, mmkay. She certainly ingratiates her will and politic upon the public, but I think her beloved-ness is honestly 50/50.

  • Jordan Porch | January 17, 2014 6:48 AMReply

    Sour grapes. The nominated actors were far more adept in their respective parts. Plus it was a great year for male actors, making it inevitable that many great talents would be "snubbed."

  • alex | January 16, 2014 6:44 PMReply

    If he pointed a finger like this AND he was upset about the snub, then I'd say sour grapes. To me it just sounds like he's making a trenchant critique of the Oscars process generally without sounding bitter about this. I also think your comparison to Bruce Dern is a bit hamfisted, since Dern had other motives for stepping into the spotlight besides a "campaign" for an Oscar. That said, #noredfordnopeace.

  • b.waters | January 16, 2014 7:09 PM

    He seems bitter about the release of the film, which should have been able to platform better than it did. I don't even know if it opened where I live, and I was paying attention to it for a few weeks there. It either took over a month to reach Seattle or opened at one of the third tier indie theaters (which are all so awful you might as well wait for Netflix.)
    Doesn't sound like he cares as much about the nomination as he does nobody seeing a movie he's proud of.

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