Music Features

And The Oscar Didn't Go To...

With this year's Oscar ceremony just around the corner, we've decided to pay homage to some of the nominations that we think ought to have won over the years. With more oversights than you could shake a gold statuette at, we've put together one nomination from each major category for your consideration...


Al Pacino as 'Michael Corleone'

The Godfather Part II (1974)

There are some Oscar oversights that beg the question of whether the Academy members even watch half of the performances they're voting for and against. This is one of them. Long before the woo-ha grandstanding that typifies many of his later performances, The Godfather Part II sees Al Pacino at the peak of his understated powers. Moody, menacing and magnetic, Pacino's second outing as Michael Corleone is a far cry from the idealistic war hero of the first half of The Godfather, and sets the tone for a far darker workout than the original. This should have been a shoe-in.


Leonardo DiCaprio as 'Arnie Grape'

What's Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)

Boasting a cast including Johnny Depp, Crispin Glover and John C. Reilly, What's Eating Gilbert Grape? is arguably the most overlooked film of the early '90s. The film's undoubted star however, is a pre-King of the World Leonardo DiCaprio. Sporting a DIY haircut and permanently muddied face, DiCaprio's portrayal of mentally handicapped Arnie ticks the reviewers' boxes marked 'heart-warming' and 'moving' with ease. But it is the authenticity of DiCaprio's performance that really deserved to bring him the Oscar.


Sissy Spacek as 'Carrie White'

Carrie (1976)

Quite possibly the most terrifying female performance of the '70s, Sissy Spacek's turn as the gawky high-school geek with telekinetic powers and an apparent suppression of the blink reflex makes for grimly enjoyable viewing. In fairness, horror flicks are hardly known for their Oscar pedigree, but Spacek's Lady in Red makes the movie one of the genre's notable accomplishments.


Linda Blair as 'Regan MacNeil'

The Exorcist (1973)

Gigs don't come much tougher than being possessed by Lucifer himself before you've even turned 15. Spouting all manner of filth about dead relatives and something regarding cocks in hell, 14 year-old Linda Blair's transition from weak-bladdered schoolgirl to demonised crucifix grinder is truly terrifying stuff. Time (and multiple imitations) hasn't been kind to The Exorcist, but Blair's performance is anything but dated.


Raging Bull (1980)

Of all the films the pair has made together, Raging Bull is arguably the defining collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. Suffering both personally (the break-up of his marriage) and professionally (the critical failure of New York, New York), at the time the film was being made, Scorsese somehow channelled the turmoil around him into an astonishing work of hellish beauty. The fight scenes and De Niro's weight gain are the stuff of legend, but it is in the quieter moments of domesticity that the film's sucker punches really hit home.


Martin Scorsese

GoodFellas (1990)

If Scorsese's Raging Bull drew the curtain on the auteur-driven cinema of the 1970s, then GoodFellas ferociously stabbed the opening wound of the blood-soaked '90s. Kicking off with surely the most shocking opening scene in movie history, the film grabs the viewer by the throat and doesn't let up for the next two-and-a-half hours. 'You want it fast?', Scorsese had said of the high-octane approach of '80s cinema, 'okay, I'll give it to you fast, really fast'. Bringing together themes and characters explored in his earlier films (most notably Mean Streets and Raging Bull), GoodFellas sees the director at the absolute top of his game, with camerawork, voice-over and soundtrack all combining to intoxicating effect. Beaudiful.