2018 Oscar Snubs: Franco, Hanks, Spielberg & Martin McDonagh Shut Out
The brilliant character actor Michael Stuhlbarg should get some kind of nomination for being in the most Oscar-worthy movies. That guy is everywhere: Shape of Water, Call Me By Your Name, The Post. You probably remember him for the great job he did as Arnold Rothstein in Boardwalk Empire. As a serious baseball historian, I have read (and written) a lot about the famed criminal genius, and Stuhlbarg came across exactly as I pictured A.R.
(And his Russian pronunciation was quite good in The Shape of Water.)
Oh, well. It always takes longer for character actors to get their due. For every F. Murray Abraham who gets to play a juicy lead in an Oscar winner, there are hundreds of Tom Wilkinsons and Patricia Clarksons toiling in obscurity, maybe scoring a nomination in their late 40s or 50s, then falling back into competent anonymity. I'll bet most of you can't even picture at this moment what a "Tom Wilkinson" looks like or if that's even a real name rather than something I made up. And that's after two Oscar nominations! But if you saw his face, you'd recognize him immediately. Of course you'd probably say "It's that guy" rather than his name.
I doubt whether most people can even name the legendary F-man himself. People know his face because his appearance is unique, but I'm guessing that when they see him they say either "It's that guy" or "Hey, it's the guy from that Mozart movie." I know his real name, but I still give him the ol' "It's Salieri" treatment in my head.
That's the life of a character actor. Sam Rockwell finally scored this year, at age 49. Stuhlbarg is also 49. His turn will come.
UPDATE: I decided to bring some of the comments up to the main page because they were such good examples:
(1) ... My favorite is Christoph Waltz who spent decades in relative obscurity before winning the Oscar at age 53. Then he basically disappeared a few more years before Tarantino gave him another great role, and he won another Oscar.
(2) ... JK Simmons is another character actor that lived in obscurity, but got his statue for Whiplash in 2014.