One of this year’s most glaring Oscar omissions comes in the form of Tom Hanks being passed over for his work as that titular character in Captain Phillips. I’m not sure why Academy voters decided that Hanks’ work in Paul Greengrass’ adaptation of a real-life ocean hijacking wasn’t worthy of a nomination, but I like to just assume it’s because 2014 had a lot of potential nominees.
I think everyone nominated this year turned in fine work, too – so it’s not like someone undeserving made the cut and stole Hanks’ (or Robert Redford’s, for that matter) spot, but after watching the end of Captain Phillips, it’s hard to rationalize how Hanks was passed over. It’s almost as hard as it is to rationalize that the guy who was once the star of Bosom Buddies and Bachelor Party morphed into one of our finest actors.
The final scene of Captain Phillips finds Hanks elevating the entire picture – which has already been impressively rife with tension and excellent acting – and taking it from being a really good movie and making it great. It’s even more impressive because Hanks essentially did it as improv, showing that the actor still has it even as he works into the latter stages of his career.
Don’t just take my word for it, though – have a look at the scene for yourself and see if you don’t agree. Naturally, the clip is a huge SPOILER for the movie, but it’s really an impressive piece of acting – watching Hanks, who’s so together as the horrible events transpire, finally realize what he’s been through and fall to pieces is both haunting and mesmerizing. Seeing it again only reaffirms my belief that not giving the actor a nod was a pretty big oversight on the Academy’s part.
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