Saturday, January 1, 2022

Peter O'Toole Oscar Nominations: A Retrospective





Peter O'Toole is held as one of the greatest actors of his generation. He was so great that he lost all eight of his Best Actor Oscar nominations. He is tied with Glenn Close for most Oscar nominations without a win, thought Close still in theory has a chance to win a competitive Oscar in the future. Unlike Close however, he was nominated only in the Leading Actor category while she has received Best Actress and Supporting Actress nominations.

I have thought about O'Toole's almost comically tragic Academy Award race, where he saw himself lose over and over and over again. It got to the point to where he had originally declined the Honorary Oscar the Academy had announced he would receive until O'Toole was persuaded to change his mind. In a twist, his final Oscar nomination came after his Honorary Oscar, for 2006's Venus

The likelihood he would have won for Venus was, in retrospective, thin. His was the only nomination Venus received, and it is exceptionally rare for actors to win on a film's sole nomination. Strangely, the man who beat O'Toole for Venus managed exactly that: Forrest Whittaker for The Last King of Scotland. Moreover, sentiment for being "overdue" is not guarantee that a win is certain. Both of these circumstances befell Glenn Close on her seventh nomination with The Wife, who saw what many were sure was going to be a cakewalk to victory go down in flames to Olivia Colman's performance in The Favourite

As I think on his unfortunate record, I was inspired to look at his failed nods and see if perhaps he should have won for any of the films. Perhaps he genuinely lost to a better performance, or perhaps he was really robbed. Every so often, when time and the mood strike me, I will look at all eight of his Oscar-nominated roles for both a review and consideration as to whether he should have won for that performance. 

In the future, I give an overall examination to see whether he should have won for any of his nominated performances or whether the Academy was right to have him be The Biggest Loser. I will take into consideration the other nominees though currently I have not seen all of his competitors for every year. This Retrospective will begin with just the overall nominations and later on shift to his competition in specific years once all the nominated performances are seen.

Still, I think and hope that this Peter O'Toole Retrospective will be fun and enlightening. Below are links to the eight films for which he received his failed Oscar bids. 

Lawrence of Arabia


The Lion in Winter

Goodbye, Mr. Chips

The Ruling Class

The Stunt Man

My Favorite Year


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