Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Best Character Actor Award

A new Academy Award category
  (+7, -4)
(+7, -4)
  [vote for,

Pre-emptive note: Please save your arguments for or against the validity and/or competitive nature of the Oscars. They've been done to death and serve no purpose other than to incite unwanted argument.

I think A.M.P.A.S. should consider adding a "Best Character Actor" category to the Academy Awards. Currently, only the leads and notable supporting actors get any credit. This leaves hundreds of excellent performances ineligible for any Academy recognition. This is a shame, as it's not uncommon for a character actor to give the best performance in the film.

The addition of this category would allow actors like William Fichtner, John Turturro, Robert Loggia, and James Rebhorn to finally get the recognition they deserve. Even a nomination would elevate their status.

In keeping with the Oscar tradition, there would also need to be the "Best Character Actress" category.

waugsqueke, Jul 22 2002


       Best PersonInvolvedInAFilm (NotOtherwiseCoveredByExistingCategories) ?
sappho, Jul 22 2002

       Croissant. Why? Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

Existing categarisation system struggles when you get a film that doesn't really have a lead, but instead has many "supporting" roles (almost any Altman film: who's the lead in Shortcuts, Nashville or Gosford Park?)
namaste, Jul 22 2002

       They can be (and are) nominated for Supporting Actor. I don't see the problem.
bookworm, Jul 22 2002

       No, they usually live and die in Britain.   

       I'm with bookworm here. I don't think there's any requirement for the Best Supporting Actor to be a "main" character in order to be eligible - notable, yes, but the most notable performance doesn't have to be the longest. And I'm not sure "character actor" is the right term anyway; you could easily class someone like Steve Buscemi as a "character actor" even in films like Ghostworld where his role is fairly central. It's more about the actor and their choice of roles, it seems to me, than about one particular role in one particular movie. "Best Cameo" might be a more appropriate category.
Guy Fox, Jul 22 2002

       Philip Seymour Hoffman is one of the folks I had in mind for this.   

       Under certain circumstances, bookworm, that may be true, but rarely. I'm talking about people who may be way down the credits. Even Supporting Actor noms tend to be fairly high profile names.   

       Take "Schindler's List" as an example. Liam Neeson was nominated for Best Actor. Ralph Fiennes was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. The actor who played the old man hinge-maker, who survived getting shot because the soldier's gun jammed, is the sort of character actor I'm talking about. These people do not have opportunity for recognition.   

       And scuttled, I deleted our conversation because it was evident that you had drifted well into the territory I hoped to avoid, and were missing the point besides.
waugsqueke, Jul 22 2002

       <The defense calls>Harry Dean Stanton</The defense calls>
thumbwax, Jul 22 2002

       a little bit baked. Today on 'Rise', the breakfast TV show on Channel 4 (UK), they had a chap who has been in lots of films, but I was just going to work so I didn't catch his name. He was in Gladiator, and one of the recent Bond films, and a few others. He looks like a kebab shop owner, which may not be very PC of me but it's all I can think of that might identify him.
sappho, Jul 23 2002

       What bookworm said.

A lot of times I find myself saying, "That movie blew...but you gotta see it for [insert character actor]...the supporting actor." A "good" actor and a "celebrity" actor are two different things and winning awards often validates fame and not necessarily a person's skills.
iuvare, Jul 24 2002


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