Winning an Oscar — or just being nominated — can transform a Hollywood future. Yet just because some actors and filmmakers weren't shortlisted for an Academy Award doesn't mean their great work is going unrewarded.
Critics have rightly pointed to 2013 as one of the best movie years in recent history. Consequently, the fields for top
That A-list pack didn't exactly need awards attention to boost their careers. The more consequential group is those actors and filmmakers a few rungs down the ladder, where acclaim can spell the difference between job offers and unemployment. So far, the industry isn't letting a March 2 invitation to the Dolby Theatre — or the lack of one — determine their value: In some cases, the snubbed are as much in demand as the nominated.
Peter Berg is one such person. Even though he was nominated for a
"The phone rings a lot more, and there are more opportunities," said Berg, who is now working on two HBO series ("The Leftovers" and "State of Play") and is now considering multiple options for his next feature. It was a different situation following his previous feature, 2012's flop
Some of the overlooked-yet-in-demand include:
Brie Larson, who starred as a residential treatment supervisor in "Short Term 12," is currently starring opposite
Chadwick Boseman, who played Jackie Robinson in
Oscar Isaac, who had the lead role in "Inside Llewyn Davis," has four features in the can and is now starring in a new crime drama from "All Is Lost" filmmaker J.C. Chandor.
Cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, who shot
Just as past performance does not guarantee a stock will continue to soar, today's Oscar adulation is no predictor of accomplishment tomorrow. While the Oscars certainly can elevate an actor's profile — few people in town probably knew of
Adrien Brody, who won the lead actor Oscar for 2002's
Among those snubbed this past year are several well-known actors who used 2013 to reposition their careers. Rather than continue making forgettable studio fare like "Prince of Persia: Sands of Time,"
"I think I'm listening and trusting the relationships I have in my life," Gyllenhaal said. Thanks in part to his acclaimed work in Villeneuve's "Prisoners," Gyllenhaal now has more credibility as an actor. "He was incredible in that film," said director Antoine Fuqua, who hopes to direct Gyllenhaal in the boxing movie "Southpaw" after the actor completes the Alpine tragedy "
When director Rupert Wyatt approached veteran producer
Sandra Marsh, the talent agent for the cinematographer Bobbitt, obviously would have preferred that her client was singled out for an Oscar. "Whenever your work gets nominated for an Academy Award, there's a lot of buzz about you," she said. But it's also important to be associated with a movie as acclaimed as "12 Years a Slave," regardless of who is nominated. "Sometimes it just takes time for people's work to be recognized, and sometimes it takes a hit," she said.
Chandor's new movie, "A Most Violent Year," stars both Isaac and Oyelowo. "I thought they both just killed it last year," Chandor said. "I'm pretty excited for people to see the work they are doing. They are gifted, plain and simple."
Producer Christian Colson, who has been shepherding "Selma" since 2005, said Oyelowo committed to play King several years ago, and even put on weight to look like the slain civil rights leader. But the project stalled until recently, when a combination of an up-and-coming director ("Middle of Nowhere's" Ava DuVernay), several hot producers (including Winfrey and Plan B, the company behind "12 Years a Slave"), the box-office success of "The Butler" and Oyelowo's glowing reviews combined to give "Selma" new life.
"It's a perfect storm of elements working in the movie's favor," Colson said. "And David's star power is a big part of all of it."