The Oscar backlash started innocently enough, with my brief video rant (see below) about Oscar snubs that got under my skin. Then the responses started coming in — from family, then distant friends and even strangers who had picked up and re-tweeted my essay. Although I isolated a handful of surprises, each and every comment surrounded 20-year-old Shailene Woodley, the actress who played the rebellious and heartbroken teenager in The Descendants.
For many fans of Alexander Payne’s Best Picture-nominated drama, it was Woodley who stole the show, offering a heartfelt, emotional counterpoint to George Clooney’s stoic father in denial. Many Oscar watchers, including myself, thought she’d wind up as an outside nod in the Best Supporting Actress category. Then she was snubbed, bumped out — cast aside, I believe, by Jessica Chastain who snuck in with a nomination for The Help. (See Richard Corliss’ full roster of Oscar predictions.)
Sad about the snub, I added her as one of my “7 Talking Points to Sound Smart At Your Oscar Party” and put her near the very top of my top Oscar snubs of 2012:
And then my inbox was flooded by people who singled out the Woodley comment. I quickly searched the Internet and found everyone from Entertainment Weekly to CBS News, singling out this young unknown as the snubbed starlet of the hour.
The press even covered her reaction to the nomination-that-wasn’t: Not long after failing to land a nod, Woodley sought catharsis through yoga.
Post your thoughts here — was Woodley the biggest snub of this Oscar season? If she makes it on camera this Sunday night, will fans of The Descendants be reminded that one of the year’s greatest performances is missing from Hollywood’s big night?