31 Days of Oscar: Actors Playing Actors

Hollywood loves a good behind-the-scenes tale, so it’s fitting that the Oscars have rewarded a number of actors for playing… well, actors. Though it may seem like an obvious and easy role given their own career, portraying an actor on screen offers a unique set of challenges for thespians. Not only do they need to make the audience believe their character as a real person, as all actors do, but they must do this while calling attention to their acting process, by virtue of their character’s profession. It can be a challenging task to keep their acting relatively invisible, and some actors have managed great success in this realm.

Oscar Snubs: Alfred Hitchcock

The Oscars are one of Hollywood’s greatest traditions, but they’re also one of the more inherently divisive. In any situation where you’re attempting to name a singular, unequivocal “Best” in a subjective category—not just a collection of “Very Goods” or “Great Efforts”—you’re going to draw some criticism. That’s partly because movies aren’t math problem sets: there’s not a single right way to do things, nor a single right answer upon which to arrive, and in reality, one person’s interpretation of a film can be entirely different than what someone else sees. And so, those films and filmmakers that do win Oscars necessarily have to appeal to votes based on the quality of the film, as well as appealing to the sense of populism they need to secure the majority of votes.

And that’s maybe why the Academy’s notorious, career-spanning snub of Alfred Hitchcock—one of film history’s most enduringly entertaining AND well-respected filmmakers—is especially perplexing.