And The Winner Isn’t …

It’s awards season. Everywhere. The movie-loving eyes of the world have been on Hollywood and the Academy Awards over the past 24 hours and the news and entertainment channels are bursting with news of the winners.

My focus today is on those who didn’t win. Don’t get me wrong – I’m thrilled that Colin Firth walked away with the golden statuette for his title role in “The King’s Speech”, and I’ve no doubt that every other winner was worthy and deserving.

If you're not a winner (image via gabrielutasi.com)

Because of where I’m at right now, and where I have been, my heart goes out to those whose names were not written in Academy Award script and hidden away in golden envelopes. It’s hard to be magnanimous when your heart is bursting with disappointment, and when the cameras focus on the faces of the other four nominees at the moment they found out they were unsuccessful.

There cannot be a nominee who didn’t want to win. There cannot be a nominee who hadn’t planned an acceptance speech and imagined himself delivering it. And, watching the Oscar winner thanking the world and his pet for making this possible, there can’t be a nominee who’s not thinking, “that could have been me standing there”.

Spare a thought for sound re-recording mixer, Kevin O’Connell, who received 20 Oscar nominations between 1983 and 2007, and never won one. With his 18th nomination and non-win in 2006, he earned the unwanted moniker of “unluckiest nominee in the history of the Academy Awards”. He then went on to break his own record twice after that.

How many speeches did he write and rehearse in front of the mirror? How many years did he arrive on the red carpet and imagine himself walking away, statuette in hand? How much would he have longed for his status to change from Academy Award nominee to Academy Award winner?

I have grown to hate the word “unfortunately”. I can relate, in my own small way, to Kevin’s relentless seesawing of hope and disappointment. Until the one thing you’ve been waiting for comes along, it just doesn’t do it to be an also-ran.

Sunshine signing off for today!

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32 thoughts on “And The Winner Isn’t …

      1. Susan Lucci is an American soap opera actress in “All My Children.” She was nominated for an “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama” Daytime Emmy almost every year since 1978, but didn’t actually win one until 1999!

        Hugs,
        Wendy

  1. After having watched every Academy Awards since 1899, and after going into labor during the 1976 AAs, I feel like nothing surprises or annoys me at this point. Except for one thing: Winners saying “Oh! My real award was that Little Ole Me was in the illustrious company of All Those Amazing Other Actors!” Uh, really? So how about if we take Oscar away and just give you a plaque that says you were in that group? (Note to Sunshine: Susan Lucci is a Daytime Soaps actress who was nominated for an Emmy like 18 years in a row without ever winning).

  2. I missed watching but understand what others who were never nominated or nominated and never win must feel. It must be heartbreaking after all of themselves they put into their work.

  3. This reminds me of the expression, second place is the first loser. 😦 I definitely understand what it’s like to be so close and yet so far. Even though they never tell you, I feel like I’ve been very close to winning all of the writing contests I’ve entered 😉

    I always think about the losers during awards season. I would feel a stab of empathy whenever they had to go through the “it was an honor just to have been nominated” and “so and so truly deserved it.” Not that they couldn’t have meant it; just that I know it doesn’t make it any less disappointing.

    1. You’re so right, 2blu. I have no doubt they feel happy for the winners, but of course they feel disappointment. I hate that the cameras show their faces in the moment – it always feels so ungracious and unfair.

  4. I think this is a brilliant post! And I’m not exaggerating. It’s truly a fresh take on the AAs–a sensitive, heartfelt hug to those who didn’t win. I love your heart, Sunshine!

    Hugs from Haiti,
    Kathy

  5. Thanks for articulating so well what I’d been thinking this morning! 🙂 I don’t have my words today . . .

    It is a problem to pick an outright winner when everyone in the category excelled. I’ve noticed before that somebody who consistently is nominated, but never wins, is then often chosen in a poor year for something which is not their own personal best performance. But, I suppose at least they get to win an Oscar.

    For me the Guild Awards (the Screen Actors Guild Award or Directors Guild Award) are more interesting to watch. Actors/directors get voted for by their peers who know and understand what it has taken to produce a certain performance or film.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. It would be interesting to know which awards the actors themselves value the most … recognition by their peers must mean more to them than anything else, I would imagine?
      Hope you’re doing ok?

  6. I was feeling the same way last night, Sunshine. My novel manuscript is with an agent who is showing it to editors. Every day I hope that today will be the day I get a phone call with good news. I guess it’s like hearing your name called at the Oscars. (Though at least I don’t have to make a speech in front of 1 billion people!) I just keep telling myself that I only need one. I only need one editor to fall in love with my novel and want to publish it. You only need one manager to hire you. When I break it down like that it feels less scary. And so we wait… 🙂

  7. A sensitive, compassionate post, Sunshine. You’ve expressed so clearly the pain we all feel when we don’t come in First Place. For most of us, at least, our pain is a private affair; these poor actors and actresses have to endure the entire world watching their suffering. I don’t think I’d like that at all!

  8. Sunshine, I totally agree with your sympathy toward those who were not written into the script…I think you and I totally played a very CONVINCING role in “Bloggers Anon: the day in the life of a Blog-Babe”…..too bad no one else nominated us! sigh…maybe next year!

  9. The one time I did win a huge award, the airline lost my luggage enroute and I had to stand up in front of all my peers and bosses — not in some gorgeous gown — but a basic travel outfit. I was so gobsmacked to win, my first words were “You’re kidding, right?” (It was OK as it was an award for humour writing.)

    The challenge of competing is that one will always, by definition, lose. Being an athlete is great training for all of life because, when you are beaten, it is often by someone with greater skill, talent or training. In awards like these, who knows what other factors are in play?

    1. Very true, bsb. I just hate the focus on “ok, let’s see how your face looks the second you know you haven’t won” – I wish the camera would let them reflect in private. But I guess they’re public figures anyway …
      Wow, you won a huge award? I’m in awe…

  10. I agree that some of the winners dragged on and on – Natalie Portman must have suffered from prego-brain and thanked her family and friends twice. I’m happy that she won though, that role was grueling and she put herself though the wringer physically for the role.
    The best film is usually something I never thought to see in theaters the year before, nor to rent on DVD later. The King’s Speech might be the first exception for me, I’ll have to rent it and grab a box of tissues by the looks of it!

    1. The King’s Speech is well worth seeing – an awesome movie. I’ve made the mistake of seeing a movie because it had won loads of Oscars, and then wished I hadn’t bothered, but I don’t think you’ll feel that way about this movie. Tissues for sure – get the big box!

  11. Know where you’re coming from, Sunshine. I was struck by Kevin Spacey’s reaction to the BBC reporter, that nice gentleman from Click who has scrubbed up nice. Spacey said, well, we join the ranks of all the other great films who never got an Oscar.
    More don’t get it than do: but the don’ts still become great, one way or another.

  12. If there were a blogging equivalent for the Academy Awards, you’d be nominated every year, Ms. Sunshine. I know your job search has made you doubt yourself. I just wish you knew how fabulous you are. 1,000 hugs from Columbus, friend. Hang in there.

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