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Main| The New Classics: Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol »
Wednesday
Aug 14 2019

Oscar Trivia,Weekly: The Academy's Tarantino blindspots

by Nathaniel R

Tarantino winning his first Oscar in the mid 90sWednesday mornings will now be devoted to Oscar trivia (the crowd cheers...we hope).This morning let's look at some factoids you might have missed in Oscar's on & off again romance with Quentin Tarantino.Like many A-list writer/directors before and presumably after him,Oscar has honored him with a Screenplay Oscar (two,in point of fact) but not a directing Oscar.That's how they often do with the more polarizing and unique talents.Do enough people realize this to make Tarantino and actual threat for the Best Director win forOnce Upon a Time in Hollywoodas his career threatens to wind down?We aren't sure (yet) but for today's particular trivia pursuit,instead we'd like to talk about the categories that Tarantino films compete in versus the ones they don't.

If you smoosh all of Tarantino's 9 films pre-Hollywoodtogether for a rough average,the movie would be nominated for 3 Oscars (Supporting,亚博主页Screenplay,and Cinematography) and have a 50% chance of winning a single one of those races...

So,er,the average picture is actually...The Hateful Eight.It's our single most hated Tarantino picture,go figure.Stats are silly but fun.Okay,on to some deeper analysis...

Oscar Categories Ranked by their interest in Tarantino movies

  1. SUPPORTING ACTOR - 4 nominations / 2 wins
    Christoph Waltz is the only actor to ever win an Oscar for a Tarantino movie and he's done it twice (ugh.that second time still irks) but Robert Forster and Samuel L Jackson were totally worthy nominees so that's nice.We'd argue that the biggest misses in this category are Tim Roth inReservoir Dogsand Samuel L Jackson inDjangobut the former was before  the Academy jumped on the Tarantino train and the latter was surely too stylized and divisive a performance (plus Waltz was category-frauding his way into support and thus blocking Jackon or DiCaprio from competing.We suspect Brad Pitt will confirm that this is the #1 preferred Tarantino Oscar category.

  2. ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - 3 nominations / 2 wins
    When Tarantino is nominated in this category he wins more often than he loses.It's still somewhat bizarre to remember that the one time he attempted an adaptation,Oscar looked the other way politely (Jackie Brown) though retroactively the movie is often cited as one of his best.Surely Tarantino is headed to a fourth nomination forOnce Upon a Time...

  3. [tie] BEST PICTURE and BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - 3 nominations / no wins
    The movies have always been too divisive to win the big category and not respected enough visually to take any of those Oscars which is kind of a shame.亚博主页We'd argue that theKill Billmovies are the most impressive on a cinematography level but naturally they weren't nominated despite Oscar's love of Robert Richardson.

  4. [tie] DIRECTOR,SUPPORTING ACTRESS,FILM EDITING,and SOUND EDITING  - 2 nominations / no wins
    You could argue for more attention in these categories...or not.It's definitely a shame that at least one of theBasterdswomen (Laurent or Kruger,take your pick) didn't get into Supporting Actress

  5. ORIGINAL SCORE - 1 nomination / 1 win
    The one and done nature of this category makes a lot of sense when you consider that almost all Tarantino soundscapes are song-based.The exception was nominated and it won...as much for Ennio Morricone's legendary career as this specific score.

  6. [tie] BEST ACTOR,SOUND MIXING,- 1 nomination / no wins
    It's so strange to remember that John Travolta is the only leading actor ever nominated for a Tarantino picture...so...uh...good luck Leonardo DiCaprio?

Oscar categories that Tarantino films havenever been nominated inranked by egregious of snubbings


  1. COSTUME DESIGN
    Stop to consider how many times you've seen Tarantino based characters on Halloween and then realize with horror that Oscar has never nominated any of the iconic looks.Kill Bill,Inglorious Basterds,andPulp Fictionin particular have iconic looks.We suspect that the closest any of his films ever came to a nomination in this category were the heavy furs ofHateful Eightsince those did actually have some nomination buzz.Arianne Philips would seem like a lock forOnce Upon a Time in Hollywoodin a saner world but the costuming branch clearly doesn't have any particular affectino for Tarantino's filmography.

  2. PRODUCTION DESIGN
    If Oscar hadn't been so blind toKill Bill's awesomeness (I maintain that Vol.1 is Tarantino's best film),it would have been a shoo-in to compete here.TheBasterdsomission is much harder to reckon with since they loved the film and the sets were memorable.Maybe the Art Direction branch,like the costumers,just don't happen to care about his oeuvre?

  3. BEST ACTRESS
    Of  Tarantino's 10 features only 3 have true female leads.It's worth noting that The Golden Globes did nominate both Thurman (Kill Bill Vol.1) and Grier (Jackie Brown) but Oscar passed in both of those cases.

    no eligibility so not applicable:
    ORIGINAL SONG,INTERNATIONAL FEATURE,DOCUMENTARY FEATURE,SHORT FILM CATEGORIES

Oscar's rank of Tarantino movies


  1. INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (8 nominations,won supporting actor)
  2. PULP FICTION (7 nominations,won screenplay)
  3. DJANGO UNCHAINED (5 nominations,won supporting actor & screenplay)
  4. THE HATEFUL EIGHT (3 nominations,won score)
  5. JACKIE BROWN (1 nomination)
  6. [tie] Oscar voters didn't care forRESERVOIR DOGS,DEATH PROOF,or either KILL BILLall of them receiving zero Oscar nominations.

    RANK TO BE DETERMINED:Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

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Reader Comments (5)

Nat: Tim Roth is great in Reservoir Dogs,but he's not supporting.That's a lead role.Michael Madsen is the great supporting role of Reservoir Dogs.

August 14,2019 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

In hindsight,it seems like editor Sally Menke is as vital to Tarantino movies as editor Thelma Schoonmaker is to the movies of Martin Scorsese.Both editors rein in,shape,and curtail their directors predilections and tendency to excess.Sally is sorely missed.

August 14,2019 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Volvagia -- i haven't seen it in YEARS so i'll trust you on that.don't remember it so well but remember loving both of them in it.

Adri -- the truth.

August 14,2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

It's a cheer from me!

For me,the best supporting actor in Reservoir Dogs is neither Tim Roth nor Michael Madsen,good though they are,but Steve Buscemi.

Totally agree about Jackson in Django Unchained.Remember,though,that most critics groups aided Waltz in his category fraud.It takes a village...

I think Jackie Brown deserved more: a Best Actress nomination for Pam Grier and a directing nomination for Tarantino.It's so great that Forster got nominated,though.He's superb.

I agree that Tarantino's visuals have been underacknowledged by the Academy.At least Richardson has been nominated for the three most recent films before Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood,and his work on the new film is great too.Even the sunlight felt as though it was from 1969.

The Globes nominated Uma Thurman for both Vols.of Kill Bill - good on 'em!

Here's hoping Once Upon a Time...is in the mix at the end of the year.It deserves to be.

August 14,2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

It is still STUNNING that neither Kill Bill film managed even a tech nomination.Honestly it is probably my favorite Robert Richardson cinematography,and then he wins for the fucking Aviator?I mean,Aviator is good to be sure,it's not bad,but I'm just comparing them.Come on.

August 14,2019 | Unregistered CommenterCharlea

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