Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1994

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption)
Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump)
Nigel Hawthorne (The Madness of King George)
Paul Newman (Nobody’s Fool)
John Travolta (Pulp Fiction)

Biggest Snub:

Hugh Grant – Four Weddings and a Funeral

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a great year and all 5 nominees are amazing. It was pretty obvious who would eventualy win, but all would have been deserving winners.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

 5. Nigel Hawthorne 
4. John Travolta
3. Morgan Freeman
2. Paul Newman 
1. Tom Hanks


5. The Madness of King George Interesting film that gives us a rare view of what possibly happened when the Monarchy of England lost his mind not long after they lost the Revolutionary War. Hawthorne is quite memorable in the lead role and does a wonderful job keeping things seem realistic. Parts of the film move along a bit too slowly, but it still is put together so well that it remains both interesting and entertaining. Hawthorne definitely deserved his Best Actor nomination for this role. Love the way that they portray the internal politics of the day.
4. Nobody’s FoolGreat movie, great characters, great cast and great story. It’s possible to believe that there are people like Sully and all those living in the town which makes the story so much more interesting.
3. Pulp FictionTarantino is at his best, both in terms of storyline and dialogue. Go see it!!
2. Forrest Gump  – Hanks is superb in the title role and I doubt many other actors could duplicate what he has done here. Gives off such an Americana vibe that we forget that it’s all fiction. Sinise is amazing as Lt. Dan and he really should gave won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor that year instead of Martin Landau. Won best picture in a very competitive year of nominees if not THE most competitive ever.
1. The Shawshank RedemptionOne of the best movies ever made. The characters development is superb and we can really feel the bond between these two men growing over time. The story itself is compelling to watch unfold. King knows how to create an amazingly gripping story with well formed and interesting characters. Robbins and Freeman are perfectly cast here and I wonder if anyone else could have helped create such an iconic movie friendship.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Completely agree!  This was such a competitive year, all 5 nominees are amazing in their roles but Hanks played a character who has become so iconic in the near 25 years since the film came out that it would be hard to imagine any of these other amazing performances eclipsing him.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

6 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1994

  1. Agree with you here. Newman was excellent in NOBODY’S FOOL – which is amongst my favorite Newman films of his career – and that’s saying something because he’s a favorite. Good call on the snub as well. Problem with a performance like Grant’s in a movie like Four Weddings – is that he makes it look so non-chalantly easy. You would hope that the Actors’ Branch sees that – but sometimes these types of performances slip through the cracks. It happened to Cary Grant his entire career (I think he was only nominated for an Oscar once…) But I’d also point to Tim Robbins from Shawshank…


    • Yup. This imho is newmans best role. This was also grants best role and it typecast him. his ‘car incident’ resulted in his career never going any farther which was unfortunate since he had potential. Ur right Robbins was superb in shawshank and he would gave been my #7. i think hawthorne got the 5th slot due to his openness about his sexuality at a time when most people stayed in the closet. Personally, i woulda given that slot to either grant or robbins because their performances were better


      • With The Sting, Hud, Hombre, The Hustler, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid — not sure I’d be able to pick only 1 Newman role as his “best” – even with a gun to my head. But Nobody’s Fool was terrific (maybe one of Bruce Willis’ best performances as well…) Grant has resurrected his career of late – he was wonderful in his last 2 movies. Some of it was his deciding not to work for a while and he also suffers from stage fright (even on a movie set). As for Hawthorne – in as liberal and accepting a town as “Hollywood” – I don’t think coming out got him any more or less votes than he would have garnered regardless. It was a very impressive performance as a very crazy character.


          • That’s the press. It wouldn’t have had an effect on his nomination. And it would have been up to the studio and his agents/managers to tell the press to talk about his performance and NOT extraneous things. But I completely understand how it would have ticked him off. I wonder whether anything similar to that happened post-nomination for Sir Ian McKellan. I don’t think that sort of questioning would be tolerated now and the reporters asking those sort of questions would be properly admonished for doing so.


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