I finally watched “Black Mass” and can’t figure out why Johnny Depp didn’t receive an Oscar nomination — or win! — for his utterly remarkable portrayal of Whitey Bulger. And Matt Damon did. Weird.
Anyway, you forget you’re watching Depp in the role of Bulger and begin to see the Boston mobster himself. And the dude … is … terrifying. Accept that the story may contain some fictional elements and his psychopathic behavior was ramped up to make the movie more sensational. Get in that mindset and he becomes one of the most frightening movie characters ever. You’ll cringe and feel your heart race during the steak scene.
He earned a spot on my list of Hollywood characters I’d least like to meet. I’m not including sci-fi characters, monsters or killers like Freddy Krueger. These are relatively regular people who you could imagine walking down the street anywhere.
Johnny Depp as Whitey Bulger in “Black Mass”
Is there something about a manically sadistic guy who cherishes his mom that makes him even more scary? At any second, you fear he’ll stick an ice pick through someone’s eye.
Ben Kingsley as Don Logan in “Sexy Beast”
He’s childish and small. He’s mean. He’s fearless. And he shows up at Gal’s door acting like an old buddy crashing through his comfortable life. And all the while, there’s a hint that he’ll brutalize Gal’s wife and there’s no way to stop him. Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh in “No Country for Old Men”
His haircut should be a warning: RUN! … He has a relentless, mindless, cold drive to kill anyone crossing his path when he wants something.
Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito in “Goodfellas”
You might have a chance if you’re his friend but if you’re not, don’t even ask him for the time of day. And even his friends could take a bat to the back of the head if he thinks they showed a lack of respect.
Jennifer Jason Leigh as Hedy in “Single White Female”
She’s crazy. You know it. And you can’t do anything about it or you risk making everything worse. Is there anything more terrifying than watching things unravel while your hands are tied?
Dwight Yoakam as Doyle Hargraves in “Sling Blade”
He’s a redneck in the worst kind of way: Cocky and demanding when he’s sober and a mean, reckless bully when he’s drunk. And always heartless.
Robert De Niro as Cady in “Cape Fear”
A wild, careless maniac who enjoys terrorizing. He’s the Facebook friend request who causes you to exit social media immediately.
Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood in “House of Cards”
Well, we know he didn't get it because the award has more to do with the industry, not the actor. It's a carefully ploted chess game. Johnny is not perceived as an actor who wants to be in the mainstream marketplace. He doesn't want most of the "good" roles that studios are setting out there, so there's no potential that studios will be able to increase their bank accounts by tossing Oscars his way. In other words the bottom line purpose of the award is to help promote future "star vehicles." He is an anomaly. And he will get his Oscar at the end of his career with all kinds of gnashing of teeth and crocodile tears on the part of industry power brokers about how he should of earned one years ago, sniff, sniff. It is utterly pointless to think about the Oscars and Johnny. And that says absolutely nothing about the wonder of his performances.
So, instead of focusing the mind trap of the award, focus on the work of the man. He is acting now. We are priviledged to be in the seat in the theatre when the light comes up and another, new, never before seen Johnny Depp movie is shown. Lucky, lucky us.
Post note: And use of the term "good" is ironic. The word as used by Hollywood has less to do with quality and more to do with bottom lines.
I kinda agree that this is more about the industry than the talent, but i think the huge factor the past year was his lack of SELFPROMOTION and not from the industry itself. I truly believe Warner and the producers tried their best to promote Johnny for the Oscar but he didn't helped at all
Not that he's the "wrong" at not wanting to promote himself as a product for the Oscar season. It shouldn't be that way anyway, it should be an award for the merits of the performance and not for selfpromotion
More thoughts on the subject. To begin with there is a game plan for anyone seriously interested in winning an Oscar. There are directors, actors, producers etc who sit around year after year plotting how to win. They continually analyze what wins and why, and continually hone their craft and product to conform to what is expected to win next year or several years out. On the other side of the field are the critics and commentators who help style what it means to be best, and what "the buzz" is. It is exactly like a political campaign. It takes the involvement of scores of people within a given studio to make the decision they're going after Oscar, to outline a plan of action, to focus on creating buzz, to bend ears, write letters, hold meetings, recruit friendly critics, etc.
Now, does Johnny strike you as a guy who is committed to winning an Oscar? To pulling out all the stops and making it his business over the next several years to win one of the golden boys? Exactly. Is that bad? Of course not. People need to be responsive to their own wants and needs, follow their North Star. Anything else is damaging to the individual's soul.
I think anything Johnny does in connection with the Oscar sweepstakes happens because he's a nice guy and he wants to make his friends happy. Director friends, producer friends, even fellow actors.
I think we, as a group of fans, need to get over the fact that the guy could care less about Oscars. We all have friends who are uncomfortable doing certain things. As our friendship proceeds over time, we get to know what to suggest and what to avoid.(Note to self: Willie loathes football games; will go with a pasted-on smile if invited. But he adores, madly, Scottish Games. Buy tix)
Maybe our "note to self" here is "Johnny ain't gonna do awards, so let's find another way to appease our own need to be part of the Oscar process."
I remember suggesting here that we organize our own Depp awards every year around award season, and over several fan websites, and campaign for the Johnny movie we love. Have fun! Win silly prizes.
My own way out of stuff like this is reading and research. I find myself both fascinated and repelled by the Oscar catastrophe. I always need to understand why. So for me reading about the Oscars and reading about Hollywood satisfies the urge to participate.
The last thing we should do is feel bad about him not winning. Instead, feel good that we are fans of a guy who's as kind and generous as the Depp. We is lucky fans, you know?