June 24, 2008

SNUBBED: Julianne Moore in "Freedomland"

I've been known to complain about a lot of Oscar snubs over the years, but there is one that still stings, still keeps me up at night, and still tempts me to boycott those stupid awards. That Julianne Moore didn't even receive a nomination for her performance in 2005's criminally underrated Freedomland is, to be quite frank, a travesty.

Although we all know she was stunningly stellar in such movies as The Ladies Man, Evolution, Laws of Attraction, The Forgotten, and Next, it's her turn in Freedomland that sends chills up your spine and tears down your face. I've provided evidence of one of the film's stronger moments above.

Observe her brilliance in acting like she's disoriented and panicked. Watch her navigate a sea of emotions as she fully inhabits the character of a psychotic mother. Take notes on her incredible ability to cry without actually crying.

Every great performance involves two actors, however, and Samuel L. Jackson gives an acting clinic here perhaps worthy of its own Oscar nomination. He's almost unrecognizable from his other roles here, shouting and repeatedly questioning someone while standing above them. Also, I know people with asthma, and I had to ask them if they could determine whether he was acting or not. I could not. His wheezing, huffing, groaning and puffing adds significantly to the gripping intensity of the scene.

Take this to the bank, folks: Freedomland is arguably one of the best films of the decade, and no Oscar snub discussion is complete without its mention.

Because the oversight is just so tragic, I think even more evidence may be needed to cement that claim: the first 1:17 of this long clip. I know it will be hard to tear your eyes away from the screen, but I've limited it to that so you don't become too emotionally overwhelmed.

Put my heart at rest. Put my heart at rest, AMPAS: honor Julianne Moore and Freedomland with a retroactive Academy Award...

[This post is one of many featured in Lazy Eye Theatre's Bizarro Blog-a-Thon, June 23-25. Don't bother checking out any of the other featured posts... ]


  1. Your 2nd paragraph was the dead giveaway. ;) Moore sure has been in some clunkers. I want my two hours back that The Forgotten stole from me. Evolution's actually pretty decent, though...

  2. I never even saw Freedomland, but even though I didn't, I just knew it was the kind of film I would just love with all my heart, and it is for that reason that I will do everything in my power to make sure I see the film as soon as possible.

  3. Finally someone recognises true greatness when they see it.

    This performance was up there with John Travolta in Battlefield Earth as one of the true modern masters.

  4. Ah, the good ol' "invisible blowjob" acting method. Where's her statue? This women needs an Oscar!

    Let's not forget the great Oscar snub of 1998. Moore's involvement in the coveted Psycho remake is as captivating as it is forgettable.

    Also, thanks for the comment on my blog!


  5. Put my heart at rest, AMPAS. Correct this GRIEVOUS ERROR! WHAT COLOR IS THAT OSCAR? WHAT COLOR IS THAT OSCAR? (Wheeze, ow, I bit my lip!)

  6. It wasn't the video clip itself, Fletch? I've actually laughed out loud watching it a few times. I love that Jackson digs the inhaler out of the trash can and then chucks it back in. The shove of the nurse is pretty great, too.

    I only wish The Forgotten would live up to its title. I'm still in pain...

    At your own risk, Nick. ;-P

    Thanks for stopping in, Ibetolis. It's a movie and performance that is certainly deserving of a lot more "love." It was tough to pick between this one and some of my other "favorite" movies, like Monkeybone and The Pest, but I happened to see the Edie Falco/Julianne Moore scene on TV a couple weeks ago.

  7. That scene between Moore and Jackson is absolutely riveting. I will definitely be putting Freedomland in my Netflix Queue. Garbage like "Casablanca" can wait!

  8. Likewise, Scott - your dethroning of The Godfather was quite appropriate. What a bust of a movie. And you're right, this isn't the first time Moore has been robbed...The Lost World...

    Haha, my heart starts racing just watching it, Marilyn.

    Maybe Jackson really should have thrown in a "WHAT DOES MARSELLUS WALLACE LOOK LIKE?!?" to clinch the Oscar.

  9. Rachel, it can't wait that long. Head to your local video store, or better yet, to Wal-Mart. This is one you'll want to own for SURE. I wore out my copy from watching it so many times.

  10. The only good thing I can say about The Forgotten was that scene where the woman from Heart and Souls gets sucked up into the sky. I actually picked up a DVD of the movie (for $1.00) just for that scene. I showed it to my girlfriend and she asked if we could watch the whole thing. I told her no.

  11. Going to the mattresses over Freedomland? Yikes. That takes some brass balls and a whole lot of stupid to try and pull that off.

  12. HA! Sam Jackson truly is underrated. I mean really, how many people can scream at stuff as well as he can? NO ONE! That's right. Not a single. Other. Human. Being. Acting clinic, indeed.

  13. Yes, Nicholson is an infant running his head into a wall compared to Samuel L. for Swell!

  14. Haha, great story about The Forgotten. Hopefully it ended with you returning it for the $1.00 and never mentioning the incident again until now.

    You know it, Matt. This was the last battle I had to polish off with this movie. Hopefully it's now permanently expired.

    Agreed, Evan, but don't overlook the wheezing. Who else could simultaneously battle an asthma attack AND a crazy lady?

    Nicholson - another great shouter. That could be another post altogether - "Great Movie Shouters." I'm serious, and not in a bizarre way. Kind of.

  15. Freedomland was some straight-up garbage.

    And I have a a REAL problem with people confusing over-emoting, with great acting.

    If I were to pick Julianne Moore's most snubbed role?

    It would be for The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio.

    She did a great job in that movie.

  16. "Garbage" is almost a compliment for Freedomland.

    I find Moore over-emotes in basically every single role, but I have to plead ignorance on The Prize. I've been skipping most of the movies that feature her in the last few years...

  17. Great film, great review. Totally agree on both Moore and Jackson but let's give credit to William Forsythe for his great supporting role not like anything we've used to see him in. When I saw the film thought it was a masterpiece and was also sure that Moore must have had a nomination but that was not the case. Film was presented as a thriller here in FInland. To me it was more like a Tsechovian play or short story. Sad and wise and forgiving.


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