Daniel Radcliffe Deserved an Oscar Nomination for ‘Weird’ Dammit
A lot of folks will likely be tuning into the Academy Awards this year, either because they want to celebrate excellence in filmmaking or just on the off-chance that another fistfight between millionaires will spontaneously break out.
In any case, the nominations for 2023’s Oscars were announced this morning at an annoyingly ungodly hour, as is tradition for some reason. And while we obviously love many of the nominees (give Ke Huy Quan all the Oscars, dammit), the Academy really screwed up by snubbing the star of this year’s best musical biopic: Daniel Radcliffe.
I’m not joking; Radcliffe 100 percent should have been nominated for his work as "Weird Al" Yankovic in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.
Radcliffe’s role was perhaps trickier and more nuanced than it may have seemed. He was essentially tasked with doing two different jobs simultaneously: 1) Conveying the story’s reality and giving an earnest, emotional performance worthy of a biographical drama — while dressed like the “Eat It” guy, no less; and 2) being keenly aware of the fact that it’s a parody movie, and playing to the film’s comedic sensibility, which he also does perfectly.
While Weird isn’t as quote-unquote “prestigious” as your typical Oscar fare — like that movie that solved racism in
1990 2006 2019, or the one about horny Shakespeare — but it still garnered near-universal praise from critics and won an audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival (as did the Oscar-friendly The Fablemans). And Weird recently won two awards, including one for Radcliffe, at the Critics' Choice Awards.
Of course, Weird’s scant festival screenings likely wouldn’t meet the Oscars’ recently restored qualifying theatrical release requirements — but even if it had, the Academy has a long history of snubbing comedies. And when comedies do get nominations and wins, they tend to engender dumb controversies, like how that insulting conspiracy theory suggested that Marisa Tomei didn't actually win Best Supporting Actress for My Cousin Vinny.
Not to mention that Weird’s satirical aims essentially decimate the melodramatic, wildly-inaccurate music biopics that Academy voters frequently fall for. But really, this is the type of music biopic that should garner industry esteem, considering that the musician co-wrote it, and as a parody movie about a parody artist, it arguably represents said musician’s artistic expression in the medium of cinema better than any other music biopic in history.
Sure, Radcliffe didn’t do his own singing like Austin Butler in Elvis — but at least Radcliffe maintained a semblance of his own speaking voice months after the movie was done filming. And Rami Malek won for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, but was essentially lip-syncing to some kind of computerized hybrid of his voice and Mercury’s.
The fact is, Radcliffe gave one of the best movie performances of the year, and it deserves to be recognized for its greatness. Reclaiming any Oscars awarded to Green Book and just giving them to Radcliffe instead is also acceptable.
You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this).