Training Day

Training Day
Drama
, Crime, Thriller
2001

Director: Antoine Fuqua Cast: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Tom Berenger, Harris Yulin, Raymond J. Barry, Cliff Curtis, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Macy Gray, Charlotte Ayanna, Eva Mendes, Nick Chinlund, Jaime Gomez, Raymond Cruz, Noel Gugliemi, Samantha Esteban, Abel Soto, Peter Greene, Terry Crews, Fran Kranz, Denzel Whitaker

Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Denzel Washington)

Also Nominated For: Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ethan Hawke)

I First Saw In: 2015

Synopsis: On his first day on the job as a Los Angeles narcotics officer, a rookie cop goes on a 24-hour training course with a rogue detective who isn’t what he appears.

Quotables: ALONZO: Shit, you can shoot me, but you can’t kill me!

And now a Word from the Guise:
This was a well-deserved Oscar win for Denzel Washington. He gave an electrifying performance as a crooked narcotics officer. But I’m wondering if he would have won had Ethan Hawke also been nominated in the leading actor category.

Throughout Oscar history, there’s been a total of 68 occurrences where a single film garnered multiple acting nominations in the same category. 63 of them were dual-nominations, the other 5 managed triple-nominations. 22 of the 68 managed a win for one of the nominated actors, only 1 of which had been a triple-nomination.

It does really make you wonder how much scheming the Academy is doing. Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke had about an equal share of screen time, and the story didn’t seem to be from either of their perspectives, but rather from both. Comparatively, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon both earned nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Thelma & LouiseSo why exactly did Hawke get a Supporting Actor nod instead? Was it because the Academy really wanted Washington to take home the award, and they figured that a dual nomination in the category might hurt his chances? Or was his performance just that much greater than Hawke’s that he was considered the lead?

It certainly wouldn’t be the first time in Oscar history that a supporting role was bolstered to a leading nomination because of a powerful performance: Anthony Hopkins’s Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs and Viola Davis’s Aibileen Clark in The Help come to mind here. I have always been very interested in what factors the Academy consider when they’re nominating actors. Nevertheless, Denzel Washington certainly gave an Oscar-worthy performance in Training Day.

Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233

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