The rubbery-faced comic actor has a mantle stacked with Kid’s Choice Awards, MTV Movie Awards and People’s Choice Awards for his loopy slapstick routine. However, despite winning two Golden Globes for two of the 1990s most versatile performances – in The Truman Show and Man on the Moon – the Academy neglected to nominate him for either film. 1998’s The Truman Show proved that he was not just a funny face, but also an actor of remarkable depth and range. He followed that tour de force the following year with one of the most bravura portrayals of a real-life person ever committed to film.
As the iconoclastic Andy Kaufman, no actor could have brought the same level of delight and torment to an already avant-garde performer than Carrey did. His exclusion with the Academy, who seem to fall head over heels for many biopics – more than half of the nominated actors this year got acclaim for portraying real people – seems downright criminal. Meanwhile, although Charlie Kaufman won an Oscar for writing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Carrey’s nuanced portrayal of lonesome protagonist Joel Barrish was too quiet and slipped past the Academy’s radar. Carrey can be a brilliantly madcap comic actor, as well as a remarkable dramatic presence. Even though he is shying away from dramatic work – I Love You, Phillip Morris was his last performance to receive wide critical acclaim and that was a flop – it is time that Carrey received his due. Bring him back with a strong dramatic director, like Peter Weir and Milos Forman, and maybe the Academy will be reprimanded for their past snubbing.