The underrated Tobey Maguire

Posted on 10 March 2014
By Carlton Whitfield
  • Share:

While all eyes at the Oscars were on Leonardo DiCaprio, who lost out on an Oscar for the fourth time, his best mate Tobey Maguire is perhaps even more underrated.

At least Leo has been nominated for an Oscar, something that is tragically missing from Maguire’s curriculum vitae.

There are some films that should have seen Maguire scoop an Oscar nomination. Perhaps the most obvious is the 2003 film Seabiscuit.

Maguire’s poignant and thoughtful portrayal of the feisty yet broken jockey Red Pollard was brilliant and was one of the main reasons the film was nominated for the best picture award at the 76th Academy Awards.

It didn’t just appeal to horse racing betting fans but also to movie-lovers of all ages and both genders. What’s worse is that Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow and Jude Law’s wishy-washy performance in Cold Mountain got the nod ahead of him. It’s a film that really should have seen Maguire at least pick up a nomination.

For most people, Maguire first come to prominence in his titular role in the original Spiderman trilogy.

If we ignore the last instalment which was a logistical nightmare and focus on the original two, bar Christian Bale’s Batman performances, it is the best performance by any actor in a superhero role.

True he shouldn’t have received an Oscar nomination for it but he should be given a whole lot of credence for revitalising the genre; without Tobey this multi-million dollar genre would be on the movie scrapheap rather than Leicester Square every other month.

Although his 2009 film Brothers received mixed reviews, Maguire’s dark portrayal in the lead role was revered.

The late Roger Ebert, arguably the greatest film critic of all time, said this of the film, it’s “Tobey Maguire’s film to dominate, and I’ve never seen these dark depths in him before.”

When the greatest film critic gives a review like that you’d expect a nomination, and while the actor got a Golden Globe nomination he was overlooked by the Academy in favour of Jeremy Renner.

For some reason Maguire seems to be underappreciated by the Academy. Hopefully a star turn in the upcoming chess movie Pawn Sacrifice will get him the nomination he deserves.