–and why he’s okay with that.
Slow down, folks! Don’t just read the title and get all, “What?!”
Relax. You have to read the whole thing for it to make sense.
So, let’s back up a minute and see where this crazy headline comes from…
In my previous post (HERE), I explained why Keanu Reeves shouldn’t be considered an Everyman when it comes to his acting.
If you recall (and if you don’t: read the article), I never said that Keanu couldn’t act. Why, then, would I be so bold as to assert in the title of this article that he will never win an academy award?
An excellent question. Let’s explore.
There are a couple reasons why Keanu will never win an Oscar.
First, they’re really hard to win. One Best Leading Actor and one Best Supporting Actor every year. That’s it. Two acting awards per year. The sheer numbers are against him even getting nominated, much less winning. Hell, people still lose their shit every year when Leonardo DiCaprio does/doesn’t get nominated and/or doesn’t win for yet another quirky, yet impeccably acted, role.
Do you really think that Keanu, playing Neo, John Wick, or Johnny Utah, is ever going to get nominated for an Oscar, much less win one?
And don’t even get me started on movies like The Lake House. Ugh.
Anyway, so there’s that little statistic.
Second, there’s the fact that he’s Keanu Reeves. His is, in many people’s eyes, always going to be Ted. That Excellent Adventure might have really put him on the map in Hollywood, but it stuck him with a name tag that says, “Hi! I’m not a serious actor, so please don’t treat me as such.”
You could even argue that his role in Parenthood was similar to Ted, and even came out in the same year. Really, it’s a much more nuanced role, in my opinion, but as it is superficially so similar, it often gets lost in the mix.
Actually, if you haven’t watched it, it’s a great movie, and you should be checking Netflix right now to see if it’s streaming.
So, yeah, he’s still Ted. He’ll always be Ted.
Ted “Theodore” Logan is NOT going to win an Oscar.
So that’s just a couple factors playing in to why Keanu Reeves will never win an Oscar. But, if you recall, I also led this post with the idea that, in my opinion, he’s okay with that. Why do I think that? Because of one role.
Shane Falco. The Replacements.
I know what you’re thinking: “The football movie?”
Yes, the football movie.
It was on TV the other night, and I couldn’t help myself. I watched it again, as I almost always do. There are a handful of movies I can watch no matter where I come in. A Christmas Story, Starship Troopers, and few others.
And The Replacements falls into that category, as well.
If you haven’t seen it, it’s about a coach who gets hired when professional football players go on strike and the team owners want to finish the season with “scab” players, aka: replacements.
So coach Gene Hackman seeks out a college quarterback who washed out of the pros a few years earlier, along with a hand full of other, talented individuals who can win enough games to yada yada yada….
You get the idea.
Anyway, the important part of this is that Keanu — Shane — has the skills to be a pro, but was put in a position where he could only fail.
So, as the film reaches its climax, and Shane reappears to save the team in the big game from the big, bad, star quarterback, he is confronted with a dose of reality:
“I’m an all-pro quarterback. I’ve got two Super Bowl rings. And you’ll never be anything but a replacement player.”
True to standard Hollywood fare, Shane Falco looks at his teammates and says:
“Yeah, I can live with that.”
This exchange is a metaphor for Keanu’s career and his thoughts on the whole thing.
Keanu has the acting ability (as I argued in my previous post). He makes successful movies (but occasionally mis-steps into films like the aforementioned Lake House). He doesn’t get the respect or recognition he deserves, but he takes it in stride. He makes the movies he wants to make, and he makes them for himself, and for his fans.
So, while he may never win an Oscar (but really, you can never say never, I suppose), I’m fairly certain that if he was confronted by Eddie Redmayne telling him, “I’m a respected British thespian. I’ve got an Academy Award! You never be anything but a cheesy action-hero,” Keanu might very well declare, “Yeah, I can live with that.”