I love this video of the young Spielberg who was famously “snubbed” for Jaws.  He learned his lesson later with The Color Purple when he was snubbed again he made sure there were no cameras around. Now, they didn’t snub him but are about to award Best Picture to a director who was snubbed. Spielberg can’t catch a break. But he’s a beautiful loser, and I’m going down with the ship, by god, down with the ship! He was my hero as a young girl and he’s my hero now.  The industry can argorfuckthemselves.

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  • Henry Z,

    Always a bridesmaid?

    Spielberg won for the masterful Schindler’s List, now considered one of the greatest films of all time. He also won for the critically acclaimed Saving Private Ryan. Not only that, but he has an Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy. I think he’s been rewarded enough…..considering, Martin Scorsese has only been honored once.

  • Zach

    Pretty sad, even now. From Wikipedia:

    Jaws became the last film to be nominated for Best Picture and to win all of its awards except for Picture until Traffic 25 years later. Jaws also is one of the few films to be nominated for Best Picture despite not being nominated in any directing, acting, or writing categories.

    The script and Robert Shaw were also ripped off. Spielberg had some worthy competition that year, though. I’m interested in what he thought was the actress surprise was?

  • Andrew

    Come on Sasha, he has won two best director Oscars and BP for Schindlers list. He is not ALWAYS a bridesmaid. This has gotten absolutely ridiculous

  • Natasha

    Whether Lincoln deserves best pic or not against the competition is for another post. But Spielberg definitely deserves a lifetime achievement award. Wait, doesn’t he already have a few? Well, he deserves more.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    “Now, they didn’t snub him but are about to award Best Picture to a director who was snubbed”

    Totally agree with this. He should have been in instead of Milos Forman and the director line-up would have been PERRFECT. 5 titans.

    But comparing Spielberg’s snub for freaking JAWS to Affleck’s “snub” for ARGO is an insult to the legacy of JAWS. A true seminal cinematic masterpiece, timeless. ARGO is just the flavor of the moment because the director is handsome and making a comeback and meeting with everyone and their housekeeper.

  • 2013 will be as long a year for the AD readers as 2011 was, I see.

    Interesting that it’s the people supporting Argo that are emotional.

  • Zach M.

    Always a bridesmaid? The guy with two Oscars and renowned as one of the most successful filmmakers of all time? What on God’s green earth are you talking about?

  • Zach

    Honestly, what did you want her to write, “Sometimes the Bridesmaid”? The expression is “always.” Sure, Spielberg has won twice for directing, one for producing, and one special award. Guess what? He’s been snubbed, in one fashion or another, many more times than he’s won. He COULD have fairly won for Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders, E.T., or The Color Purple. Even Saving Private Ryan COULD have won for Picture. Enough of this mentality that if someone has already won once or twice, they can never be overdue or ripped off. Someone shouldn’t be winning an Oscar just because it’s their one moment in the sun.

  • James

    Spielberg has been a bridesmaid because he’s perpetually in contention for the Oscars. His films generally straddle art and entertainment quite successfully, and they’re accessible enough to appeal to a broad audience. To say that he’s always been a bridesmaid is plainly wrong, though, and a pretty desperate attempt to conjure up sympathy for someone who has been feted over and over again by Hollywood.

  • Yvette

    To me ‘always a bridesmaid’ eludes more to the backlash, disrespect he gets on a regular basis, from film critics, internet geeks….
    Yeah, he’s got hardware, but he has also been the object of disdain.

  • Zach M.

    It just seems ludicrous to call Spielberg the “bridesmaid” on this year of all years when his film leads the Oscar nominations and he actually has a BD nomination. If anything, Affleck is this year’s bridesmaid.

  • Zach M.

    Or PTA or Tarantino, for that matter.

  • Zach M.

    Or Nolan. (I swear, I’ll stop now)

    I mean, come on, just let Affleck have his moment now; Spielberg doesn’t need any more validation. This is a guy who has been considered one of the premiere directors of our time since the 70s; do you remember how much of a punchline Affleck was for most of his acting career? He has only recently been lucky enough to have had such a career renaissance as he is having now; just let him enjoy this.

  • SeLes

    Spielberg is so consistently amazing. The thought that he might lose to a guy who a year ago was arrested for groping his transgender niece for a rom com between a girl barely out of her teens and a grown man churns my stomach. He’s clearly the most deserving but people take him for granted.

  • Jordan

    We’re talking about Steven freaking Spielberg, arguably the most influential American director of all time, an he’s only won two Oscars for directing. That’s what Sasha is saying is so outrageous. Do you know how many other sub-par directors have two Oscars? Milos Forman directed two great films that he both deservedly won for, but think of all the masterpieces and near-masterpieces Spielberg has made. The fact that he only has two is ludicrous.

  • Antoinette

    fyi, James Spader is really selling LINCOLN on Leno tonight.

  • James

    Only three directors have won more than two Oscars. Spielberg represents Hollywood,both its good and bad, in a way that probably no other director does. Lots of far greater directors never came close to winning an Oscar, surely because they were less enmeshed in Hollywood than Spielberg is. Plus he’s probably going to win again this year…

  • Question Mark

    Well, now I’ve seen everything. STEVEN FREAKING SPIELBERG is a hard-done-by underdog?! You can (quite legitimately) argue that Spielberg could’ve and should’ve won for his past films, but come on, the guy has two directing Oscars, one producing Oscar and a Thalberg Award sitting on his shelf. Stay tuned for Sasha’s next post, where she bemoans the poor New York Yankees only winning one World Series in the last 12 seasons.

    Ironically, that clip from 1975 lists FOUR directors (Lumet, Kubrick, Fellini, Altman) who were all legitimately Academy bridesmaids and have a grand total of zero Best Director Oscars between them.

    p.s. If they ever make a Spielberg biopic, they absolutely need to cast David Duchovny.

  • Mateus Selle Denardin

    “The industry can argorfuckthemselves”, indeed.

  • Niles

    Awesome article Sasha hahahahaha

  • Lenny

    In my opinion, if Argo does end up winning the whole thing, it would not be as colossal a travesty as something like Crash upsetting Brokeback Mountain. Argo is a great film and a worthy recipient of the Best Picture Oscar should it win.

    I think in the effort to promote the merits of Lincoln and Spielberg on this website, there has been disdain and unfair scrutiny over the fact that Argo has seemingly overcome all the obstacles beset upon it by the Academy and is now in an extremely favorable position. Just because the industry has chosen to reward Argo and dismiss Lincoln on several occasions this season does not make either film any less great than they actually are.

    Lincoln is a tremendous accomplishment featuring Spielberg’s best directorial job in years. Its heart and soul lies in Tony Kushner’s magnificent script and DDL’s captivating performance. It is a film that deserves to be recognized by the Academy.

    Argo is also a tremendous accomplishment that also features a wonderful directorial effort, a razor-sharp script, terrific ensemble work, tight editing it’s just a very well-made film.

    To dismiss either film based on the politics of the Hollywood industrial complex and Oscar campaign self-promotion is, I think, grossly unfair. Both were, are, and will continue to be unique contributions to cinema long after this Oscar ceremony is over.

  • TB

    Óscar or no Oscar, this guy is pure genius. Brilliant. I will be showing my kids his films for the rest of my life. The academy can kiss his ass. Not one of them (Scorsese maybe) is in his league. And they like to punish him for it. This guy should have 4 maybe 5 BD oscars. I believe that’s the reference Sasha was making calling him a bridesmaid.

  • manrico1967

    Ok, this is embarrassing.

    Feeling sorry for a guy who’s won 3 Oscars, 2 for Director?

    Are you freaking kidding me?

    Absurd, just absurd…

  • Spielberg won Best Director twice!!!
    Woody Allen still have one.
    Think about it.

    And Lincoln is part of the industry, so when you say ” The industry can argorfuckthemselves.”, Lincoln can ARGO FUCK ITSELF TOO.

  • Mac

    I enjoy Spielberg and I love Raiders of the Lost Ark, unfortunately he doesn’t do much with actresses anymore, and never really did to begin with.
    The one time passed the Bechdel Test was with the Color Purple and he’s never tried again, almost 30 years later. His style of filmmaking also pushed actresses aside as big summer blockbusters didn’t have much need for more than one female character (the hero’s love interest). Spielberg is still a genius, it just sucks that so many directors decided to emulate him and Lucas for the better part of the past three decades, often resulting in poor quality and great boxoffice. Actresses have fallen in stature during his reign.

    I realize that Sally Field has just been nominated for an Oscar, but in a movie about the Lincoln presidency, you have to include Mary Todd Lincoln. If it wouldn’t have been a glaring omission, I think he would have left her out.

  • JJ

    The problem with the ‘Berg is his overly transparent m.o.: to alternate between popcorn movies and Oscar pictures. It’s made people cynical. The guy wants to have his cake and eat it too. It’s just ego mania gone wild. A more admirable filmmaker is someone like Tarantino who goes balls out making the movies he wants to make, makes them well, then waits for audiences and award people to catch up with him. Lincoln is oscar bait in a tired way. And frankly, after horrible popcorn movies like The Lost World and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, SS doesn’t deserve to get quick prizes just because he’s switched back into oscar mode.

    I say all this as a huge fan. But not of his work this decade. I’m a bigger fan of the Jaws, Raiders, ET through Empire of the Sun period.

  • Terometer

    “Spielberg won Best Director twice!!!
    Woody Allen still have one.”

    Exactly. Spielberg is a winner.

    [Nope. Over the line, Terometer. Wrong 12 words. Don’t start that, ok? – Ryan]

  • Zooey

    Spielberg has 2 Oscars for directing and one for producing. So he’s not really a bridesmaid. And that when directors who Spielberg even can’t dream of catching like Mallick and Hitchcock or Hawks or Kubrick or Bergman have zero Oscars for directing (Scorsese & Woody Allen & Coppola have one each).. So no, he’s no real bridesmaid. I understand campaigning and rooting for favorites but pretending that he’s the Peter O’Toole of directors is manipulation. Pure manipulation and actually a failed attempt.

  • LUCY




  • Tero Heikkinen

    “Spielberg won Best Director twice!!!
    Woody Allen still have one.
    Think about it.”

    I don’t think this is a good comparison. Woody Allen’s directorial efforts are as good as his screenplays and he lets actors say his lines however they like – not interfering. Annie Hall had inventive shooting/editing styles, but usually Woody’s films are about the story, dialogue and the performances. Directing is not the strongest suit in his films.

  • Daveylow

    “Annie Hall had inventive shooting/editing styles, but usually Woody’s films are about the story, dialogue and the performances. Directing is not the strongest suit in his films.”

    This a very narrow definition of directing.

  • Mel

    I see Meryl Streep never had the “Always a Bridesmaid” line last year from this site in the run-up to the Oscars.

  • John

    I’m so over argofuckyourself.

    But excellent post/clip. I wouldn’t say that Spileberg is a loser, so to speak. Nor is he overdue, necessarily. He deserves to win at least one Oscar this year, but he is not overdue. But I do feel like he deserves more than the 3 Oscars he does have.

  • Luke

    I love Spielberg too but this post must surely be a joke.

  • dinasztie

    I see you’re a fan and I really admire your passion, but seriously, this makes Spielberg seem like a struggling independent filmmaker, not a billionaire with an amazing, highly regarded career and three Oscar wins. 😀

  • Tony

    “Do you remember how much of a punchline Affleck was for most of his acting career? He has only recently been lucky enough to have had such a career renaissance as he is having now; just let him enjoy this.”

    He was and still is a mediocre actor. Never saw him really acting, giving a performance. Me, myself was the first to support his directorial attempts mainly because i liked GBG and The Town. I also liked Argo and thought that maybe there lies a lot of potential in him as director and maybe writer. However, right now i actually feel sorry for him. So unnecessarily hyped and strained when he yet has to achieve full artistic maturity.

  • Koleś

    If there is a bridesmaid in this crowd it’s Lee. Each time his movie is up for some oscars he gets the shaft. Yeah, sure, he won director, but everyone knows he should get a lot more for BM. Same as “Crouching Tiger” and “Sense and Sensibility”. He also should get some recodnition for “Ice Storm” and “Lust, Caution”. He’s the real bridesmaid.

  • Zach

    Nobody seems to lose more than Spielberg (and Meryl Streep), and several have won more than him.

    Clint Eastwood has 4. Million Dollar Baby was good, but come on, that was a weak year; as if it equals Spielberg’s typical achievements?

    Woody Allen also has 4, 3 from screenwriting, so the comparison is off, but still, as great a writer-director as Woody Allen is, Spielberg is a bit more versatile. Sure, Allen only has 1 for directing, but the point is that the Academy is a bit stingier with Spielberg, and that’s what hurts this year when Affleck isn’t exactly overdue.

    Imagine if Affleck were nominated for Director. He’d probably win Picture AND Director and be tied with Spielberg for 3 Oscars. Does that seem fair? Does being only 1 behind Spielberg seem fair, frankly?

  • Mel

    Nothing is exactly fair. Hilary Swank shouldn’t have 2 Best Actress Oscars either and certainly not the second one anyway.

  • Zach

    Ang Lee has been ripped off too, but just not as many times as Spielberg. And he didn’t produce Brokeback Mountain, so it’s not like they didn’t give him his due personally when they snubbed the film.

  • steve50

    Good point, Zach, but if Affleck had been nominated I think we’d have a much more level playing field in that a major component of the Argo campaign would be missing.

    Instead of having the powerful weapon of the “snub” factor, Argo would be rolling in the mud with other some of the other nominees over historical accuracy. It’s weakness in the overall acting compared to all of the other nominees would be more prominent, too.

    The directors’ branch, in a moment of insanity, “mistakenly” nominated the five best directors. This was spun into being perceived as a major injustice and created a huge wave of sympathy for Affleck and Argo. Add to that the previous snub for The Town (a better film than Argo). That kind of traction is unbeatable.

    Nobody is going to criticize poor Argo now. It would have been a frontrunner regardless, but under current circumstance, it will be clear sailing right to the end.

  • Koleś

    Well, if you wanna look at it this way it’s Wyler who got robbed the most, 15 noms and “only” 3 wins :). Actually if Spielberg looses both of his nods this year he’ll tie Wyler 🙂

    How about that Edith Head? 35 nods and only 8 wins. She’s been ripped of 27 times :). And don’t get me started on John Williams. 🙂

    You want to know what “ripped off” means? Ask Kevin O’Connell.

  • Mr-Cinema

    @ Zach.

    I completely agree about Spielberg and the screenplay getting ripped off. But especially Robert Shaw. That was an iconic performance he gave and he most definitely should have been recognized. That’s probably one of the best performances ever that wasn’t nominated.

  • Zach

    Definitely agree. Oddly enough, the Globes that year nominated only one Supporting Actor who went on to get an Oscar nomination, and that was Jack Warden in Shampoo, which I did see, but he wasn’t better than Shaw. I haven’t seen The Sunshine Boys with George Burns, but I think both Shaw and Brad Dourif in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest were richly deserving.

    Koleś, O’Connell and Williams have definitely been ripped off, and probably Head too. But the thing about Wyler is, while he was a very versatile director, there were times he didn’t HAVE to be nominated but was just thrown in for good measure. Or he simply had no chance of winning or didn’t deserve it that year. The difference for me with Spielberg, and even with Meryl Streep (though I STILL probably wouldn’t have voted for her to win for anything after Sophie’s Choice), is that they keep coming back with first-rate work that could have won in weaker or less politically motivated races.

  • You know what? I forgive the Academy for the JAWS omission in the Directing category.

    Spielberg should’ve been nominated, yes, and he should’ve also been runner-up to Robert Altman for the win BUT… Spielberg was so young back then… Sometimes, AMPAS makes newbies suffer a little before their first nomination.

  • Kane

    Sure Spielberg has been snubbed for a few films and probably should have won for one of his other nominations. In that sense you can say he’s “been” a bridesmaid plenty of times, or just the person who was left out of the wedding party. But you can’t say he’s “always” a bridesmaid, unless of course you’re speaking of this year then I might agree with you since he hasn’t won a director award…except for Dallas Fort-Worth I believe.

    When it comes to directors who are the unsung bridesmaids I would say David Fincher (who deserved to be nominated for Zodiac as well as TSN and Button), Paul Thomas Anderson and I would almost say Spike Jones. As for those who were never invited to the wedding party? Nolan.

  • Look, while I appreciate watching baby Spielberg understandably whine about not being nominated for Best Director for Jaws (a film I can literally watch in a loop and not tie of it), the man has since done won TWO Best Director Oscars, and he could win his THIRD one later this week. In the same film, DDL stands to win his THIRD damn Oscar… while one equally deserving performance will could once more go winless.

    I don’t feel sorry for Spielberg… the man is a legend, he’ll be fine… people love ARGO. Deal with it people!

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Daveylow, I know. I love Woody 1/3 of the time, but what can you do when you throw a film out every year. When his script blows there’s very little to admire in other aspects of filmmaking. I think he knows when he has written a wonderful script and pushes harder then.

    I mean, compare Midnight in Paris and To Rome with Love. The latter suffers in every aspect and the source is the screenplay. He’s a writer more than a director, and I’m not changing my opinion. Spielberg is the opposite, even when Close Encounters and A.I. are very good scripts.

  • Tufas

    Meryl Streep wasnt a bridesmaid last year even though she clearly has been “snubbed” more times than Spielberg.
    Spielberg has 2 directing awards already and in the years of the color purple and jaws snubs there were other and more worthy achievements from others.
    I wonder if it was zero dark thirty winning all the precursors this year instead of argo, if this blog would be condemning kathyn bigelow as much is it is doing affleck.

    Fact: Argo is better than Lincoln. Proof: sag, dga, globes, nbr, baftas, etc, etc, etc. I cant remember the last time a movie won so much. Oh yeah I do: brokeback mountain. Another movie millions of miles better than Borelincoln.


  • Ryan Adams

    “I wonder if it was zero dark thirty winning all the precursors this year instead of argo, if this blog would be condemning kathyn bigelow as much is it is doing affleck. ”

    Um, you’re nuts if you think you’ve seen Sasha or me or really anybody else on this site “condemning Ben Affleck.” You are delusional, hysterical, crazy if you think that.

    Would I feel differently if Zero Dark Thirty was on the verge of winning Best Picture?

    Hell yes I would feel better about that, because I think ZDT is far superior to Argo.

    I guess you’re trying to imply that … heck, I have know idea what you’re trying to imply. Are you saying that the only directors we like and support this year are Spielberg and Bigelow? You are delusional, hysterical, crazy if you think that.

    So now that the evidence is piling up that you’re quite delusional, hysterical, and crazy about several different things in one short comment, it’s no surprise that you are delusional, hysterical, crazy if you think that the SAG and the DGA are infallible arbiters of what film is “best” of the year.

    Because both groups screw up all the time. They are wrong as often as they are right.

    Please stop being so delusional, hysterical, etc.

  • Ryan Adams

    “Borelincoln”… seriously?

    Catchy. You should have 1000 t-shirts printed up with Borelincoln emblazoned across the chest in glitter ink. I bet they’d sell like hotcakes! That’s so witty!

  • Yvette


  • Valerie

    Hey I get your 2 pets for the season, Lincoln and ZDT, aren’t winning Best Picture, and Argo likely is, iI think you’ve gone off the deepend this awards season. Sasha you generally are spot on but SS a bridesmaid? Maybe in an alternate universe. Alfred Hitchcock, who had a slew of brilliant films never won either, Scorcese has one for a lessor film than his masterpieces. But SS is a bridesmaid? HeyI love him. He has a gift for making films that appeal to the general audience, are entertaining, and also critically applauded. But he’s in no way shortchanged.

    If you are so against the political and politics in Hollywood, then how about a column about Emmanuelle Riva, who clearly gave the performance of the year in terms of nominees, but has gotten overshadowed for months because of the media machine in Hollywood pushing 2 young and attractive actresses who while both credible, can’t touch what she did. People in the US think she’s a breakout at 85? She’s a legend in Europe, again looking at how self obsessed we Americans are.

  • Yvette

    It’s about being taken for granted, and the level of consistency and versatility and always getting shit from critics. If anyone else had directed Minority Report, Munich, and even a trifle like Catch Me If You Can they would have ruled at Oscar time. Anyone can be an underdog …
    And anyone who has Clooney, Damon, Pitt et al in his corner is never an underdog. You’re
    buying into the hype.
    Artists who are so successful that it becomes a liability…and taken for granted ..that’s what Sasha is saying.
    Some of you seem really young because any who has been readin g about film for awhile knows that Spielberg is the guy the film
    Intelligentsia loves to demean. And who’s the genius who said that Spielberg’s ego is so big that wants to ‘have his cake and eat it to’? ny making serious and popcorn movies….
    It’s called versatility Sherlock.

  • Ryan Adams

    Tufas, Go find the posts where I have condemned Ben Affleck. There’s apparently a Jekyll/Hyde version of Ryan Adams who’s running around aggressively threatening everybody and condemning Ben Affleck, so I’d like to confront this devious doppelganger prick. I hope he’s a bottom ’cause I’m I top.

  • filmboymichael

    “I hope he’s a bottom ’cause I’m I top.”


  • CB

    I loved ‘War Horse’. I say this to prove I’m not anti-Spielberg.

    Now, I have to ask: How in God’s name is he always the bridesmaid? He has 2 Oscars for directing, 1 more for Picture, the Thalberg Award, $4 billion, practically universal respect. What the hell has Spielberg ‘gone through’ that is so bad? Jesus. If he saw this post, he’d laugh his ass off.

  • Pierre de Plume

    I can appreciate the poetry of this post – have no desire to get down and dirty.

  • Marc Roma

    @Question Mark: great comment that tops even better alias…

    “Ironically, that clip from 1975 lists FOUR directors (Lumet, Kubrick, Fellini, Altman) who were all legitimately Academy bridesmaids and have a grand total of zero Best Director Oscars between them.”

    Enough said. The list of Oscar-deservers with ZERO nominations or wins is endless. This is how it works.

    Sasha, you keep pointing how this is about Mr. Right Now, how the heart wants what it wants, etc. You understand how this circus works better than any of us does.
    But then… the amount of frustration (and outcry) at every Viola Davis, Social Network or Spielberg apocalypse is quite surprising.

    As far as I like Tarantino, Almodovar, etc I know their movies will never win an Oscar for BP. This is how it is. I am happy that a decent and well-crafted feature like Argo will take it. It’s the opposite of an apocalypse, actually. It’s consensus, Hollywood, safety. = Academy

    (Also, I happen to find Lincoln boring. Maybe that’s the reason why it won’t win? Or is that impossible to consider?)

  • Zach

    I love how people say that Spielberg hasn’t been snubbed in the past because there were “better” directors. But he should lose this year not because something or someone else is better this year, but because Lincoln is boring.

    And you don’t even have to be the best to win when you’re not Spielberg, so I’m not sure why you have to be the best to win when you are Spielberg.

  • steve50

    “Intelligentsia loves to demean.”

    So do the mouthbreathers, Yvette – they just don’t know what it’s called when they do it.

  • Daveylow

    What happens if Ang Lee wins the Best Director Oscar? Are there going to posts that Spielberg was robbed? How will this play out? I don’t know.

    I do know if Russell wins I won’t be happy.

  • What happens if Ang Lee wins the Best Director Oscar?

    I’d be thrilled. I feel sure Sasha would be happy too. Most all the readers would be pleased.

    Not sure how this is a mystery, but hope I’ve cleared it up and reassured you.

  • zig

    Fellini. (They went for Fellini–it bears repeating.)

  • Astarisborn

    Ryan, from your last comment it only leads me to say I love you.

  • CK

    If you want to feel sorry about someone, chose someone like Roger Deakins. He has been nominated 10 times and NEVER won, not even when No Country For All took Best Picture. Let’s please stop feeling sorry about a great director who’s gotten more acclaim than pretty much every other director alive. He’s one of a handful of people, regular non-movie folks would actually recognize. He’s won TWO best director Oscars and one for Best Picture. Stop the pity party. It’s laughable.

  • Proman

    Speileberg has won MORE awards than any other filmmaker in history. He is already the most popular and well known director in the world. He is absolutely ahead.

  • JWill

    Spielberg will always be on top.
    Awards mean nothing in the fullness of time.It’s
    how a film comes to be regarded after many years
    that counts.There are plenty of oscar winning
    movies that never became classics and plenty
    of classics that never won any or many oscars,
    certainly not Best Picture.Spielberg makes movies
    that last.He always has.And to an
    earlier writer:
    Fact-Citizen Kane is better than How Green Is My Valley.
    Fact-Apocalypse Now is better than Kramer vs Kramer.
    Fact:Raging Bull is better than Ordinary People.
    Fact:Lincoln is better than Argo.

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