It has been revealed in a recent article in Variety that Paramount has decided to back Robert Downey Jr. as a candidate for an Oscar nomination for his performance in Tropic Thunder. No, it's not a joke, they seriously are.
There's currently a battle brewing in Hollywood over Paramount's surprise decision to push The Soloist from its release date in November to March next year. The largest talent agency in town, CAA, is quite unhappy with Paramount, saying "we were blindsided." Variety shed some additional light on the situation tonight in a new article, adding that Paramount was pressured by Viacom to cut costs for the fourth quarter and Soloist was easiest to move (and apparently isn't that great anyway). But hidden at the end of this article was an interesting tidbit that just made me smile. "The studio will now back an Academy campaign for [Robert Downey Jr.'s] supporting role in Tropic Thunder."
Personally I think this is a brilliant idea! Not only do I believe that comedies are severely under-represented at the Oscars (some would say it is as challenging as a performer to make the audience laugh as it is to make them cry) but I think Downey Jr.'s performance in that film was head and shoulders above almost anything else we've seen this year.
I concede that he probably doesn't deserve to win the Oscar for best supporting actor (Heath Ledger will most likely snag it posthumously) but a nomination would be a massive upset in itself.
Unfortunately I feel it is extremely unlikely to happen, the main reason being that in the film Downey Jr. lampoons actors that take themselves overly seriously, the very kind of people who are likely to be in the Academy and be part of the voting process. What do you guys think of the idea?