Robert Redford Blames Distributor for Oscars Snub: ‘We Had No Campaign’

Robert Redford Blames Distributor Oscars Snub:

Robert Redford was in good spirits on Thursday morning, appearing at a press conference to kick off Sundance just hours after he was snubbed for an Oscar nomination. Though Redford was considered a frontrunner in the best actor race for “All Is Lost,” he said that distributor Roadside Attractions, which is partially owned by Lionsgate, hadn’t supported the release as effectively as he would have liked.

When a moderator talked about his exclusion from the Oscars race, the audience booed.

Oscars: Biggest Snubs and Surprises

“Let me speak frankly about how I feel about it,” Redford said. “I don’t want that to get in the way of why we’re here,” referencing his commitment to independent film.

He pointed out that director J.C. Chandor had made his debut at Sundance several years ago.

“I’ve been part of the Hollywood film industry for much of my career,” he said. “I’m very happy about it. Hollywood is what it is. It’s a business.”

Oscars: Complete List of Nominees

“There’s a lot of campaigning going on and it can be very political,” he added about the Oscars race.

Then he took a jab at Lionsgate, the studio that released “All is Lost.”

“In our case, we suffered from little to no distribution,” he said. “I don’t know what they were afraid of. They didn’t want to spend money or they were incapable.”

“We had no campaign to cross over into the mainstream,” he explained.

But he said he had no hard feelings. “Would it have been wonderful to be nominated?” he asked. “Of course. I’m not disturbed by it or upset by it.”

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  1. Thomas S Revitt says:

    This idea of campaigning for an Oscar is sort of sick. Why not just have a public vote and skip “The Academy”. What are “They” for? It is supposed to be a professional judgement of Quality. No nomination at all for All Is Lost or Fruitvale Station. That’s a huge judgement problem. They’ve just become kind of Advertising niche.

  2. Dan Cahill says:


  3. glenn says:

    Uhh, maybe it was because the film wasn’t that great? Fyi, I’m a sailor and over 50 so I would have an interest in such a flick, but I found the movie unwatchable and turned it off after 40 minutes. It wasn’t entertaining. It wasn’t compelling. It seemed very self-aware and pretentious, in fact, in its insistence that I invest and be patient as it bumbled along. Sure, Redford is a good actor but even then it fails as there is no dialog so much of the movie has to be carried physically by body and facial language. Yet his mien seems frozen into a half scowl for the segment I watched, much like say Ben Affleck’s frozen face (as opposed to say the expressive palate of emotions that Christian Bale possesses). And the plain fact is that having an old man doing lots of physical stuff on a boat doesn’t draw you in. He’s graceless and stiff – still quite agile for a guy in his 70s – but not a lot of fun to watch doing physical stuff. Also, the jeopardy is quite predictable and linear in how it develops so the story line and exposition is at best quotidian.

    But hey, what do I know? I just take a movie for what it offers me on the screen – seems that’s the last thing anyone wants to talk about.

    • Pfft says:

      You “turned it off” implies you illegally downloaded it and watched in your living room. This is a film very definitely meant to be seen in a theater. The experiences are completely different. And, yeah, that whole point is that he’s graceless and stiff. The film is by no means perfect, but they make it pretty clear that he’s not used to being in emergency situations and is trying to recall all of his training to make it through this experience.

  4. JOEL GOODMAN says:

    the award thing is “supposed” to be about talent and performance, but in reality it is all about who runs the best PR campaign and who has the most friends voting..Not a surprise for most of us but there are still idiots that believe in Santa and the Academy Awards as real.

    • I agree with Joel Goodman, it’s totally about PR and throwing a lot of money helps as does calling in favours….Maybe they should make the awards a public vote…actors and filmmakers voting for who’s the best actor and filmmaker is bound to get messy and political just as politicians voting for the “Best” politician would do!?!?

  5. Capecarver says:

    The fact is, Redford just isn’t one of the great actors.
    Yeah, he’s reliable and extremely good looking. But that only works in a narrow range of parts.

  6. byeGeorge says:

    DYE…tell PETA to complain about red fox scalping…

  7. Groucho says:

    The Oscars are just a marketing tool anyway, so this story is just as good as a nomination – except that you can’t put “nominated for 5 Academy Awards” on the DVD cover… Oh well… maybe you can put “Unfairly overlooked by the Academy” on the cover…or “Shoulda won an Oscar”….

    I wouldn’t worry too much, Bobby, I’m sure you’ll get by all right.

  8. Oscar D says:

    Maybe another reason Grandpa Redford didn’t get nominated is because his acting sucks.

  9. Susan L. says:

    Robert Redford was and is a powerful force in the film industry. He assists so many young film makers.
    So unfortunate that ageism is so rampant with the young people. Remember, you will be the same age in 30/40 years. You feel it’s a long way off; it will go by as fast as a blink of your eye.

    • Aldo Gonsalvez says:

      Ageism exists but I don’t think that hurts him when the median Oscar voter age is someone old enough to get a senior coffee discount. Christian Bale is just a much better actor . Even when he was a younger matinee idol Redford was never anything more then a serviceable actor.

  10. Herbert West says:

    In other words …


  11. kimdi01 says:

    “Snubbed?” How about not good enough? I gather form his comments that it is not about the quality of work but rather about the money thrown out in propaganda by the studios that garner Oscar nominations.

  12. SmokeRanch says:

    I didn’t even know he had a film out. Or even mattered anymore. Hey Bob, go back to selling home lots at your ski resort.

  13. Bradford says:


    • not sure if the oscar was related to “the company you keep” . . wouldn’t that have fallen into one of those categories ? pretty sure that was a tribute to Bill “we didn’t kill enough cops” Ayers !

  14. Contessa46 says:

    The movie was quite good and I enjoyed it, however that doesn’t seem to matter with “the suits.” the Hollywood suits decide who lives and dies and they are very often wrong. Just take a look at the movie ratings and how much money they put into real dogs. The trouble is they are business people who have no artistic talent or training and they go with their gut, which is often wrong…big time.

    • CitizenTM says:

      The filmmakers have given the power away some time ago and it’s hard to get it back. It’s not so different in other fields, where all the ones who know how to do something are working for those who don’t. Too many MBAs and LAWdegrees – who believe there are models and concepts that they can adhere to without fail. Success always proves them right but failure never proves them wrong.

      If one billionaire daughter and a few smaller versions of her have to fund all the good films and the rest go by spreadsheets than we get what we get.

  15. Daisy D says:

    Oh, come on – who wants to see a silent movie w/an elderly Robert Redford getting his hair wet?

  16. TJ says:

    Even as a journalist with nationwide distribution, I was immediately told “no chance” when I inquired about a phone interview … and I wasn’t alone. Take the time to promote it, Bob. That might help. It’s part of the business you speak of.

  17. abraxis says:

    How an actor can think he understands distribution is always a joke to me. Actors don’t understand that just because they think a part will help them get an award, that doesn’t mean that the film will be profitable. As the distributor gages interest in the film in the marketplace, they must determine how much to spend on a films marketing depending on potential revenues earned. If anyone thinks this movie was destined to make 100 million, they obviously do t understand the business and would prefer millions more get thrown down the drain to feed the vanity of an egotistical actor while diminishing the potential of a distributor to release movies.

  18. DinaBaby says:

    The main reason Redford wasn’t nominated is because his performance wasn’t worthy of consideration. That’s just a fact. The second reason he wasn’t nominated is many of the voters thought ‘All is Lost’ was an infomercial for orange hairpieces.

  19. Joe blow says:

    Oscar? Really? This movie sucked. A real snooze fest.

  20. Jon Raymond says:

    The story made Variety. So we all know what’s rotten in Denmark.

  21. Bill says:

    Kind of like how filmmakers get into Sundance. What’s good for the goose…

  22. concerned_citizen says:

    don’t go away mad bob…just go away…)…please…

  23. Asta says:

    Mr. Redford you are so far above all these silly awards show. You’ve lived your life as a class act, giving back to the community and being a genuinely nice person to all who know you and lives you’ve touched.

  24. Barr Suul says:

    was this movie the sequel to the weather underground movie?

  25. Ray C. says:

    I really enjoyed “all is lost” and have always like Redfords films. Who cares about this politics. I don’t. Great actor.

  26. Brian Olson says:

    The fact Redford has never won an Oscar for acting demonstrates how ridiculous the voting process is in Hollywood. People like him and James Garner don’t suck up to the so-called Hollywood elite.

  27. Dennis Spalla Morris says:

    Robert Redford, a great artist and great American.

  28. TrueBlue says:

    Campaigning for a supposedly meritocratic “award.”
    Junketing and hobnobbing and even outright bribes in order to win an “award.” And nobody blinks an eye.
    So, the Kennel Club has a higher moral standard than Hollywood?
    Gee, who would have thought…

  29. Emiro BURBANO says:

    I thought and when the name of the actor is great, the propaganda is not important and if they main actor is superb the propaganda is a superflus.

  30. I Call BS says:

    Really Bob?


    I just have a few questions…

    How much publicity did you agree to? How many screenings did you host for Academy members? For that matter, other than what you did in Cannes and the small junket you did around New York Film Festival (that you cut short), what did you actually do to support the film?

    Face it, a successful awards campaign for ALL IS LOST would have been a publicity led. You are the movie’s only actor and you were invisible. I’m assuming you declined almost all the press opportunities because you’re ‘above it all’ / ‘beyond all that’.

    You’ve been around the block more than most. You should know noms come from talent visibility and actively courting the voters. Yes, you can spend for noms but ask Harvey how that worked out for him on The Butler this year…

    Don’t blame the distributor. You were the film’s biggest asset and you just didn’t turn up to work.

  31. Carina says:

    Robert Redford is one of the most charismatic talented actor/directors of our time. He has always been underrated probably because of his looks which is quite sad. So many actors today try to emulate his style. Sadly none have come close. So many actors less talented have one oscars for there acting yet RR has only gotten 1 nomination for acting ?? Just ridiclious !!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Dick Delson says:

    Bob, why are you surprised by anything that happens at a Hollywood studio? There should have been an outside publicist working on the film. Take care and best.

  33. EK says:

    Redford notoriously blames distributors and their marketing of his films, going all the way back to Ordinary People which actually won the Oscar. He stormed around Paramount New York headquarters throwing his then weight around complaining about the job the company was doing for his film. When it won, nary a word for all those who toiled on his behalf. A spoiled brat then, just a bit less uppity today but old habits clearly die hard.

  34. carol ross says:

    robert redford is one of the last great movie stars…a fine actor and human being…a man with class….he is a winner no matter what he does…..

  35. Suzanne says:

    Robert Redford is such a Hollywood Icon…I still love his early films,like “This Property is Condemned”, with Natalie Wood…The Movies are to make people “feel something”,good,sad,hope,etc.Actors are people and as people,they have political views…but we shouldn’t condemn them for being people..Look at what Movies we wouldn’t have without him!All many to name here.

  36. Nanny Mo says:

    Oh, brother! At least he was mostly classy about it. How is it that old stars (like Oprah) who are way past-it, aren’t mature enough to say, “Hey, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.” Or “Perhaps my show just sucked and another was better.” But no, like immature children, it’s always somebody else’s fault.

  37. ted says:

    I’d blame it on George Bush, the NRA or Chris Christy.

  38. AlanaSmithee says:

    No Campaign?! Well, they must have done something, the film got a Sound Editing nomination which isn’t exactly one of the showiest categories, like lead actor.

  39. nimportequoi says:

    they were chickens…

  40. James Thompson III says:

    Something similar happened with Charles Burnett’s “To Sleep With Anger.” One sheets and other material was secreted away by the powers that be. So, certain sympathetic people then confiscated them and went around town in the middle of the night posting them up on their own. Later “To Sleep With Anger” which featured the late Vonetta McGee, was voted into the National Archives.

  41. bluetowers says:

    Or perhaps not all people want the cinematic equivalent of a bucket of cold water thrown at them for 2 hours

  42. Henry Deas says:

    Roadside Attractions did a measurable campaign. Robert Redford’s acting was believable and real. Talking to inanimate objects is truly a difficult task and his performance was Academy worthy. It was simply the year of too many terrific actors.

  43. Czmonki says:

    Apparently there are some genuine sailors among the voters…some that would close the hatch of the boat behind them during the storm, so the boat wouldn’t fill up with water and sink…

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