12 Saturn Award-Winning Performances Of The 2010s That Should've Been Oscar-Nominated

The Academy gets it wrong more often than not - and here's a dozen genre turns they missed entirely.

Patrick Stewart Logan

With the movie world on standby, and cinema owners caught in a struggle with studios over the future of the moviegoing experience, one piece of big news may have slipped under the radar this week - the Academy Awards have switched up their rules regarding eligibility for films.

For the organisation - widely considered the pinnacle of film honours - it represents their biggest change since they mooted the idea of an award for Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film a few years ago - a move widely seen as an attempt to widen the net for genre films that usually struggle to get traction with the voting body.

Such fare still often has a hard time during awards season when it comes to cracking anything past below-the-line categories, though Get Out, Logan and Black Panther's recent successes may suggest that the divide is thawing. But more often than not, the best films such as Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Avengers Endgame can hope for is recognition at the Saturn Awards, the premier ceremony for genre works.

More often than not, the latter get a few things right that nobody else does - namely, looking past the trappings of visual razzmatazz or genre bias to crown some truly great turns. That's why we're here to celebrate a dozen that the Saturn Awards got right by honouring with their top gongs - performances that should have been in the conversation for recognition at the Oscars as much as they were elsewhere during the year.

12. Richard Armitage - The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

Patrick Stewart Logan
New Line Cinema

Sir Peter Jackson's return to Middle-Earth proved an ultimately divisive endeavour, stretching out a slim volume into three epic-length movies that were met with a mostly mixed critical reception - yet one thing generally agreed on was the strength of the series' leading turns, anchored in its final chapter by the tortured dwarven king Thorin Oakenshield.

Under heavier prosthetics more than just about any other key player in the film, the former Spooks star digs deep to leave all the internalised anguish accumulated over the years by this exiled leader on the table, clouded by bouts of gold-induced mania and ultimately supplanted by the pained realisation that he must confront a final destiny for his people to truly rest.

In a film undoubtedly crippled by its own grandiosity, it's a starkly personal and underappreciated performance.


Something of a culture vulture, Mr Steel can historically be found in three places; the local cinema, the local stadium or the local chip shop. He is an avowed fan of franchise films, amateur cricket and power-chords.