Sundance: “I'm Fine” Robert Redford Says Of Oscar Snub, Claims “No Campaign” From Roadside Attractions

2014 Sundance Film Festival“Would it have been wonderful to be nominated? Of course,” Robert Redford said today kicking off the 30th anniversary of the Sundance Film Festival. Redford’s remarks during his annual state-of-the-fest news Day One Press Conference - 2014 Sundance Film Festivalconference came just hours after the actor was snubbed as a Best Actor Academy Award nominee in the Oscars’ announcement early this morning. “But I’m not disturbed by it,” added the Sundance founder and president, who was nominate for a Golden Globe for his performance in JC Chandor’s All Is Lost. “I’m fine.”

Related: OSCARS: Academy Chooses Strong Field, But Who Will Take The Gold?

Redford addressed the issue at the beginning of today’s presser. He said he thought one reason for the miss had to do with there being no real Academy campaign for the pic. “These films are reliant on campaigns. We suffered from little to no distribution. We had no campaign to help us cross over to the mainstream. It can get very political,” Redford said of the film, which Lionsgate-owned Roadside Attractions distributed domestically. “I don’t know what they were afraid of. They didn’t want to spend money or they were incapable,” he added. With those comments, Redford also was very practical about his chances for a film that has only made about $8 million at the box office. “Hollywood is a business and a very good one, and I have nothing but respect for it,” the actor added.

Related: OSCARS: Oprah, Redford, Hanks & Other Snubs

Although Redford’s chances for a Best Actor nomination had taken on water of late, the 77 year old was still seen as a contender. He picked up an Honorary Oscar in 2002, won Best Director in 1981 for Ordinary People and was nominated in the same category in 1995 for Quiz Show but the one and only time he was nominated as an Actor was in 1973 for The Sting. Still, despite the lack of a nomination today, All Is Lost holds a special place in the actor’s career he said. “The film I made with J.C. Chandor is something I’m very proud of. It was for me a pure cinematic experience, I love that,” Redford said of the nearly dialogueless pic. “For me as an actor, it gave me a chance to go back to my roots.”

Redford was joined onstage at the Egyptian Theater by Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam and Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper. The trio discussed the festival’s history as well as new elements like this year’s Free Fail panels addressing the notion of failure. “To me change is inevitable. Either you resist it or you go with it and try to change with it as much as possible,” said Redford of the festival and the industry itself. Putnam said that for all the change that has happened over the festival’s three decades, she believes it has stayed true to its roots. “Our job and our role is to create a space and a platform” for independent film and new voices, Redford said. “We’re not interested in the money,” he added in reference to how Sundance screened films do at the box office. “We are who we are.”

Sundance runs from today to January 26.

  1. Have to say, I thought his performance was definitely nomination worthy. As much as I liked Bruce Dern in Nebraska, and Leo in Wolf of Wall Street, Redford performance trumped them both.

    1. Like anything in politics, you can’t win if you don’t campaign. This really has nothing to do with performance.

  2. The year Redford was nominated as best actor for The Sting, Al Pacino also was (for Serpico), but Jack Lemmon actually won for Save the Tiger. Pacino didn’t win his Oscar until many years later for Scent of a Woman. It should be noted that although Redford has never won an acting Oscar, he did win as a director for Ordinary People in 1980. Still, Redford turned in an outstanding performance in All Is Lost, and it would have been cool to see him nominated. But looking forward to seeing him in the next Captain America-another great casting coup for Marvel.

  3. When you get so many screeners, you have to pick and choose which ones to watch. All is Lost just sounded dull. Obviously audiences felt the same way because they just didn’t come. If it’s genuinely a masterpiece over time that will come out as people discover the film.

  4. Absolutely ridiculous he wasn’t nominated.

    All Is Lost is an epic tale, a master class in acting, and a daring exercise in iconography.

  5. Redford wasn’t “snubbed.” He just didn’t get nominated. The Academy voters didn’t think his was one of the best 5 performances of the year, that’s all. Entertainment journalists need to come up with other terms to describe getting passed over.

    1. I, too, am just sick of the word “snubbed” in relation to awards season. There are hundreds of potential nominees voted on by thousands of Academy members. “Snubbed” implies something petty and sinister that just isn’t happening.

  6. You kow, he’s exactly spot-on in what he’s saying. It’s all about the play … and, the movie campaign just didn’t have it.

  7. The truth of the matter is that the category is filled with oscar worthy possibilities, snubbed as another poster said is not correct. Personally I agree with the nominations, to me it was either him or Bruce dern but the one who should win here is Leonardo dicaprio without question. Redford has already won a well deserved oscar and this role he has said leads him to go back to acting, which is a great thing

  8. His comments are spot on and intuitive. It demonstrates an astute awareness/comprehension of the industry, as it stands TODAY. Many actors of his age/caliber see it through a historical POV. I mean, he’s a producer and a director and the overall Sundance guru, so yeah, he gets the biz (or one would hope so) but many actors DO NOT and let their ego and handlers really influence their POV and comments with regard to “snubs” like this. Love him, just the way he is.

  9. You’ll never print this but Roadside really dropped the ball here. They, not Lionsgate, were the film’s true distributor. With this one, they had a real opportunity to finally put themselves on the map with a solid distribution and marketing plan and they completely blew it. Lazy and incompetent just doesn’t cut it, guys, way too many hungry, motivated competitors out there, both in the indy and studio space and, unfortunately, this proves it unambiguously. What a shame you were trusted with such a great film and that this is what you did with it.

  10. Truly disgraceful that Redford wasn’t nominated. The voters are lazy and stupid they should be ashamed of themselves for this omission.

  11. I totally agree. There has to be money to campaign for Oscar. Studios spend millions $$ on their campaigns. ALL IS LOST did get a nomination for SOUND EDITING by Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns. Congrats to them. As a SAG/AFTRA member I voted ALL IS LOST for “best stunt work in a movie.” Mr. Redford did his own stunts in the film at his young age. The film may not win, but I’m a fan of Redford & he did good acting work with ALL IS LOST. At least, it’s making some money. There are so many other films that deserve to make money & don’t. All the best for ALL IS LOST!

  12. I have to agree about how Oscars are basically bought and sold. If you have a “campaign”, sell your soul to the devil and kiss ass for months, then there is a possibility that your film will get nominated and even win and that also means that some very underserving films win based on campaigns. Which is why I think the Oscars are not that great if you can buy an award. You should release your film, and let folks decide. So, sadly, he is right.

  13. Is he saying something surprising or wrong? You think “Philomena” would have gotten so many nominations of Harvey Weinstein wasn’t behind it?

    It’s not enough to make a very good film. You’ve got to have a company/exec out there promoting it vigorously. That’s neither fair nor foul — it’s the way it is.

  14. Im sorry but I am a voting member and I did indeed get a screener. So they spent the money to get it into the hands of members. I even received notices about screening venues for this film. Not every movie has the resources to even do that.

    Why don’t we just stream the screeners so that every film has a chance???

  15. He’s right. Roadside couldn’t market the wheel! And did nothing for a good film and an easy Oscar nom.

  16. I can’t believe the delicious irony of the FOUNDER of the Sundance Film Festival trashing the tiny distributor of his super-pretentious film. He threw Roadside under the bus! Of course they have no money, of course they can’t spend much on P&A, but he’s lucky he got any distribution at all. No-one cares about the film. Seriously, who else was bidding for it if it ended up in a small indie’s hands? !!

    But, then he compliments the studios and their monolithic distribution systems. Aw yes, he remembers the double-truck ads for “The Way We Were” and “Out of Africa,” now those were the good old days!

    He sounds confused to me. Let me clear it up him.

    An independent film is a film that gets made (somehow) but HAS NO DISTRIBUTION. He made an independent film and should not bite the hand that feeds his altruistic endeavors. He should thank all his many collaborators, who risked their lives and financial well-being, to make this turd.

  17. Excellent movie and extraordinary performance, but not one that was EVER going to be a money-maker.

    Not everyone has Harvey Weinstein’s deep pockets and can throw big money into a film for prestige alone. Small distributors who do that are soon out of business.

    Mr. Redford, I’ve always idolized you…but after your comments, I idolize you a little less.

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