When Toni Collette’s Performance in ‘Hereditary’ Was Snubbed By the Oscars

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It’s been said countless times since the film came out, but let’s say it again: How good was Toni Collette in Hereditary? And how the hell did this incredible performance not earn her an Oscar nomination?!

Watch our video spotlight below and scroll down for the complete transcript/article write-up:

The acclaimed Australian star put in incredible work in the 2018 horror film from writer-director Ari Aster, playing the mother of a family who is being haunted by occurrences – both tragic and hauntingly malevolent.

As Annie, Collette’s performance is nothing short of spectacular. From harbouring troubling thoughts and emotions that even she can’t explain, to the horrifying reaction and subsequent anguish, depression and resentment that unfolds after that shocking death. The less said about that death and that sequence for now, the better. It’s a jaw-dropping moment that I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.

Collette’s cries and screams were utterly unnerving. And who can forget her stunning acting during that dinner scene?

ALSO READ – ‘Hereditary’ MOVIE REVIEW: Toni Collette Superb in Nightmarish Horror Film

As a woman on an emotional downhill decline, Collette’s performance is utterly exhausting – in the best way possible. One can only imagine just how deep into her gut and what recesses of her mind Collette had to reach for some of those scenes.

Collette herself has described her part in Hereditary as one of the most demanding and difficult roles in her career, even finding herself taking to exercise to deal with all those emotions.

She told The Wrap in 2018:

“It was deeply draining. I think that is when I really started hitting the gym. It’s the first time in my life, I just knew that I had to literally move energy out of my body. This is the film where I learned how to take care of myself as an actor”

Talking to The Guardian in 2018, director Ari Aster said that casting Collette was “a no-brainer.”

“She’s playing someone very tortured and conflicted, and really jumps off at the deep end. I told her that I was looking for a kamikaze performance, and she delivered.”

While the whole cast in Hereditary puts in fantastic work, including Alex Wolff as Peter, Gabriel Byrne as Steve and young Milly Shapiro as Charlie, it’s Collette’s turn as Annie that serves as the glue to the film’s narrative thread.

Hereditary really should have been Collette’s second Oscar nomination. She earned her first and only Oscar nom thus far for The Sixth Sense – and that was back in 2000. You could say that the Academy has long had a problem with recognising and awarding horror film performances – although 1974’s The Exorcist was certainly an exception. Stars Ellen Burstyn, Jason Miller and Linda Blair were all nominated for acting nods. The film won two: best adapted screenplay and best sound.

So what did you think of Toni Collette in Hereditary? Do you think she was worthy of an Oscar nomination? What other great horror movie performances do you think have been overlooked? Let us know in the comments.

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Guillermo, Founder and Manager of Screen Realm, lives and breathes all things screen and pop culture. He has over eight years' experience in the media landscape in a career that has encompassed television, radio, and the online space. When he's not working hard on Screen Realm, you can find him at a local Sydney cinema or catching up on his ever-growing list of must-watch TV shows. He's also started a video podcast with his wife, Cassandra. Find the LOUD OBSERVERS right HERE.