Most Known For: “Pretty Woman,” “Chicago,” “An Officer and a Gentleman”
Snubbed For: “Arbitrage,” “Chicago”
Richard Gere is one of those movie stars everybody kind of forgets about until he has something new coming out. However, when you look at his resume you remember just how many strong performances he has given in his forty-year career. From working with Terrence Malick to falling in love with Julia Roberts multiple times, Gere is a jack-of-all-trades in Hollywood. But forty-years after he got his start an Oscar nomination is one of the few things not on his resume.
Gere’s starring turn in Terrence Malick’s “Days of Heaven” was the role that got his career going. While the film is known more for its striking visuals, it was a solid start to Gere’s career and could be exhibit A in the argument for why he became a frequent choice for romantic roles – his breakout role in “American Gigolo” being one of them. Two years after “Gigolo” he would pick up his first of four Golden Globe nominations for his lead role in “An Officer and a Gentleman.”
When the 90s rolled around Gere would find the movies, and the co-star, that would help define his career. Julia Roberts and Richard Gere are an iconic on-screen couple thanks to 1990’s “Pretty Woman.” The film netted Roberts’ her first ever Oscar nomination – and a ranking on Award Circuit’s own Clayton Davis’ greatest performances of all-time – but left in the cold come the Academy Awards was Gere. It is hard to say if forced to pick the two Roberts isn’t the clear choice, but the chemistry between the two was fantastic and Gere is no slouch in the film. He would land another Golden Globe nom.
Gere’s next dance with the Oscars would come in 2002, a strong year for the actor. First came the tense sexual thriller “Unfaithful” where he starred alongside Diane Lane. Again, Gere’s leading lady would wind up with the Oscar nomination, but if there were an award for most violent use of a snow globe he’d be a shoe-in.
The most surprising snub of Gere however would come in the Best Picture winning musical “Chicago” from director Rob Marshall. Twelve total nominations, including three for acting, and six wins show it was a big favorite with the Academy, and Gere was coming off his first ever win at the Globes and a SAG nomination to boot. Gere gave a great performance as the crooked lawyer Billy Flynn, one that should have been worthy of his first Academy Award nomination. Jack Nicholson’s nomination for an uninspiring turn in “About Schmidt” is the sore thumb in this situation (having not seen Michael Caine in “The Quiet American”).
Gere stuck with the small to mid ranged budget projects after “Chicago,” with movies like “Bee Season” and “I’m Not There” getting some attention – the latter would win the Robert Altman Award at the Independent Spirit Awards. Gere was nearly able to turn one of those diamonds in the rough into his first ever nom, however.
“Arbitrage” was a film that just barely made into more two hundred fifty theaters, but it created a presence On Demand and Gere’s performance gained a lot of supporters. Playing a Wall Street bad guy, when the effects of Bernie Madoff were still in the collective conscious, the film played into the zeitgeist and Gere’s performance was right in the thick of it. The Globes would come calling once again, and many thought sentiment would pay off, but it wasn’t to be.
Gere’s next couple of projects includes the indie “Franny” alongside Dakota Fanning and Theo James and a part in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2.”
When you read Richard Gere’s bio on IMDB, it says, “Humanitarian and actor.” Gere is never someone who has looked to be a celebrity in the traditional sense, and instead has used his status to try and help others. It should come as no surprise then if awards aren’t at the top of his list – but it would still be nice to see an actor who has had such a long and solid career be rewarded with the a nomination from the industry’s gold standard.