You may have heard that fans of The Artist — and in particular of “actor” George Valentin’s unnamed Jack Russell terrier costar and friend — have launched a campaign for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to Consider Uggie, the canine actor, for an Oscar. Certainly the consensus among critics and moviegoers is that the little dog is a scene-stealer. But worthy of an Oscar? It looks iffy for Uggie. From BBC News:
The Academy appears to have had a downer on dogs since the first Oscar night in 1929 when, legend has it, German Shepherd Rin Tin Tin was voted best actor, only for the statue to be mysteriously handed to a human actor, Emil Jannings, instead.
Some think today’s Hollywood establishment are no less wary of sharing the awards night spotlight with a furry rival.
“There is a good chance that a certain number of serious thespians would be very offended to be on a stage with, say, a cute golden retriever who happened to make a very popular film,” says author Susan Orlean, who is campaigning for Rin Tin Tin to be awarded a posthumous Oscar.
On the flip side, lest you think Uggie — who is currently on a British press tour in support of the film — is just a pretty face, know this: he’s also an avid skateboarder.
Perhaps such well-rounded talents do deserve official recognition.
What do you think? Does Uggie deserve an Oscar? Can animals actually earn acting awards? Is there a value — even if only of the novelty kind — in giving them special awards, such as the Palme Dog Uggie received at the Cannes Film Festival last year?
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