Oscar Justice: Andrew Garfield

Welcome to Season 3 of Oscar Justice, a weekly feature at IceCream4Freaks.  It’s a simple concept: I give an Oscar to someone who rightfully deserved it, then I follow the repercussions down the line until I am satisfied.

This week on Oscar Justice: Andrew Garfield in Tick, Tick…BOOM!


2016 Best Actor, Hacksaw Ridge – Lost to Casey Affleck, Manchester By the Sea
2021 Best Actor, Tick, Tick…BOOM! – Lost to Will Smith, King Richard


Despite being born in California, Andrew Garfield moved to England at the age of three. He began taking acting classes at age nine. Invited by a friend to join a drama class at age 16, Garfield went on to attend drama school.

Garfield began working on the stage in England, and eventually to television. Following appearances in Channel4’s Sugar Rush and two episodes of Doctor Who, he made his film debut in Robert Redford’s Lions for Lambs. Follow up roles in The Other Boleyn Girl and the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus led to his breakthrough in Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go.

In 2010, Garfield co-starred in The Social Network. Gaining near universal acclaim, the actor just missed the Supporting Actor lineup, but was sent into the stratosphere of fame. Two films as Spider-Man, a Tony nomination, a Martin Scorsese film, and his first Oscar nomination for Hacksaw Ridge followed.

2021 was big. Garfield starred opposite Jessica Chastain in her Oscar-winning role for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. Then, he starred in his own Oscar-nominated performance for Tick, Tick…BOOM! He capped it off with his memorable resurgence as Spider-Man in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Garfield has no where to go but up.


Andrew Garfield defeats Will Smith at the 2021 Oscars for Best Actor in a Leading Role.


I never like giving an Oscar to someone for a performance that isn’t worthy. Since I already got an Oscar for Smith, there was an open slot for this year. Denzel already has a different Oscar from the same Oscar Justice episode while Javier Bardem has a well-deserved Oscar already (and I certainly didn’t want to give him another for Being the Ricardos). That leaves Benedict Cumberbatch and Garfield.

I love Power of the Dog. It was my number two film of 2021. He is brilliant in a brilliant film. I looked at the two options and was faced with a great problem: which amazing performance do I get to reward? Garfield is in the running for one of the best performances in any category of the year. He is a ball of insecurity while also being confident in his abilities. Jonathan Larson is undeniably large talent while understanding the limitations of entry into his field. It is a balancing act.

Garfield (and director Lin-Manuel Miranda) avoid making him completely cuddly while also giving him a sense of frustrated ignorance. Some critics hate the character, while others view him as a flawless human. The gray is where I love the performance. Garfield transforms into this man while maintaining his innate watchability. He is in nearly every scene and is utterly captivating. Plus, his vocal ability does not go unnoticed. Garfield may win an Oscar one day, but I’m not sure he’ll deliver a better performance.


First and foremost, this justice has absolutely nothing to do with Will Smith’s actions during the 2021 Oscar ceremony. Regardless of my feelings on his actions that night, it wasn’t taken into consideration. I am cooler on his performance than most, and would have probably ended up doing this anyway.

Secondly, Smith already has an Oscar. When I fixed Al Pacino’s Oscar history, the repercussions gave an Oscar to Smith in 2001 for Ali. For the first time in this series, someone I had retroactively given an Oscar to gets an Oscar after the fact. Since he already has that one, I’m giving Smith’s 2021 statue to Garfield. If Garfield wins in the future, I might give that statue to someone else as well.

It’s fun how that works.


Andrew Garfield wins Best Actor in 2021 over Will Smith
Will Smith has his Oscar from a previous Oscar Justice episode

Next time on Oscar Justice

Oscar Justice goes back further than it ever has before…all the way to 1933!

All Oscar Justice category fixes

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