The rhino scene in ‘Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls’ deserves to win every single Oscar

Ok, here’s the scene.

Back story: Ace is trying to find out what the bad guys are up to blah blah blah. It’s basically a contrivance to allow this scene to happen. And what a scene it is.

43 seconds in and Ace is already fully nude. The remaining two minutes are simply the funniest acts ever recorded on film. Yes, I really do think this.

Go on. Watch it again now.

I think we can all agree that this deserves to win every single Oscar going. And let’s go over the reasons why.

(Note: I’m using the current award categories, rather than those of the time, because we’re judging the scene by today’s standards and also this is my blog so shut up).

Best Picture

This one goes without seeing. There’s nothing better than this piece of film.

Best Director

The film, and so presumably this scene, was directed by Steve Oedekerk. Steve’s had a mixed career of directing, producing, and acting in a whole load of films – including the criminally underrated Kung Pow: Enter the Fist. But you probably haven’t heard of him.

Surely Ace Ventura 2 was the height of his directing career. And this scene is the height of the movie. Therefore, this scene deserves the best director award.

(As an aside, surely the best director award should go to whoever directed best picture? Otherwise, you’re basically saying “Great job on making that film! It’s the best film. But… we’re giving the best film-maker award to someone who made another film instead LOL!”)

Sure, Spielberg could make us weep for Neeson’s Oskar Schindler. And yeah, Scorsese drew a monster of a performance out of Dicaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street. But has either of those directors ever forced an actor through a rhino’s bottom? NO. And that is their failing.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

It just has to be Carrey, right? Jim gives the performance of his life, while fully nude. We feel his sweat. We believe his agony. He makes us feel something real and true.

The only performance I’ve seen that even comes close is Danny Devito’s Frank Reynolds squeezing out of a sofa in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. And that’s only because it’s basically the same scene anyway.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

The dad! Just because….. look at him!

That subtle transformation from delight to realisation to horror displays a range of emotion that’s tragically missing from the majority of today’s blockbuster movies. Bravo, sir!

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Excuse me, Oscars? Did you just use ‘actress’? How insulting.

But if we’re talking about the best actor in this scene that is female, it’s gotta be either the mother or the daughter – by virtue of being the only two present. I’ll go with the mum, because she has a great reaction.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Ok, the daughter can have this one.

Best Animated Feature

Animated (adjective)
1. full of life or excitement; lively.

YES.

Best Animated Short Film

Consider this scene not as part of a larger whole, but as a standalone short film in its own right. Maybe some kind of weird experimental art piece. It’s not so much of a leap.

Best Cinematography

Best Costume Design

Sure, Ace is nude for most the scene. But he starts out wearing his iconic open Hawaiian shirt. Is there a more memorable costume in comedy movie history?

No. The answer is no, there is not.

Best Documentary Feature

A challenge this.

BUT, the scene documents a very funny occurrence. Sure, a human has never actually passed through the anus of a robot rhinoceros. But I believe the scene faithfully depicts what that would be like. It’s at least close enough to be judged for and win this category, in my opinion.

Best Documentary Short Feature

See above.

Best Film Editing

The editing is legitimately spectacular.

The cuts between the family and the rhino. The way the ‘birth’ goes on for way too long. The way he finally flops out onto the ground as a kind of punchline for the scene.

It’s all very beautiful, in it’s own way.

Best Foreign Language Film

Eh, I guess you can watch the film in a foreign language. In fact, you can do that right here –

Like, if this was submitted to the Cannes Film Festival, maybe in black and white, with these voices over it, and with the title ‘bébé rhino’ it would win every award going.

Best Live Action Short Film

Goes without saying.

Best Makeup and Styling

Makeup: Ace’s sweaty, sticky body at the end.

Styling: Ace’s hair at the start.

Best Original Score

The use of sound in the scene is pretty minimal. But that doesn’t matter so much when it’s this good. IT GETS THE OSCAR.

Best Original Song

Must…
…have…
…air!

It’s not a song. But it expresses something about ourselves that we can all relate to.

Don’t we all need air, after all?

Best Production Design

I’m not 100% sure what ‘production design’ even is. I mean, the rhino looks pretty good? I fully buy into the conceit that he is squeezing out of a rhino’s behind.

Best Sound Editing

Yeah, sure?

Best Sound Mixing

How is this a different category to sound editing? You guys have too many awards.

Best Visual Effects

OMG YES. HE IS BIRTHED BY A RHINO.

And I believe they didn’t use any CGI for the scene, either. Carrey delivers the real deal.

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) / Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

Combined because they’re the same.

Kind of hot in these rhinos‘ is a truly fantastic line. Just think about how good it is.

Think about how good it is, then join me in awarding it the Oscar.


And that’s the lot!

Congratulations Jim & Co, you’ve swept the board!

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