Thoughts on This Morning's Oscar Nominations

Thoughts on This Morning's Oscar Nominations

The Oscar ceremony isn’t until March 2, but all the nominations were announced this morning so that gives us all plenty of time to speculate, bitch and moan in the interim.  Thor (Chris Hemsworth) helped announce the nominees, and, per usual, there were some snubs, surprises, and typical Academy bullshit.  Here’s the rundown:

Best Picture
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Yay for Wolf, 12 Years, Captain, and Gravity.  Happy for Her.  Surprised to see Philomena in here.  Such a minor movie, and rather unremarkable.  Credit for that nomination must go (once again) to Harvey Weinstein and his relentless campaigning.  Nebraska’s inclusion is a joke.  Poor Inside Llewyn Davis – the Coen Brothers’ film was completely ignored (no Oscar Isaac for Best Actor either).  Same for Saving Mr. Banks.

Best Director
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Payne’s nomination is some major bullshit.  That slot belonged to Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips.  Can you tell I don’t think much of Nebraska?  Cuaron has the edge here, but if I were him, I’d be frightened by all the American Hustle nominations, which favors Russell.  Don’t count out McQueen either.

Best Actress
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Well, congrats Meryl.  Your very Meryl-ness secured you a spot despite nobody thinking much of August: Osage County.  Unfortunately, that means Emma Thompson gets nada for Saving Mr. Banks.  Weird.  Doesn’t matter, I guess.  Cate Blanchett’s got this one wrapped up.  Oh, and Amy Adams is really the only Hustle nomination I’m happy about this morning.

Best Actor
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

I’m surprised to see Bale make the cut.  That just means the Academy LOVES Hustle.  Leo finally gets a nomination, and deservedly so.  That’s probably my favorite nomination of them all.  Can he win?  I sure hope so.  No Robert Redford though.  I guess Dern took the Hollywood veteran slot.  And, most appallingly – no Tom Hanks!  Did Academy members not see the last five minutes of Captain Phillips? Sheesh.  This one’s going to be hard to predict, but look for a close fight to the finish between Ejiofor and McConaughey, with Leo a possible spoiler.

Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Ladies and gentleman, I present… 2-time Academy Award nominee, Jonah Hill.  Crazy, right?  He’s really good in the movie and his nomination is indicative of widespread support for the movie.  He won’t win though.  This one’s between Leto and Fassbender at this point.  So who got left out?  Jeremy Renner is the only major American Hustle player not to be nominated.  Hanks got the shaft (again!) for Saving Mr. Banks.  And despite some posthumous love for his understated work in Enough Said, James Gandolfini went unrecognized.  No Daniel Bruhl for Rush either.

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Nice to see Sally Hawkins make the cut.  Her performance wasn’t as showy as Cate Blanchett’s but it was still great.  This one’s between Lawrence and Nyong’o.  I have to think that Lawrence isn’t going to win two years in a row, despite the Golden Globe she just received.  Biggest snub?  No Oprah for Lee Daniels’ The Butler.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Billy Ray, Captain Phillips
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street

Is Before Midnight “adapted” because it’s a sequel?  Must be.  I love Winter’s Wolf script, but I think Ridley will win.

Best Original Screenplay
Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, Dallas Buyers Club
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska

In a just world, Spike Jonze’s Her would win the prize, but the American Hustle juggernaut will prevail here.

Best Original Song
“Alone Yet Not Alone,” Alone Yet Not Alone; music by Bruce Broughton, lyrics by Dennis Spiegel
“Happy,” Despicable Me 2; music and lyrics by Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go,” Frozen; music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song,” Her; music by Karen O., lyrics by Karen O. and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; music by Paul Hewson, Dan Evans, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, a.k.a. U2; lyrics by Paul Hewson, a.k.a. Bono

“Let It Go” should have this in the bag.  Then again, as Golden Globes showed, U2 singing about Mandela is a political statement that may be too hard for voters to pass up.

Best Animated Feature
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Wind Rises

It’s gotta be Frozen, right?

Best Documentary — Feature
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
20 Feet from Stardom

The Act of Killing should and probably will win.  It’s streaming on Netflix right now, you should check it out.  Surprised to see Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell not get a nomination.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
The Great Beauty, Italy
The Hunt, Denmark
The Missing Picture, Cambodia
Omar, Palestine

No Blue is the Warmest Color?  Wow.  I’ve got some homework to do.  I haven’t seen any of these.


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