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Thursday, January 16, 2014

This Year's Oscar Nominations: A Plethora of Well-Deserved Nods Mixed with Shattered Dreams

This year's Oscar nominations were announced early this morning and they were filled with "OMG" and "told ya" moments. While the precursors generally suck all the surprise out of this preeminent list (many nominations are carbon copies of past awards), nothing could have prepared me for the shock of a Tom Hanks snub for his brilliant performance in Captain Phillips. First of all, I thought it was mandated that Hanks had to be nominated every time he's in a film (oh, that's just Meryl Streep, who received her zillionth nomination for August: Osage County). I mean, Hanks is an institution and he is a phenomenon in Captain Phillips. A PHENOMENON.

But I can't be too upset about Hanks because his co-captain in the film, played by Barkhad Abdi, earned a hugely surprising--and well deserved--nod, along with the film for best picture (none for director Paul Greengras--another abomination). Though Abdi has been getting some love from the precursors this year, I didn't think that Oscar would be as nice to him (clearly the Academy received all my warning letters demanding his recognition, though they must have skimmed over the Hanks portion--will resend).

A film that confirms director David O. Russell has something fateful on the Academy is American Hustle. While I liked Silver Lining Playbook and loved The Fighter, I will never understand why the Academy insists on recognizing almost every area of his films. The most laughable nod? Original screenplay. The writing was wobbly and went off on so many tangents that it ended up being completely devoid of a premise. It's entertaining, but let's leave it at that. Ironically, it was snubbed for the only category that should have been a sure bet--makeup and hairstyling. As for acting? Bradley Cooper is the only nomination I'm not mad at--he managed to steer the film back in the right direction with his single performance. I will hold to that.

The Wolf of Wall Street, a film that's been the topic of many think pieces recently, scored a handful of nods as well--including an astonishing nomination for now TWO-TIME OSCAR NOMINEE Jonah Hill. He's been nominated TWICE now. What is this world? Another much-discussed film is 12 Years a Slave, which garnered an unsurprisingly large number of nominations, including three in the acting categories--Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Each of these nominations are very well deserved, but all my enthusiasm in Fassbender's best supporting actor category goes to Jordan "Jared Leto" Catalano from Dallas Buyers Club. It is really his award to lose (and I will riot if that happens--to hell with another letter).

Speaking of Dallas, lets give a round of applause to another debut Oscar nominee, Matthew McConaughey. Imma let you finish, Matt, but I still remember and love you from your strictly eye candy days:


*sigh* Kudos to a beautiful dramatic performance and congrats to the movie, which is also up for a best picture nod. Keep 'em coming. That goes for you too, Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins, the wonderful Tennessee Williams-esque duo from Blue Jasmine. I was certain that Blanchett would be recognized but I didn't know whether Hawkins would, even though since day 1 I have been reminding folks to not forget about her fine performance, one which beautifully complements Blanchett's and the magnificent screenplay by Woody Allen (also nominated).

Can we also give a round of applause to Alfonso Cuarón, the sole Latino filmmaker nominated here for directing the breathtaking Gravity, and Sandra Bullock's best performance in...ever? Same love goes to  Nebraska and Her, both beautiful films nominated for best picture along with Gravity. But while Nebraska received an acting nod for Bruce Dern, Her didn't get any. Which surprises me since Joaquin and Scarlett Johansson are both so visceral in that film that I am getting more and more upset about their snubs as I type this. Surely Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence (or June Squibb) could have been swapped out for them. *adds more vitriol to the Academy letter*

My gawd, must we talk about The Croods yet again? How come we keep pretending this movie is a contender? In the words of Charlize Theron in Young Adult, "Have you seen it, up close?" The Academy must be watching a different version of the film yet to be released. Anyway, all the accolades in the best animated film category should go to The Wind Rises, which if there is any justice in the world will trump Frozen

While many lament the snubs for Inside Llewyn Davis and Saving Mr. Banks (for a reason unbeknownst to me), I am positively giddy about the nominations for The Hunt and The Broken Circle Breakdown--both extremely underrated films from last year. 

I will continue to be perplexed by all the love Before Midnight has received this season, including here for best adapted screenplay nominated with the likes of Captain Phillips and 12 Years a Slave (it should have no chance whatsoever). 

Read the full list of nominees here:

Just as I anticipated, Sunday's season 4 premiere of Shameless titled "Simple Pleasures" served mainly to enable my obsession with V and Kevin (Shanola Hampton and Steve Howey). - See more at: http://www.reeltalkonline.org/2014/01/a-recap-of-sundays-season-premiere.html#sthash.tH7y7mGD.dpuf
Best picture

"12 Years a Slave"
"American Hustle"
"Captain Phillips"
"Dallas Buyers Club"
"Gravity"
"Her"
"Nebraska"
"Philomena"
"The Wolf of Wall Street"

Director

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

Lead actor

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

Lead actress

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

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”

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”

Animated feature film

“The Croods”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Ernest & Celestine”
“Frozen”
“The Wind Rises”

Cinematography

“The Grandmaster,” Philippe Le Sourd
“Gravity,” Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska,” Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners,” Roger A. Deakins

Costume design

“American Hustle,” Michael Wilkinson
“The Grandmaster,” William Chang Suk Ping
“The Great Gatsby,” Catherine Martin
“The Invisible Woman,” Michael O’Connor
“12 Years a Slave,” Patricia Norris

Documentary feature

“The Act of Killing”
“Cutie and the Boxer”
“Dirty Wars”
“The Square”
“20 Feet from Stardom”

Documentary short subject

“CaveDigger”
“Facing Fear”
“Karama Has No Walls”
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall”

Film editing

“American Hustle,” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
“Captain Phillips,” Christopher Rouse
“Dallas Buyers Club,” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
“Gravity,” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
“12 Years a Slave,” Joe Walker

Foreign language film

“The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Belgium
“The Great Beauty,” Italy
“The Hunt,” Denmark
“The Missing Picture,” Cambodia
“Omar,” Palestine

Makeup and hairstyling

“Dallas Buyers Club,” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa,” Stephen Prouty
“The Lone Ranger,” Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Original score

“The Book Thief,” John Williams
“Gravity,” Steven Price
“Her,” William Butler and Owen Pallett
“Philomena,” Alexandre Desplat
“Saving Mr. Banks,” Thomas Newman

Original song

“Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone”
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
“The Moon Song” from “Her”
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”

Production design

“American Hustle,” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
“Gravity,” Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
“The Great Gatsby,” Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
“Her,” Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena
“12 Years a Slave,” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

Animated short film

“Feral”
“Get a Horse!”
“Mr. Hublot”
“Possessions”
“Room on the Broom”

Live action short film

“Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)”
“Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)”
“Helium”
“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)”
“The Voorman Problem”

Sound editing

“All Is Lost,” Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
“Captain Phillips,” Oliver Tarney
“Gravity,” Glenn Freemantle
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Brent Burge
“Lone Survivor,” Wylie Stateman

Sound mixing

“Captain Phillips,” Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
“Gravity,” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
“Inside Llewyn Davis,” Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
“Lone Survivor,” Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Visual effects

“Gravity,” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
“Iron Man 3,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
“The Lone Ranger,” Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
“Star Trek Into Darkness,” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

Adapted screenplay

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

Original screenplay

“American Hustle,” written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
“Blue Jasmine,” written by Woody Allen
“Dallas Buyers Club,” written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
“Her,” written by Spike Jonze
“Nebraska,” written by Bob Nelson
Just as I anticipated, Sunday's season 4 premiere of Shameless titled "Simple Pleasures" served mainly to enable my obsession with V and Kevin (Shanola Hampton and Steve Howey). - See more at: http://www.reeltalkonline.org/2014/01/a-recap-of-sundays-season-premiere.html#sthash.tH7y7mGD.dpuf

1 comments:

Dan said...

I absolutely agree with you on Hanks. Captain Phillips was one of the highlights of 2013 for me and Hanks was marvelous. He really was. I think he has received Oscar Best Actor wins for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump but I think Captain Phillips was even better because it was more subtle. It had to be. The finale is some of the best work Hanks has done.

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