2014 Oscar Nominees Announced!!!

In two years, Jonah Hill has amassed two more awards than either Harry Dean Stanton or Donald Sutherland have in their entire careers.  I’ll let that sink in while I prepare to cut-and-paste this list of the 2013 Academy Award nominees.

 

americanhustle_01

 

Best Picture
12 YEARS A SLAVE
AMERICAN HUSTLE
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
GRAVITY
HER
NEBRASKA
PHILOMENA
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Can’t really see any losers in this bunch. Probably the biggest surprises are what isn’t here. The Academy loves the Coen Brothers, and with good reason. But even though INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS was on a lot of people’s Best of 2013 lists, it didn’t get a bite in any of the major categories. Other films that were being dangled as surefire Oscar bait didn’t make it either. SAVING MR. BANKS got good notices, but my guess is that a film about Walt Disney that was also produced by the Disney company would have a tough time escaping accusations of being self-serving, particularly since the Oscars will be aired on the Disney-owned ABC. AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY got notices in the two actress categories and despite early hype, that’s pretty much all it could have hoped for. FRUITVALE STATION and THE WAY WAY BACK received no love either. It just seems that there were a lot of big contenders this year and not everyone could make the cut.

Also, zero nominations for early favorite LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER. Golly, it’s almost as if everyone realized that Daniels is a melodramatic hack who actually tarnishes the films he gets his hands on.

AMERICAN HUSTLE and GRAVITY tied for the most nominations, earning ten each. HUSTLE also notably earned noms in the  five major categories (Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress and Director). 12 YEARS A SLAVE is close behind with nine nominations. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB and NEBRASKA each got six nominations while HER and THE WOLF OF WALL STREET snagged five.

 

Best Director
Steve McQueen – 12 YEARS A SLAVE
David O. Russell – AMERICAN HUSTLE
Alfronso Cuaron – GRAVITY
Alexander Payne – NEBRASKA
Martin Scorsese – THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

 

You know there’s a good crop when Scorsese is one of the dark horse nominees.

 

12yearsaslave_01

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

 

Another great crop. As an added bonus, the Oscars broadcast will finally give us a definitive answer on how to pronounce Chiwetel Ejiofor’s name.

 

Best Actress
Amy Adams – AMERICAN HUSTLE
Cate Blanchett – BLUE JASMINE
Sandra Bullock – GRAVITY
Judi Dench – PHILOMENA
Meryl Streep – AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

 

There are a lot of great actresses in this bunch. Amy Adams gave another amazing performance that makes you wonder what kind of superhuman DNA is in her, allowing her to be continuously awesome. Still, I’m going to throw this out there – you cannot understate Sandra Bullock’s achievement in carrying the entirety of GRAVITY pretty much on her own.

 

americanhustle-lawrence

 

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

 

Okay, Jonah Hill was good in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. Something that will be increasingly difficult to remember when he’s making dick jokes in 22 JUMP STREET. While McConaughey scored a nom for DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, I’m surprised he didn’t get a Supporting Actor nod for WOLF OF WALL STREET. True, he doesn’t have much screen time. But I would argue that neither did Beatrice Straight or Judi Dench, two people who not only were nominated for supporting awards, but won.

 

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

 

Why do I get the feeling that Lawrence will be winning her second Oscar in two years? People love her and they should. She’s a talented actress who doesn’t let her age get in the way, often playing characters older than her actual years. And dammit, she does it so well. Though I’m not sure if she’ll win the role, don’t be surprised if you start hearing a lot of praise of Nyong’o, who did a fantastic job in 12 YEARS A SLAVE.

 

before-midnight-3

 

Best Original Screenplay
AMERICAN HUSTLE
BLUE JASMINE
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
HER
NEBRASKA

Best Adapted Screenplay
12 YEARS A SLAVE
BEFORE MIDNIGHT
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
PHILOMENA
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

 

Okay, maybe I’m ignorant but BEFORE MIDNIGHT for Best Adapted Screenplay? What exactly was it adapted from? Actually, this happens quite a bit. The characters originated in the 1994 film, BEFORE SUNRISE. Whoever writes the sequels is nominated for Adapted Screenplay, even if they themselves wrote the original. It’s a stupid rule. Also, I’m happy to see HER nominated and disappointed that GRAVITY didn’t make it. Once again, it was a hard structure to pull off and they did.

 

frozen_01

 

Best Animated Feature
THE CROODS
DESPICABLE ME 2
ERNEST & CELESTINE
FROZEN
THE WIND RISES

 

They can’t say this is a big studio award this year. Hayao Miyazaki gets nominated for his supposed final film, THE WIND RISES. Also, a surprise nomination for ERNEST & CELESTINE, a traditionally animated film from the makers of A TOWN CALLED PANIC. Even so, I have to give props to the big studio flicks, THE CROODS and FROZEN, both of which are really good films that deserve their place here.

 

Foreign Language Film
BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN – Belgium
THE GREAT BEAUTY – Italy
THE HUNT – Denmark
THE MISSING PICTURE – Cambodia
OMAR – Palestine

 

actofkilling_01

 

Documentary – Feature
20 FEET FROM STARDOM
THE ACT OF KILLING
CUTIE AND THE BOXER
DIRTY WARS
THE SQUARE

Documentary – Short
CAVEDIGGER
FACING FEAR
KARMA HAS NO WALLS
THE LADY IN NUMBER 6: MUSIC SAVED MY LIFE
PRISON TERMINAL: THE LAST DAYS OF PRIVATE JACK HALL

 

Now this, not any of the acting or directing awards, if the big surprise snub of the year. The nominees for Best Documentary were announced and BLACKFISH wasn’t on the list. A by-all-accounts powerful doc that is changing the way many people view a major attraction. This seems like a pretty outrageous omission. Speaking of powerful docs, the above image is from THE ACT OF KILLING, a film I will be watching as soon as I gather up the courage.

 

greatgatsby_01

 

Art Direction
12 YEARS A SLAVE
AMERICAN HUSTLE
GRAVITY
THE GREAT GATSBY
HER

Cinematography
THE GRANDMASTER
GRAVITY
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
NEBRASKA
PRISONERS

Costume Design
12 YEARS A SLAVE
AMERICAN HUSTLE
THE GRANDMASTER
THE GREAT GATSBY
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

Makeup/Hair
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA
THE LONE RANGER

 

Looks like the people behind DALLAS BUYERS CLUB will win at least one of these Oscars. BAD GRANDPA? Why, because of the old age makeup that was present in all the previous JACKASS films? THE LONE RANGER? Please. DALLAS BUYERS CLUB is the only one of these who even bothered to bring their A-game. When it came oto makeup this year, the Academy just shrugged.

 

her_01

 

Original Score
John Williams – THE BOOK THIEF
Steven Price – GRAVITY
William Butler and Owen Pallett – HER
Alexander Desplat – PHILOMENA
Thomas Newman – SAVING MR. BANKS

Best Song
“Alone Yet Not Alone” – ALONE YET NOT ALONE
“Happy” – DESPICABLE ME 2
“Let It Go” – FROZEN
“The Moon Song” – HER
“Ordinary Love” – MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM

 

MANDELA won the Golden Globe, so Bono and the Edge could snag the Oscar as well. But don’t count out “Let It Go,” not because it’s a Disney song, but because it’s one of the few really good ones.

People who bitch and moan about Christians not being treated well by the Hollywood elite can count the surprise nomination for ALONE YET NOT ALONE in their win column. This is a faith-based film that got a miniscule release to qualify for the Oscar, with a wider release expected in March. It was enough time to stuff the ballots for a film and a song no one had counted before.

On a brighter note, I am just so happy to see HER get this many nominations. I don’t know if it will win anything, but it really was a great film. A review if forthcoming.

 

gravity-debris

 
Sound Design
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
GRAVITY
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
LONE SURVIVOR

Sound Editing
ALL IS LOST
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
GRAVITY
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
LONE SURVIVOR

Visual Effects
GRAVITY
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
IRON MAN 3
THE LONE RANGER
STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS

 

Yes, with just $250 million, you too can make a western that only looks slightly worse than the ones that cost 1/100th that amount fifty years ago. Sorry guys, but THE LONE RANGER got two noms, and that was two noms too many. Visual effects should be GRAVITY’s to lose. As for sound, I don’t know. I am leaning towards GRAVITY for that as well, but CAPTAIN PHILLIPS could easily pull that off as well. It’s too soon to make concrete predictions, no matter what I say here.

 

CAM00039

 

Short Film – Animated
FERAL
GET A HORSE!
MR. HUBLOT
POSSESSIONS
ROOM ON THE BROOM

Short Film – Live Action
DO I HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING?
HELIUM
JUST BEFORE LOSING EVERYTHING
THAT WASN’T ME
THE VOORMAN PROBLEM

 

And there’s the short film categories, a.k.a. the awards where you go out and make a snack. No offense to the people behind these films, but anyone who can predict the short film Oscars are involved in the making of short films themselves. Not bothering to look for a picture from one of the nominees, I have included a shot of my dog going for a ride in the car.

 

The Oscars will be televised on March 2nd, leaving us a little over a month to second-guess our ballots.

 

 



Categories: Movie News, Scott W. Davis, Special Reports and Rants

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