2014 Oscar Nominations – Thoughts

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Well, as is always the case, the excitement that led up to the Oscar nominations gave way to some disappointment when the nominees were finally announced by Chris Hemsworth (Rush) and the new Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs early this morning.

Click here for a full list of the nominees or just scroll down to the bottom of the page.

My initial thoughts are that the nominations this year got things mostly right.  The 9 nominees for Best Picture represent a diverse crop of offerings from Hollywood…all movies that the Academy would award the trophy to had they been nominated in a lesser year.  Omissions like August: Osage County and Saving Mr. Banks weren’t totally unexpected but I think the presence of Her and the Dallas Buyers Club were nice surprises.

Now…random observances.

  • I’m happy that Oprah Winfrey didn’t wind up with a nomination for her work in Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine most likely edged her out for the nomination…and deserved it more.  A nomination for Winfrey would have been Hollywood bowing down to her once again.  She already has an honorary Oscar and maybe she’ll find another project that can give her as strong as what she did in The Color Purple…for which she probably should have won the Oscar.
  • Speaking of Blue Jasmine, I’m a little surprised that it didn’t land a nomination for Best Picture…but the race was a strong one and I think people remember Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett for her work more than they remember the picture as a whole.
  • It’s a damn shame that Daniel Brühl’s performance in Rush wasn’t recognized with a Supporting Actor nomination.  Ditto for James Gandolfini in Enough Said.  I didn’t think Bradley Cooper and Jonah Hill delivered the kind of performances that would have seen a nomination come their way over Brühl and Gandolfini.  Cooper, in particular, made my skin crawl with his overabundance of actor-y moments.  Hill’s fake teeth probably should share the nomination with him.
  • People may say that Amy Adams narrowly beat out Emma Thompson’s wonderfully tightly wound performance in Saving Mr. Banks for a nomination but make no mistake….Meryl Streep in August: Osage County took Thompson’s spot.  I love Streep, don’t get me wrong, but her performance was Streep at her Streep-iest…and nothing that we haven’t seen before.  Thompson had a more difficult role (and weaker material) to navigate.
  • Personally, I would have taken Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio out of the Best Actor mix and replaced them with Tom Hanks and Robert Redford…two veteran actors that locked on to their roles to fantastic results.  Bale and DiCaprio also ruled quite well in their films…but I was partial to what Hanks and Redford showed me that I didn’t know they had.

  • Dallas Buyers Club is gaining major steam in the home stretch of award shows mostly notably seen in Craig Borten & Melissa Wallack’s nomination for Best Original Screenplay knocked Joel and Ethan Coen out of the running for Inside Llewyn Davis.
  • Inside Llewyn Davis also failed to get a Best Original Song nomination, with producer T-Bone Burnett on board I would have thought “Please, Mr. Kennedy” would have found its way on the list.  I was bummed that “Young and Beautiful” from The Great Gatsby wasn’t nominated either, especially because it’s haunting melody was weaved so well into the film.  Still, none of the nominees can top last year’s winner, “Skyfall” by Adele.
  • The Lone Ranger getting nominated for Best Visual Effects over Pacific Rim is really a shame.  Pacific Rim may have been a terribly dopey movie but it looked incredible.  Still, Gravity is the clear winner here so in the end it wouldn’t have mattered.
  • I thought I had a better bead on the nominees for Best Documentary Feature.  I’m disappointed that the excellent The Crash Reel didn’t land on the list but happy to see the crowd-pleasing 20 Feet From Stardom get the nod.  Now I have some work to do to see the other nominees.
  • Best Animated Feature likes to throw a curveball into the mix and it’s nice to see Ernestine and Celestine make the list over larger studio fare.  Haven’t seen it yet but something different is always welcome.
  • Interesting to note that while The Grandmaster was favorited to land a Best Foreign Film nomination, it didn’t get one…but did get on the list for its impressive cinematography and gorgeous period costumes.

The more I look into these over the next few days and weeks I’m sure I’ll change my mind about certain performances/pictures but for now…I’m just happy I know what I have to see before the big day arrives on March 2.

How about you?  What’s on your list to see?

BEST PICTURE
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena

The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST 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

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

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

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

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

BEST EDITING
Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, American Hustle
Joe Walker, 12 Years a Slave
Christopher Rouse, Captain Phillips
Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger, Gravity
John Mac Murphy and Martin Pensa, Dallas Buyers Club

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine
David O. Russell and Eric Singer, American Hustle
Craig Borten & Melissa Wallack, Dallas Buyers Club
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska

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

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
The Hunt, Denmark
The Great Beauty, Italy
The Missing Picture, Cambodia
Omar, Palestine

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Phillippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster
Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis
Phedon Papamichael, Nebraska
Roger Deakins, Prisoners

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Adam Stochausen & Alice Baker, 12 Years a Slave
Judy Becker & Heather Loeffler, American Hustle
Catherine Martin & Beverly Dunn, The Great Gatsby
Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woolard, Gravity
K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena, Her

BEST SOUND MIXING
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

BEST SOUND EDITING
All is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Lone Survivor
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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

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

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
20 Feet from Stardom
The Act of Killing
The Square
Dirty Wars
Cutie and the Boxer

BEST 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

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest and Celestine

Frozen
The Wind Rises

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Feral
Get a Horse!
Mr. Hublot”
Possessions
Room on the Broom

BEST 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

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek: Into Darkness

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
Dallas Buyers Club
The Lone Ranger

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

BEST ORIGINAL 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

Best Supporti

One comment on “2014 Oscar Nominations – Thoughts

  1. chaszak says:

    I’d say Jonah Hill would need to share his nomination with his fake teeth and his fake thing-without-teeth.

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