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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Oscar Nomination Reactions

by Joshua Handler

We can all say "this didn't get nominated, that didn't get nominated" (and we will later), but let's focus on what The Oscars got right today.  This will be a ramble.  For the record, I have seen every movie nominated in the main categories, the foreign language category, and many technical categories.  There are seven films I haven't seen for various reasons and many more I haven't reviewed for lack of time.  I will continue posting Oscar reviews until the awards show in March. 

So, there was a surprising amount of love for PHILOMENA and DALLAS BUYERS CLUB.  While we knew the acting would be nominated, the picture nominations, especially for PHILOMENA, were pleasant surprises.  All four actors from AMERICAN HUSTLE (Bale, Adams, Lawrence, and Cooper) were nominated.  Unexpected, but a nice choice.  Matthew McConaughey finally got an Oscar nomination for his committed performance in DALLAS BUYERS CLUB after a series of phenomenal performances.  It's fantastic that David O. Russell has managed to have two subsequent films nominated for all four acting awards - it shows just what a great director he is and how strong his casts are.  If you've read my review, you'll know how much I love THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, so to see it be nominated for Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor, and Director was exciting.  Seeing THE WIND RISES nominated for Best Animated Feature Film was nice, especially since it's Miyazaki's final film (and a great one at that).  CUTIE AND THE BOXER and TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM's nominations for Best Documentary Feature were welcome surprises.  Michael Fassbender finally got a long overdue nomination for supporting actor.  HER's Production Design and Original Score nominations were very deserving (along with everything else it was nominated for).  If there ever was a film I never thought would get nominated a few months ago, it was HER, a film I loved but one that I thought would be a tough sell with the Academy.  I'm glad they proved me wrong.  Roger Deakins and Phedon Papamichael's respective cinematography nominations for PRISONERS and NEBRASKA were deserving, but surprising.  THE MISSING PICTURE was a shock in the Best Foreign Language Film category.  Very good film, but shocking that the Academy went for that over THE NOTEBOOK or TWO LIVES.  And finally, BEFORE MIDNIGHT's Best Adapted Screenplay nomination and THE GREAT BEAUTY's Best Foreign Language Film nomination were personal favorites.  And, who has ever heard of ALONE YET NOT ALONE, a film with a Best Original Song nomination?

Now, let's move onto what went wrong today.  The most shocking snub was Hanks not being nominated for his career-best performance in CAPTAIN PHILLIPS.  And Greengrass' Best Director snub wasn't good.  INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS should have been nominated for Picture, Original Screenplay, Director, and possibly Actor, but was completely snubbed from the main categories.  It was one of the best films of 2013.  THE NOTEBOOK and TWO LIVES were the two best films shortlisted for a Best Foreign Language Film nomination after THE GREAT BEAUTY (I've seen the whole shortlist) and neither were nominated.  Emma Thompson wasn't nominated for Best Actress for her great performance in SAVING MR. BANKS.  Then again, who would she have booted out in the incredibly strong Best Actress category?  I'm shocked that that film wasn't nominated for Best Picture.  It's also sad, though unsurprising, that Adèle Exarchopoulos wasn't nominated for Best Actress for BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR.  But then again, foreign films don't usually don't get love outside of the Best Foreign Language Film Category.  Sarah Polley's brilliant STORIES WE TELL was left off of the Best Documentary Feature nomination list, as were BLACKFISH and TIM'S VERMEER.  Those three are personal favorites   I wish RUSH was nominated for Best Film Editing and Best Supporting Actor, but it was nominated for nothing.  

Well that's about it for me.  What did you think?  Please post in the comments section below.  Below is the full list of nominations with links to my reviews.

Best Picture
American Hustle (My review)
Captain Phillips (My review)
Dallas Buyers Club (Review coming soon)
Gravity (My review)
Her (My review)
Nebraska (My review)
Philomena (My review)
12 Years a Slave (Review coming soon)
The Wolf of Wall Street (My review)
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) (My review)
Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
Judi Dench (Philomena)
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) (My review)
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
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)
Best Director
David O. Russell (American Hustle)
Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)
Alexander Payne (Nebraska)
Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy (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)
Writing (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)
Animated Feature Film
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine (Review coming soon)
The Wind Rises
Documentary (Feature)
The Act of Killing (Review coming soon)
Cutie and the Boxer (My review)
Dirty Wars (My review)
The Square (Review coming soon)
20 Feet from Stardom (My review)
Foreign Language Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Review coming soon)
The Great Beauty (My review)
The Hunt (My review)
The Missing Picture (Review coming soon)
Philippe Le Sourd (The Grandmaster)
Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity)
Bruno Delbonnel (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Phedon Papamichael (Nebraska)
Roger Deakins (Prisoners) (My review)
Film Editing
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
Music (Original Score)
John Williams (The Book Thief)
Steven Price (Gravity)
William Butler and Owen Pallett (Her)
Alexandre Desplat (Philomena)
Thomas Newman (Saving Mr. Banks)
Music (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
Sound Mixing
Captain Phillips
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor
Inside Llewyn Davis
Sound Editing
All is Lost
Captain Phillips
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor
Production Design
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
12 Years a Slave
Visual Effects
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek into Darkness
American Hustle
The Grandmaster
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman (My review)
12 Years a Slave
Makeup and Hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

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