Thursday, January 16, 2014

Delayed knee-jerk reactions to Oscar nominees

Had a busy day so I never had the time to write a proper reaction piece to this morning's Oscar nomination announcement, but after sifting through the tea leaves a bit, I've gleaned some notes that I feel are worth mentioning/praising/bitching about.

-American Hustle seems the one to beat, with a field-leading 10 nominations, including ones for each of its four principle actors. This is the second year in a row that David O. Russell has managed to land Oscar nods for four of his stars, and it may well be the second year in a row that J-Law is the one that comes away with a win.

-Tied with Hustle with 10 nods of its own is Gravity, which turned up in every category it was predicted to. The omission in Best Original Screenplay, however expected it may have been, is troubling for its shot at actually winning the whole thing. That said, I'm sure it already has at least four trophies in the bag, with the potential to win as many as seven, and still lose Best Picture.

-12 Years a Slave is a close third with nine nominations, which is good... but also not so good. The fact that it missed out in some craft races where many had it chalked up as a likely nominee (Cinematography and Sound) might indicate that the support for it may not be as deep. It certainly gives off the vibe of a movie that is just too good to win.

-The Wolf of Wall Street was stronger than expected, picking up a mention for precursor absentee Jonah Hill and finding room for Leo in that crowded Best Actor race. Sadly, Thelma Schoonmaker couldn't find similar love from the editors branch.

-Speaking of that tight Best Actor race, it was Robert Redford and Tom Hanks being left off the ballot. The former I could sorta sense coming, but the latter is a shocker. Coupled with Paul Greengrass failing to make the Best Director list, it would appear that Captain Phillips isn't as strong as we thought.

-SALLY HAWKINS!!! She needed this nod more than Oprah anyway, to make up for that horrifying Happy-Go-Lucky snub in 2008.

-The Best Picture nominees really hogged the acting categories this year. Someone find this out for me: When was the last time that only two non-Best-Picture-nominated films earned acting nominations?

-Inside Llewyn Davis got shafted in so many categories, but the Original Screenplay omission takes the cake. I can see if the Academy in general didn't respond to it, but what's the writers' excuse? Pitiful.

-My favourite nominations of the day include:
     -Sally Hawkins
     -Her for Score and Production Design
     -The Grandmaster for Cinematography
     -Ernest & Celestine for Animated Feature (winner of favourite nomination of the year!)
     -Dallas Buyers Club for Best Editing (this one's totally on my own personal ballot, which kinda sucks because now I can't prove that I'm not just copying the Academy!)

-My least favourite nominations:
     -Whatever the makeup branch is doing has to stop. I'm all for individuality, but forcing me to go back and watch both The Lone Ranger AND Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa?
     -I just listened to that obscure Best Original Song nominee "Alone Yet Not Alone" from Alone Yet Not Alone... I don't think the music's that terrible but those lyrics are stifling with their dense hymnal religiousness. And when I found out that composer Bruce Broughton is chief of the music branch... color me suspicious.

-My least favourite snubs:
     -Pacific Rim for Visual Effects (worst snub of the year!)
     -Stories We Tell for Documentary (I had a feeling this would happen. Doesn't make it any less painful)
     -The Wolf of Wall Street for Editing
     -Inside Llewyn Davis for Original Screenplay.

That's really all I got to say at this point. Towards the end of the month I'll start doing my One Category at a Time breakdowns which will explore each race in a little more detail. For now, I'll watch the Critics Choice Awards and turn in for the night.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. Pacific Rim's omission is truly shocking and appalling. I mean, they gave Transformers 1 and 3 nominations, why not this one? It's pretty much the same, VFX-wise of course.