Merry Christmas, Oscar Lovers! Aside from a few lumps of coal in our stockings (Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, and the fact that Her didn’t get more nominations), I’ve got to say I’m pretty happy with this year’s nominations. Being a student of awards season, even the “surprise” nominees didn’t really surprise me, as they were performances and movies that had still been discussed as possibilities. Let’s dive right into the nominations, shall we? I’ve covered all the major categories plus Best Song and Make-Up, cause even I could see the egregious snub in that one…
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
Ladies and Gents, we have a three-way horse race on our hands in American Hustle vs. Gravity vs. 12 Years a Slave. All the other ones are just glad to be invited to the party.
But who wins?
In my mind, Best Picture needs to be one that can be looked back on 20 years from now and still be considered great and meaningful. American Hustle is SUPER fun but really…is it best picture worthy? Is it a monumental achievement in film making? No. If it were to beat 12 Years a Slave (or to a lesser degree, Gravity) we would have a true Shakespeare in Love vs. Saving Private Ryan situation on our hands. YES, 12 Years is brutal and tough to watch. I’ve seen it once and I never want to see it again. I would never BUY it. But do I still think it deserves to win Best Picture? Yes. Yes, I do. I think sometimes the Academy fears the difficult films that are harder to watch and instead embrace the films that are easy to swallow. American Hustle is the lime slice you suck on to ease the burn of the tequila shot of 12 Years a Slave.
Come on, Academy. Man up. Just do the tequila shot straight up.
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
As I said on Facebook and Twitter this morning, I never thought that if Amy Adams got into the race that it would have been at the expense of Emma Thompson’s superb work in Saving Mr. Banks. As it seemed that no one had affection for August: Osage County (which I can’t figure out for the life of me), I thought that Meryl would be the one who was bumped…despite the fact that had she not won for the stupid Iron Lady (NEVER FORGET VIOLA DAVIS) she would have been the frontrunner here. I should know better than to ever doubt La Streep. But…but…EMMA! Who is going to walk out barefoot with a martini NOW? Saving Mr. Banks got NO love, so I can’t imagine they’ll even invite her to present. So now I am sad.
I don’t think there is any way Blanchett loses here, unless they FINALLY decide to reward Amy on her fifth nomination. We’re getting close to a Kate Winslet situation here with her. But really…Blanchett’s name has been on that statue since the day Blue Jasmine came out.
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
BUT TOM HANKS THOUGH. THE BEST WORK HE’S DONE IN AT LEAST FIFTEEN YEARS.
We all knew this was a stacked field going in…so many worthy performances this year. Given Leo’s history with the Academy though, I imagined he would be the one left out. His performance in Wolf of Wall Street IS incredible though and I sincerely hope they use his mostly silent scene where he is stoned out of his MIND on quaaludes as his Oscar Clip.
However, Leo is not going to win, so I look forward to the new “Leo screams/cries internally” gifs that will pop up on Tumblr minutes after the winner is announced.
After a completely charming speech at the Globes, you have to figure this is Matthew McConaughey’s award to lose. I have yet to see Dallas Buyers Club (this weekend I PROMISE), but I have heard nothing but good things. He didn’t get the BAFTA nod though, so don’t count out Ejiofor. Like I will say later, I feel like if 12 Years is going to win Best Picture it will HAVE to get an Acting Award somewhere. So it’s a two-man race, unless Leo REALLY hits the campaign trail.
Robbed in this category? JOAQUIN PHOENIX for the greatest performance of his career in Her. Perhaps the Academy has been unable to forget when he lost his marbles a few years ago. Even though he got a nomination last year for a far lesser film than this one. Boo, I say. BOO!
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
First of all: Barbara Weston is by NO MEANS a Supporting Character, so it is atrocious that Harvey campaigned her as such. Yes, the Best Actress field was clearly crowded, but a lead is a lead is a lead. Violet and Barbara were both leading roles at the Tonys. I don’t understand the fear of campaigning 2 leads for one movie. Both Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon got nominated for Thelma and Louise…though neither won. However, this ranks among the best work Julia Roberts has ever done, so I am thrilled to see her recognized.
But let’s be honest, this race is between two women. Lupita and JLaw. We’ll see how the Critics Choice and SAGs go, but I have a hard time imagining that the Academy will give a 24-year-old back to back Academy Awards. No matter HOW good she was in American Hustle. And she was very very good.
My theory is such: If Matthew and Jared take the male awards for Dallas Buyers Club, they will want to reward 12 Years somewhere in the acting awards. Lupita is a WORTHY winner. She’s heartbreaking and she has the bonus Cinderella-esque acting story of this being her first major gig. But then again, my theory could also be applied to American Hustle. They may want to toss THAT ONE an acting award. JLaw’s role as the unhinged wife is Oscar Catnip.
Basically I DON’T KNOW. Though I will say this…whichever way this one goes, expect the winner’s respective movie to likely win Best Picture.
Also remember back in August when everyone said Oprah was going to walk away with that Supporting Actress Trophy?? HA!
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
Can anyone touch Jared Leto here? I don’t think so. He seems to be the surest of sure things, though if Fassy starts campaigning, he could be a threat.
Let’s discuss the fact that the kid from Superbad is now a Two Time Academy Award nominee. Who’d have thought THAT would happen?
Best Adapted Screenplay
Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, 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
Would that Before Midnight had a true shot here. It would be a wonderful way to reward the world’s most unlikely trilogy. Look for 12 Years to take this one…
Best 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
Her should take this in a heartbeat. Definitely the most creative screenplay of the year. There were times when I wept during the film from the pure POETRY of it.
My personal snub? The Way Way Back which oddly had ZERO awards campaign despite a universal embracement by critics and the fact it was written by 2 Academy Award Winners.
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street
Who will triumph here? The master of technical wizardry Alfonso Cuaron? Or Steve McQueen’s masterfully constructed character study. We’ll know better after the DGA bestows its award. Watch out for Russell though as the Academy clearly has a hard-on for him right now.
Robbed in this category? SPIKE JONZE. Though they could be looking at Her as more of an achievement in writing. And I wonder if Paul Greengrass would have been a factor had they released Captain Phillips in November. He really should have gotten that slot over Marty, who really needed to reign himself in for Wolf of Wall Street. It’s called an edit button, good sir. Use it.
Best Animated Feature
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Wind Rises
We all know the answer to this one.
Best Original Song
“Alone Yet Not Alone,” Alone Yet Not Alone; music by Bruce Broughton, lyrics by Dennis Spiegel
“Happy,” Despicable Me 2; music and lyrics by Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go,” Frozen; music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song,” Her; music by Karen O., lyrics by Karen O. and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; music by Paul Hewson, Dan Evans, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen, a.k.a. U2; lyrics by Paul Hewson, a.k.a. Bono
The only question is whether or not the producers will ask Idina Menzel to perform on the telecast. One would think they would, but it worries me that Demi Lovato sings the end credits version. They may make it a duet, but that just wouldn’t be fair to Demi because Idina would SCHOOL her. So do the right thing guys. #MENZEL2014
Also if that pretentious ass U2 song wins, I will cut someone.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews, Dallas Buyers Club
Stephen Prouty, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny, The Lone Ranger
Somewhere the hairstylist for American Hustle weeps and Bradley Cooper screams “I PERMED MY HAIR FOR NOTHING!”…
And those are our nominations! Discuss your snubs and your joys in the comments! And join me here on Saturday as I liveblog the SAG Awards with Kelly of TV Mouse!