Thursday, January 16, 2014

Reel Facts & Opinions: Oscar Nominations - The Good, The Bad, The Understandable, & The Glorious

The nominations for the 86th Academy Awards were announced this morning. AMERICAN HUSTLE and GRAVITY lead the pack with ten nominations each, with 12 YEARS A SLAVE close behind with nine. There were no super-shocking moments this year, but there are some Good, Bad, Understandable, and Glorious elements to talk about

The Good
-Alfonso Cuaron’s GRAVITY, as expected, picked up nominations in every technical category. What was unexpected was its nomination for Best Cinematography; unexpected because the film was mostly shot on blue-screen with its artificial environment added later. This is a good sign because it shows the Academy is open to new techniques in filmmaking; they are recognizing the end result more than the tools and method to get there.

-Famed Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki’s THE WIND RISES was nominated for Best Animated Feature. Miyazaki had announced his retirement earlier this year, which makes this his final film.

The Bad

-Meryl Streep was nominated for the 568th year in a row. Although her work in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY is just fine, you have to wonder if the voters are on auto-pilot when her name pops up every year.
-Heads may be rolling at Pixar. The famed animation studio did not secure nominations in Best Animated Feature, Short, or Original Song. It’s not good for them right now, but perhaps this can serve as a wake-up call and get them off the lazyboy.

-No major nominations for INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. Perhaps The Coen Bros. are losing their status as Oscar Darlings.

The Understandable

-Tom Hanks was not nominated for CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. Hanks’ work in CAPTAIN PHILLIPS was good, but didn’t reach greatness until the final five minutes.  

-No nominations for LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER. The highly-praised film was simply released way too early in the year to be considered, or more importantly…remembered.

The Glorious

-Nothing for THE BUTLER means no nomination for Oprah Winfrey, which means her gigantic head won’t be in the way of all the cameras this year.  

-Legendary composer John Williams was nominated for the 49th time; this year for his work in THE BOOK THIEF.

-Score one for the old folks: NEBRASKA stars Bruce Dern (77 years old) and June Squibb (84 years old) received acting nominations.

-Geek Alert: The God of Thunder himself (Chris Hemsworth of THOR) assisted in announcing the nominations…on a Thorsday.

-AMERICAN HUSTLE, GRAVITY, and 12 YEARS A SLAVE…three of the best films of the year, combines for 29 nominations. The right movies are in the hunt, and that’s the most important thing.


The Oscars will be awarded March 2nd.


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