Thursday, January 15, 2015

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

The nominations for the 87th Academy Awards were announced this morning; ringing in the homestretch of the 2014 cinematic year. Here are the good, bad, and glorious points of discussion:


-All 24 categories were announced this morning, a welcome change from previous years where only the major categories were announced during the telecast, and then “go to blah blah website to see the rest”. ALL the categories and the people who made the movies happen should get their due time.

-This is the least number of films nominated for Best Picture (eight) since the Academy expanded the category to a maximum of ten entries in 2011. It is satisfying to know that they weren’t trying to fill a quota by jamming in one or two more films.

-Bennett Miller’s FOXCATCHER was nominated for major categories such as Best Actor, Supporting Actor, Director, and Screenplay…but did not get a Best Picture nod. It seems odd, but many writers, including this Blogger, felt that the best aspect about the film was the acting…which is tied closely to the writing and directing. It’s one of those rare cases where the excellent pieces do not add up to the sum total, and the Academy saw right through that.

-Peter Jackson’s third chapter of THE HOBBIT trilogy earned just one nomination; Best Sound Editing. This nomination gave Jackson’s six Middle-Earth movies a grand total of 37 nominations; the most for any film-series in history.


-It may be tempting to gripe about Meryl Streep getting nominated again, but this may instead point towards an overall weak year for the Supporting Actress category. If not Streep, who then?  

-Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR picked up nominations for Best Sound Editing and Mixing. A head-scratcher because the sound-mix in that cosmic-voyaging film had the bizarre artistic choice of the music drowning out the dialogue. 

-Clint Eastwood did not get a Best Director nomination, despite his AMERICAN SNIPER gaining six nominations in major categories. 

-Tim Burton’s BIG EYES, his best film in years, was shut out.

-The animated film THE LEGO MOVIE, one of the best-reviewed of the year, did not get a nod for Best Animated Feature.


-Let’s hear it for the small independent films! J.K. Simmons of LAW AND ORDER and State Farm commercial fame was nominated for his performance in the indie flick WHIPLASH, and Marion Cotillard received a nod for her even-smaller flick TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT; a film that she did not campaign for a nomination.

-Wes Anderson received his first Best Director nomination for his fantastic THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL, which picked up eight others, including Best Picture.

-Fan-favorites Michael Keaton picked up his first career acting nomination, and Edward Norton picked up his third…for their work in BIRDMAN. 

-It all comes down to the movies, and the right films got the lion’s share of the nominations; BIRDMAN (9), THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (9), THE IMITATION GAME (8), AMERICAN SNIPER (6), and BOYHOOD (6).  The leaders of the 2014 pack are right where they belong; up front and in the spotlight.


The Oscars will be awarded February 22nd

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