Oscar Surprises and Snubs

Posted by Richard "RB" Botto
Well, the Oscar nominations are in.  What say you?  Satisfied?  Shocked?  
 
Let's talk surprises (good and bad) and snubs.
 
I'll start…Top three snubs for me in no particular order:
 
Inside Llewyn Davis – The Grand Prix winner at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival was left out of both the Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay categories.  I found The Coen's film about the pursuit of fame (amongst a million other things) to be a Swiss watch of precision and detail.  One that, as is the case with most Coen films, will reveal and reward with repeat viewings.  Matt Damon famously said that Oscars should be voted on and handed out 10 years after the fact – similar to the Hall of Fame - so they have a chance to mature and grow in stature.  I believe in 10 years Inside Llewyn Davis will be more highly regarded and respected than many on this year's Best Picture list.
 
Stories We Tell – The most compelling, and certainly the most personal, documentary I had the pleasure of viewing in 2013.  Actress turned director turned documentarian, Sarah Polley, turns the camera at her family (and herself) and learns some hard truths in the process.  A remarkable piece of work.
 
Sean Bobbit, Cinematographer, 12 Years a Slave – An egregious oversight.  One of the most, if not the most, beautifully shot films of the year.  
 
And a few pleasant surprises:
 
Christian Bale – Dern, DiCaprio, Ejiofor, and McConaughey were considered locks.  Most thought the 5th slot would come down to Tom Hanks and Robert Redford.  The Academy went for Bale who, to me, was the best think about American Hustle.  Many have praised the performances of Adams and Lawrence, and they were both terrific, but for my money Bale's Irving Rosenfled was the anchor of the film.
 
Barkhad Abdi – Many expected him to be here, but you never know with the Academy.  The former limo driver turned actor held his own (and then some) with Hanks in Captain Phillips.  The feel good story of the year.
 
Her – The most original film of the year.  The writing nom was expected, the Best Picture nod maybe not as much.
 
Dallas Buyers Club and Nebraska – Best Original Screenplay nominations for both.  Dallas took twenty years to get to the screen, Nebraska took ten.  A lesson for all screenwriters out there – stick with it…All it takes is one "Yes".  Congratulations to Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack, and Bob Nelson.
 
Now it's your turn…Let's discuss.  Complete list of nominees below.  Comments section to follow.
 
RB
 

Best Picture
American Hustle - Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
Captain Phillips - Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers
Dallas Buyers Club - Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers
Gravity - Alfonso Cuaron and David Heyman, Producers
Her - Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers
Nebraska - Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers
Philomena - Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers
12 Years a Slave - Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers
The Wolf of Wall Street - Nominees to be determined

Best performance by an actor in a leading role
Christian Bale, American Hustle (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Bruce Dern, Nebraska (Paramount)
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount)
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight)
Matthew McConaughey,  Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)

Best performance by an actress in a leading role
Amy Adams, American Hustle (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics)
Sandra Bullock, Gravity (Warner Bros.)
Judi Dench, Philomena (The Weinstein Company)
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County (The Weinstein Company)

Best performance by an actor in a supporting role
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 performance by an actress in a supporting role
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
June Squibb, Nebraska
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

Best animated feature
Frozen
The Croods
The Wind Rises
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine

Achievement in cinematography
The Grandmaster, Philippe Le Sourd
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael
Prisoners, Roger A. Deakins
 
Achievement in costume design
American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
The Grandmaster, William Chang Suk Ping
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin
The Invisible Woman, Michael O'Connor
12 Years a Slave, Patricia Norris

 Achievement in directing
American Hustle, David O. Russell
Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron
Nebraska, Alexander Payne
12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen
The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese
 
Best documentary feature
The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
Cutie and the Boxer, Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
Dirty Wars, Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
The Square, Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
20 Feet From Stardom, Nominees to be determined
 
Best documentary short subject
CaveDigger, Jeffrey Karoff
Facing Fear, Jason Cohen
Karama Has No Walls, Sara Ishaq
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall, Edgar Barens
 
Achievement in film editing

American Hustle, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club, John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron and Mark Sanger
12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker
 
Best foreign language film of the year
The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
The Great Beauty, Italy
The Hunt, Denmark
The Missing Picture, Cambodia
Omar, Palestine
 
Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club, Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Stephen Prouty
The Lone Ranger, Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny
 
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
The Book Thief, John Williams
Gravity, Steven Price
Her, William Butler and Owen Pallett
Philomena, Alexandre Desplat
Saving Mr. Banks, Thomas Newman
 
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

"Alone Yet Not Alone" from Alone Yet Not Alone; Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyrics by Dennis Spiegel
"Happy" from Despicable Me 2; Music and Lyrics by Pharrell Williams
"Let It Go" from Frozen; Music and Lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song" from Her; Music by Karen O; Lyrics by Karen O and Spike Jonze
"Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyrics by Paul Hewson

 Achievement in production design
American Hustle, Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
Gravity, Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
The Great Gatsby, Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
Her, Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena
12 Years a Slave, Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker
 
Best animated short film

Feral, Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
Get a Horse!, Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
Mr. Hublot, Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
Possessions, Shuhei Morita
Room on the Broom, Max Lang and Jan Lachauer
 
Best live action short film
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me), Esteban Crespo
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything), Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
Helium, Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?), Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
The Voorman Problem, Mark Gill and Baldwin Li
 
Achievement in sound editing
All Is Lost, Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
Captain Phillips, Oliver Tarney
Gravity, Glenn Freemantle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Brent Burge
Lone Survivor, Wylie Stateman
 
Achievement in sound mixing
Captain Phillips, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
Gravity, Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
Inside Llewyn Davis, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Lone Survivor, Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow
 
Achievement in visual effects
Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
The Lone Ranger, Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
Star Trek Into Darkness, Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton
 
Adapted screenplay
Before Midnight, Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
Captain Phillips, Billy Ray
Philomena, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave, John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street, Terence Winter
 
Original screenplay

American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club, Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack
Her, Spike Jonze
Nebraska, Bob Nelson

 

I welcome your thoughts in the Comments section below.

 
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