Thursday, January 16, 2014

2013 Oscar Nominations

Merry Christmas, Oscar lovers!

Yes, it's our Christmas morning, where we wrap our heads around the terrific, baffling, and always-intriguing presents that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestows upon us. There are quite a handful of surprises this year, but also a lot of expected selections. You can find the full list of nominees here at my Academy Awards page.

Excuse the messiness of these thoughts; I jotted them down as they came to me so they're very discombobulated.

  • Last year, David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook became the first film since Reds (1981) to score a nomination in each acting category. American Hustle accomplished the same feat this year.
  • Overall, Gravity and American Hustle lead all films with 10 nominations each, followed by 12 Years a Slave with 9.
  • Impressively, The Grandmaster - Hong Kong's finalist for Best Foreign Language Film - scored two nominations but didn't make it into the aforementioned category. Wong Kar-wai's biopic of Ip Man was nominated for Best Costume Design and Best Cinematography.
  • Proof that the Academy loves old-age makeup: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is officially an Oscar nominee, for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Other "wha?" films: The Lone Ranger and Lone Survivor.
More thoughts after the jump.

  • So it's only Win Butler and Owen Pallett listed on the nomination, not the whole group, but essentially the Arcade Fire is an Oscar nominee now! The nomination is for their score for Her, and the film has also made the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' singer Karen O a nominee for Best Original Song.
  • There was the very real possibility that the Foreign Language could have been an all-Europe line-up, but instead we get two excellent surprises. The Missing Picture is both the first nominee for Cambodia and, to my knowledge, the first documentary to be recognized in this category (*Editor's note: I completely forgot that Waltz for Bashir, Israel's nominee in 2008, was also a documentary*). Omar is the second nominee for the Palestinian Territories, following 2005's Paradise Now, and they share the same director: Hany Abu-Assad.
  • Gravity is the only Best Picture nominee to not have a corresponding writing nomination. That's the best picture-writing correlation since 2010, when Black Swan was the only Best Picture nominee to not have its screenplay nominated.
  • I know I said I didn't think that there would be nine nominees in Best Picture again this year, and honestly I still can't believe it. But that goes to show how much support these films had and how surprisingly little others did (I am genuinely surprised by the exclusion of Inside Llewyn Davis).
  • Even though I was so certain of my predicted Best Actor lineup, this year was incredibly competitive with a number of realistic possibilities, and I applaud the Academy for going with the choices they made. All of those men - including outsiders Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips) and Robert Redford (All is Lost) - are incredibly worthy.
  • Surprisingly, both Lee Daniels' The Butler and Rush were considered serious contenders early in the season - and even late too, given The Butler's SAG Best Ensemble nomination and Rush's Best Picture, Drama Golden Globe nod - yet came up completely empty-handed this morning.
  • I noted in my predictions that Martin Scorsese and David O. Russell were firmly in the Academy's favor at the moment, so surely they'd be nominated. I should have known to extend that to Alexander Payne, who was nominated for his work on Nebraska.
  • I am, of course, very happy that Barkhad Abdi was nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Sally Hawkins was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, especially since they recently won their respective categories at this year's Jarmos.
  • So here's a fun speculation game: if we were still on five nominees for Best Picture, who would have been in? My guess is that 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, and Nebraska would be my guesses. Though you could sub in Captain Phillips, but it's really hard to read how much they loved the film based on the nominations it got (picking up nods for Adapted Screenplay and Picture, but missing out on Actor and Director).

Notable exclusions:
  • Blackfish and Stories We Tell in Best Documentary Feature
  • Oprah Winfrey in Best Supporting Actress
  • Tom Hanks and Robert Redford in Best Actor
  • Emma Thompson in Best Actress
  • Lee Daniels' The Butler and Rush overall
  • Inside Llewyn Davis in Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay
  • Monsters University in Best Animated Feature
  • The Great Gatsby in Best Original Song
  • World War Z in Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Visual Effects
  • American Hustle in Best Makeup and Hairstyling

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