Thursday, January 16, 2014

And the Nominees are... 2014 Oscar Nominations.

So if some of you are living somewhere under the rock and still don’t know about it, Oscar nominations for this year were announced yesterday night. I have done similar posts for Oscar nominations for the past two years but this was the first time when I got to sit myself comfortably on the couch and watch them on my TV at normal human timings. Being in India has it perks, after all! I have mostly been absent from awards talk this season since I literally had not seen anything. But interesting thing is I have seen more movies nominated yesterday in last 16 days than the rest of awards season put together. So, that I am sort of up to the speed now, here is what I think of the nominations announced yesterday. As usual, I am not commenting on anything besides top 8(acting, directing, film and writing) and foreign film because, well because, I don’t know shit about them.

Best Picture:
American Hustle
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
So there will be 9 variable nominees every year. Right, Academy? Did I do the math right or am I missing something? No real surprises here but it officially makes Philomena and Nebraska two films at the top of my 2013 watch list. If I can catch them before ceremony, this will be the second year in row I would have seen all the nominees before Oscars. And I wasn’t lying about having seen more nominated films this year than the rest of year. Just in this category, there are 5 I have seen in last two weeks as opposed to 2 I had seen in 2013.

Best Director:
Steve McQueen for 12 years a Slave
David O. Russell for American Hustle
Alphonso Cuaron for Gravity
Alexander Payne for Nebraska
Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street
I haven’t yet seen Nebraska and going by Payne’s track record, I might easily love that film. But I am still sort of surprised to see Greengrass missing the cut. I won’t call it a snub just yet but that was unexpected. And this is really only one for Nebraska that wasn’t expected but with it, it suddenly seems very well represented. Great to see Scorsese being there!

Best Actor in Lead Role:
Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street
Christian Bale for American Hustle
Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club
Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave
Bruce Dern for Nebraska
You have no idea how much it hurt to take out Hanks' name out of this list. How can he not get nominated? As good as everyone in this category is, this category is just not complete without him. That has to be the biggest shock of this year. Great to see DiCaprio getting the nom. I Know lot of people must be very relieved to finally have him nominated.

Best Actress in Lead Role:
Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine
Judi Dench for Philomena
Sandra Bullock for Gravity
Amy Adams for American Hustle
Meryl Streep for August: Osage County
So while most of the rest of the world had their hands crossed for DiCaprio, I was anxious for Amy Adams. I really wanted her to be nominated and I am not even sure why? I mean, how is 5 time Oscar nominee any different than 4 time nominee? But still, I am so glad for her first leading nomination; did not expect Emma Thompson to make way for her though.

Best Actor in Supporting Role:
Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club
Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street
Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips
Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave
Bradley Cooper for American Hustle
Remember 2012, Guys? When “Jonah Hill, an Oscar nominee” was the biggest punch line of that year’s nominations? I know I am going to go a special version of hell just for reminding this but whatever happened to it? I am not his fan in general but I think he did a great job in both films he has been nominated for. Fassbender finally got nominated. How about that? And Barkhad Abdi – He is the Captain now!

Best Actress in Supporting Role:
Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine
Junn Squibb for Nebraska
Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave
Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle
Julia Roberts for August: Osage County
So next time a movie gets nominated for all the acting awards, I would be saying “meh, even Hustle did it”. Way to ruin something spectacular, Academy! I don’t hate that film(but I don’t like it either) but if Adams can’t win for it, no one else should! I am cursing them to lose in all four acting categories. And I will be really pissed if Lawrence wins here for the team, which looking at the nominations has a realistic chance.

Best Original Screenplay:
Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine
Bob Nelson for Nebraska
Spike Jonze for Her
David O. Russell and Eric Singer for American Hustle
Craig Borten and Melisa Wallace for Dallas Buyers Club
Again, I don’t hate American Hustle but all these nominations are making me do it! Worst is this one, even though it was completely expected. Screenplay was easily the worst thing about this movie that all the actors kept afloat. And didn’t O. Russell say something like “I don’t care about the fucking plot. I care about characters”? How do you get best original screenplay out of something that doesn’t care about the plot?

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Julie Depy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater for Before Midnight
Billy Ray for Captain Phillips
Terence Winter for The Wolf of Wall Street
John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope for Philomena
This is probably one and only category in this year’s nominations that has no surprises but still gets everything right. 4 phenomenal screenplays that deserve every mention they get capped with one that I haven’t seen yet.

Best Foreign Film:
The Broken Circle Breakdown(Belgium)
The Missing Picture(Cambodia)
The Hunt(Denmark)
The Great Beauty(Italy)
Tell me why The Past didn’t make the cut again? I have only seen two here but if The Past would have been here, 3 of top 5 movies of the year so far would have been nominated in this category. Imagine that! And I am glad The Grandmasters didn’t make the cut since then bottom 10 movies of the year would have also had the representation here.

So what did you think of these nominations?  


  1. Well done, Shantanu,,, enjoyed reading it thoroughly!!!

    I also did a similar article for my blog:

    1. Thanks Murtaza! I will have a look at your post a little later. :)

  2. Nice write-up. Nebraska is really good, one of my favorites from last year. I think you'll enjoy it as well.

    1. Thanks! Of those I haven't seen yet, it certainly is the one I am looking forward to most. Most probably, it will determine when I put my Best of 2013 lists up.

  3. I'm bothered by the American Hustle love, but the nods for DiCaprio, Scorsese, Fassbender, Hawkins, Before Midnight, Her, and The Hunt make up for it. :) Though, Hanks should've been nominated!

    1. I am answering your comment on Oscar nominations a day before the Oscars! That's a way to go! :)

      He Really should have. My biggest wish for tomorrow is for Hustle to go home empty handed, at least in big 8. It's mean but I really want that to happen.


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