Thursday, January 16, 2014

Analyzing this year's Oscar noms

The 2014 Academy Award nominations were announced this morning, and due to crippling insomnia, I was actually up at 5:00AM PST to watch them live!

I won’t be participating in the Oscar Death Race like I have the past few years, where the goal is to see EVERY SINGLE nominated film; I am returning to my old tradition of seeing every film for the major categories: Best Picture, all Acting nominations, Best Documentary, Best Screenplay (Adapted and Original), and Best Direction. I'm well on my way to completion. I only have a couple more.

Things that surprised me (Bad):

-          Joaquin Phoenix didn’t get a Best Actor nomination. While I’ve never been his biggest fan, he was amazing in “Her”, and probably deserved the nomination over Christian Bale. As much as I love Bale and think he was great in “American Hustle”, I’m not sure I’d say the role was Oscar-worthy. But then again I feel that way about all of the acting performances from “Hustle”; everyone was good, but there were others that were better.

-          The rampant category fraud going on with some of these acting nominations is irritating. Meryl Streep had the same amount of screen time, if not less, in “August: Osage County” than Julia Roberts did. They both gave powerful performances in that movie that deserve recognition, but they either both should be considered leads or in my opinion, both should be nominated in the Supporting category. This holds true for Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper; if you’re going to give them nominations, which again I’m not sure they earned in this year of bountiful great acting, they both should be for Supporting Actor.

-          Scarlet Johansson wasn’t considered for an acting nom for her voice work in “Her”. She did more acting with just her voice than many did with their whole body on screen.

-          I hate to say this but… Oprah really did deserve a Best Supporting Actress nom for The Butler. Jennifer Lawrence hijacked her Oscar.

Surprises (Good):

-          “Cutie and The Boxer” was nominated for Best Documentary! So excited that one of the best docs I saw last year is getting this recognition. This has been on Netflix for months, please do yourself a favor and see it.

-          “Despicable Me 2” got a Best Animated Feature nomination. After not making the cut for the Globes I was worried.

Things that weren’t surprising but were still great:

-          Jared Leto got one step closer to being an Oscar winner. It’s seriously so surreal.

-          Chiwetel Ejiorfor and Michael Fassbender got their nominations for “12 Years A Slave”. Well deserved. I worry that Chiwetel is going to lose what should rightfully be his Oscar to one of his fellow nominees.

Well, however the results turn out, it’s still my favorite season of the year!

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