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Random Thoughts on Oscar Noms

Lovin’ that love for “Her”! It IS the year’s best picture in this corner, but who woulda thunk it?! 5 nominations, including Best Picture…and I’m tickled pink. It probably won’t win a thing, and the mainstream audiences who wander in now will probably just find it weird, but it matters not. The die is cast, and “Her” got just as many nominations as “The Wolf of Wall Street”…which just happens to be the only Best Picture nominee I have yet to see.

Speaking of “WoWS”, did DiCaprio swipe Redford’s slot? Or was it Bale? Certainly Dern, Ejiofor and McConaughey belong, but Robbie’s chances were looking good. Anyway, the real omission was Tom Hanks, who possibly turned in his best work ever. At the very least his best 10 minutes(at the finale of “Captain Phillips”), but the “American Hustle” tide is a strong one. Hoping a Best Picture win is something “AH” doesn’t pull in. Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams are in strong shape though.

“Lee Daniel’s The Butler”, “Saving Mr. Banks” and Pixar’s “Monsters University” managed a grand total of ONE nomination(musical score for “Saving Mr. Banks”), trumpeting the theme of button-pushing mediocrity being on the outs this year. But the TWELVE combined nominations for “Dallas Buyers Club”, “Philomena” and “August: Osage County” reminds us that the middlebrow is never completely out of fashion.

Love Emma Thompson, but her Best Actress nom fail for “SMB” was NOT a snub. Really, Delpy for “Before Midnight”, Gerwig for “Frances Ha” and Scarlett Johansson’s voice in “Her” were ALL superior to Streep, Dench and Bullock too. But Oscar doesn’t go for edgy, Oscar goes for safe. It’s been looking like Blanchett’s award for months, btw…but Amy Adams is coming on strong.

Sorry folks, but James Gandolfini will not be remembered as a MOVIE star. I know it hurts, but you don’t simply pick up that nomination by exiting ahead of schedule(it worked for Heath, but Ledger was a movie star). Jimmy G had many fine film performances…in fact, I chronicled three right here on the blog soon after he shuffled off this mortal coil over the summer. Hey, I liked him in “Enough Said”, but his supporting actor absence simply is NOT a tragedy. No disrespect…R.I.P. Mr. Soprano.

“Before Midnight” screenplay nomination expected, but it doesn’t have a prayer. And I adore June Squibb in “Nebraska”.

Sally Hawkins getting an s. actress nod for “Blue Jasmine” takes some of the sting out of her getting snubbed for Best Actress for “Happy-Go-Lucky” five years ago. She’s great. Non-actor Barkhad Abdi getting an s. actor nod for “Captain Phillips” is pretty sweet too.

Can’t wait to see whether or not “The Wolf of Wall Street” is actually any good. Marty has appeared to be slipping with “Hugo” and “Shutter Island”.

I really want to like “12 Years a Slave” more, and I’m sorry that I don’t. But I’ll be rooting for it to topple the quickly ascending “American Hustle” come March 2nd. Somewhat confident Alfonso Cuaron is taking Best Director for “Gravity”. As usual, DGA will seal the deal.

By the time my Top Ten of 2013 arrives around February 1st(maybe I’ll sneak it in a day or two early), I’ll have seen ONE Documentary nominee, ONE Animated nominee, and ONE Foreign nominee. Always playing catch-up with those groups. And the ignoring of “Blue is the Warmest Color” reminds us again that a Cannes victory usually doesn’t mean shit.

Pleased that “Lone Survivor” picked up 2 nods for Sound, and “The Lone Ranger” grabbed a deuce for Visual Effects and Makeup & Hairstyling. And “American Hustle isn’t up for Makeup and Hairstyling! That could be the craziest snub of all! “AH”‘s hair was its own separate film.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something, so maybe I’ll unleash a Random Thoughts II at some point. Lots of fun stuff coming up in the next six weeks—and then the Big Kahuna arrives on March 2!

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4 comments on “Random Thoughts on Oscar Noms

  1. Thanks for this interesting and thorough round up Mark. Seems like a more even and unpredictable year, ie there is no front runner movie set to sweep the awards.

    I saw Wolf of Wall Street and I am going to predict, based on your other reviews, that you won’t especially like it. Definitely overlong and there are some really outlandish sequences but does a great job of assaulting the senses so as to place you in the action, especially in relation to drugs. And Leo does some terrific physical comedy work. Looking forward to your review.

    • Thank you so much, Simon. Yeah, I believe it’s pretty much certain that nothing is walking off with a boat full of trophies. I’m a SAG member, and my vote was all over the place. Ejifor for Actor for “12 Years a Slave”, Blanchett for actress for “Blue Jasmine”, Leto for supporting actor for “Dallas Buyers Club” and Squibb for “Nebraska” for supporting actress. I voted for Best Ensemble in its purest sense and chose “American Hustle”. I don’t believe it’s the best picture, but it’s the best collection of performances. So, five votes, five films, on my ballot alone.

      I sure hope to LOVE “The Wolf of Wall Street”, and it would be wonderful if I actually do. I’m an old school Scorsese guy(“Taxi Driver”, “Raging Bull”), and I feel his more recent work doesn’t measure up. “WoWS” looks to be back in that “prime Marty” wheelhouse. I’ll see it before January ends—it’s one of the few films I didn’t receive an industry screener for, so I actually have to make my way out to the theater for it! ML

  2. I agree with most of your thoughts here, though I’ve yet to see some critical films so I’m not forming too solid of an opinion yet on the nominations (All is Lost, Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street and Saving Mr Banks are as yet unseen by me). I’m hoping for a good night for 12 Years a Slave personally.

  3. I like “12 Years a Slave” more than most of the nominees, but “Her” is my overwhelming favorite. However, I’m pretty confident that it will go winless. No matter-the noms are enough recognition for me. Thanks for checking in, Dave! ML

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