Thursday, January 16, 2014

Oscar nominations: how did I do?

Usually when the Oscar nominations are announced each year I'm surprised, and not always pleasantly. Today was no exception to the surprise rule, but honestly, I wasn't really disappointed by anything, exception the omission of those I was hoping for but knew probably wouldn't get nominated.

So comparing my predictions to the reality of today's nominations, how did I do?

Best Picture
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
The Wolf of Wall Street

Analysis: I actually had all nine nominees, but I thought the Academy might go with a 10th. I thought Philomena wasn't quite Best Picture-worthy (although charming), and am surprised that Saving Mr. Banks apparently didn't resonate with Academy voters. (More on that in a bit.) Thrilled Her made the cut; unimpressed with The Wolf of Wall Street; and although I knew it wouldn't happen, still hoped for a surprise from Fruitvale Station.

Best Actor
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Analysis: I went 3/5 in my predictions, although I said Bale and DiCaprio were possibilities. I am shocked (but not disappointed) that Robert Redford wasn't nominated, in that I thought there was more hype than substance, and while I didn't see Captain Phillips, I suffer from Tom Hanks fatigue since my bitterness over his back-to-back wins in 1993 and 1994, so I wasn't upset by this omission.

Best Actress
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Analysis: I went 4/5 here. I'm shocked, honestly, that Emma Thompson didn't get nominated for Saving Mr. Banks. This was a tough category and someone was going to get left out. I'm just glad Amy Adams didn't. (I'd still vote for Cate Blanchett, but wanted Adams in the category.) Congratulations to Meryl Streep for her 18th nominations!

Best Supporting Actor
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

Analysis: I went 4/5 here. Honestly, Jonah Hill's nomination surprised me. He was good, but I thought Will Forte in Nebraska and James Gandolfini in Enough Said gave stronger performances. Daniel Bruhl received Golden Globe and SAG nominations for his performance as real-life race car driver Niki Lauda, but didn't make the Oscar cut, much like John Hawkes in The Sessions last year and Mila Kunis in Black Swan in 2010.

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Analysis: I went 4/5 here, too, but I am thrilled, quite honestly, that Oprah Winfrey wasn't nominated, and Sally Hawkins was in her place. This is a terrific category.

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Analysis: If you're sensing a theme, I went 4/5 here as well. Alexander Payne's nomination is no surprise and is well-deserved, although I am surprised that Paul Greengrass didn't get nominated for Captain Phillips. I was hoping Spike Jonze would be nominated for Her but didn't expect it. And I'll admit that as much as I'm a Scorsese fan, this nomination wasn't deserved in my opinion, as I thought the movie was bloated and overdone.

And there you have it. We'll see who emerges victorious on March 2!!

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