January 16, 2014

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: 86th Academy Award Nominations



Hopefully by now you have seen the Oscar nominations (if not you can find them here http://oscar.go.com/nominees) so here is what I thought about them:

THE GOOD
-The best film of the year (Gravity) ended up being the co-nominations leader.

-Before Midnight got a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination.  It was expected, but it would have been a travesty had such a great film not received a single nomination.

-The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smug got three nominations (Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects).  I personally wouldn’t have nominated it for the sound categories, but it’s nice to see this undervalued film (at least by critical measures) match the nomination tally of its predecessor.

THE BAD
-2013 was a banner year for documentaries, but it seems like the Best Documentary Feature category isn’t quite the representation of the genre that it should be.  Missing from the category are such great films as Blackfish, Which Way is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington, The Crash Reel and Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.  Instead we get Cutie and the Boxer (which is only notable for filling the typical Academy voter’s “it’s about an artist” checkmark) and Dirty Wars (which covers an important subject matter but does so in such a problematic format).

THE UGLY
-Both Tom Hanks and Robert Redford missed out on the Lead Actor category.  Hanks gave one of the best performances of his career, and Redford may have given the best performance of his career.  Instead they were passed over for Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio (who admittedly gave good performances of their own).  Maybe if voters weren’t so dead set already on giving an aging veteran’s one note-performance (Bruce Dern) or a rediscovered star’s “hey, you’re actually a good actor” performance (Matthew McConaughey) nominations this category would have worked out better.

WTF?!?!?!
-I guess it’s nice to see that a film (Alone Yet Not Alone) can get an Oscar nomination out of nowhere even if (as some have pointed out) the matter in which it got nominated is dubious.  I will reserve judgment until I actually see the film assuming this film actually exists (apparently there’s a release set for later this year).

Predictions-wise I went 87 for 122 (71.3% and 1 correct prediction off of my total from last year) and 38 for 44 in the big 8 categories (86.4% and 3 correct predictions better than I did last year).  I also correctly predicted the Best Picture, Best Lead Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay categories.

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