Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

26 January 2014

Oscar Nominees 2014: Part 2 of 14

Dallas Buyers Club
6 Nominations
  • Picture
  • Actor: Matthew McConaughey
  • Original Screenplay: Craig Borten
  • Supporting Actor: Jared Leto
  • Film Editing: John Mac McMurphy
  • Makeup
Cast: McConaughey, Leto, Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn, Denis O'Hare, Dallas Roberts, Griffin Dunne, Deneen Tyler

I didn't really care for this, but six nominations including Best Picture, Film Editing, and Original Screenplay (especially in a year with so many good original screenplays) is a lot of love. The Academy clearly really likes this picture, and there's no reason to think it's going to stop loving it any time soon. McConaughey, who has been doing respectable work for three years now (after all of those years of silly rom-coms) is the overwhelming favorite for his category, and Leto (also never before nominated) is the favorite in his. The other Makeup nominees are The Lone Ranger and Bad Grandpa, so I will expect DBC to win in that category too. In fact, I should probably bet on this to win Screenplay while we're at it, but I just can't bring myself to do so.
Will Win: Actor, Supporting Actor, Makeup
Could Win: Original Screenplay
My Rating: #58 out of 73

6 Nominations
  • Picture
  • Director: Alexander Payne (The Descendants, Sideways)
  • Actor: Bruce Dern (Coming Home)
  • Original Screenplay: Bob Nelson
  • Supporting Actress: June Squibb
  • Cinematography: Phedon Papamichael 
Director: Payne
Cast: Dern, Will Forte, Squibb, Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach, Mary Louise Wilson, Rance Howard, Angela McEwan, Tim Driscoll, Devin Ratray,

This has gotten better and better in my mind upon reflection. I think, however, that the opposite is probably true for the Academy. This is a pretty good picture, but one that will have worn out its welcome with voters by the time the Awards roll around. It's a quirky movie, too: a funny film that's subject matter is aging and mortality. It's gorgeously shot, but much of the time the camera's gaze is directed at dilapidated old buildings or claustrophobic interiors. Everyone acknowledges that the acting is stellar, but no one feels as though they know Bruce Dern or June Squibb, and both play characters that are not exactly lovable. Six nominations is a lot of love, but Nebraska is an also-ran this year.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #40 out of 73

Captain Phillips
6 Nominations
  • Picture
  • Adapted Screenplay: Billy Ray
  • Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi
  • Film Editing: Christopher Rouse (The Bourne Ultimatum, United 93)
  • Sound Mixing
  • Sound Editing 
Director: Paul Greengrass
Cast: Tom Hanks, Abdi, Barkhad Abdirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M. Ali, Corey Johnson, Michael Chernus, David Warshofsky, Chris Mulkey, Catherine Keener

Big surprises on this front on the morning of the nominations. Captain Phillips was supposed to get a Best Director and a Best Actor nomination, as well. You can see from the love for the film's screenplay and its editing, that a majority of Academy members really loved this picture – its USAmerican imperialist/superiority theme surely helps on this front – and yet Tom Hanks (who is absolutely excellent in the movie) and Paul Greengrass (who was nominated before for his excellent film United 93) were no-shows when the names were read out. It's an odd thing, and I am not sure I know why this happened except that The Wolf of Wall Street really took the slot where this picture would've appeared in the Best Actor and Best Director categories. Maybe if it had been released just a little bit later... who knows. In any case, six nominations or not, don't expect Captain Phillips to go home with any little gold men. It is out of the running in all categories.
Will Win: N/A
Could Win: N/A
My Rating: #50 out of 73