A Few Quick Thoughts on Snubs and Surprises

At 8:38 am this morning (in New York, anyway – it was three hours earlier in California), the Academy Award nominations were announced. True to form, there were some interesting omissions and even more surprising inclusions.

  • Nebraska, in general. Six nominations! Picture, Director (Alexander Payne), Actor (Bruce Dern), Supporting Actress (June Squibb), Original Screenplay, Cinematography. I’m pretty happy right now.
  • Best Actor. I knew that Robert Redford had lost steam along the way, so his exclusion from the category is no big shock. Someone had to be left out, however, and this time it was two-time winner Tom Hanks. Christian Bale took his spot for all the mugging he did in American Hustle.
  • Best Actress. I believed – as did many others – that Emma Thompson was a shoo-in for her work in Saving Mr. Banks, while Amy Adams and Meryl Streep would be battling for the fifth spot. Instead, the Academy loved American Hustle so much that Amy Adams was a must-have… but Meryl got in anyway, taking Emma’s place.
  • Best Supporting Actor. I really thought Daniel Brühl had a chance for his work in Rush, given his nominations at the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, BAFTAs and Critics’ Choice Awards. Instead, in a bit of a surprise, Jonah Hill was recognized for his performance in The Wolf of Wall Street. For those keeping score at home: Jonah Hill, 2 (also nominated for Moneyball two years ago); Donald Sutherland, Alan Rickman, Richard Gere and Steve Buscemi, 0.
  • Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. Actually not a surprise – I correctly predicted all five for both!
  • Best Original Screenplay. I don’t think anybody was expecting Dallas Buyers Club in place of Inside Llewyn Davis. In fact, I would bet that this category is the one category that most people felt was the most likely bet for the Coen brothers’ musical drama, although it did manage to get two nods for Cinematography and Sound Mixing.
  • Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa and The Lone Ranger were nominated; does that mean that Dallas Buyers Club wins by default? Would it really have been such a stretch to give those first two nominations to American Hustle and The Great Gatsby?
  • Best Original Song. The omissions of Gatsby songs notwithstanding, what on Earth is “Alone Yet Not Alone” from the movie Alone Yet Not Alone? Never heard of any of this. At least I got a chuckle out of seeing AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs sounding as bemused as anyone else to mention the title as one of the nominees.

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