Wolf, Hustle, Slave, and Dallas Buyers Club lead risk-free Oscar nominations
The 2014 Oscar nominations were announced this morning (January 16), with few surprises among the leading contenders. Maybe this reflected a particularly strong year in Hollywood film, or perhaps it’s because nobody from the Academy bothered to watch Computer Chess?
All the titles you expected to see clustered in the best movie category are there: American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street being the no-brainers. The presence of Judi Dench in the film presumably put the more modest Philomena on the Academy radar, while its annual tribute to the basic existence of Tom Hanks explains Captain Phillips.
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) takes on Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), and Leonardo DiCaprio (What’s Eating the Wolf of Wall Street) in the best actor race.
Congratulations are in order for Jared Leto, of all people. His best supporting actor nomination comes after a slew of noms and prizes for his role portraying a transgender woman in Dallas Buyers Club. Jonah Hill doubles down on his rise to serious actor–type with The Wolf of Wall Street, the second Oscar nomination after 2011’s Moneyball for the kid from Superbad. Bradley Cooper (American Huxtable), Michael Werner Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), and Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) round out the list with the grim inevitability of death itself.
Blue Jasmine’s Sally Hawkins joins—here we go again—Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Julia Roberts (August: Oscar County), and June Squibb (Nebraska) in the best supporting actress category.
Any guesses who was nominated for best director? That’s right! David O. Russell (Hustle), Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street), and Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) will fight to the death for the last of the big awards.
Inside Llewyn Davis is conspicuous by its absence in the previous categories, but Bruno Delbonnel scored a well-deserved nomination for cinematography. He’s joined by Philippe Le Sourd for The Grandmaster, Emmanuel Lubezki for Gravity, Roger A. Deakins for Prisoners, and Phedon Papamichael for his glorious black and white work in Nebraska.
The latter film also netted an original screenplay nomination for Bob Nelson, who told the Straight about his 10 year journey with the film during last year’s Vancouver International Film Festival. So we’re rooting for him, since he’s such a nice guy. Also recognized are Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell for American Hustle, Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine, Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack for Dallas Buyers Club, and Spike Jonze for Her.
The adapted screenplay category is a little more racy, with our hero Steve Coogan (with Jeff Pope) going all Hollywood with Philomena (what, no Alan Partridge Is in Alpha Papa?), Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke all share the nomination for Before Midnight—a film that has been scandalously ignored in all the other major categories—while Billy Ray (Captain Phillips), John Ridley (12 Years a Slave), and Terence Winter (The Wolf King of LA) complete the list.
For the rest of this year’s nominations—including U2’s inexplicable (but not really, I guess) appearance in the best original song category for “Ordinary Love”, from Mandela: Long Wait Till It’s Over—go here. The winners will be announced in a quiet ceremony on March 2.