Thoughts on the 2014 Oscar Nominees

Oscars Wild

Well, the 2014 Oscar Nominees were released on Thursday. Time to do my annual commentary. This should be interesting because with 2 kids now, my current movie viewing is at an all time low. Plus, it seems, I just don’t normally watch movies that get nominated for Oscars.

Wolf of Wall Street

Best picture

“12 Years a Slave” – This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” – I love Scorcese and I love DiCaprio. Put both of them together and you get “magic”, my friends. Well, except for Shutter Island. But everything else has been “magic”.
“Captain Phillips” – I understand why this is here. Tom Hanks. Somali Pirates. Drama. Triumph of the human spirit. Blah, blah, this looks boring, blah.
“Her” – Joaquin Phoenix looks like an 80s porn star in this movie.  I don’t typically like Spike Jonze’s movies but I’ll watch a pervy Joaquin Phoenix try to have sex with a computer.  That’s the premise, right?  Joaquin dry humping a computer?
“American Hustle” – My wife saw this and loved it. Apparently the Academy does too because it’s got like a million nominations.
“Gravity” – I understand the “gravity” of the situation.  I need to see this. (see what I did there?)
“Dallas Buyers Club” – Also known as Philadelphia 2.  I’ve seen the trailer and have no plans to ever watch it.
“Nebraska” – Didn’t Alexander Payne already make this movie? It was called About Schmidt. Bruce Dern looks just like Nicholson from that movie.  Does June Squibb have a naked hot tub scene?
“Philomena” – Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

American Hustle

Best director

Steve McQueen — “12 Years a Slave” – Steve McQueen?  Seriously?  Any relation to the actor? Gotta check IMDb—–wait, nevermind.
David O. Russell — “American Hustle” – This guy has made some good movies.  Nice followup to Silver Linings Playbook.
Alfonso Cuaron — “Gravity” – With all the buzz of this movie I feel pulled to watch it (again, see what I did there?)
Alexander Payne — “Nebraska” – Btw, I hated About Schmidt.
Martin Scorsese — “The Wolf of Wall Street” – YES. Go Marty. He can never have enough Oscars.

Dallas Buyers Club

Best actor

Bruce Dern — “Nebraska” –  AKA Jack Nicholson from About Schmidt.
Chiwetel Ejiofor — “12 Years a Slave” – As expected.  Seriously, though, I am a big fan of this actor.
Matthew McConaughey — “Dallas Buyers Club” – McConaughey has become quite the critic darling lately.  This movie, that other movie, Mud, and the TV show with Woody Harrelson, True Detective.  All this from the guy who gave us Wooderson (Allright, allright, allright!)
Leonardo DiCaprio — “The Wolf of Wall Street” – Dicaprio 4 Eva.
Christian Bale — “American Hustle” – Okay, I guess.  I haven’t seen this, but honestly, Bale hasn’t really compelled me in a long time.

Gravity

Best actress

Amy Adams — “American Hustle” – I love her.  She’s very good in almost everything she’s done.  Very likable and funny.
Cate Blanchett — “Blue Jasmine” – I’m not a Woody Allen fan. But I am a Cate Blanchett fan.  And Alec Baldwin.  And I was surprised how much I actually liked Allen’s Midnight in Paris.
Judi Dench — “Philomena” – Judi Dench is great.  This movie doesn’t look great.
Sandra Bullock — “Gravity” – I feel drawn to Sandra Bullock.  ( Whatever. MY PUNS ARE AWESOME.).
Meryl Streep — “August: Osage County” – Meryl will always be nominated.  Always.  Even in movies that look like they were created to be shown in clinics that specialize in insomnia (because it looks so goddam boring).

12 years a slave

Best supporting actor

Barkhad Abdi — “Captain Phillips” – Somali pirates could actually show up at my house demanding that I watch this movie and I still would say “No.”
Bradley Cooper — “American Hustle” – “The Coop” follows up his Best Actor nom with one in Best Supporting.
Jonah Hill — “The Wolf of Wall Street” -Hill was excellent in Moneyball and I hear he’s excellent in this as well.
Jared Leto — “Dallas Buyers Club”Jared Leto?! The guy from Requiem for a Dream and that movie about the guy who shot John Lennon?!  Where’d they dig him up?
Michael Fassbender — “12 Years a Slave” – Unless Fassbender is playing Magneto in this movie, I don’t really ever plan on watching it.  And possibly even then…

Blue Jasmine

Best supporting actress

Jennifer Lawrence — “American Hustle” – Kinda sorta have a crush on her.  She’s been killing it lately with Silver Linings Playbook, X-Men and the Hunger Games movies.
Lupita Nyong’o — “12 Years a Slave” – Just checked…yep, still no desire to watch this movie.
June Squibb — “Nebraska” – I just looked on IMDB and June Squibb was also in About Schmidt. I’m not even kidding.
Julia Roberts — “August: Osage County” – I still say this looks like the antithesis of an interesting movie.  It’s like something my mom would make me watch.  Hence Julia Roberts.
Sally Hawkins — “Blue Jasmine” – Who?

Capt Phillips

Best Adapted Screenplay

“Before Midnight” – Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke – Is Linklater still making these movies?
“12 Years a Slave” – John Ridley – Still NO.
“Captain Phillips” – Billy Ray – Cyrus? Miley’s dad wrote this?! Oh, just checked IMDB, it’s not him.
“Philomena” – Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope – Yeah, haha, no, I’ll never watch this.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” – Terence Winter – This will be watched by me sooner rather than later.

Her

Best Original Screenplay

“American Hustle” – Eric Warren Singer and David O Russell – According to my wife, the Academy is right.  I will not argue with her.
“Blue Jasmine” – Woody Allen – Okay. Even if I don’t like Allen, I admit that his last few movies have actually been enjoyable.  50% of that may be because he no longer stars in them.  Okay, 75%.
“Dallas Buyers Club” – Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack – I bet this is very “powerful”, full of “drama” and other buzz words the Academy and marketing like to use.
“Her” – Spike Jonze – Quirky and weird man/computer sex porn.  I’m in.
“Nebraska” – Bob Nelson – Have I mentioned that this looks like a reboot of About Schmidt?

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4 Responses to “Thoughts on the 2014 Oscar Nominees”

  1. Usually when Oscar season rolls around, the nominees I’m mostly likely to have seen are the ones for Best Animated Feature, on account of being released throughout the year rather than all lumped together towards the end, plus they tend to be more lively crowd pleasers while most of the Best Pictures aim for angst.

    I am a bit surprised to see movies like Captain Phillips and Gravity make the Best Picture cut as I would have thought they would be considered “too popcorny” for Academy consideration.

    12 Years a Slave is the one I think is most likely to be the big winner. After Hollywood patted itself on the back the last couple years with movies about movies like The Artist and Argo, so a period film about a source of national travesty, is likely going to register as a way to shake up the system.

  2. This list should be nominated for “Best review of a bunch of movies and performances that the reviewer hasn’t seen.” Gravity rocked. Wolf was also good. Other than that, I saw nothing on this list becuase I am too busy watching crap like “I, Frankenstein” with an unnamed co-conspirator.

  3. The only one I’ve seen is Her. I think “Joaquin dry humping a computer” about sums it up. His character annoyed the heck out of me in that film.
    I love award season though, always fun to watch.

  4. As always I love your snarky commentary. I haven’t seen any of these movies except Gravity. Liked it a lot and bullock did a fantastic job. I’ve heard American Hustle was a bit boring? We saw Lone Survivor last night and just have to say Holy Shit. Also it left Scott a little teary. This was our first movie at the theater (together) in six months. :-/

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