Oscar Nominations Post-Mortem: No Hanks, No Thompson, But Hill?

oscartopYesterday, we handicapped the 2014 Oscar race by telling you who we thought was going to be nominated. Now, it’s time to face the music, and see how well we did. There have been a lot of surprises in the nominees,  and the surprises were puzzling. Let’s see how we fared against our predictions, then we’ll comment on surprises in other categories that we didn’t talk about on Tuesday. Let’s start with Best Actor:

Performance by an actor in a leading role-

  • Christian Bale, American Hustle
  • Bruce Dern, Nebraska
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  • Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  4.5 out of 5

We Say: I’m always generous when it comes to grading myself. So even though I thought Tom Hanks, with his two Oscar worthy performances and lots of Oscar love over the years, had a far better chance of getting nominated than Leonardo DiCaprio, a man who has been snubbed by the Academy on a number of occasions, I did think DiCaprio had a chance for a nomination. I’ll take my victories, no matter how small, where I can get them.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role-

  • Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
  • Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
  • Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
  • Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

Number of Nominations We “Called”: 4 out of 5.

We say: Jonah Hill? Really? To be honest, I did consider including Hill on the list of longshots, but considering he has not been nominated in the category in any other major award organization, not even the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which is voted on by the same membership as those who vote for the Oscars, I thought it was fairly safe to keep him off the list.  Shows what I know. Pity poor Daniel Brühl, who did receive all the other nominations Hill didn’t get.

Performance by an actress in a leading role-

  • Amy Adams, American Hustle
  • Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
  • Sandra Bullock, Gravity
  • Judi Dench, Philomena
  • Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  5 out of 5

We say: Emma Thompson, if my Facebook feed is any indication, seems to be the biggest snub of this year’s nominations. I’d like to pat myself on the back because I said she only had an outside shot of getting nominated. But that’s because I thought Meryl Streep was a lock for her showy role in August: Osage County.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role-

  • Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
  • Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
  • Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
  • Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
  • June Squibb, Nebraska

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  5 out of 5

We Say: Another fairly predictable category. The only one I was waivering on was Hawkins, but I’m glad the Academy recognized her. Co-star Blanchett got all the attention, but Hawkins put in an excellent performance in her own right. Oh, can Oprah’s snub really be a snub when she was a longshot to get a nomination in the first place?

Achievement in directing-

  • David O. Russell, American Hustle
  • Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
  • Alexander Payne, Nebraska
  • Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
  • Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  4.5 out of 5
We say: Again, I’m giving myself a half a point for picking Payne as having an outside shot. I still thought Paul Greengrass had a better chance than him, but the Academy seems to really like Payne (no pun intended).

Best motion picture of the year-

  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  It’s hard to calculate, but we mentioned 9 out of the 9.

We say: I find it ironic that in the three years since the Academy changed the rules for the number of nominees from ten to anywhere between five and ten because  there were not enough strong nominees, there have been 9 nominees each year. And this year, it should have been ten. I think Frozen deserved a spot on the list, perhaps more than some of the films that got a nomination. The fact that there was one “empty” spot and the film still wasn’t nominated is severly disappointing.

Other surprises and items of note:

  • I don’t know what was more annoying, watching the nominations on ABC: seeing an ad for August: Osage County every five seconds or the fact that the anchors for the Disney-owned ABC made a big fuss about Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks being shut out of the Oscars.
  • Maybe the whole country didn’t get the same amount of August: Osage County ads as I got, but there was two ads for the film every commercial break. That’s not an exaggeration. There were really two ads for it every commercial break. I was having flashbacks to last year, when the same thing happened with Silver Linings Playbook. The connection: The Weinstein Company. Like Harvey Weinstein wasn’t obnoxious enough.
  • Disney’s disappointment at Saving Mr. Banks’ lone nomination has to be mitigated by the whopping TWO nominations the studio’s cinematic masterpiece The Lone Ranger earned. I wonder if Disney will rerelease the film in theaters to capitalize on its unexpected nomination windfall. I might break even if they did! (No, no it wouldn’t)
  • But it still has to sting that Saving Mr. Banks has the same amount of nominations as Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa. Yes, chew on that, will you. On Oscar night, the words  Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa will be uttered on stage during the ceremony.
  • While I’m glad that Get a Horse was nominated for Best Animated Short Film, I’m disappointed Disney’s other offering, The Blue Umbrella, didn’t get a nod as well.
  • This is a bad year for Pixar because for only the second time since the Best Animated Feature category was introduced, the Pixar feature released in that year didn’t get a nomination for it. The connection? Monsters University joins Cars 2 in the snubbed list. Maybe Pixar should reconsider making sequels to any of their films that do not have “Toy” or “Story” in the title.
  • That being said, it is good to see such a varied list of films in the Best Animated category. Like Best Picture, this is a flex category. It could have three nominees, or it can have five. This is the third year in row that the category had five nominees. I’m especially happy The Wind Rises got a nomination.

Stay tuned to FilmBuffOnline, because, as we get closer to the ceremony, the staff will bring you more news about this year’s ceremony.

Avatar für Bill Gatevackes
About Bill Gatevackes 2030 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.
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