The 2014 Oscar Nominations: The Hustle of Hollywood

Who is going to take home Oscar?
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Written by Gordon S. Miller

This morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their nominees for the 86th Academy Awards (Oscar), which will be handed out at Hollywood's Dolby Theatre on March 2, 2014.  It's amazing that what was once a three-hour-plus, glorified informercial for movies has greatly expanded into a months-long reality show thanks to the coverage it receives on the Internet from gossipy award bloggers imbued with delusions of grandeur and the audiences they draw for their work.

I am a huge fan of both the show and the business of "show business" and have been watching the Oscars for so long I remember seeing Johnny Carson as the host.  But beyond their value as trivia answers, they have no more importance than high school popularity contests do.  There's no objective "best" when it comes to comparing art. People are subjectively choosing what they like best, and even they they are affected by outside forces such as relationships with nominees and campaign tactics.

But it makes for a fun night of television and I'll be there watching with friends and family, and a ballot in my hand, even if we have to sit through an Ellen DeGeneres monologue, whose comfortable humor will serve as a pallete cleanser after Seth MacFarlane's crude performance as host last year.

This year, American Hustle and Gravity lead the list with 10 nominations.  I would point out that American Hustle is overrated in a number of areas, but then I find 12 Years a Slave, which followed with nine nominations, to be as well, so why pick on one?  Unfortunately, this time of year sees many who write about movies incorrectly use the word "snub."  They think it means "the Academy didn't pick the one I liked."  Even more troublesome are those who write about "snubbed" nominees yet lack the courage to point out who should not have been nominated so their favorite could have been included.

The 2014 nominees are below.  How do you think they did?  Did you have a favorite not included?  Links to reviews of nominated films appear at that film's first mention.

 

Best Picture
American Hustle - Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
Captain Phillips - Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers
Dallas Buyers Club - Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers
Gravity - Alfonso Cuaron and David Heyman, Producers
Her - Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers
Nebraska - Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers
Philomena - Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers
12 Years a Slave - Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers
The Wolf of Wall Street - Nominees to be determined

Best performance by an actor in a leading role
Christian Bale, American Hustle (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Bruce Dern, Nebraska (Paramount)
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount)
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight)
Matthew McConaughey,  Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)

Best performance by an actress in a leading role
Amy Adams, American Hustle (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics)
Sandra Bullock, Gravity (Warner Bros.)
Judi Dench, Philomena (The Weinstein Company)
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County (The Weinstein Company)

Best 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

Best performance by an actress in a supporting role
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
June Squibb, Nebraska
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine

Best animated feature
Frozen
The Croods
The Wind Rises
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine

Achievement in cinematography
The Grandmaster, Philippe Le Sourd
Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael
Prisoners, Roger A. Deakins
 
Achievement in costume design
American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
The Grandmaster, William Chang Suk Ping
The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin
The Invisible Woman, Michael O'Connor
12 Years a Slave, Patricia Norris
 

Achievement in directing
American Hustle, David O. Russell
Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron
Nebraska, Alexander Payne
12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen
The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese
 
Best documentary feature
The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
Cutie and the Boxer, Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
Dirty Wars, Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
The Square, Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
20 Feet From Stardom, Nominees to be determined
 
Best documentary short subject
CaveDigger, Jeffrey Karoff
Facing Fear, Jason Cohen
Karama Has No Walls, Sara Ishaq
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall, Edgar Barens
 
Achievement in film editing

American Hustle, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club, John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron and Mark Sanger
12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker
 
Best foreign language film of the year
The Broken Circle Breakdown, Belgium
The Great Beauty, Italy
The Hunt, Denmark
The Missing Picture, Cambodia
Omar, Palestine
 
Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
Dallas Buyers Club, Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Stephen Prouty
The Lone Ranger, Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny
 
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
The Book Thief, John Williams
Gravity, Steven Price
Her, William Butler and Owen Pallett
Philomena, Alexandre Desplat
Saving Mr. Banks, Thomas Newman
 
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

"Alone Yet Not Alone" from Alone Yet Not Alone; Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
"Happy" from Despicable Me 2; Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
"Let It Go" from Frozen; Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song" from Her; Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
"Ordinary Love" from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom; Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson
 
Achievement in production design
American Hustle, Production Design by Judy Becker; Set Decoration by Heather Loeffler
Gravity, Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
The Great Gatsby, Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
Her, Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena
12 Years a Slave, Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker
 
Best animated short film

Feral, Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
Get a Horse!, Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
Mr. Hublot, Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
Possessions, Shuhei Morita
Room on the Broom, Max Lang and Jan Lachauer
 
Best live action short film
Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me), Esteban Crespo
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything), Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
Helium, Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?), Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
The Voorman Problem, Mark Gill and Baldwin Li
 
Achievement in sound editing
All Is Lost, Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
Captain Phillips, Oliver Tarney
Gravity, Glenn Freemantle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Brent Burge
Lone Survivor, Wylie Stateman
 
Achievement in sound mixing
Captain Phillips, Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
Gravity, Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
Inside Llewyn Davis, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
Lone Survivor, Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow
 
Achievement in visual effects
Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
Iron Man 3, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
The Lone Ranger, Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
Star Trek Into Darkness, Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton
 
Adapted screenplay
Before Midnight, Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
Captain Phillips, Billy Ray
Philomena, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
12 Years a Slave, John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street, Terence Winter
 
Original screenplay

American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen
Dallas Buyers Club, Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack
Her, Spike Jonze
Nebraska, Bob Nelson

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