Do the Oscars Offer a Generous Wink at Science Fiction Cinema from 2013?
The Academy Award nominations were announced on Thursday, January 16, 2014. Of course the news of celebrating what appears to be the best representation in cinema for the 2013 movie season will be broadcast in the glitzy Oscars ceremony slated for Sunday, March 2, 2014.
Over the years, many science fiction enthusiasts have commented on the inherent bias that the Oscars have for adequately recognizing the genre of science fiction filmmaking for heralded mainstream Hollywood awards such as the Academy Awards. Sure, it is a no brainer that science fiction fare does get its fair share of specialized attention when it comes to technical/special effects, costumes or editing categories that make obvious sense, correct? Still, some naysayers would like to see some of their science fiction choices break even ground in unconventional territories such as acting, writing or even music.
Well, the on-going dialogue concerning whether science fiction is being properly acknowledged at the Academy Awards will continue to generate its doubts as this skeptical sentiment is nothing new. However, we can examine what Oscar nods were given to the lucky nominees in 2014 with science fiction/fantasy-related ties.
So let us examine the sci-fi spotlight in the 2014 Oscar categories as we uncover what and who will be the potential winners for Academy Award consideration in the name of science fiction excellence. The following selections for Oscar-nominated movie-making excellence in the name of science fiction and/or fantasy leanings are:
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Alphonso Cuaron, Gravity
BEST FILM EDITING
Alfonso Cuaron and Mark Sanger, Gravity
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny, The Lone Ranger
BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Steven Price, Gravity
William Butler and Owen Pallett, Her
BEST MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
“The Moon Song” from Her—Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Gravity—Andy Nicholson (Production Design); Rose Goodwin and Joanne Woollard (Set Decoration)
Her—K.K. Barrett (Production Design); Gene Serdena (Set Decoration)
BEST SOUND EDITING
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug—Brent Burge
BEST SOUND MIXING
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
BEST 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
BEST WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Her—written by Spike Jonze
Now let us recap the science fiction/fantasy Oscar nominees and see how they stack up against each other in their Academy Award nods, shall we?
In alphabetical order:
Gravity (10 Oscar nominations)
Her (5 Oscar nominations)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2 Oscar nominations)
Iron Man 3 (1 Oscar nomination)
The Lone Ranger (2 Oscar nominations)
Star Trek into Darkness (1 Oscar nomination)
So what do you think…is it business as usual in terms of science fiction/fantasy films being underrepresented or are the Oscars being quite generous in pinpointing the sci-fi selections for the past year in 2013? You be the judge!!!