THE 2014 OSCAR NODS: HERE’S TO NOT POSSIBLY MAKING THE CUT
Annually, movie critics and avid film fans alike look forward to seeing what the Academy Awards establishment will recognize as some of the best offerings that the movie industry has honored from the previous calendar year. Sure, there are your obvious front-runners looking to nab golden Oscar’s attention and there are also some prestigious long-shots that deserve the recognition as well. Still, great cinema–whether mainstream sensations or wondrous indie gems–deserves the critical acknowledgement as rewarded by Hollywood’s most glorious and legendary achievement–the heralded Academy Award.
Sadly, the Academy cannot consider all the worthy feature films, documentaries and stellar performances that are showcased in their distinctive excellence. After, some noteworthy fare is bound to be unfairly overlooked at some point. Thus, the talk of “Oscar snubs” are created out of frustration and bewilderment. Hey, it is a human nature kind of reaction–we moan and mope when some of what we appoint terrific filmmaking and top-notch acting go strangely unnoticed.
In The 2014 Oscar Nods: Here’s to Not Possibly Making the Cut I will offer a few of my selections as to what I guess will not be so lucky to land a deserving Oscar nomination when the final nods are revealed in January 2014. Who knows…maybe some of the wishful choices penned here in my movie column may be lucky enough to sneak under the radar and surprise us with their presence in the hunt for Oscar glory. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts on who and what I think will be omitted for an Academy Award nomination in 2014 for marvelous work done in 2013:
Frank’s preferences for an Oscar nod that will be most unlikely are:
Frank’s insight: True, the films listed above are indeed in my Top Ten Films listing of 2013 as personal favorites of mine so naturally I feel obligated to feel that they are Oscar-tested films. Blue Caprice will be forgotten as it was a piercing indie-produced drama that did not make the impact it should have despite its critical praise. The Danish child molestation drama The Hunt was thoroughly absorbing but was actually originally released in 2012 and is a foreign film but lofty enough to make an American best picture category. Enough Said was an engaging middle-age romantic comedy but might be considered too lighthearted and arbitrary for Oscar’s taste. Both Mud and Nebraska probably will be regarded as too whimsical in their homespun character-driven leanings. Nebraska may have the best shot out of the bunch listed thanks to filmmaker Alexander Payne’s noted reputation as a skillful director with an impressive filmography under his creative belt.
Alexandre Moors, “Blue Caprice”
Nicole Holofcener, “Enough Said”
Thomas Vinterberg, “The Hunt”
Ariel Vromen, “The Iceman”
Derek Cianfrance, “The Place Beyond the Pines”
Jeff Nichols, “Mud”
Frank’s insights: All the directors listed above resourcefully helmed intense, intriguing dramas that were haunting, thought-provoking and memorable in content and scope. Holofcener, the only woman mentioned in this boys club of filmmakers, holds her own as the sharply observational writer-director of the ruefully funny Enough.
Ryan Gosling, “The Place Beyond the Pines”
Isiah Washington, “Blue Caprice”
James Gandolfini, “Enough Said”
Mads Mikkelsen, “The Hunt”
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Michael Shannon, “The Iceman”
Frank’s insights: All of the mentioned above gave inspiring, effortless performances in textures of angst, penetrating forethought and well-rounded portrayals that will stick with the moviegoer for a long time. However, 2013 was filled with an immense pool of leading man acting talent that most likely will be recognized by Oscar in the much applauded likes of 12 Years a Slave’s Chiwetel Ejiofor, Captain Phillips’s Tom Hanks, All is Lost’s Robert Redford, Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey, Inside Llewyn Davis’s Oscar Isaac, Her’s Joaquin Phoenix…the list of names are endless. Unfortunately, some of my considerations for best actor may be lost in the shuffle of the aforementioned capable actors that were named.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Enough Said”
Sivan Levy, “S#x Acts”
Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks”
Andrea Riseborough, “Shadow Dancer”
Olivia Wilde, “Drinking Buddies”
Lake Bell, “In a World…”
Frank’s insights: In a movie season that boasts the impeccable turns by the creative crop of American Hustle’s Amy Adams, Blue Jasmin’s Cate Blanchett, Blue is the Warmest Color’s Adele Exarchopolous, Short Term 12’s Brie Larsen and Before Midnight’s Julie Delpy that would most likely score Oscar nominations, my listing of favorable best actress candidates are no slouch either. However, the desired comical and clever turns by Louis-Dreyfus, Wilde and Bell may be considered too fluffy and thin for an honest shot at the Oscar race. Plus, praise-worthy dramatic turns by Levy, Riseborough and two-time Oscar winner Thompson may pale in comparison to the juicier and stimulating roles as cited earlier in this paragraph.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Fred Malamud, “In a World…”
Tequan Richmond, “Blue Caprice”
Will Forte, “Nebraska”
Colin Farrell, “Saving Mr. Banks”
Paul Dano, “12 Years a Slave”
Ray Liotta, “The Place Beyond the Pines”
Bob Odenkirk, “Nebraska”
Josh Pais, “Touchy Feely”
Thomas Bo Larsen, “The Hunt”
Eviatar Mor, “S#x Acts”
Jake Johnson, “Drinking Buddies”
Frank’s insights: It had been a great year for an assortment of concentrated supporting roles for actors in both much publicized films and little known ditties waiting to be discovered. It is understandable that Oscar may sway in the exceptional direction of 12 Years a Slave’s Michael Fassbender, Dallas Buyers Club’s Jared Leto, Captain Phillips’s Barkhad Abdi, The Way, Way Back’s Sam Rockell and even Matthew McConaughey’s compelling riverboat fugitive in Mud. Still, the preferred choices for me are suitable enough to hold a candle to any of the Oscar front-runners that will probably be spotlighted over my personal best supporting acting picks. The richly impish, poignant and fine-tuned funny turns from Johnson, Pais, Odenkirk, and Malamud were a scream as dramatic heft from SNL alum Forte, Larsen, Liotta, Mor and Richmond were quietly explosive.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
June Squibb, “Nebraska”
Catherine Keener, “Enough Said”
Sarah Paulson, “12 Years a Slave”
Adepero Oduye, “12 Years a Slave”
Eva Mendes, “The Place Beyond the Pines”
Ellen Page, “Touchy Feely”
Michaela Watkins, “In a World…”
Frank’s insights: Again, the stiff competition from some of the most brilliant turns in the supporting actress category for 2013 will definitely give my personal selections a run for their money in the chase for Oscar-related fanfare. Expected Oscar nods will probably bestowed on the likes of Lupita Nyong’o from 12 Years a Slave, Jennifer Lawrence from American Hustle, Sally Hawkins from Blue Jasmine, Lea Seydoux from Blue is the Warmest Color and Scarlett Johansson’s Her. Nevertheless, the skillful and touching turns by my personal picks of Mendes, Page, Watkins, Squibb, Keener, Paulson and Oduye are as comparable and comprehensive for Oscar’s notice in the supporting actress grouping.
“Stories We Tell”
“A Place at the Table”
“Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me”
“Good Ol’ Freda”
Frank’s insights: With the exception of Stories We Tell, the other featured documentaries that tickled my fancy are too breezy and personalized for Oscar to deem that as competitively relevant next to heavyweight documentaries that may cater better to the significance of the golden statuette’s appetite. Powerful entertainment such as The Act of Killing, 56 Up, At Berkeley and Blackfish may get top billing as some of the year’s most gifted documentaries. Thankfully, my treasured Stories We Tell was a critical success and has the momentum that the Academy kindly gravitates to enthusiastically.
So what are some of your film favorites that you might think have the appeal for Oscar gold via a 2014 nomination but feel probably will be overlooked by the Academy Awards? C’mon…here is your chance to hoot and holler about what injustice that has been done to your 2013 movie memories!