2017 Oscar Nominations (and snubs)

January 24, 2017


Here are a few snippets of my opinions from the Tuesday announcement of Oscar nominations.

The Nominations:

To no one’s surprise, La La Land received a ton of nominations, but did anyone really expect the romantic musical to tie the record for most Oscar nominations ever? With 14 nominations, La La Land now finds itself with the company of All About Eve and Titanic with 14 Oscar noms. Both preceding films went on to win Best Picture.

I haven’t seen Nocturnal Animals, but I predicted that Aaron Taylor-Johnson would pick up a nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category. The Academy went for another actor in the same film, Michael Shannon, giving him his second Oscar nomination.

One of the biggest surprises to me was how Mel Gibson received a nomination for Best Director for his film Hacksaw Ridge. I thought that Martin Scorsese and Garth Davis had the upper hand in front of Gibson, but I was wrong. Has The Academy forgiven him? It seems likely so.

Biggest Snubs:

Amy Adams for Best Actress – She has received recognition and nominations throughout the awards season, including the nominations from the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and the BAFTAs. She is a five-time Oscar nominated actress. Yes, this is the biggest surprise from Tuesday’s nominations.

Another snub in the Best Actress category goes to Annette Bening for her performance in 20th Century Women. With four Oscar nominations to her resume, I had her as the fifth slot to get in, but my prediction was wrong. Never underestimate the power of Meryl Streep.

While I wouldn’t really consider this a snub, the Deadpool possibility was a fun one to monitor throughout awards season. Starting with nominations from the Golden Globes and recognition from the DGA, WGA, and PGA, Deadpool looked like it was on its unlikely way to a Best Picture nomination. But the Cinderella story ended with a thud with Deadpool being completely shut out of The Academy Awards. Let’s be honest, it would’ve been really strange to see “Best Picture nomination” on every Deadpool DVD.

I’ll have some more detailed posts about the Oscar nominations this week. But for now, what do you think? My initial thought is that this is going to be a boring Oscars telecast. I would much rather prefer a number of races where we really don’t know who’s going to win. But this year isn’t about whether or not La La Land will win, it’s about how many will La La Land will win. Don’t get me wrong, I love La La Land, but this makes for a much more boring (than usual) Oscars ceremony. For now, here is the complete list of Oscar nominees (via Variety):

Best Picture:
“Hacksaw Ridge”
“Hell or High Water”
“Hidden Figures”
“La La Land”
“Manchester by the Sea”

Lead Actor:
Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land,”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Lead Actress:
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Supporting Actor:
Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges, “Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”

Supporting Actress:
Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Director:
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Mel Gibson
“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins
“Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan
“Arrival,” Denis Villeneuve

Animated Feature:
“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
“Moana,” John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
“My Life as a Zucchini,” Claude Barras and Max Karli
“The Red Turtle,” Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
“Zootopia,” Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

Animated Short:
“Blind Vaysha,” Theodore Ushev
“Borrowed Time,” Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
“Pear Cider and Cigarettes,” Robert Valley and Cara Speller
“Pearl,” Patrick Osborne
“Piper,” Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Adapted Screenplay:
“Arrival,” Eric Heisserer
“Fences,” August Wilson
“Hidden Figures,” Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
“Lion,” Luke Davies
“Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Original Screenplay:
“20th Century Women,” Mike Mills
“Hell or High Water,” Taylor Sheridan
“La La Land,” Damien Chazelle
“The Lobster,” Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
“Manchester by the Sea,” Kenneth Lonergan

“Arrival,” Bradford Young
“La La Land,” Linus Sandgren
“Lion,” Greig Fraser
“Moonlight,” James Laxton
“Silence,” Rodrigo Prieto

Best Documentary Feature:
“13th,” Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish
“Fire at Sea,” Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo
“I Am Not Your Negro,” Raoul Peck, Remi Grellety and Hebert Peck
“Life, Animated,” Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman
“O.J.: Made in America,” Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow

Best documentary short subject:
“4.1 Miles,” Daphne Matziaraki
“Extremis,” Dan Krauss
“Joe’s Violin,” Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
“Watani: My Homeland,” Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
“The White Helmets,” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Best live action short film:
“Ennemis Interieurs,” Selim Azzazi
“La Femme et le TGV,” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
“Silent Nights,” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
“Sing,” Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy
“Timecode,” Juanjo Gimenez

Best Foreign Language Film:
“A Man Called Ove,” Sweden
“Land of Mine,” Denmark
“Tanna,” Australia
“The Salesman,” Iran
“Toni Erdmann,” Germany

Film Editing:
“Arrival,” Joe Walker
“Hacksaw Ridge,” John Gilbert
“Hell or High Water,” Jake Roberts
“La La Land,” Tom Cross
“Moonlight,” Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

Sound Editing:
“Arrival,” Sylvain Bellemare
“Deep Water Horizon,” Wylie Stateman and Renee Tondelli
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
“La La Land,” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
“Sully,” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Sound Mixing:
“Arrival,” Bernard Gariepy Strobl and Claude La Haye
“Hacksaw Ridge,” Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
“La La Land,” Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

Production Design:
“Arrival,” Patrice Vermette, Paul Hotte
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Stuart Craig, Anna Pinnock
“Hail, Caesar!,” Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh
“La La Land,” David Wasco, Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
“Passengers,” Guy Hendrix Dyas, Gene Serdena

Original score:
“Jackie,” Mica Levi
“La La Land,” Justin Hurwitz
“Lion,” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
“Moonlight,” Nicholas Britell
“Passengers,” Thomas Newman

Original song:
“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” “La La Land” — Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” “Trolls” — Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
“City of Stars,” “La La Land” — Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
“The Empty Chair,” “Jim: The James Foley Story” — Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
“How Far I’ll Go,” “Moana” — Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Makeup and hair:
“A Man Called Ove,” Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
“Star Trek Beyond,” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
“Suicide Squad,” Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

Costume design:
“Allied,” Joanna Johnston
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” Colleen Atwood
“Florence Foster Jenkins,” Consolata Boyle
“Jackie,” Madeline Fontaine
“La La Land,” Mary Zophres

Visual effects:
“Deepwater Horizon,” Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton
“Doctor Strange,” Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
“The Jungle Book,” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
“Kubo and the Two Strings,” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould


Oscars Nominations Predictions 2016

January 4, 2016

The polls have been open since December 30, and they will be closing later this week on Friday, January 8. The nominations won’t be announced until Thursday morning on January 14. In the time being, let’s make some predictions!

Best Picture

The Martian
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Big Short
The Revenant
Bridge of Spies
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Notes: Obviously I have no idea how many nominations there will be this year, but I think assuming there will be 8 or 9 is a safe bet. That being said, I did rank them in order with the movies I’m more certain about at the top. I really believe my top five are definitely receiving a Best Picture nomination, but from The Revenant and below, I’m not so sure. I do have Star Wars as my 8th ranked film, so yes, I do believe the positive reviews plus the enormous box office total will push it above the more traditional and small Oscar films like Brooklyn and Room.

Best Director

Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)
Ridley Scott (The Martian)
George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Adam McKay (The Big Short)
Todd Haynes (Carol)
Alternate: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (The Revenant)

Notes: Right now, Spotlight seems to be the front-runner all around, but I still believe that Ridley Scott has a very good chance at winning this award. With three nominations and zero wins, this might be the 78-year-old’s last chance at winning this award. Meanwhile, George Miller has a lot of momentum throughout awards season. This will be his first Best Director nomination. Can Inarritu repeat Best Director two years in a row? Don’t count on it because I don’t have him being nominated, but he definitely could spoil the likes of Haynes or McKay come Thursday.

Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)
Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)
Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)
Will Smith (Concussion)
Alternative 1: Johnny Depp (Black Mass)
Alternative 2: Matt Damon (The Martian)

Notes: Could this finally be Leo DiCaprio’s year he wins an Oscar? I’m saying yes and many experts also agree that this will be his year. First off, he’s well over-due for the golden statue and number two, this isn’t a crazy competitive year. Sure, Fassbender, Cranston, and Redmayne are practically locks to receiving a nomination, but who will sneak into that fifth slot? I’m guessing Will Smith, but it can very well be Depp or Damon.

Best Actress

Brie Larson (Room)
Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
Cate Blanchett (Carol)
Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)
Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)

Best Supporting Actor

Michael Keaton (Spotlight)
Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)
Sylvester Stallone (Creed)
Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
Paul Dano (Love and Mercy)
Alternative: Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)

Notes: Keaton lost to Redmayne last year in the Best Actor race. Not that he doesn’t deserve it for his performance alone, but it’ll definitely help get him some sympathy votes this year for the Best Supporting Actor race.

Best Supporting Actress

Rooney Mara (Carol)
Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)
Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)

Best Original Screenplay

The Hateful Eight
Inside Out
Bridge of Spies
Straight Outta Compton

Best Adapted Screenplay

Steve Jobs
The Big Short
The Martian

Reaction: The Nominations (87th Academy Awards)

January 15, 2015


Well, you can’t be shocked by the amount of surprises that The Academy showed us this morning when the nominations were announced. The first surprise was how The Lego Movie wasn’t nominated for Best Animated Feature. Seriously, I thought that was a lock for a nomination, but it wasn’t acknowledged by The Academy. Then as the categories were getting announced, I noticed a few trends: American Sniper was receiving a lot of love (the exact opposite that I expected), Gone Girl and Selma was getting NOTHING, and how Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel were cleaning up the show (they both lead with 9 nominations). There are two other things that I noticed: with Bradley Cooper’s nomination for American Sniper, he’s been nominated three years in a row! Not too shabby at all. And finally, that there is not one film nominated for Best Picture that grossed over $100 million. Doesn’t that defeat the original purpose of expanding the Best Picture nominations? Anyway, let’s take a closer look at the Big 8 Categories:

Best Picture

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

First and foremost, there were only 8 nominees, instead of the 9 that a lot of people predicted. That being said, what surprised me was how Foxcatcher didn’t get a nomination. It’s even stranger because Bennett Miller was able to snag a Best Director nomination, which USUALLY means the film will get a Best Picture nod. On top of that, Steve Carell got a Best Actor nomination, so there was love for the film, but no Best Picture nod. Strange. Anyway, I’m so happy that Whiplash got a Best Picture nomination because it was one of my favorite films of the year, but it was certainly a smaller film that wasn’t getting the support or campaign from Sony Pictures Classics (who supported Foxcatcher instead). And finally, it was good to see Selma get a nomination, but for a movie that was receiving a lot of momentum heading into the Oscar nominations, it really limped its way into the big award. More to come about that.

Best Director

  • Alejandro Inarritu (Birdman)
  • Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  • Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
  • Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

While it was sure that Inarritu, Linklater, and Anderson was going to receive nominations, the final two were a bit up in the air. I’m glad Tyldum received a nod, reassuring The Imitation Game’s strength through awards season, but Miller was certainly the surprise here. The way The Academy supported American Sniper, I couldn’t believe that it received a Best Picture nod without a Best Director nod to Clint Eastwood. And Miller gets in without a Best Picture nod for Foxcatcher? Seriously, something doesn’t make sense here. Also, Ava DuVernay (Selma) was snubbed, which would’ve been the first African American female nominated for this category. This year’s Oscars is certainly a white-wash. To be fair, I haven’t seen Selma yet so maybe it didn’t deserve the nominations that a lot of people predicted.

Best Actor

  • Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
  • Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
  • Michael Keaton (Birdman)
  • Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

The snub: David Oyelowo of Selma. This is going to be a hard pill to swallow for fans of Selma, because Oyelowo was considered a lock for a nomination. Still, this race is between Keaton and Redmayne (who both won on the Golden Globes) with the edge going to Keaton. But if Keaton loses at the SAG Awards, then it’ll be a whole new ball game for Best Actor.

Best Actress

  • Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)
  • Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
  • Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
  • Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
  • Reese Witherspoon (Wild)

The snub: Jennifer Aniston (Cake). That was really it. I feel like there wasn’t enough people who saw Cake and therefore Aniston didn’t get enough votes. Though it wasn’t like Two Days, One Night was a big movie but The Academy loves her so they swung her way.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Robert Duvall (The Judge)
  • Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
  • Edward Norton (Birdman)
  • Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
  • J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

These were the nominees expected and The Academy came through. Nothing else to say here.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
  • Laura Dern (Wild)
  • Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
  • Emma Stone (Birdman)
  • Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)

The snub: Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year). While Chastain can be considered a snub, these five women who received the nomination are all deserving. I’m glad Laura Dern snuck into the category because she was great in Wild. And this is Streep’s 19th Oscar nomination. Just wow!

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • American Sniper
  • The Imitation Game
  • Inherent Vice
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

Again, I was a fool to think The Academy wasn’t going to go for American Sniper, but I guess that’s what happens when I don’t get to see a movie before the nominations. I’m glad that Whiplash got a nomination here, but I really felt Wild and Gone Girl would get a nod. But like I said above, there was love for American Sniper and none for Gone Girl.

Best Original Screenplay

  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Foxcatcher
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Nightcrawler

The snub: Selma and Mr. Turner. Mike Leigh has been nominated five times before for his screenplays, so I was a bit surprised to see that Mr. Turner wasn’t in the mix for Best Original Screenplay. And of course, the lack of love for Selma from The Academy. I am glad that Gilroy’s Nightcrawler got in here because that was certainly one of the most underrated films of the year.

So those are the major awards. Some other things to point out: I couldn’t believe that Life Itself wasn’t nominated for Best Documentary. It was about the best movie critic of all time for crying out loud! And to me, I always look at the Film Editing category to see which films are really in the race for Best Picture. All five Best Editing nominations are also in for Best Picture, so in a way that’s a better standard than Best Director (especially from the past few years). And finally, Roger Deakins gets his 11th nomination for his cinematography work for Unbroken. He has yet to win. Come on Academy, throw the guy a bone! That’s all for now.

American Hustle for Best Picture?

February 11, 2014


We’re almost two weeks away from the Academy Awards, and I’m not going to stop scrutinizing them up until the ceremony. That being said, I still feel like American Hustle is going to win Best Picture, but that can easily change since this race is the closest in a very long time.

Do you want a statistic? Since 1960, there have been seven films (prior to this year) that have had nominations in all four acting categories:

1966 – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
1967 – Bonnie and Clyde
1967 – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
1976 – Network
1978 – Coming Home
1981 – Reds
2012 – Silver Linings Playbook

Out of these seven films, guess how many won Best Picture? ZERO. Yes, even the year where two films had all four acting category nominees, neither of them won Best Picture. Will the trend continue, or can you say that American Hustle is over-due?

In Oscar History, American Hustle is the 15th film to have all four acting category nominations, and only two wound up winning Best Picture. So it’s not like it’s impossible, but you would think that receiving all those noms, they’d be a front-runner for Best Picture, unless it’s really not that big of a deal to the rest of the Academy.

So what am I saying? Well, actors usually thank their directors for their recognition. In the past two years, David O. Russell has scored EIGHT Oscar nominations for his actors. Has that ever happened before? Someone look that up for me, but I doubt it. While it looks like Alfonso Cuaron is in the lead for Best Director, American Hustle could very well be the first film to win Best Picture but lose on all of its acting nominations. It’s that tight and crazy of a year.

Hey, it can happen.

2014 Oscar Nominees Announced!

January 16, 2014


So what do you think? To me there are a few surprises and snubs, first and foremost with Christian Bale‘s surprising nomination for Best Actor, beating out the likes of Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), Robert Redford (All is Lost) and Joaquin Phoenix (Her). I’ll discuss this further later on.

Next, Saving Mr. Banks was expected to be nominated for Best Picture, but it was beat out by Philomena. Even more surprising was Emma Thompson being snubbed for Best Actress and Tom Hanks for Best Suppoting Actor. No love for Saving Mr. Banks.

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’m happy to say I did predict Jonah Hill to be nominated for his supporting role in The Wolf of Wall Street, though I’m disappointed that Daniel Bruhl didn’t get the recognition he most definitely deserves. And where is Oprah?! No Oprah in the Supporting Actress category for her performance in The Butler. Instead, Sally Hawkins took the nomination.

What else? Monsters University wasn’t nominated for Best Animated Feature… does this mark the first time a Pixar film wasn’t nominated? I’ll have to check into that. And Alexander Payne over Paul Greengrass for Best Director… while I don’t mind it, I was slightly surprised.

Here is the complete list of nominees:

Best Picture

“12 Years a Slave”
“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”


Best Director

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


Best Lead Actor

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


Best Lead Actress

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


Best Supporting Actor

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 Supporting Actress

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


Best Animated Feature

“The Croods”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Ernest & Celestine”
“The Wind Rises”


Best Cinematography

“The Grandmaster,” Philippe Le Sourd
“Gravity,” Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska,” Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners,” Roger A. Deakins

NOTE: This is Roger Deakins’ 11th nomination for cinematography, and he has yet to win. Will this finally be the year?!


Best 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


Best Documentary Feature

“The Act of Killing”
“Cutie and the Boxer”
“Dirty Wars”
“The Square”
“20 Feet from Stardom”


Best Documentary Short Subject

“Facing Fear”
“Karama Has No Walls”
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall”


Best 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 Cuarón and Mark Sanger
“12 Years a Slave,” Joe Walker


Best Foreign Language Film

“The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Belgium
“The Great Beauty,” Italy
“The Hunt,” Denmark
“The Missing Picture,” Cambodia
“Omar,” Palestine


Best 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


Best Original Score

“The Book Thief,” John Williams
“Gravity,” Steven Price
“Her,” William Butler and Owen Pallett
“Philomena,” Alexandre Desplat
“Saving Mr. Banks,” Thomas Newman


Best Original Song

“Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone”
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
“The Moon Song” from “Her”
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”


Best Production Design

“American Hustle,” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: 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

“Get a Horse!”
“Mr. Hublot”
“Room on the Broom”


Best Live Action Short Film

“Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)”
“Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)”
“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)”
“The Voorman Problem”


Best 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


Best 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


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 Adapted Screenplay

“Before Midnight,” written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
“Captain Phillips,” screenplay by Billy Ray
“Philomena,” screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
“12 Years a Slave,” screenplay by John Ridley
“The Wolf of Wall Street,” screenplay by Terence Winter


Best Original Screenplay

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

Oscar Watch: SAG nominations announced

December 14, 2011

The 18th annual Screen Actors Guild awards will take place on TNT and TBS on January 29, 2012 at 8 p.m. Here are the nominees:

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Midnight in Paris”
“The Help”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Demian Bichir, “A Better Life”
George Clooney, “The Descendants”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar”
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis, “The Help”
Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
Tilda Swinton,“We Need To Talk About Kevin”
Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”
Armie Hammer, “J. Edgar”
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte, “Warrior”
Christopher Plummer, “Beginnners”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain, “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”
Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

First and foremost, my initial reactions for the SAG nominations were sort of plain. The nominations for The Artist, The Descendants, and The Help were obvious, but I was quite surprised by Midnight in Paris and Bridesmaids to receive noms. I was expecting to see Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, or even Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in for the running instead of Bridesmaids (not that I mind because I loved Bridesmaids).

For those who are just shrugging their shoulders and thinking, “Who cares? What does all this matter in the long run?” Let’s take a look at the past few years and see how they match up with the Academy’s Best Picture:

Last year, 2011, The King’s Speech won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast and ended up winning Best Picture. Also, Black Swan, The Fighter, The Kids Are All Right, and The Social Network were nominated for the SAG and all were nominated for Best Picture.

In 2010, Inglourious Basterds won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast and was also nominated for Best Picture. The other SAG nominees were An Education, The Hurt Locker, Nine, and Precious. The Hurt Locker won Best Picture and Nine was not a Best Picture nominee.

In 2009, Slumdog Millionaire won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast and also won Best Picture at the Oscars. Other SAG nominees included The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Doubt, Frost/Nixon, and Milk. Only Doubt wasn’t also a Best Picture nominee.

In 2008, No Country for Old Men won the Outstanding Performance by a Cast and also won Best Picture at the Oscars. Other SAG nominees were 3:10 to Yuma, American Gangster, Hairspray, and Into the Wild. NONE were nominated for Best Picture.

So what can we conclude? Out of the past 4 years, the movie that won SAG’s Outstanding Performance by a Cast won Best Picture THREE times. Why is that? Because the SAG makes up the largest guild of the entire Academy who votes for the Oscars. Winning the SAG award is being recognized by your peers and puts you at an advantage going into the Oscars. You most likely already have the majority of the votes by the largest guild in The Academy, it’s like you can practically see the finish line.

Anyway, all of this really enforces is that this year’s Best Picture seems to be coming down to a race between two movies: The Artist vs. The Descendants. It’s still early, but that’s really what it’s shaping up to be (unless War Horse can make a ridiculous push as the dark horse, no pun intended).

The Ten PGA Nominations: Sci-Fi friendly

January 7, 2010

A few days ago, the PGA announced their 10 nominations for the Producer of the Year Award.  Here are the nominees:


District 9

An Education

The Hurt Locker

Inglourious Basterds


Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

Star Trek


Up in the Air

Okay, I know what you’re probably thinking.  How are these ten selections going to match up with the Best Picture nominees?  For the most part, I’d say they’re very accurate.  The snubbing of Nine and A Serious Man for sci-fi films District 9 and Star Trek is eye-opening.  While District 9 has a much greater chance to be nominated for Best Picture than Star Trek, it is interesting to ponder.  The rest of the films are basically locks for a Best Picture nomination.  The last two spots are still undecided between Nine, A Serious Man, The Last Station, District 9, Star Trek, and The Messenger.

%d bloggers like this: