October 31, 2014

Oscar Nod Notes

Some initial reactions to the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards.

  • I’ll admit it. I’m one of those guys who’s gonna go watch A Better Life just because Demi├ín Bichir got nominated. In my defense, it was already in my Netflix queue. I just upped it to number one, is all.
  • Hard to believe this is Kenneth Branagh’s first Oscar nod. Harder still to believe it’s Gary Freakin’ Oldman’s first (for a truly remarkable performance, btw).
  • How many movies does Michael Fassbender have to be in to get some love?
  • I’m a little surprised at the attention Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is getting. No awards love during the season. Middling reviews. Part of me (cynically) thinks it’s some sort of ten years out 9/11 thing. Part of me (randomly) thinks director Stephen Daldry has some sort of crazy good mojo since his last two films (The Reader, The Hours) also got nominated for Best Picture.
  • Which brings me to another dilemma only an Oscar dork like myself could concoct: Do I go out of my way to go see films that aren’t getting great reviews just because they’re nominated in major categories (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Albert Nobbs, The Iron Lady)? Would you? Of course not. You’re sane.
  • Biggest Oscar oversight in an acting category this year? Elisabeth Olsen for Martha Marcy May Marlene. (Full disclosure: I haven’t seen We Need to Talk About Kevin yet, so that might be worse.)
  • I have never heard of A Cat in Paris or Chico & Rita, but they sure look cool.
  • Still not sure if the Tintin diss was an eligibility issue. Anybody know?

  • I don’t usually give a crap about this category, but I’m really glad to see The Artist get nominated for Best Costume Design, and I hope it wins.
  • I know there’s no way it was ever going to happen, but isn’t Life in a Day custom-made for a Best Editing Oscar?
  • I’ve already said how happy I am about the “Man or Muppet” best song nod. And what great odds, huh?
  • In what may be the biggest surprise, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is up for Best Animated Short. I’m so used to thinking of it as an app that I never bothered to watch the movie. Wonder if when I do, I’ll keep trying to interact with it.
  • So can we get Drive a t-shirt that says “I was arguably the best movie of 2011 and all I got was this lousy Sound Editing nod?”
  • Just so we’re clear, it’s now “the Oscar-nominated Real Steel” (although, to be fair, people seem to like it a lot more than the Oscar-nominated Transformers: Dark of the Moon).
  • In case you were wondering, the Jim Rash that co-wrote The Descendants is that Jim Rash.
  • Congrats to Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) and Bridget O’Connor (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) on their screenwriting nods. They join the 70 or so women who’ve been nominated in that category. Out of something like 1,400 nominees total. Still better representation than female directors, tho.