Oscar Nominations Can’t Help But Please, Disappoint

Studio 360

Our man Oscar played it safe again this year. It's doubtful too many people will take issue with Gravity (a hugely successful drama with innovative film techniques) and American Hustle (a hugely commercial drama with great performances) leading the pack of nominations with ten each. But the Academy did bring a few surprises. Take Jonah Hill, who has now been nominated for more Oscars than Gary Oldman. And Lee Daniels' The Butler, which pulled-in a grand total of zero nominations, while one of myfavorites of the year, Bad Grandpa, scored one for hair and makeup.

Gravity director Alfonso Cuarn said his film "would be completely shallow if not for the biggest visual effect --- the performance of Sandra Bullock." The Academy evidently felt the same way, granting the Oscar-winner her second nomination. In fact, "Actress in a Leading Role" appears to be one of the few categories in which women weren't totally snubbed. Let's hope 2014 brings a few more strong features from female directors, to keep Payne, Scorsese, McQueen, Russell, and Cuarn company, eh?

WATCH: 2014 Oscar-nominated movies you can view at home

The competition for Best Actor in a Leading Role ranges from a good-looking guy who packed-on 50 pounds (Christian Bale) to a good looking guy who lost 50 pounds (Matthew McConaughey). The Academy also recognized Chiwetel Ejiofor was for his powerful performance in 12 Years a Slave, Leonardo DiCaprio for his comedic turn in Wolf of Wall Street, and Hollywood veteran Bruce Dern for playing himself in Nebraska. Dern told Kurt Andersen that Payne was "the best director I've ever worked for," and that the film featured the "the hardest scene I had ever done."

PLAY: The Matthew McConaughey Word Association Game

The Academy loves a comeback story, which might skew the odds in McConaughey's favor. Let's hope the narrative vote also works for June Squibb. The 84-year-old actress stole every scene she could in Nebraska and told Kurt being nominated, "would be the neatest thing in the world." Second-neatest, June. Second-neatest.

FULL LIST: 2014 Academy Award nominees

Best Picture

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club





12 Years a Slave

The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale, American Hustle

Bruce Dern, Nebraska

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Amy Adams, American Hustle

Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

Sandra Bullock, Gravity

Judi Dench, Philomena

Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Best 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 Actress in a Supporting Role

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

Philippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster

Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity

Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis

Phedon Papamichael, Nebraska

Roger A. Deakins, Prisoners

Best Costume Design

Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle

William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster

Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby

Michael O'Connor, The Invisible Woman

Patricia Norris, 12 Years a Slave

Best Directing

David O. Russell, American Hustle

Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity

Alexander Payne, Nebraska

Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

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

Best Film Editing

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club


12 Years a Slave

Best Foreign Language Film

The Broken Circle Breakdown

The Great Beauty

The Hunt

The Missing Picture


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Dallas Buyers Club

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

The Lone Ranger

Best Music (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 Music (Original Song)

"Alone Yet Not Alone" from Alone Yet Not Alone

"Happy" from Despicable Me 2

"Let it Go", Frozen

"The Moon Song," from Her

"Ordinary Love," from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Best Production Design

American Hustle


The Great Gatsby


12 Years a Slave

Best Short Film, Animated


Get a Horse!

Mr. Hublot


Room on the Broom

Best Short Film, Live Action

Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)

Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)


Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)

The Voorman Problem

Best Sound Editing

All Is Lost

Captain Phillips


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Lone Survivor

Best Sound Mixing

Captain Phillips


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Inside Llewyn Davis

Lone Survivor

Best Visual Effects


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Iron Man 3

The Lone Ranger

Best Adapted Screenplay

Before Midnight

Captain Phillips


12 Years a Slave

The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Original Screenplay

American Hustle

Blue Jasmine

Dallas Buyers Club



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