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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The winners and losers of the Academy Awards nominations


    Courtesy of Prodido Productions

    On Thursday, the Academy announced its nominations for next month’s Oscars. For the third straight year, nine films were nominated for Best Picture, yet there were good arguments for nominating four or five more. With only 20 acting slots — five each for Best Actor and Actress and Supporting Actor and Actress, there were worthy candidates left on the outside looking in.
    Here are the big winners and losers:

    Winner: “American Hustle”
    David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” tied with “Gravity” to lead all pictures with 10 nominations. Russell is nominated for Best Director, while many of the film’s stars — Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence — received nods in the actor/actress categories. Last year, Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” became the first movie in 31 years to land nominations in all four acting categories. “American Hustle” duplicated that feat and is a favorite — along with “12 Years a Slave” and “Gravity” — to win Best Picture.

    Loser: The Weinstein Company
    Thursday morning was a rough one for the Weinstein Company. Weinstein produced films “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” “Fruitvale Station” and “August: Osage County,” all of which were completely shut out of the Best Picture and Best Director categories. “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” was nominated for Best Original Song — ensuring Bono will be at the Oscars — while Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep received nods for “August: Osage County,” salvaging little from a dismal awards season for the production company.

    Winner: Matthew McConaughey
    McConaughey’s career is on a steep upswing right now. In addition to his hilarious cameo in “The Wolf of Wall Street” and lead role on HBO’s new crown jewel “True Detective,” the 44-year-old Texan also received a Best Actor nod for his work in “Dallas Buyers Club” — a film that netted him a Golden Globe last week. Looking ahead, he will be playing the lead in Christopher Nolan’s upcoming science-fiction thriller “Interstellar.”

    Loser: Movies that take place on boats
    Both “Captain Phillips” and “All Is Lost” had disappointing Thursday mornings. Although the former received a well-deserved Best Picture nod, its main star, Tom Hanks, and director, Paul Greengrass, were casualties of this year’s exceptionally strong candidates for this category. The film had nominations elsewhere, but the exclusion of its two biggest figureheads makes it an Oscar nominations loser.
    “All is Lost” is a lesser-known but very good survival tale about a man at sea starring Robert Redford. Looking for his first Best Actor nomination in 40 years, Redford was left high and dry.

    Winner: Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
    Despite its many shortcomings, “Blue Jasmine” produced some outstanding female performances in a year lacking them. Cate Blanchett no doubt will run away with Best Actress for her lead in the film, but Sally Hawkins, playing the role of her working class younger sister, went 12 rounds with her counterpart. Given all the attention afforded to Blanchett’s performance, easily the best of any actress this year, and the lack of awards momentum generated by “Blue Jasmine,” Hawkins was thought of as a long shot to grab a nomination. Nevertheless, she managed to grab Best Supporting nods in both the Golden Globes and the Oscars. It’s been a big few weeks for Hawkins.

    Loser: Oprah Winfrey, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”
    Down goes Winfrey! Down goes Winfrey! With Hawkins in, somebody had to be out, and that somebody was Oprah Winfrey. Again, it was a disappointing season for “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” It’s not tragic that Winfrey was left out, but it is surprising given the lackluster race and her star power.
    Winner: “Nebraska”
    It was a big day for Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska.” The film scored a Best Picture nod along with nominations for Bruce Dern for Best Actor, June Squibb for Best Supporting Actress and Payne for Best Director. It also grabbed nominations in Writing and Cinematography. The black-and-white commentary on Midwestern America has yet to crack $10 million at the box office, but its multiple nominations should help moving that forward.

    Loser: “Inside Llewyn Davis”
    Though not unexpected, it was a bad day for “Inside Llewyn Davis.” It was thought of all along as more of a critics’ movie than an Oscar film, and across-the-board critical acclaim couldn’t help shed that distinction. The film received two nominations, for Cinematography and Sound mixing. This is bittersweet for a film that had legitimate arguments for nominations for Best Actor (Oscar Issac), Best Director (Coen Brothers) and Best Picture.

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