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Oscar Nominations Announced For 86th Awards

American Hustle,’ 12 Years A Slave,’ ‘Gravity’ Top List

Credit: Fox Searchlight

Above: "12 Years A Slave" is one of the films topping this year's list of Oscar nominees.

The 86th Academy Award nominations have just been announced with “12 Years a Slave,” “American Hustle,” and “Gravity” topping the list.

The 86th Academy Award nominations have just been announced with “12 Years a Slave,” “American Hustle,” and “Gravity” topping the list.

Well, no surprises here. These are exactly the same films that have been nominated by the Golden Globes, the Broadcast Film Critics(of which I am a member), and others. The expanded pool of ten best picture nominees has allowed for independent films like “Nebraska” to make the cut but those top three films have been dominating awards and critics groups. The only groups that proved markedly different in their best picture choices are the Independent Spirit Awards and the Online Film Critics Society (of which I’m a member). They embraced foreign films (“Drug War,” “Blue is the Warmest Color”), animated films (“The Wind Rises”), and genuinely independent films (“Short Term 12,” “Frances Ha”) in their best picture nominations.

“Short Term 12,” the film that topped my 10 Best List, received nominations from both the Independent Spirit Awards and the Online Film Critics, and lead actress Brie Larson won the recent Gotham Award but the Academy completely overlooked her as well as the film. And that is a true shame because this is a truly independent film and it exemplifies all the virtues of indie filmmaking. The Academy should have found a place at the table for “Short Term 12.” I will confess a personal bias here since I know filmmaker Destin Cretton. I showed his first student film, showed the short film version of “Short Term 12,” and have been following his career. He graduated from SDSU and has simply been doing everything right as a young filmmaker. He deserved attention for that. The Academy’s overlooking of Brie Larson’s finely nuanced performance is especially egregious in light of the knee jerk nomination Meryl Streep got for her excellent but predictable work in “August Osage County,” and Sandra Bullock’s repurposing of her performance in “Speed” for “Gravity.” Those are wasted nominations.

I also want to point out that two of the best picture nominees dealt with subjects that were better done elsewhere. “Captain Phillips” depiction of pirates off Somalia was treated more effectively in the Danish film, “A Hijacking,” and “Gravity’s” lost in space was better tackled in the indie film “Europa Report.”

I have to confess, though, the nominations are not all bad. Bruce Dern received a very well-deserved best actor nod for “Nebraska.” Hollywood has failed to recognize his talent and has kept him relegated to mostly supporting roles but in “Nebraska” he gets a showcase and shines. Other well deserved acting nominations went to Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto for “Dallas Buyers Club,” Cate Blanchett for “Blue Jasmine,” and June Squibb for “Nebraska.”

It’s also good to see Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises” (he announced this will be his final film since his failing eyesight prevents him from continuing to do his own animation) in best animated category. All the documentary nominations are great especially “The Act of Killing” and “20 Feet from Stardom” but shame on the Academy for overlooking Sarah Polley’s masterful “The Stories We Tell.” And best foreign film boasts the superb works, “The Great Beauty” (opening Friday at the Ken Cinema), “Broken Circle Breakdown,” and “The Hunt.”

The nominees in the best song category remind me once again that this category should be eliminated because it only encourages Hollywood to keep inserting pointless songs into films. And who would have thought that both “The Lone Ranger” and “Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa” could boast Oscar nominations? Both got nominated for best achievement in make up and hairstyling.

The 86th Academy Awards are Sunday March 2 on ABC. The Broadcast Film Critics’ Critic Choice Awards are tonight at 8pm on the CW. For any of you in Oscar pools, the Critics Choice Awards have been a good predictor of who will win the Oscar. I gave out my Cinema Junkie Awards last month.

Nominations for the 86th Academy Awards

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Christian Bale in “American Hustle”

Bruce Dern in “Nebraska”

Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”

Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Phillips”

Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle”

Michael Fassbender in “12 Years a Slave”

Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Amy Adams in “American Hustle”

Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine”

Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”

Judi Dench in “Philomena”

Meryl Streep in “August: Osage County”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine”

Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle”

Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave”

Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County”

June Squibb in “Nebraska”

Best animated feature film of the year

“The Croods” Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson

“Despicable Me 2” Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri

“Ernest & Celestine” Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner

“Frozen” Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho

“The Wind Rises” Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki

Achievement in cinematography

“The Grandmaster” Philippe Le Sourd

“Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki

“Inside Llewyn Davis” Bruno Delbonnel

“Nebraska” Phedon Papamichael

“Prisoners” Roger A. Deakins

Achievement in 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

Achievement in directing

“American Hustle” David O. Russell

“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón

“Nebraska” Alexander Payne

“12 Years a Slave” Steve McQueen

“The Wolf of Wall Street” Martin Scorsese

Best documentary feature

“The Act of Killing”Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen

“Cutie and the Boxer” Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher

“Dirty Wars” Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill

“The Square” Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer

“20 Feet from Stardom” Nominees to be determined

Best documentary short subject

“CaveDigger” Jeffrey Karoff

“Facing Fear” Jason Cohen

“Karama Has No Walls” Sara Ishaq

“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed

“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” Edgar Barens

Achievement in 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 of the year

“The Broken Circle Breakdown” Belgium

“The Great Beauty” Italy

“The Hunt” Denmark

“The Missing Picture” Cambodia

“Omar” Palestine

Achievement in 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

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

“The Book Thief” John Williams

“Gravity” Steven Price

“Her” William Butler and Owen Pallett

“Philomena” Alexandre Desplat

“Saving Mr. Banks” Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

“Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone”
Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel

“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams

“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

“The Moon Song” from “Her”
Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze

“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

Best motion picture of the year

“American Hustle” Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers

“Captain Phillips” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers

“Dallas Buyers Club” Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers

“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers

“Her” Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers

“Nebraska” Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers

“Philomena” Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers

“12 Years a Slave” Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers

“The Wolf of Wall Street” Nominees to be determined

Achievement in 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

“Feral” Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden

“Get a Horse!” Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim

“Mr. Hublot” Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares

“Possessions” Shuhei Morita

“Room on the Broom” Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

Best live action short film

“Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)” Esteban Crespo

“Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)” Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras

“Helium” Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson

“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)” Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari

“The Voorman Problem” Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

Achievement in 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

Achievement in 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

Achievement in 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

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

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

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