Oscar nominations: American Hustle and Gravity share the lead, Hanks and Thompson amongst acting snubs

The Academy have spoken….

Once again, there was a mixture of predictability and shock with this year’s Oscar nominations as Hollywood held its breath over those being recognised (or ignored!)

Leading this year’s race with ten nominations each are the crime-thriller American Hustle and the sci-fi blockbuster Gravity. Historical drama 12 Years a Slave, which was initially expected to stand out prior to the announcement, was second with nine nods.

All three films are competing in a very strong Best Picture category which also includes sea-thriller Captain Phillips, biopic drama Dallas Buyers Club, romantic drama Her, indie-comedy Nebraska, real-life British dramedy Philomena and money-making biopic The Wolf of Wall Street.

Amongst its nominations, Hustle, which focuses on the Abscam operations of the 1970s, received mentions in all four acting categories for stars Christian Bale (as con-artist Irving Rosenfeld), Amy Adams (as Irving’s partner in crime Sydney Prosser), Bradley Cooper (as FBI agent Richie Di-Maggio) and Jennifer Lawrence (as Irving’s estranged wife Rosslyn) plus another Best Director nod for David O. Russell (his third in four years). This was also the second year in a row that O. Russell had directed a quartet of performers to acting nominations.

Gravity, a breathtaking film about two astronauts battling for survival in space, has been recognised in various technical categories but also managed to secure a Best Director nom for Alfonso Cuaron and a Best Actress mention for Sandra Bullock (as rookie astronaut Ryan Stone).

Despite snubs in Best Cinematography and Original Score, 12 Years deservedly earned nominations in Best Director (Steve McQueen) as well as acting nods for stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (as kidnapped African-American man Solomon Northop), Michael Fassbender (as cruel farmer Edwin Epps) and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o (as mistreated slave Patsey).

In Best Actor, Bale and Ejiofor are up against veteran Bruce Dern (as money-obsessed Woody Grant in Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (as corrupted investor Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street) and recent Golden-Globe winner Matthew McConaughey (as Aids-suffering electrician Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club).

In the Best Actress category, Adams and Bullock are competing against leading contender Cate Blanchett (as socialite Jasmine in Blue Jasmine), Judi Dench (as elderly Philomena Lee in Philomena) and Meryl Streep (as matriarch Violet Weston in August: Osage County), a record 18th nomination for the three-time Oscar winner.

In Supporting Actor, Cooper and Fassbender are nominated alongside newcomer Barkhad Abdi (as Somalian pirate Muse in Captain Phillips), Jonah Hill (as Wall Street employee Donnie Azoff in The Wolf of Wall Street) and Jared Leto (as AIDs suffering transvestite Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club).

Lawrence and Nyong’o occupy the Supporting Actress category with British star Sally Hawkins (as Jasime’s sister Ginger in Blue Jasmine), Julia Roberts (as family relative Maggie Weston in August: Osage County) and June Squibb (as elderly wife Katie Grant in Nebraska).

Oscars_Best_Supporting Actors_Best_Supporting Actresses copy

The Best Director lineup is filled by the aforementioned Cuaron, McQueen and O. Russell as well as Alexander Payne (Nebraska) and the brilliant Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street).

Frozen is the sure-fire favourite to win Best Animated Film and is up against The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest & Celestine and The Wind Rises.

Amongst the standout nominations elsewhere included a Best Adapted Screenplay nod for Steve Coogan as he was recognised for his adaption of Philomena (which also earned a deserved Best Score mention for Alexandre Desplat).

Veteran composer John Williams moved one step closer towards fifty nominations for his work on The Book Thief while U2 followed up their Golden Globe win with a Best Song mention for the historical biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.

Perhaps the most bizarre nomination of the day came for the Jackass team as their spinoff comedy Bad Grandpa scored a nod in the Best Makeup category!

It was also a relief to see Prisoners squeeze a Best Cinematography nod for renowned cinematographer Roger Deakins. Still doesn’t make up for the lack of attention elsewhere!

But as expected, there were also plenty of disappointing snubs to come across, even in the technical categories.

Although Captain Phillips garnered several nominations, there was no sign of director Paul Greengrass with the bigger snub occurring for Tom Hanks whose stunning performance was overlooked despite gaining key mentions in other awards guilds.

The same could also be said for Hanks’ other film, Saving Mr Banks, which underperformed with only one nomination. Like Hanks, British actress Emma Thompson secured mentions in the other guilds yet failed to be recognised here for her marvellous turn in the Disney biopic.

The Coen Brothers‘ musical-drama Inside Llewyn Davies also struggled with just two technical nods having been expected to at least make Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

The biggest shaft came for Ron Howard’s Formula One biopic Rush which didn’t land one nomination at all in this year’s competition (not even for Sound!), something that was bound to frustrate nominee announcer Chris Hemsworth!

Palme d’Or winning lesbian drama Blue is the Warmest Colour, historical biopic The Butler (and stars Forest Whittaker and Oprah Winfrey) and indie-drama Fruitvale Station were also shut out by the Academy while blockbusters like The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Man of Steel and Pacific Rim were ignored too.

The winners of each award will be announced at the Oscar ceremony on Sunday 2nd March (my birthday!) at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles with the show being hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

The full list of nominees are below (with my early predictions in blue):

BEST PICTURE

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
  • Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
  • Alexander Payne – Nebraska
  • David O. Russell – American Hustle
  • Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST ACTOR

  • 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

  • Amy Adams – American Hustle
  • Cate Blanchett- Blue Jasmine
  • Sandra Bullock – Gravity
  • Judi Dench – Philomena
  • Meryl Streep – August: Osage County

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
  • Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
  • Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
  • June Squibb – Nebraska
  • Julia Roberts – August: Osage County

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • David. O Russell & Eric Warren Singer – American Hustle
  • Woody Allen – Blue Jasmine
  • Craig Borten & Melisa Wallach – Dallas Buyers Club
  • Spike Jonze – Her
  • Bob Nelson – Nebraska

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • John Ridley – 12 Years a Slave
  • Richard Linklater – Before Midnight
  • Billy Ray – Captain Phillips
  • Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope – Philomena
  • Terence Winter – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • The Grandmaster
  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • The Grandmaster
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Invisible Woman

BEST FILM EDITING

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
  • The Lone Ranger

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • 12 Years a Slave
  • American Hustle
  • Gravity
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Her

BEST SOUND EDITING

  • All Is Lost
  • Captain Phillips
  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Lone Survivor

BEST SOUND MIXING

  • Captain Phillips
  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Lone Survivor

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Iron Man 3
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Star Trek Into Darkness

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

  • William Butler & Owen Pallett – Her
  • Alexandre Desplat – Philomena
  • Thomas Newman – Saving Mr. Banks
  • Steven Price – Gravity
  • John Williams – The Book Thief

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

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

BEST ANIMATED FILM

  • The Croods
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Ernest & Celestine
  • Frozen
  • The Wind Rises

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

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

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

  • CaveDigger
  • 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 FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • The Broken Circle Breakdown – Belgium
  • The Great Beauty – Italy
  • The Hunt – Denmark
  • The Missing Picture – Cambodia
  • Omar – Palestine

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

  • Feral
  • Get a Horse!
  • Mr. Hublot
  • Possessions
  • 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)
  • Helium
  • Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
  • The Voorman Problem

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