First off, let's take a look at Best Picture. As the rules state (and as this guy hates) there can be anywhere from five to ten nominees (and there should be five, as tradition - mostly - dictates), and this year, for the third year in a row, we have ended up with nine. Oh, and by the way, these are the exact nine that I predicted yesterday. So take that! They are: American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, Nebraska, Captain Phillips, The Wolf of Wall Street, Philomena, Dallas Buyers Club, and Her. So, as they say, no real surprises here - not that there were any real surprises anywhere today. In Best Director, I went 4 for 5, having picked Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips instead of nominee Alex Payne for Nebraska. The other four, Alfonso Cuaron, David O. Russell, Steve McQueen, and Marty Scorsese were all pretty much shoo-ins, and therefore easy pickin's in my predictin's. As for who might win on March 2nd? Pic is up between Slave and Hustle I do believe, with the slight edge going to the more dramatic Slave, and Cuaron is surely the frontrunner for the directing Oscar (the first Mexican to win?). Hustle and Gravity are the big winners, each garnering ten nominations, with 12 Years a Slave coming in with nine. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa also received an Oscar nomination this morning, but more on that later. Onto the acting categories.
I went 17 for 20 in the acting slots, acing Supporting Actor, and missing just one each in the other three categories. The big news here though (at least I think it is) is the fact that American Hustle pulled off a nomination in each of the four acting categories. Amy Adams and Christian Bale in the leads (Bale was my one misstep in Best Actor) and Cooper and J-Law in Supportings. This is just the fifteenth time this feat has been accomplished in Oscar history. The last time such a thing happened? Just last year, with Silver Linings Playbook. What? Huh? That was a David O. Russell film too. Howzabout that? The last time before that was Reds in 1981. As for surprises...well, there really weren't any. No Redford (which I predicted). No Hanks (which I did not). No Emma Thompson (probably the closest thing to a surprise). But we did get Sally Hawkins (again, I predicted that one), so that's a good thing. As for my of-the-top predictions for the eventual winners, I would say (at this time only - this may change before Oscar night) McConaughey, Blanchett (though look out for Amy Adams in a surprise win), Jared Leto, and Lupita Nyong'o (unless they are willing to give J-Law two in a row). Snubs? Not that they ever stood even the remotest of chances, I would have loved to have seen Julie Delpy, Mia Wasikowska, or Greta Gerwig in Best Actress (maybe Rooney Mara too), Oscar Isaac, Simon Pegg, or Michael Shannon in Best Actor, Nicole Kidman, Kristen Scott Thomas, or Tao Zhao in Supporting Actress, and Matthew Goode, John Goodman, and (of course) James Franco(!!!) in Supporting Actor - but that's just me.
The screenplay nods were just as boring and predictable as everything else, as I missed just one (predicting the shamefully robbed Inside Llewyn Davis instead of the nominated Dallas Buyers Club for Original Screenplay), so there's really nothing to talk about there. As I said earlier, I had a success rate of 89% this year, up from my pathetic 77% turnout last year, so all is good. As for the rest of the nominees? Well, there are some mentionables, so let's mention 'em. A snub for Sarah Polley and her doc, Stories We Tell, nominations for Arcade Fire (Score), and Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Song), no nod for Blue is the Warmest Color, but the wonderful Great Beauty is up (and will win!) for Foreign Language Film, Miyazaki gets an Animated Feature nod for what he has called his final film (but can he beat Disney's Frozen?), Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster is up for two Oscars (Cinematography and Costumes), and yes, the aforementioned Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is nominated for Best Make-up & Hair. So there! A pretty unremarkable year in surprises here, but that seems to be par for the course in these recent Oscar times. I'll be back on March 1st with my final predictions, but in the meantime, check out the Oscar poll I'm a-running 'round these parts (you will find it near the top of the right hand sidebar, unless of course, you are reading this after the poll ended, in which case you will see a different poll over there). That's it for now. See ya 'round the web.