Jan 16, 2014

A Post-Nominations Oscargasm

Oscar has spoken! There were quite a few surprises announced this morning, but I'm happy to say that I'm pretty pleased with the Academy's choices.

PROS
1. MAMA MERYL

This was hands down the only nomination I cared about. Oscar has severely disappointed me three times in the last three years (in the form of Cotillard, Fassbender, and Gosling snubs) and I was worried that he'd do me wrong a fourth year in a row. If I didn't already mention it--my religion is Meryl Streep. And it has bothered me that there's been some backlash coming her way, from not only people on the internet but also top critics like A.O. Scott suggesting that her work as Violet Weston is too over-the top--as if her work in The Iron Lady and Julie & Julia was subtle. Over-the-top is what Violet Weston is. What other way does one play a drugged up matriarch with cancer of the mouth, a 15 year addiction to pills and years upon years of bitterness? I for one found her to be glorious in August: Osage County, and the thought of the Academy snubbing Streep for her strongest performance in years when they've blindly tossed nominations her way for less significant work was aggravating. That said, I must admit I was so nervous that I almost flatlined when they called out Amy Adams' name first, and when they miraculously called out Streep's name instead of Thompson's in that last spot I pretty much came back to life and flatlined again. Then they moved on to Best Actor and called out Christian Bale's name and I triple flatlined...but I digress. The takeaway: never underestimate the power of Mary Louise Streep. 18 nominations and counting! When will your fave?


2. HAWKINS-GO-LUCKY

I am definitely due for a Blue Jasmine re-watch. I first saw the film in July and I spent the entire time focusing on Blanchett. But I am ecstatic that the Academy chose to recognize Hawkins, because a) she was wrongly ignored for Happy-Go-Lucky, b) she seems like the sweetest person ever, and c) she would actually really benefit from this nomination than a certain billionaire. I haven't seen Lee Daniels' The Butler yet and I'm not in a hurry to...if anything I was blatantly turned off by how in-your-face its Oscar-aspirations were. Winfrey's inclusion in the supporting actress conversation has rubbed me the wrong way from day 1, because despite getting an honorary Oscar not too long ago, not to mention the fact that she's publicly admitted that she was actively campaigning for Viola Davis' role in Doubt, it seemed like the woman was set on getting a competitive statue on the basis of her being Oprah. I was ready to lose it during the announcements as I thought they were going to call her name instead of June Squibb's...but luckily there is good in the world. So yeah, go cry in your billions Lady O. I'm beyond happy for Hawkins.

3. THE BOYS OF WALL STREET

I adored The Wolf of Wall Street. Really, I did. We all know about how the film was rush-edited for its December release, but in spite of this it remained a spectacular three hour joy ride, and it was one of the most fun at the movies I'd had in 2013.  I thought the direction was spot-on. For once, Leo isn't taking himself too seriously and who knew he'd do so well in comedy? He definitely deserved his Best Actor nomination, and I'd have been sad if he hadn't gotten one as the Academy is always overlooking him. And I actually enjoyed Jonah Hill much more than I thought I would--I'm indifferent about him being a 2-time Academy Award nominee now, but let's just pretend he never got any notices for Moneyball and that this is his first.


CONS
1. SNUBBING MR. HANKS/MRS. TRAVERS 

Seriously, who'd a thunk Hanks or Thompson would have gotten snubbed, much less the both of them?  I feel bad for Thompson, as she'd been such a delight during her campaigning, but at the same time I totally understand--I find it hard to believe that anyone who had seen August: Osage County would actually put Thompson's name instead of Streep's on the ballot. I also find it hard to believe that anyone would actually want to watch their Saving Mr. Banks screener--I know I avoided the picture like the plague until after I'd seen practically everyone else. And I'm just stunned about Tom Hanks' snub--not only does he seem like a guy everybody in the Academy loves, but his work in Captain Phillips is hands down the best I've ever seen from him. If that amazing and much-talked about last scene of his doesn't merit an nomination, I don't know what does. Nevertheless, as much as I enjoyed these performances, I'm not really die-hard passionate about them either...so it really sucks that they're not included but I can't say that I'm gutted about it. If anything, I'm pissed about who got in instead of them.

2. AMERICAN HASSLE

Am I missing something here? I've been baffled by all this American Hustle worship. The film was probably my second most anticipated of 2013, but I was vastly disappointed by it. Like The King's Speech, this has become a film I was alright with originally to a film that I now dislike. Many of its nominations are above-average at best--don't even get me started on the fact that this is the second David O. Russell picture to score four acting nominations in four different acting categories in two years...and this is coming from someone who loved Silver Linings Playbook and thought three of its four acting nominations were deserved. In terms of Hustle--I think it only deserved one of its acting nominations in Bradley Cooper, who was an eccentric delight. I didn't think Christian Bale's uber-Method homage to Brando was better than Tom Hank's sublime work, nor did I feel Amy Adams was better than Emma Thompson, and I can name two other hot young blond actresses who gave better supporting turns than Jennifer Lawrence....Let's hope this is a case of The Color Purple.


3. PHILOMANIA

Am I missing something here?? How is it that August: Osage County is considered a bad film by many but Philomena is within the year's top ten? At first I figured that the film's BAFTA nominations in Best Film and Best British Film were the result of unabashed national pride...but here it is, a Best Picture nominee. I thought it was a sloppy picture that had quite a few continuity errors, and had it not been anchored by Dench it would have been forgettable. But whatever. Philomania's a real thing I suppose.

So those are my cheers and jeers regarding this year's nominations. I'm always very torn over whether or not I should do drop the stubbornness and write up posts for the calendar year's nominees..

6 comments:

  1. I can't say I'm happy for Sally Hawkins... of course she should've been nominated for Happy-go thaaaaa... But didn't find her that great in Jasmine. [might just slightly prefer Oprah]. There was room for more excitement in that Supporting Actress category... Beyond Lupita & Julia, I don't really care for the other 3 - though I do have a bit of a weak spot for June.

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    1. Y'know, I'd be lying if I said Hawkins impressed me the first time around...But I still love her in general and I think my excitement for her inclusion is less about whether or not she deserved it but more about what the nomination might do for her career. I guess a second takeaway from all of this is to not underestimate the power of Woody Allen supporting actresses?

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    2. I dunno, it's like nobody's discussing Sally's nomination. :)
      This category used to kill it in past years like 2011.

      ugh, if only they'd have considered more. like Scarlett in MatchPoint. :P

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  2. Agreed on most of these! Yay for Meryl & Sally, Boo for Tom. I'm sad Emma missed just because she's amazing at awards shows. Her perf was simply good. I saw American Hustle again and just had fun with it, so I've made peace with whatever happens with that...though Bale & JLaw are just bad nominees.

    However, I must disagree on the case of Jonah Hill. He just repulsed me on every way possibly. Terrible hammy acting, not funny, etc. One of my least favorite noms in a long time. But I actually also liked Wolf, and am pleased for Leo.

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    1. American Hustle was pretty fun at times I agree, but as a whole cohesive picture I thought it was really lacking...

      That's funny that you say that, because I thought Jonah Hill's nomination for Moneyball was one of the worst in a long time. Whereas he was able to pull out a lot of laughs from me in WoWS, I literally remember sitting there in the theater while watching Moneyball and completely confused as to what it was Hill was doing in the movie that warranted all the nominations he got. Because he barely did anything. Eh, oh well :\

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    2. I couldn't agree more with Hill's Moneyball nomination. I find both of his to be utterly ridiculous. Whereas Moneyball he did nothing, in Wolf he just repulsed me. But I totally cosign that his Moneyball nom was ridiculous. Supporting Actor seems to usually be pretty bleak. Last year was good, but that's only because 2 of them were leads.

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