When Oscar nominations are announced, writers, bloggers, tweeters and everyone else has an opinion to share about the Motion Picture Academy’s semi-final verdict.
The fortunate reality is that there are so many quality talents out there in the film industry, and that 2013 had enough quality movies for people to care about. The unfortunate reality is that a lot of the talents, and a fair few movies don’t get the nod they might deserve. And, some talents who made the cut seem like they may have spent the last year or so nabbing heads-up pennies while working on their films.
Let’s start with the Directing category because, honestly, all of the movies nominated for Best Picture were deserving.
While Ben Affleck‘s acting in Argo wasn’t anything to write home about, his directing on the film was definitely worth consideration. Flashing between late ’70s Hollywood and militant Iran, his direction was inspired.
One-time winner of the Academy Award for Directing in ’09 for The Hurt Locker, Katherine Bigelow‘s latest desert-based war film seemed like a shoe-in — especially considering all the flack she’d been getting regarding the film’s torture scenes.
Tom Hooper tried what no other director has tried before him, something that in and of itself shouldn’t be rewarded, but in this case should have been. He had his actors sing live for his movie musical adaptation of Les Miserables. While not all of his actors seemed up to the task, it was still a remarkable thing to see/hear — when done right by Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks.
Django Unchained, much like Zero Dark Thirty, was surrounded by quite a bit of controversy. It’s possible that the language, violence and general content caused those who voted to turn towards other options than Quentin Tarantino.
Namely, Benh Zeitlin. This first-time director beat out some pretty big movie helming pros to squeeze his way into the category. Zeitlin directed the summer indie hit, Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Actors/Actresses in a Leading Role
Rust and Bone, a movie that understandably missed the boat for Best Picture, should have delivered an Oscar nod for French actress Marion Cotillard. In the film, Cotillard suffers a tragic accident that results in the loss of her legs, and the rejuvenation of her spirit.
Emmanuelle Riva is nominated for her role in Amore, but no love was shown to her costar (and husband in the movie) Jean Louis Trintignant. Trintignant gives a beautifully understated performance of a man who is steadily losing the love of his life.
Bradley Cooper is not exactly known for his Oscar-worthy performances, although roles in Wedding Crashers and The Hangover skyrocketed him to mainstream success. Silver Lining Playbook seems to have been the vehicle he needed to garner critical acclaim. “It’s nuts. The fact that I’m going to be in a room and look at Daniel Day Lewis — I’m overwhelmed,” said Cooper on Today. He’s right, it is kind of nuts.
Supporting Actor/Actress in a Supporting Role
Leonardo DiCaprio costars alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Jamie Foxx, and Oscar nominated Christopher Waltz in Django unchained as a slave owner. The internet is ablaze with disbelief that DiCaprio will once again go Oscar-less this award season.
Jackie Weaver got in, which meant that Maggie Smith (The Best Exotic Marigold) was out. Weaver plays opposite De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook. She was nominated in 2010 for her role in Animal Kingdom. Her nomination puts her in the company of fellow Aussies, Hugh Jackman and Naomi Watts.