I think it's safe to say that when it comes to the Academy Awards (or any awards ceremony for that matter), there is always a bias towards any of the nominees. However, this awards ceremony is not just any "awards ceremony". This is the Academy Awards! The highest honors are awarded from here to achievements in film making that have come to shape the culture we inhabit as we know it! For that matter, the 86th Academy Award nominations arrived on Thursday morning and the list is superb to say the least.
American Hustle, directed by David O. Russell racked up a whopping 10 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Director (David O. Russell), Actor (Christian Bale), Actress (Amy Adams), Supporting Actor (Bradley Cooper), and Supporting Actress (Jennifer Lawrence). This movie, to say the least, was committed to surrounding you to the ins and outs of politics and hustling during the 1970's and boy, did it bring it. Knockout performances by all four nominees especially Jennifer Lawrence who as we all know as really shined her light around film making these past few years and we can't get enough.
The Wolf of Wall Street gains 5 nominations including Best Picture, Director (Martin Scorsese), Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), and Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill). In my personal and professional opinion, this has to be the craziest movie I have ever seen in my movie watching career. Sex, drugs, and money fill the screen in every other scene and it feels as if those three hours really do pass by. Leonardo brilliantly brings a role that quite possibly might be his best role to date from the fact that he brought so much energy and commitment to Jordan Belfort's real and wild life. Surprisingly, Jonah Hill racks up another Academy Award nomination (previous nomination in Moneyball), and shows us that he can truly become a gifted actor.
Another big movie from 2013, 12 Years A Slave gains 9 nominations including Best Picture, Director (Steve McQueen), Actor (Chiwitel Ejiofor), Supporting Actor (Michael Fassbender), and Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o). As biased as I may sound about this film, I truly believe that this film deserves the Best Picture award. It was easily the most powerful and memorable film of 2013 for me and another bias for me is the fact that one of my favorite director/actor duos is Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender. I mean I wrote my first article on their success starting with Hunger! I'm crossing all fingers and toes for this one!
A film I have yet to see is Philomena, which gained 4 nominations including Best Picture and Actress (Judi Dench). I personally love the elegance and style of the lovely Judi Dench and I am positive that this nomination was much deserved.
Another favorite from 2013 was the funny and heart warming Nebraska, which garnered 6 nominations including Best Picture, Director (Alexander Payne), Actor (Bruce Dern), and Supporting Actress (June Squibb). This film had all the qualities I love in funny/heart warming films: wonderful acting, clever dialogue, and a positive ending. Grade A in my book!
A riveting tale of love and loneliness is the creative film Her, which gained 5 nominations including Best Picture. Joaquin Phoenix gave another knockout performance the year after his nomination for The Master (my favorite film of 2012) and still shows us that his acting is committed and he has much to bring to the table.
A movie I desperately need to see is Gravity, which garnered a whopping 10 nominations including Best Picture, Director (Alfonso Cuaron), and Actress (Sandra Bullock). The best things I've heard about this film is the intense atmosphere and acting it portrays as two astronauts are lost in the endless vacuum of space. I am sure these nominations are very much deserved!
A gritty and intense film, Dallas Buyers Club comes in strong with 6 nominations including Best Picture, Actor (Matthew McConaughey), and Supporting Actor (Jared Leto). As I'm sure everyone else has noticed, Matthew has really stepped up his game these past few years and his dedication to establishing himself as a serious actor has paid off with this well deserved domination. Jared Leto also sparks up the film with his incredible dedication to visualizing himself physically and mentally to a role that is definitely not easy to portray.
Finally we reach the last film nominated for Best Picture. Captain Phillips is nominated for 6 nominations including Best Picture and Supporting Actor (Barkhad Abdi). I have yet to see this film but from what I've heard the intensity and suspense is brought to life in a shocking and very real way. I'm positive these nominations were well deserved.
If you want to review all the nominations for the Academy Awards here is the link: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/86/nomineesByPicture.html
Be sure to catch the 86th Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2!