Oscars / SAG / Golden Globes

It’s time to discuss the Academy Award (Oscar) Nominations, the SAG Awards and the Golden Globe Awards. Because I only review films, I won’t provide any comments about television program awards. I’ll only discuss the major categories here. During my Oscar Blog in a few weeks I’ll talk in more detail. Golden Globe Awards: First I don’t particularly like the separating of Drama from Comedy or Musical so I won’t separate them here.

  • Best Actor: Although Leonardo DiCaprio was good and a favorite by many, the choice of Matthew McConaughey was a wise choice. For me, I think Bruce Dern in Nebraska ranks higher than DiCaprio. What I missed seeing in the nominees was Forest Whitaker in The Butler. I thought he deserved a nod – there was a lot more that went into being this role than meets the eye.

  • Best Actress: I think Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams and winner Cate Blanchett were the top runners. However, I’m severely disappointed that Adele Exarchopoulos from Blue is the Warmest Color was not even nominated for what I would say could have been the best performance by an actress all year. She fully became the character.

  • Best Picture: Selecting “12 Years a Slave” in Drama and “American Hustle” in Musical or Comedy shows the struggle the press had with what to pick. Granted both films were well done and deserve a nomination. Putting American Hustle in Musical or Comedy category shows why the Golden Globes needs to review what they do. For me the top three pictures having the most impact on me were: Gravity, American Hustle, and 12 Years a Slave. This was closely followed by Philomena and Nebraska. Blue is the Warmest Color would have fit in here as well.

  • Best Supporting Actress: Winner Jennifer Lawrence was superb as was Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave and June Squibb in Nebraska. And for me it was a toss-up between Lawrence and Nyong’o with Squibb nudged up next to them.

  • Best Supporting Actor: Winner Jared Leto is my personal choice in this category. He was beyond amazing. However, Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips was right there as well.

  • Best Screenplay: Spike Jonze for Her was a solid choice. The idea was original and modern and the execution, driving by this great script, was very engaging.

SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards:

  • Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey won again here and it was an outstanding performance. Glad to see that SAG recognized Forest Whitaker in his role in The Butler.

  • Best Actress: The selection of winner Cate Blanchett mirrored the Golden Globes and is an outstanding choice – she was fabulous. However, Sandra Bullock’s performance in Gravity was probably more amazing in that her acting was not prompted by dialogue of another person but her ever-changing situation. Adele Exarchopoulos was not eligible and therefore not considered.

  • Best Picture: American Hustle was a good choice because all performances were truly wonderful and amazing.

  • Best Supporting Actress: In one of the strongest categories – this one is difficult because Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o and June Squibb all gave such outstanding performances it is a difficult selection. SAG gave this award to Lupita Nyong’o.

  • Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto received this award just as he did at the Golden Globes.

Academy Awards:

  • Best Actor – Nominees are: Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonard DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club). Of this group, my selection would be McConaughey by a narrow margin over Bruce Dern. That Robert Redford was not nominated for "All Is Lost" and Forest Whitaker for "The Butler" were hard to swallow. However, I’m not sure whom they would replace. Also that Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips) wasn’t nominated shows how strong this category is.

  • Best Actress – Nominees are: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), and Meryl Streep (August: Osage County). Of this group I’d be happy with either Blanchett or Bullock. However, that Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Color) wasn’t nominated is sickening. Her performance was heads above Streep’s.

  • Best Picture – Nominees are: "American Hustle", "Captain Phillips", "Dallas Buyers Club", "Gravity", "Her", "Nebraska", "Philomena", "12 Years a Slave", and "The Wolf of Wall Street". The only one missing is Blue is the Warmest Color. For me the top films are: American Hustle, Gravity, and Dallas Buyers Club. However, all these films are very strong with great subjects.

  • Best Supporting Actress – Nominees are: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), and June Squibb (Nebraska). This is a horse race between Lawrence and Nyong’o. Both performances were extremely strong as was Squibb’s.

  • Best Supporting Actor – Nominees are: Barkhad Adbi (Captain Phillips), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club). I think Hill’s nomination is poor in comparison to Daniel Bruhl’s performance in Rush. This is a close contest – and either Leto or Adbi will take the award.

  • Best Cinematography – Nominees are: The Grandmaster (Phillip Le Sourd), Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki), Inside Llewyn Davis (Bruno Delbonnel), Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael) and Prisoners (Roger A. Deakins). Got to love Gravity and Nebraska. Two totally different views of our world and both very effective.

  • Best Director – Nominees are: David O. Russell (American Hustle), Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), and Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street). My choices, in order are: Alfonso Cuaron, David O. Russell, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, and lastly Scorsese’s Wolf - which is a little bloated.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay – Nominees are: Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke), Captain Phillips (Billy Ray), Philomena (Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope), 12 Years a Slave (John Ridley) and The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter). My choice would be "Philomena" followed closely by "Before Midnight".

  • Best Original Screenplay – Nominees are: American Hustle (Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell), Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen), Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borton and Melisa Wallack), Her (Spike Jonze), and Nebraska (Bob Nelson). Here I like "Her" to receive the honor as I thought it the most original and very well done.