Thursday, January 16, 2014

86th Annual Academy Award Nominations

This morning's announcement of the 86th Annual Academy Award nominations continued to confirm the three-way frontrunners in this year's race: "American Hustle," "Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave." "Hustle" and "Gravity" led the pack with ten nominations each, while "12 Years" came in a close second with nine. While all three films landed the best picture precursor nomination for best editing, "Gravity" notably got left off the best original screenplay category.

The best picture nominations came in, for a third year now, at nine total. Among the nominees were "American Hustle," "12 Years a Slave," "Captain Phillips," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Her," "Gravity," "Nebraska," "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "Philomena." This last entry comes as bit of a surprise over the likes of "Saving Mr. Banks" or "Inside Llewyn Davis."

And speaking of "Banks" and "Davis," both films were shut out in the major categories when it was widely expected Emma Thompson would get a best actress nomination for the former while perhaps the latter would at least get a nod for best original screenplay. Neither film went home empty-handed, though. "Banks" nabbed a nod for best score while "Davis" received cinematography and sound mixing.

The film that's completely absent? "Lee Daniels' The Butler," reflecting the HFPA's snub of the film. Not even Oprah Winfrey secured her nomination for best supporting actress.

Best director nominations went to frontrunner Alfonso Cuaron for "Gravity," Steve McQueen for "12 Years a Slave," David O. Russell for "American Hustle," Martin Scorsese for "The Wolf of Wall Street" and, a surprise, Alexander Payne for "Nebraska" over the likes of Paul Greengrass for "Captain Phillips" or Joel and Ethan Cohen for "Inside Llewyn Davis."

As Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" did last year, all four acting categories represent a nomination from "American Hustle."

The biggest surprise is by far the inclusion of Christian Bale in lead actor, who made it in over both Robert Redford for "All Is Lost" and Tom Hanks for "Captain Phillips." Joining him were Matthew McConaughey for "Dallas Buyers Club," Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Wolf of Wall Street," Chiwetel Ejiofor for "12 Years a Slave" and Bruce Dern for "Nebraska."

With Emma Thompson out for the best actress category, Amy Adams made it in for "American Hustle" along with locked nominees Cate Blanchett for "Blue Jasmine," Sandra Bullock for "Gravity" and Judi Dench for "Philomena." And yes, there's no denying the Academy's love for Meryl Streep, who got nominated in the category for "August: Osage County."

Now two-time Academy Award-nominated Jonah Hill for "The Wolf of Wall Street" made the best supporting actor category with Bradley Cooper for "American Hustle," Barkhad Abdi for "Captain Phillips," Michael Fassbender for "12 Years a Slave" and frontrunner Jared Leto for "Dallas Buyers Club."

Jennifer Lawrence is now the youngest actor, at 23 years old, to have three Academy Award nominations, this year in best supporting actress for "American Hustle." She joins Lupita Nyong'o for "12 Years a Slave," Julia Roberts for "August: Osage County," June Squibb for "Nebraska" and the surprise of Sally Hawkins for "Blue Jasmine" over Oprah Winfrey for "The Butler."

Another notable snub: Pixar went without a nomination for best animated picture. The studio's "Monsters University" was bested by "Despicable Me 2," "The Croods," "The Wind Rises," "Ernest & Celestine" and of course "Frozen."

And while Hans Zimmer for "12 Years a Slave" got left off for best score, a noteworthy inclusion in the category was "Her," which also received a nomination for best song. The film came in at a total five nominations.

"Nebraska" also came out as quite the juggernaut with six nominations total, with each of its lead actors and director nabbing nods along with best picture.

The 86th Annual Academy Awards air live at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2 at 8 p.m. on ABC hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Check here for a full list of nominations.

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