Update: Oscar Nomination Reactions

"The Wolf of Wall Street" did better than pretty much anyone expected.  Movie poster copyright Paramount Pictures, used for commentary purposes only.

“The Wolf of Wall Street” did better than pretty much anyone expected. Movie poster copyright Paramount Pictures, used for commentary purposes only.


For those of you who read my Oscar nomination predictions for this year and were curious to know how I did, I thought I would provide a brief rundown of how things went. I was 4/5 in every category, except for Best Picture, where I correctly predicted all nine nominees. Because the number of Best Picture nominees cannot be known for sure ahead of time, I provided a total of ten predictions, so one of them was incorrect. However, since I did predict all of the ones that were nominated, I think we should consider this one a perfect 9/9, no?

As for who will win the big award, today’s announcement changes nothing. It is still a three-way race between American Hustle, Gravity, and 12 Years a Slave.

Full list of nominees from Variety.

Best Picture

I had a feeling that the Academy voters would ditch Saving Mr. Banks despite the recognition it has been getting from other groups, and I’m proud to say I was right.  I wisely was not taken in by August: Osage County (It had Weinstein backing, but some viewers were apparently upset that it differed too much from the play on which it was based.), Blue Jasmine, or The Butler.

Unfortunately, I was wrong about Inside Llewyn Davis.  My reasoning in picking it was that, while it had not been getting as much attention as some other films, there seemed to be a core group of people who really loved this film.  Since the nominations are based largely on who voters put in the top few slots, I thought it might benefit from this system.  I was wrong – phooey!

Best Director

I suspected that I might have been in trouble when my choices exactly mirrored those of the Directors Guild for their awards show.  Usually, the Oscars will pick someone that the guild leaves out, and that was the case this year with Alexander Payne for Nebraska.  The Academy has shown some love to him in the past, so maybe I should have seen it coming.  Paul Greengrass was the one who got pushed out to make room for Payne.  His film, Captain Phillips, was snubbed for both Best Director and Best Actor.

I did sense that Captain Phillips was a bit weak, but I thought the place where it would lose out was in the Adapted Screenplay category.  Oh well – live and learn.  By the time they got to announcing the Best Picture nominations, the support for Captain Phillips seemed so minimal that I thought it might get snubbed there as well, but it did manage to get in to the biggest category.  If there were five Best Picture nominees like in the good old days, I’m sure it would have been left out in the cold.

Best Actor

I did not anticipate quite how much the Academy would love The Wolf of Wall Street.  Opinions of the film have been somewhat mixed, partially due to the misogynistic behavior of the main characters, but I should have figured that a voting group made up of a bunch of old white guys would not see that as a problem.  Thus, Leonardo DiCaprio got the nomination over Tom Hanks.

Best Actress

I knew this one was probably not going to go my way when Amy Adams won the Golden Globe on Sunday for American Hustle. (I had predicted that she would be the one of the four major players in that film to miss out, largely because she had less precursor nominations.) The support for her performance was clearly stronger than I thought.

She gets in over Emma Thompson, whose performance in Saving Mr. Banks had been nominated by practically everyone else.  I can’t help but wonder if some of the complaints I have heard in recent days – namely, that the film is a whitewashed version of history that makes Disney look like the hero – ended up hurting the film’s chances.

Best Supporting Actor

Yes, I missed out on predicting Jonah Hill, but I suspect that I have a lot of company.  He had received almost no attention prior to this.  I suppose it just shows once again that the people who made The Wolf of Wall Street knew their target audience.  Sorry, Daniel Brühl: you are a great actor, but apparently the Academy hates Germans.  (Too many Jewish voters?  Ok, bad joke…)

Best Supporting Actress

I so badly wanted to see Sally Hawkins get nominated, but after she got snubbed a few years back for Happy Go Lucky (in which she was phenomenal), I figured we were going to see the same thing happen again. After all, who would dare to ignore Oprah?  Well, the quality of Oprah’s performance in The Butler not withstanding, I am glad they chose to nominate Sally instead – it was well deserved.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Wow, Weinstein really did not work his magic this year. August: Osage County failed to get nominated in this category as well, not to mention the complete shutout of Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (another Weinstein film) in everything but Best Original Song.  I guess Harvey will have to be happy with the performance of Philomena. Somewhat inexplicably, Captain Phillips did get nominated here, despite being snubbed elsewhere. (I did not think the script was the best part of that film.)

Best Original Screenplay

Once again, the Academy was not impressed with Inside Llewyn Davis, even though they have previously rewarded the Coen Brothers, who wrote the script. Instead, the nod went to Dallas Buyers Club.  Now that I think about it, I probably should have seen that one coming as well.

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