Home Movies Oscar Nominee Voting Ends in About 48 Hours: A Guide

This just breaks my heart. A few days ago I listed 10 movies that were my favorites. Now I have to really break it down for the Oscar categories. This isn’t easy. There were too many good movies this year, and too many knock out performances. What can do you? How do you not include young upstarts like Oscar Isaac and Michael B. Jordan? Vets like Julia Roberts? Harrison Ford?

How can you leave “Gravity” out of the top 10 but give merit to its director? “Gravity” has made zillions of dollars. That’s the reward. Some people I know will faint when they see I chose “Her” over “Inside Llewyn Davis.” I loved both movies. But looking at the SAG nominees and talking to Academy voters, I’m getting a sense of what’s happening. “Philomena” is a phenomenon. Everyone loves it. Judi Dench is going to pull Steve Coogan along.

Oh, best actress: I’m so torn, I’ve left the fifth slot a tie between Sandra Bullock, whom I adore, and Emma Thompson, who’s so lovably haughty in “Saving Mr. Banks.”  But I can’t leave Amy Adams out.

Can’t there be more slots? And doesn’t Oprah have everything in the world already? Yes, but she is outstanding in “The Butler.” That can’t be diminished. Matthew McConaughey? You think he lost that weight for nothing? He’s great in three movies this year, dammit.

Think about it: “Captain Phillips” is superior filmmaking. So was “Lone Survivor,” but the momentum isn’t there. It’s the “Three Kings” of 2013.

And where to put Idris Elba? You tell me. There are only five slots for Best Actor. He and Forest Whitaker each deserve one. But look at my five. And then think about Joaquin Phoenix, Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale, too.

Special dispensation for original screenplay– Fruitvale, Short Term 12, Frances Ha, and Enough Said were all gems. Gems.


August: Osage County

American Hustle


The Wolf of Wall Street

Blue Jasmine

Captain Phillips

12 Years a Slave

Lee Daniels’ The Butler




Robert Redford

Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)

Bruce Dern

Chiwetel Ejiofor

Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) or Oscar Isaac


Cate Blanchett

Meryl Streep

Amy Adams (American Hustle)

Judi Dench

Emma Thompson or Sandra Bullock


Barkhad Abdi

Jared Leto

Daniel Bruhl

Steve Coogan

Michael Fassbender


Oprah Winfrey

Jennifer Lawrence

June Squibb

Margo Martindale

Lupita Nyongo


David O. Russell

Alfonso Cuaron

Steve McQueen

Alexander Payne

Martin Scorsese


Lee Daniels’ The Butler


Blue Jasmine

Inside Llewyn Davis



August: Osage County

Captain Phillips

12 Years a Slave

Wolf of Wall Street



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1 reply to this post
  1. Roger, I think the nominees will look more like this (locks with *):

    Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave*, Gravity*, Her*, Nebraska*, The Wolf of Wall Street*, American Hustle*, Captain Phillips*, Inside Llewyn Davis, Dallas Buyers Club, Saving Mr. Banks. (On the bubble: Blue Jasmine, Philomena). Also, its possible only 9 films will be nominated this year.

    Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor*, Matthew McConaughey*, Bruce Dern*, Tom Hanks, Robert Redford. (On the bubble: Christian Bale)

    Best Actress: Cate Blanchett*, Emma Thompson*, Sandra Bullock*, Judi Dench, Meryl Streep (On the bubble: Amy Adams)

    Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto*, Michael Fassbender*, Barkhad Abdi*, Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
    James Gandolfini (Enough Said). (On the bubble: Bradley Cooper, Tom Hanks – Saving Mr. Banks)

    Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyongo*, Jennifer Lawrence*, June Squibb*, Julia Roberts, Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine) OR Oprah Winfrey (The Butler)

    Best Director: Greengrass instead of Payne, with Payne on the bubble

    Original Screenplay: American Hustle*, Inside Llewyn Davis, Blue Jasmine,* Her, Nebraska (or Gravity)

    Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave*
    Captain Phillips*
    Before Midnight
    The Wolf of Wall Street
    Philomena OR August: Osage County

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