Thursday, January 15, 2015

Not So, Big O, for Oscar Nominations

The new Academy Award nominations are now circulating for consideration, and without surprise, a couple of major release films with Olympic connections -- "Foxcatcher" and "Unbroken" -- emerged on the short list of potential award recipients.

Neither made the cut for best picture, but as noted in reviews for each film, I concur with the Academy that these films were good but not great overall, with excellent specific parts of the film (i.e. acting, cinematography) worthy of Oscar attention.

"Foxcatcher" gripped five apt nominations: Best actor for Steve Carell, best supporting actor for Mark Ruffalo, directing for Bennett Miller, makeup and hairstyling with Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard, and best original screenplay forE. Max Frye and Dan Futterman.

I scratched my head about the original screenplay nomination as I thought Mark Schultz's book was the basis of the film. When I posted a question to Schultz's Facebook page, the response was, "The screenplay is the script written from the book and other research" to which I replied my original question was poorly worded. We'll see where the follow up conversation leads.

Meanwhile, "Unbroken" was selected in cinematography, sound mixing and sound editing. Though there will likely be chatter about Angelina Jolie and the film being "snubbed" for bigger categories like best picture and director, I did not feel this was a snub. Rather, its a good film (with technical excellence for which its nominations are appropriate) but not a great one.

The real "snub" from this blogger's perspective was in the best feature documentary category. I cannot believe the Academy left out the Roger Ebert-centric film "Life Itself" from the nominees. This is really disappointing, especially in a category the Academy got right so many times previously (with "One Day In September" or "Man On Wire" and "Bowling for Columbine" as great past picks). Oh, well -- "Life Itself" remains an outstanding film.

Let the Oscar ballot office pools commence!

Image via CBS

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