The 2014 Oscar nominations were announced Thursday, January 16, in the morning, and you can voice your preferences by visiting the official site of the Academy Awards.
Below is an almost-complete list of nominees, with links to my reviews (if I have reviewed them – otherwise the links go to imdb). I have annotated the lists with notes on which nominees should win (my preferences are always in blue bold), and which shouldn’t be nominated at all. I have left off the categories where I do not feel truly qualified to comment (if I haven’t seen all of the nominees) and where I am not enough of an expert in the craft and technique (such as sound mixing), to offer an opinion. If you want to see the films that I considered the best (and worst) of 2013, you can see my selections for pictures and actors here, and my selections for the craft awards here.
- 12 Years a Slave – should win
- American Hustle
- Captain Phillips – shouldn’t be on here
- Dallas Buyers Club
- Gravity – shouldn’t be on here
- The Wolf of Wall Street – the inclusion of this film is an insult to all of the others. Why not give a slot to films like Before Midnight, Fruitvale Station, Enough Said or Kill Your Darlings?
- Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
- Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave – should win
- Alexander Payne, Nebraska
- David O. Russell, American Hustle
- Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street – the inclusion of Scorsese (for this film) is an insult to all of the others. What about Spike Jonze, Her?
- Amy Adams, American Hustle – should win
- Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
- Judi Dench, Philomena
- Meryl Streep, August: Osage County – it should be Julia Roberts on this list, not Meryl, rather than Julia being relegated to “supporting”
- Sandra Bullock, Gravity – she absolutely carried the movie, but there were better performances than hers, such as Julie Delpy, Before Midnight, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said, as well as many others.
- Christian Bale, American Hustle
- Bruce Dern, Nebraska
- Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave– should win
- Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
- Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street – I can’t believe he’s on here, rather than Robert Redford, All Is Lost, or Joaquin Phoenix, Her, to name just two. Granted, he was good in a terrible movie, but there were far better performances than his.
- Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
- Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
- Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave – should win, although I also think Julie Roberts should get it (if only she were in the Lead Actress category, as she should be …)
- Julia Roberts, August: Osage County – she should be in the Lead Actress category (where she should win)
- June Squibb, Nebraska
- Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
- Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
- Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
- Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street – as with DiCaprio, I can’t believe he’s on here, and he wasn’t as good as his co-star, anyway. What about James Franco, Spring Breakers, Bobby Canavale. Blue Jasmine, or James Gandolfini, Enough Said?
- Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club – should win
- The Grandmaster, Philippe Le Sourd – shouldn’t be on here. How about Reed Morano, Kill Your Darlings?
- Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki – shouldn’t be on here, as the bulk of the visuals were created by the Visual Effects team . . .
- Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel – shouldn’t be on here. How about Ruben Impens, The Broken Circle Breakdown?
- Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael – of the films nominated, this guy should win, but the real winners should be one of these three folks: Hoyte Van Hoytema, Her; Chung-hoon Chung, Stoker; Sean Bobbitt, Twelve Years a Slave
- Prisoners, Roger A. Deakins – shouldn’t be on here. How about Lol Crawley, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom?
- American Hustle, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
- Captain Phillips, Christopher Rouse – of the films on here, this one should win, but I would prefer to see one of these two films win: Jeff Buchanan & Eric Zumbrunnen, Her; Douglas Crise, Spring Breakers
- Dallas Buyers Club, John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
- Gravity, Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
- 12 Years a Slave, Joe Walker
- The Book Thief, John Williams – really? It should be Mark Orton, Nebraska (which rivals Her for best score, in my opinion), instead. The Book Thief should not be nominated
- Gravity, Steven Price
- Her, William Butler and Owen Pallett – should win
- Philomena, Alexandre Desplat
- Saving Mr. Banks, Thomas Newman – the Mary Poppins songs are nice, but the score is horrible; it should not be nominated
- American Hustle, Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
- Gravity, Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
- The Great Gatsby, Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
- Her, Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena – should win
- 12 Years a Slave, Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker
- All Is Lost, Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns – should win
- Captain Phillips, Oliver Tarney
- Gravity, Glenn Freemantle
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Brent Burge
- Lone Survivor, Wylie Stateman
- Gravity, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould – should win
- The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds – the Smaug effects are very nice, but Gravity is better
- Iron Man 3, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
- The Lone Ranger, Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier – has nice train sequences, but should not be nominated
- Star Trek Into Darkness, Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton
- Before Midnight, written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke – should win, except that 12 Years a Slave is also nominated. Hmmmmm …
- Captain Phillips, screenplay by Billy Ray
- Philomena, screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
- 12 Years a Slave, screenplay by John Ridley – should win, except that Before Midnight is also nominated. Hmmmmm …
- The Wolf of Wall Street, screenplay by Terence Winter – should be nowhere near a nomination