2014 Academy Award Nominations
They released those always debatable Oscar nominations this morning:
Just some random notes off the top o' me head...
-Two time Oscar nominee Jonah Hill? Yep, two time Oscar nominee Jonah Hill.
-Almost all of the acting nominees (16 of the 20) come from the Best Picture nominees. That makes it kind of a small pool to work from, which means a lot of smaller acting performances likely got overlooked... That being said, not the worst crop of actors nominated this year.
-I haven't seen August Osage County (don't plan on it either), but I assume Julia Roberts getting nominated was just so they could talk about Julia Roberts being nominated again. "She's BACK!" (rolls eyes)
-Damn, Inside Llewyn Davis got shut down. That makes me sad.
-Best Documentary category also makes me sad. No Blackfish or Crash Reel...? I guess The Act of Killing will be a guaranteed win (it pretty much was anyway).
-Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is an Academy Award nominated film (Best Make-Up). I won't argue that the make-up is good, but this is still funny.
-Her's music got nominated for Best Score and Best Song, with the nominees being William Butler of Arcade Fire and Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Score one for indie rock right there!
-The Best Picture nominees are decent. The only one I haven't seen is Philomena, and I'm in no rush to see it. But, c'mon... Where's Inside Llewyn Davis...?
-Is there any debate that Gravity will take the Cinematography, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, and Sound editing awards?
-But... The Lone Ranger had better visual effects than Pacific Rim...? Uh... ok?
- I was going to be all like, "Nice, this year's Costume awards doesn't feature any bland romantic period pieces...!" Then I looked up what The Invisible Woman was, and, well, nevermind.
-This is Woody Allen's 16th writing nomination. Pretty impressive.
-I haven't seen any of the films from the Best Animated Feature category. But is it possible that The Croods is better than Monsters University...? I just... I just doubt it...
-Seriously, Inside Llewyn Davis didn't even get a Best Song nomination...? :(
Yea, how odd is it that Pacific Rim for visual effects is probably the biggest surprise? Maybe Monster U behind that. You can argue Llewn Davis is a snub (haven't seen it yet) but it hasn't been getting a lot of award exposure, so not a big surprise. I was a bit surprised no nom Tam Honks (if this were the 90's he'd be a shoo in), but really, who would you take off of that list? Looks good to me.
[Scott Roberts] "-Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is an Academy Award nominated film (Best Make-Up). I won't argue that the make-up is good, but this is still funny."
Haha! I love seeing those, "It's hard to believe this is an Oscar nominated film" entries. Usually for Best Song or something, but yea, that makeup HAD to be convincing.
OK Scott, I already see showings at a movie theater here in Phoenix for the Best Short Film nominees, it's game face time.
Also, I thought this was fun, Box Office Mojo put together a list of the nominees based on their gross receipts, in case anybody is interested.
[Jeff Breuer] "OK Scott, I already see showings at a movie theater here in Phoenix for the Best Short Film nominees, it's game face time."
Awwwwwwww yeah! Can't wait to see this year's crop of weird ass cartoons! I don't see any showing forming yet in Chicago, but I've now bookmarked the Shorts homepage.
[Jeff Breuer] "Also, I thought this was fun, Box Office Mojo put together a list of the nominees based on their gross receipts, in case anybody is interested."
Bad Grandpa made $101 million dollars? (starts slow clap)
I should correct myself, I see the showing listed but they don't start till the end of the month.
[Scott Roberts] " Bad Grandpa made $101 million dollars? (starts slow clap)"
Inside Llewyn Davis did get nod for cinematography. And as much as I agree that Gravity has that category locked up based on past winners, it infuriates me because it was really the modelers who made the wonderful enviornments we saw, not the cinematographer that really brought out the beauty of the environment.
As I mentioned on Twitter today - it's worth the reminder that cinematography nominees are nominated by people in their craft. Academy cinematographers nominated Gravity for a cinematography award.
No surprises for me in these nominations, except maybe Star Trek over Pacific Rim. But again, nominees come from people in their respective fields. The VFX bake-off makes a difference in VFX nominations, and the general public isn't privvy to that.
[Kylee Wall] "Academy cinematographers nominated Gravity for a cinematography award. "
The key word is "Academy."
I've been struck by the recent differences between the awards given by the Academy and the American Society of Cinematographers. The ASC is neither a union or a guild, but it's a small (340-ish members), invitation-only group that, let's just say, aims high.
Great example: a record-holding 12 ASC Award nominations for Roger Deakins, with wins in 95 (Shawshank), 2002 (The Man Who Wasn't There), and 2012 (Skyfall), AND a Lifetime Achievement Award...thhis year TBD of course...and, although a goodly number of Oscar noms, no wins. None.
Life of Pi won best cinematography Oscar last year of course. So we have:
2012 (awarded in '13) Oscar: Pi; ASC: Skyfall
2011 (awarded in '12) Oscar: Hugo; ASC: Tree of Life
2010 (awarded in '11) Oscar: Hurt Locker; ASC: White Ribbon
They were then the same going back to 1999, when Janusz Kaminsky won the Oscar for Saving Private Ryan and John Toll won the ASC for Thin Red Line, then, okay, okay, Titanic won both before that.
Anyway, ss long as there's a different membership in two groups voting, different outcomes are a real possibility.
THAT SAID, the cinematography was the best thing in Gravity. (The ONLY thing I liked, but I've beaten that horse already.) It was truly staggering. When, say, Sandra appeared to be flying around, she was more or less hanging still -- the camera was doing the moving. Certainly the CG added tremendously to the finished frames, but the camera work was the spine the rest was built on.
One of my favorite articles in the COW Library this year was a close-up look at how the 3D was added AFTER the shooting -- yes, post-converted...except it was more like "near" post, largely generated on set...but still, after the shot: Creating the 3D in Gravity.
Even the 3D being added in post, to me, affirms the power of the cinematography, that it was choreographed tightly enough to accommodate BOTH the CG and the 3D being added later. I think it's a miracle.
I think it's also going to be the third 3D movie in a row to win an Oscar for best cinematography. Chew on that, haters.
I don't mind be called a hater at all and I think it's a similar argument that photographers have with photoshop and digitally created photos. In the end, the final product is still beautiful.
I just think it falls under the special effects category.
I thought The Butler might get a look in. I feel that maybe 10 years ago, it would have been a front runner. Was hoping for more love for Wolf of Wall Street even though at times it felt like a rough cut. If Leo doesn't win Best Actor, there's something fishy going on. Tom Hanks deserved a nod. Inside Llewyn Davis was by far my worst film of the year - possibly due to high expectations. A save the cat sub plot? Really? What adult wants to sit though that crap; I wouldn't expect that from a student film maker. Just awful. Surprised at no love for Pacific Rim in VFX and the tech categories. And best editing will go - as usual - to which ever film wins best picture. I think Best Picture is going to 12 Years a Slave. At least I hope it does.
Sorry, I meant to say "3D" haters.Specifically, I was referring to this likely being the third 3D movie in a row to win the cinematography Oscar.
We can certainly disagree on the balance between VFX and cinematography! I just remember watching it and thinking, This may be the greatest action cinematography I've seen in years. I can think of a half dozen movies with more impressive VFX, including Wolf of Wall St. :-)
Along these lines, Yuri Neyman ASC and Vilmos Szigmond ASC founded the Global Cinematography Institute around this idea of what they call "virtual cinematography" - that cinematography doesn't take place in a vacuum, but has to be considered (including by the DP) in the context of VFX, CG, and other ostensibly non-cinematographic considerations. (BTW, one of Vilmos's movies along these lines: Close Encounters of the Third Kind. )
At the very least we might agree that this may be more "both" than either/or.