Oscar 2014 Nominees: First Impressions

January 16, 2014




“12 Years a Slave”
“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

I’m so glad “Her” got nominated but know that “Gravity”, “American Hustle”, and “12 Years a Slave” will get most of the votes. My favorite of those 3 : “Gravity”.






David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

So disappointed that Spike Jonze didn’t get a nod for “Her”. My clear favorite is now Alfonso Cuaron for “Gravity”.







Christian Bale, “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

I think this is by far the the most competitive category. All 5 nominees will have great support. At this point, I’m leaning to Christian Bale because he played a character that was so far out of his comfort zone….but so did Mr. McConaughey so this one is anyone’s guess.






Amy Adams, “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”

Again, I loved all 5 performances but I think Cate Blanchett may be the odds-on favorite here with Academy voters. But, to me, they were all great.






“American Hustle” – Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
“Blue Jasmine” – Written by Woody Allen
“Her” – Written by Spike Jonze
“Nebraska” – Written by Bob Nelson
“Dallas Buyers Club” – Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack

“Her”…or maybe “Her”….but then again, it could be “Her.” That’s my favorite and I hope Mr. Jonze wins….but it very well could be “American Hustle.”


“Before Midnight” – Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
“Captain Phillips” – Screenplay by Billy Ray
“Philomena” – Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
“12 Years a Slave” – Screenplay by John Ridley
“The Wolf of Wall Street” – Screenplay by Terence Winter

Another tough, tough category. I have no clear favorite. Do you?


Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”
Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”

Although I so respect and admire Jennifer Lawrence, who won the Golden Globe in this category, I think June Squibb was great in “Nebraska”…but, most of all, I was blown away by Julia Roberts’  career performance in “August: Osage County”. To stand toe-to-toe with Meryl Streep, who just might be remembered as the greatest actress of all time, is quite a feat and Ms. Roberts was more than up to the task.


Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”
Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

I’ll be very surprised if Jared Leto doesn’t win–his performance was extraordinary.


“The Croods”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Ernest & Celestine”
“The Wind Rises”

I have to admit that the only film I saw in this category was “Frozen” and I thought it was absolutely sensational.

Those are my early thoughts.

What are yours?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynne January 16, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Thanks Stephen for your opinions. I trust more what you say as I admit I have never followed this competition much. I don’t go to the movies any more.

I agree mostly with what you say about Frozen as that is the only one I have heard people talk about. It was sensational from what I heard. I have always loved the roles Meryl Streep played.


Stephen Simon January 17, 2014 at 10:04 am

Thanks so much, Lynne!


Brian Mills January 17, 2014 at 1:59 am

Best Picture: Her. (but I think the vote will be American Hustle)
Best Actor: Christian Bale.
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett.
Best Director: David O Russell
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze
Best Adapted Screenplay: Before Midnight.
Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence.
Best Supporting Actor: Bradley Cooper
Best Animmated Film: Frozen.

I was amazed that Joaquin Phoenix was not nominated for Best Actor and Spike Jonze for Best Director. I think Gravity will lose out to American Hustle which will take an armful of awards.


Stephen Simon January 17, 2014 at 10:04 am

Thanks so much, Brian…you may very well be right about “Hustle”…I think it’s a really a toss-up with that, “Gravity”, and “Slave”—of the three I prefer “Gravity”. I really do think the Academy will give Cuaron the directing award….his film was so astonishingly challenging and Russell won last year…Steve McQueen will get a lot of support as well..will be fun to see how it all shakes out…hope you’re keeping your head above water..in your case, the Thames!


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