Big Screen Ballyhoo – Oscar Nomination Reactions

So, if you were perhaps unaware, the Oscar nominations for 2013 came out. And, as they do nearly every year, they’re causing just a bit of controversy.

This year, 53 films have been nominated (By my count. I could be wrong. Counted 54 the first time.). Still, even with 53 nominated movies, with several getting a huge handful of nominations (“Life of Pi” got 11, which ties it with the most nominations a movie has ever won.), there are people that feel there were snubs and missing nominations. And I’m a bit inclined to agree.

First off, for Best Picture. This has been a pretty good year for movies. There are only two movies I’ve seen this year that I didn’t like, and I’ve seen more movies this year than most. Even though I’ve only seen 13 Oscar nominated films this year, but I’ll get to that in a bit. The way the Best Picture category now works is that it allows for any number between five and 10 nominations. They changed it from five to 10 some years ago to widen the field and potentially make it more exciting for the viewers at home. Then they made it variable when they couldn’t produce 10 Best Picture material movies. This year, I really think there were 10 possibilities. Such as, while I haven’t yet seen it, “Moonrise Kingdom.” Or, out of what I have seen, “Skyfall” or “Cloud Atlas.” The last of which I will bring up again in a second.

Then you have Best Director. What the what happened here? The two most talked about sure-fire “will definitely be nominated” directors were Kathryn Bigelow for “Zero Dark Thirty” and Ben Affleck for “Argo.” Yet neither got a nomination. And neither did Tom Hooper for “Les Miserables.” Hooper and Bigelow’s absences mean the two defending champions, both having won the Oscar for Best Director (and Best Picture) for the last film they made, are out of the race. It also means that Bigelow’s movie “Zero Dark Thirty” is no longer the top contender for Best Picture, as the Academy rarely splits director and picture for the Oscars. And poor Affleck… at least his movie got nominated a few times, including for Best Picture. His last movie got ousted by a massive roster of good films. Still, I think he really deserved the Best Director nod. Yes, you can’t get all the Best Picture directors a nomination, but their absences were very shocking.

And now, to chat about “Cloud Atlas.” As you may recall, I enjoyed “Cloud Atlas” a decent bit. I even said it’s practically a shoe-in for the Oscars.

And it was shut out entirely.

No nominations for Make-Up, Costumes, Visual Effects… nothing. It’s freakin’ crazy, in my mind. It makes NO sense. First, why is it that Make-Up only gets three nominations when there are clearly other deserving films? Second, not a single nomination? “Flight” gets a nomination for Best Original Screenplay, despite being one of the WORST screenplays I’ve seen this year, yet “Cloud Atlas” doesn’t even get mentioned? It’s an absolute travesty in my mind. Just a shame.

Anyway, there are other people who have some other complaints about the Oscar nominations, if you’re curious. Me, I’m just going to buckle down and try to watch as many of these things as I can. Even if I exclude Documentaries, Short Films and Foreign Films (except for “Amour,” a Best Picture contender), I’ve got 17 movies left to watch by February. Better get cracking.

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