The Golden Globes unveiled their nominees on Wednesday with “Birdman” leading the way in nominations. When it comes time for Oscar nominations morning, I suspect that will be the film that leads the nominations tally. “Unbroken” was completely shut out of every category, which is surprising considering how this group loves Angelina Jolie (they nominated for “The Tourist” for crying out loud). Universal Pictures must be pretty disappointed. As it stands at this writing, the film sits at 55% on Rotten Tomatoes but with only 20 reviews counted. It looks to be divisive but I still think it stands a good chance at a Best Picture nomination for no other reason than just the frontrunner clout that surrounded the movie for so long. “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” was pummeled as well by critics, missing out on Golden Globe and SAG and still made the cut, in a year of a sliding scale.
“Foxcatcher” got a second wind this morning picking up nominations for Best Picture, and two acting mentions for Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo. Bennett Miller is still in the running to be the first person in Academy history to have his first three movies nominated for Best Picture. This looks to be the vehicle that Sony Pictures Classics should focus on for the remaining of Phase 1. Carell has managed both Globe and SAG nominations and yet still doesn’t feel as secure as he should. Jake Gyllenhaal picked up nominations as well for his work in “Nightcrawler” and is making a compelling case for himself. There’s something about his mentions that keeps bringing me back to Ryan Gosling for “Lars and the Real Girl,” a contender that looked semi-assured but missed out in the end. David Oyelowo is still very much on the table for “Selma” and should make the cut in the end, give or take a surprise.
Who could surprise? Ralph Fiennes has the benefit of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” picking up serious momentum. Writer/director Wes Anderson picked up two nominations with the Globes and it’s still going strong. If the film is making a strong showing on Oscar morning, and undoubtedly picking up a few techs along the way, Fiennes can easily factor in.
A24 must be feeling frustrated at this point. With an impeccable start winning Best Picture from the National Board of Review, “A Most Violent Year” turned up a goose egg and with SAG, and just a single nod from the Golden Globes for Jessica Chastain. Oscar Isaac was positioned very well for his first Academy Award nomination but now, I’m not too sure. A24 can only hope a last minute surge can propel him forward.
Jennifer Aniston has hit everywhere needed to get her first Oscar nomination. “Cake” is an impeccable achievement for her (please lift the embargo already), the best of her career, and it looks like people are noticing. Speaking with one of the AC writers recently, we categorized some films in two categories when it comes to screener watching. There’s the top-tier, movies that they’ll pop in because they’ve heard about it all year along. Those are your Selma‘s, Imitation Game‘s, and Boyhood‘s. Those will be watched no matter what, even a second time. “Cake” WAS in the category of, “you have some free time and watched everything you needed to, so I’ll pop in this movie because XYZ is suppose to be good.” Usually, and unfortunately sadly, most Documentary Features and Foreign Language films are in this category. “Cake” may have just jumped to Tier 1 now. They’ll watch it over the break, if they haven’t already. If Aniston isn’t an assured thing, who’s in her place? The critics awards tell us its Marion Cotillard for “Two Days, One Night” but Harvey is launching a campaign for “The Immigrant.” That can’t be good for her. Hilary Swank is on the table with “The Homesman” but my guess is Emily Blunt, whose probably the frontrunner for the Golden Globe, is next in line.
The Supporting categories look lined up and ready to go. The same five men appeared at the Golden Globes and SAG nominations while the ladies only had Chastain and Naomi Watts (“St. Vincent“) swapped. I think Chastain is the likely inclusion but in the case she isn’t, watch out for Rene Russo for “Nightcrawler,” Laura Dern for “Wild,” or Carmen Ejogo for “Selma.” Tilda Swinton is also getting a very detailed push for her work in “Snowpiercer,” that would make a lot of critics happy. When it comes to the men, Robert Duvall seems to be the one that people are “sure” will drop off but only Tom Wilkinson for “Selma” or Josh Brolin for “Inherent Vice” stand a chance at this point. Miyavi could still factor in with a large surge of support during the major guilds.
When it comes to the Director category, Richard Linklater and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu are the only definite inclusions. Ava DuVernay made history becoming the first African-American woman nominated for a Golden Globe in Director. DGA will announce before AMPAS ballots are due so we just need to pray that the 300 some odd members want to vote for her. Morten Tyldum and James Marsh seem to be from the same tree when it comes to the type of films they helm. Both have very strong campaign teams behind them. For now, I think both of them make it but I wouldn’t be shocked if one or two of them miss for American directors David Fincher and/or Wes Anderson.
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