Oscar analysis: Butler, Llewyn and Banks suffer as Dallas rises

Oscar analysis: Butler, Llewyn and Banks suffer as Dallas rises

by Wendy Mitchell, Screen Daily


American Hustle and Gravity lead the pack for the Oscar nominations, with 10 each.

12 Years a Slave follows closely behind with nine.

There were six for Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska and Captain Phillips, while The Wolf of Wall Street and Her secured five nominations apiece.

# Nominees
10 American Hustle, Gravity
9 12 Years a Slave
6 Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska
5 Her, The Wolf of Wall Street
4 Philomena
3 Blue Jasmine, The Hobbit 2
2 August: Osage County, Despicable Me 2, Frozen, The Grandmaster, The Great Gatsby, Inside Llewyn Davis, The Lone Ranger, Lone Survivor

There are nine out of a potential 10 nominees for Best Picture this year:

  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years A Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street.

Producer Megan Ellison has a duo on that list: American Hustle and Her.

The films that didn’t show as well as expected include Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Ron Howard’s Rush (both shut out completely).

The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis only secured cinematography and sound mixing while John Lee Hancock’s Saving Mr Banks was only recognised for original score.

August: Osage County only got actress nominations for Julia Roberts (supporting) and Meryl Streep.

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom only got one nomination for best song, and Prisoners only secured one nomination for Roger Deakins’ cinematography.

American Hustle landed nominations in all four acting categories; a feat that director David O Russell also managed last year with The Silver Linings Playbook.


Obvious snubs include Emma Thompson in the Best Actress race for Saving Mr Banks, Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips, Joaquin Phoenix for Her, Idris Elba for Mandela, and Robert Redford for All Is Lost in Best Actor (Hanks was also skipped over for supporting actor in Saving Mr Banks).

Other snubs include Oprah Winfrey in Supporting Actress for The Butler, the Coen Brothers for Original Screenplay for Inside Llewyn Davis, or in the Best Director category, Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine or Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips.

Given all the talk about the ’70s hairstyles (including Bale’s compliated combover) in American Hustle, it was a surprise the film missed out on a nomination for hair & makeup.

Strong showings for Dallas and Philomena

Dallas Buyers Club had an especially strong showing with its six mentions – not just the expected nominations for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto in the actor and supporting actor categories, but also landing a coveted Best Picture nomination and Best Original Screenplay for Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack.

Philomena also got Oscar love in four categories, not just for Judi Dench for Best Actress, but also in the Best Picture race and for Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope in Best Adapted Screenplay and Alexandre Desplat for score.

The animated feature category had a strong international showing with the inclusion of Ernest & Celestine (France-Belgium) and The Wind Rises (Japan) but a surprising shutout for Pixar, with no nod for Monsters University.

Epic was also passed over, as was Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2.

International nominees

The foreign-language nominees are largely as predicted with The Hunt, The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Great Beauty, and Omar included, although it is perhaps surprising that Rithy Panh’s The Missing Picture from Cambodia pushed out Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster.

Denmark does especially well with The Hunt in foreign language, The Act of Killing leading the pack for best documentary, and Helium competing for best live action short.

UK films and talents do well across the board, including Philomena and the UK-produced Gravity; Paul Greengrass, Steve McQueen, Christian Bale, Judi Dench, Sally Hawkins, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope and Prisoners cinematographer Roger Deakins and The Invisible Woman costume designer Michael O’Connor.

In a very competitive documentary race, Stories We Tell, Blackfish, The Armstrong Lie and The Crash Reel were strong contenders that didn’t make the final five.

The acting races are a good mix of veterans such as Meryl Streep, Bruce Dern, Judi Dench with newcomers such as Jonah Hill, Lupita N’yong’o and Barkhad Abdi.

The 86th Academy Awards will be held on March 2.