Friday, January 17, 2014

Pick O' the Week - January 17

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced its crop of nominees today with some exciting additions and omissions. 

Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts both earned nominations, Best Actress and Supporting Actress, respectively, for August: Osage County. American Hustle repeated awards in all four acting categories. Tom Hanks was completely shut out, for both Saving Mr. Banks and Captain Phillips, which does not surprise me. The incredibly talented Sally Hawkins was rewarded for her supporting work in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, alongside Best Actress front runner Cate Blanchett. And thankfully Oprah was overlooked for her over-the-top work in Lee Daniels' otherwise pushy The Butler

Major awards and nominations include:

Best Picture: American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena, 12 Years a Slave, and The Wolf of Wall Street

There are far too many films nominated here, including five that will not even be considered for my best films of 2013. 

Best Actress: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

The Academy overlooked Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks and Adele Exarchopoulos in Blue is the Warmest Colour

Best Actor: 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)

Bale and DiCaprio do not deserve to be here. Can McConaughey truly beat Ejiofor again? Or will Bruce Dern steal a deserved win?

Best Supporting Actress: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave), Julia Roberta (August: Osage County), June Squibb (Nebraska)

An interesting article on the battle between Lawrence and Nyong'o. Though, I would love to see Sally Hawkins win solely because she was not nominated for Happy-Go-Lucky

Best Supporting Actor: 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)

Not a lot of competition for Leto. Cooper and Hill are jokes. Interesting to see Abdi gain a nomination when Tom Hanks could not. 

I have seen all the films in major categories. But I have not seen a single film nominated for Best Animated Feature, Best Documentary - Feature and only one of the Best Foreign Language Films (the amazing Danish film The Hunt) - even with Blue is the Warmest Colour overlooked. 

Onto my picks:

In Theatres: Of all the films recently released into cinemas, the film I am most obsessed with is Spike Jonze's Her. Scarlett Johansson could have honestly received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her great vocal work. Joaquin Phoenix beautifully embodies the fragile Theodore. A great film on an increasingly important social topic. Check out my mini-review here.

At Home: While Blue Jasmine will not be released onto home media until Tuesday, I strongly urge you to watch Mads Mikkelsen in The Hunt. Mikkelsen stars as a man wrongly accused of sexual misconduct at a kindergarten. The film unfolds as the town turns against. Hands down, one of the best films of 2013. Check out my review here

On TV: I have recently become a Whovian. I have been devouring episodes of Dr. Who on Netflix. The premise is too far-fetched to explain in a few sentences, but it is a science fiction adventure centred around a time-hopping Doctor. Plenty of great actors - including Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, and Phyllis Logan - have made guest appearances. I am just waiting to see the very attractive Matt Smith appear! 

Retro Re-watch: For my twelfth birthday, I begged and I pleaded to be allowed to finally see an adult movie in theatres. That movie was Barry Sonnenfeld 1995 crime comedy Get Shorty, based on a story by Ellmore Leonard. The film stars John Travolta as a mobster who finds the movie business much more lucrative. It also stars Danny DeVito, Gene Hackman, and Rene Russo - before the world forgot who she was! Check it out on Netflix


  1. I feel successful as a person now that I've convinced you to watch Dr. Who. Even though it's really just that Netflix made it available here ;)

  2. Netflix has made it much more convenient to watch Dr. Who. I may be halfway through season four, but you're devouring The Good Wife much more quickly! ;) (There are more episodes!)

  3. I'm also midway through season four's good. I really love Christine Baranski :)