The Oscar nominees have been announced and the Oscar snubs and surprises have been explored. Now, as we look back on one of the biggest days on the Hollywood calendar, we wonder: What did we learn? Movie Fanatic presents six things that stood out.
1. Diversity Present, Just Not as Once Thought
Back in October, on our weekly show we do with Extra TV, we talked about how this could be a revolutionary year for African American performers and Oscar. There was a high probability that there could be four black nominees for Best Actor. There was Idris Elba for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Forest Whitaker for The Butler, Michael B. Jordan for Fruitvale Station and Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave.
Although there is a person of color in three of the four acting categories, there is only one in the Best Actor race once thought to be an example of how far we’ve come in terms of diversity. There still is diversity, just not as widespread as once thought.
2. Coen Name No Guarantee
The Coen brothers could be virtually guaranteed a slew of nominations by putting out a film. Heck, they won for No Country for Old Men and many had put Inside Llewyn Davis on their top 10 lists (it’s on our Top 10 Movies of 2013). But when Oscar nominations were revealed, the Coen brothers movie only scored two.
It just shows that what Oscar gives, Oscar can take away. No worries though for the filmmaking brothers, they will return to Hollywood’s biggest night sooner rather than later.
3. Risks Are Rewarded
Between 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club and Her, films that took risks were rewarded with Best Picture nominations. 12 Years a Slave had been in development for years and wasn’t green lit until Brad Pitt came on board as a producer. Dallas Buyers Club took five years to make and Her was a risk if for no other reason than people don’t make movies like Spike Jonze’s romance anymore. All were commended for pushing the edge with the highest honor in Tinseltown.
4. True Tales Tantalize
Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years a Slave, Philomena, Captain Phillips and The Wolf of Wall Street all scored Best Picture nominations, and what did all those diverse films share? They were all true.
5. Animation Domination
Since the Best Animated Feature award was first offered, most years have had only three nominees and this year was thought to continue that trend with Despicable Me 2, The Croods and Frozen being locks. But, with the addition of The Wind Rises and Ernest & Celestine filling out all five spots, it shows that animation has come so far not only in quality, but in substance.
6. The Oscar Race Is Wide Open
Sure, Gravity and American Hustle both lead the nominees with 10 each, but it is anyone’s race as of this writing. The campaigning will now commence and a true horse race will emerge. There are no locks, even among the acting nominees. At this moment, Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street all have a shot at the top prize. Stay tuned as one thing is for sure, 2013 has been a film year for the ages. And that fact is reflected in this wide-open Oscar race.