Posted by: ckckred | January 17, 2014

Oscar Nominations 2014


On Thursday morning, as I gazed over the Oscar nominations on my laptop screen, I searched the page about three or five times for a certain name, thinking that the Academy had posted a mistake on their website.  But soon I realized my worst fears were concerned: Inside Llewyn Davis received only two nominations.

Just digest this: Davis is one of the most acclaimed movies of the year and I myself think it’s arguably 2013’s best.  Yet Davis received nothing for Joel and Ethan Coen’s impeccable direction or writing or Oscar Isaac’s incredible performance, or even the song “Please Mr. Kennedy.”  In fact, the only credit the movie got was for Cinematography and Sound Mixing.    Such snubbing is unacceptable for such a dynamic picture.  Even American Hustle, a film I really do like, is nowhere near the same league as Inside Llewyn Davis.

That’s not to say the other nominees were undeserved.  I was pleased to see 12 Years A Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street all receive some well-earned attention.  But that doesn’t underscore the problems of the Oscars.  Her, which is the other contender for being my favorite movie of the year, was snubbed for Best Director (Spike Jonze), Actor (Joaquin Phoenix), and Supporting Actress (Scarlett Johansson, even though it was a voiceover it was still one of the best performances of 2013) though it obtained nominations for Picture and Screenplay, as well as Before Midnight, which only got a nod for its script.  Is it fair that these movies have all been ignored?

It’s also easy to highlight other issues.  The guidelines for Foreign Film axed out big contenders like Blue is the Warmest Color and The Past, two pictures that are staples among many top 10 lists.  And I think Meryl Streep was nominated more or less for being Meryl Streep and less about August: Osage County for being August: Osage County, which has received not exactly positive reviews (the same could be said about co-star Julia Roberts).

Still, I have to pay the Oscars a few compliments.  Kudos for nominations for Michael Fassbender and Matthew McConaughey, two actors who have proven themselves to be exceptional in recent years as well as love for Steve McQueen, Martin Scorsese, Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio, and the cast of 12 Years A Slave.  But it’s hard to discern the pros from the cons of the nominations and the snubs this year are particularly egregious.

Update: As it turns out, “Please Mr. Kennedy” was ruled ineligible by the Academy for its similarity to a few other songs.  Thanks to Mark Hobin for spotting that error.


  1. Great points and you and I share many of the same frustrations. The “Llewyn Davis” snub is baffling. I mean they only used nine of their Best Picture slots. I just don’t get it.

    • Thanks! The snub of Davis is incredibly ridiculous for me and the open slot just adds to my confusion.

  2. Good post.

    I agree with all of your commentary on all of the snubs. And yet, save Streep’s nomination, I don’t think anything egregious. There are so many good movies this year that I think the academy was always guaranteed to go wrong. Too many flicks deserve too much recognition. The year is just that strong.

    • Thanks! Good point, this year’s nominees didn’t have as many sticks in the mud as previous years like the nominations for Les Mis and The Help. And there’s a lot to like with appreciation for films like 12 Years A Slave.

  3. Interesting points. I don’t feel I can comment really given that I haven’t seen quite a few of the contenders or the performances up for awards, but from what I hear it’s an oversight to leave ILD out. Was fairly surprised Tom Hanks didn’t get a nomination for Captain Phillips though.

    • Thanks! It’s particularly bewildering that Davis got almost nothing. I was also surprised that Hanks didn’t get anything, I haven’t seen Captain Phillips yet but from what I heard he’s excellent in it.

  4. In such a strong year, I think they did a pretty good job at spreading the love to a lot of films. It’s when a film isn’t recognized at all.

    For me, the biggest surprise was no love for Daniel Brühl who was incredible in Rush. In fact, Rush was completely shut out, even in the technical categories.

    Fruitvale Station was shut out too but I expected that so not surprised. Short Term 12 was one of the best reviewed movies of the year. No nominations for that either.

    Really happy with a lot of the choices however: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Amy Adams.

    • Nice points. It was a good year and there’s a lot to like with the nominees (I was also pleased for DiCaprio and McConaughey, the latter I haven’t seen yet in Dallas Buyers Club but has done an excellent job acting as of late).

  5. I completely agree with you about Inside Llewyn Davis, also one of my favorites from 2013. It’s ridiculous, especially skipping over Oscar Isaac. I was also mad about Joaquin Phoenix missing out on a best actor nomination. And American Hustle really didn’t need to be nominated for EVERY award, seriously. But really glad Her and The Wolf of Wall Street got in for best picture and Leo for best actor. The academy always gets stuff wrong, so you just gotta be happy when they get something right.

    • The snub for Davis really angers me and though I liked American Hustle, it pales heavily in comparison. But I was also pleased to see love for her and The Wolf of Wall Street.

  6. Heh, I knew you weren’t gonna be pleased with the nominations once I saw how badly Davis got snubbed. In fact, it’s one of those movies that’s actually made the more baffling by getting the nominations that it DID get. How does this movie get a cinematography nomination, yet it somehow goes overlooked for all of the other categories it, quite frankly, is far more deserving to be included in? I dunno, but it is a bit odd.

    Still, though, overall I was actually pleased with the outcome of the nominations as a whole, what with Leo, Jonah, Fassbender, Adams, and McConaughey all getting recognized.

    • Nice point. I was happy it got a cinematography nod but no love for any of the major categories? And I thought “Please Mr. Kennedy” was a sure thing for Best Song. Still, I was pleased for the love for Leo and McConaughey as well.

  7. A lot of the nominations left me scratching my head, including American Hustle for Best Picture and the glaring lack of nomination for T Bone Burnett and Tom Kasow. Great post!

    • I liked AH and didn’t think it’s nomination was undeserved but it certain was not in the same league as Inside Llewyn Davis. The fact that it did not even get a nomination for Best Song bewilders me.

      • I thought it was a bit heavy handed, but it was generally well-received, so I guess a nomination should have been expected.
        I think, like a lot of films this year and past years, Llewyn Davis was held out of a lot of categories (specifically music) on technicalities.

  8. The song Please Mr. Kennedy was never even a possibility for a nomination as Best Original Song. It was ruled ineligible for consideration. The reason? Not original enough:

    It was deemed too similar to several songs but this 1962 song is the most obvious:

  9. I haven’t seen Inside Llewyn Davis yet, but I’m surprised it didn’t get more recognition. I’m glad Her got a Best Picture nod, but no love for Phoenix?

    • I had a feeling Inside Llewyn Davis wouldn’t get much attention but I was stunned it only got two nominations. I would have also liked to have seen Phoenix get a Best Actor nod.

  10. Amy Adams is the only one in the Best Actress category who hasn’t won an Oscar before.

    Completely shocked by the Tom Hanks snub, did not see that one coming. I wasn’t a big fan of his performance, so I’m not that bothered haha.

    So happy for Jared Leto, I’m rooting for him this season!

    • I’m very happy Leto was nominated as well, though I have yet to see DBC.

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