86th Annual #Oscar Nominations Announced: An Actor’s Thoughts

untitled (9)The 86th Annual Oscar nominations were announced this morning. The winners will be revealed during the live telecast on Sunday, March 2, 2014, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Here are some initial thoughts about the pending awards ceremony.  The Golden Globes, as well as this Saturday’s Screen Actors Guild Awards have always been good predictors of who will take home acting’s ultimate honor, the Oscar. Given who won at this year’s Globes, as well as those who didn’t, this year’s Oscar race is definitely going to be very interesting. At the Golden Globes, lead acting awards went to Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club, Leonardo DiCaprio in the Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine and Amy Adams for American Hustle, which was somehow thought of as a comedy, but that’s the subject of another post all together. In the supporting category for the Golden Globes, Jared Leto won for Dallas Buyers Club and Jennifer Lawrence (last year’s Best Actress Golden Globe & Oscar winner for Silver Linings Playbook)  won for American Hustle. In years past, those who have won in those categories have often gone on to take home an Academy Award. I think the actors from Dallas Buyers Club have strong chances to win in their categories. However, Leonardo DiCaprio and Chiwetel Ejiofor could shake up the Best Actor category. Or, who knows, Bruce Dern might come out of the woodwork and surprise us all. In the Best Actress category, either Meryl Streep or Sandra Bullock could definitely surprise us if Cate Blanchett or Amy Adams don’t take home a statue.  In the supporting actress category, honestly, I want Lupita Nyong’o to take it. I honestly think she was the most impressive out of the supporting actresses and the fact that she didn’t win at this year’s Golden Globes, to be honest, was upsetting. I definitely would love to see Jared Leto win for Best Supporting Actor (I think he’ll win) but I wouldn’t count out Michael Fassbender. He had an equally as impressive role as the plantation owner with a heart of stone in 12 Years a Slave, and it is very difficult to play that type of villain. Honestly, this year is actually a really difficult Oscar race. It’s going to be very interesting to see who takes home acting’s top prize. To see the list of nominees go to: http://oscar.go.com/nominees

And check out this amazing featurette about Jared Leto’s transformation into Rayon:

Why Alexander Payne’s #Nebraska Could Shake Up Awards Season. #GoldenGlobes

Fresh off his directorial masterpiece The Descendants, Alexander Payne trades the beaches of Hawaii for familiar territory: Nebraska. In this black and white tale, “An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.”-IMDb. The thing that IMDb fails to mention is that it could be this year’s dark horse of awards season. First off, Alexander Payne filmed it on his home turf. Secondly, he filmed in black and white. To top it all off, it wasn’t bloated with superstars. Now, there is nothing wrong with having stars in a film, but to trust your film to industry vet Bruce Dern, SNL alums Will Forte and Bob Odenkirk (both whom started out as writers on the classic sketch comedy show) and character actors Stacy Keach, Mary Louise Wilson, and June Squibb–that’s not normal for Hollywood standards. Given the fact that Payne’s last film had George Clooney at its helm, expectations can run pretty high. Well, let me tell you, from the performances to the cinematography, Nebraska is an extremely relatable film.  More audiences would probably find similarities in dealing with aging parents no matter what age, gender or racial background. I was pleasantly surprised by Will Forte’s performance, and I’m scratching my head on how we let a nomination for the SAG Awards slip by him. Also, June Squibb might come out of the woodwork and steal the awards at the age of 84.