I'm sure I sound like a broken record saying this (actually, is that metaphor even relevant in 2014? Should it be "sound like a corrupted mp3"?) but 2013 was a very, very good year for cinema. Probably one of the best in my lifetime, and certainly the best since I started writing about film in a serious way. While it might be a bit too much to expect the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to comprehensively reflect the sheer volume of quality released last year - a token nomination for Upstream Color, even in Sound Design or something, would have been nice - by and large the nominations this year get a lot of things right, representing some of the better films that exist within the Academy's seemingly very narrow and conservative taste palette.
However, for fear of sounding like Frank Costanza, I've got a lot of problems with the nominations this year, largely because I write about films on the Internet. If I didn't have considerable grievances to air against The Academy, then either we've had a perfect year for cinema and everyone should just stop trying, or I've given up being all that interested in film. Fortunately, neither of those things is true; it was a very good year, but far from free of stinkers, and I'm as in love with film as I've ever been. And while I could rail about how it's ridiculous that American Hustle, a perfectly fine film that isn't anything special, should be nominated for Picture and Director (though it fully deserves its nominations in the acting categories, since everyone in it does great work, even if it's to no real end), or how it's even crazier that American Hustle didn't get nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling (it fucking opens with five minutes of a man doing his hair, and appearance is central to the story, how much more deserving could it be?) I feel it's better to focus on what the Oscars got right.
As is traditional, I've combed through the nominees in the hope of highlighting the interesting, funny or just plain odd results that AMPAS have thrown our way this year.
Delight No. 1: All Three Creators of I'm Alan Partridge Are Now Oscar Nominees
|Exclusive: Secret footage of Steve Coogan's Oscar campaigning technique.|
Delight No. 2: The Shocking, But Thematically Apt, Snubbing of Inside Llewyn Davis
|Pictured: The Academy.|
Delight No. 3: Blackfish Being Shut Out of Best Documentary
|"I will FUCK you up, bro."|
Delight No. 4: Karen O is Now An Oscar Nominee
|Never have I been more angry that the Best Song nominees are no longer performed live.|
Delight No. 5: The Best Picture Nomination for Her
|[Vince Guaraldi music plays]|