The nominations for the Academy Awards were awarded Thursday morning, and as always there were trends and surprises. Here are a few things we learned:
1. Make way for older women.
It’s not for nothing that one of best jokes from Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the Golden Globes looked up to the lack of meaty roles for actresses of a certain age: “Meryl Streep (is) so brilliant in ‘August: Osage County,’ proving that there are still great parts in Hollywood for Meryl Streeps over 60,” said Fey. And yes, Streep was nominated for an Oscar (for best actress) as well.
But also nominated were Judi Dench, 79, and may be more surprisingly, June Squibb, 84. Squibb is a longtime character actress — you may remember her as Elderly Woman in “Far From Heaven” or Mrs. Cone in an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” — who got a chance to shine as Bruce Dern’s aggravated yet caring wife in “Nebraska.” In fact, of the 10 actresses nominated for either best actress or best supporting actress, six are over 40 and two others — Amy Adams and Sally Hawkins — are in their late 30s.
2. Diversity, but no diversity.
This year had a number of notable movies starring or directed by people of color, admitting “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “Fruitvale Station,” “42,” “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and “12 Years a Slave.” But of that group, only “12 Years” got any support from the Oscars, with nine nominations. “Mandela” picked up a nod for a U2 song; “Fruitvale” — despite showcasing rising talents Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler — got nothing. And despite a $100 million box office — and raves for performers Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey — “The Butler” also came up with zero. During the Globes show, there was a Twitter hashtag protesting the lack of diversity: #notbuyingit. You’ll likely see it again on Oscar night.
3. Where’s Tom Hanks? What about Oprah?
Tom Hanks is one of the most beloved film stars in Hollywood. He’s a successful producer and two-time Oscar winner. After a sluggish few years, marked by “Cloud Atlas,” “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” and “Larry Crowne,” he was back in the good graces at the box office and with judges, thanks to “Captain Phillips” and “Saving Mr. Banks.” The result? No Oscar nominations. Maybe he split the vote; maybe voters just weren’t that impressed. (They certainly weren’t by “Mr. Banks.”)
As for Winfrey — also a successful producer and personality — the theory is that “The Butler’s” summer free hurt its chances. But it was still a surprise that her name wasn’t listed for either the Oscars or the Golden Globes. Better luck at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Oprah.
4. There are no sure things.
The handicappers were wrong about a lot. Take a gander:
• Snubbed: Robert Redford, “All Is Lost.” An almost wordless solo performance goes for naught at the Oscars. “Lost,” indeed.
• Snubbed: The Coen brothers, “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Despite their offbeat production, Ethan and Joel have become Oscar favorites — even if it’s just a scriptwriting nod. Not this year. Llewyn Davis will have to keep walking the streets.
• Snubbed: Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks.” So much for “Banks” despite its Disney pedigree.
• Snubbed: James Gandolfini, “Enough Said.” The academy thought “Enough” was evidently too much, since neither Julia Louis-Dreyfus nor Nicole Holofcener’s script were picked, either.
• Surprise!: Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine.” The academy loves Woody Allen screenplays (he got nominated, too), and Hawkins wasn’t missed.
• Surprise!: “Philomena.” A small, character-driven movie about a woman searching for her son? Best picture, best actress (Dench) and best adjusted screenplay nominations are the prizes.
5. Love for “Dallas Buyers Club.”
Perhaps “Hustle,” “12 Years” and “Gravity” will duke it out for best picture. But think “no sure things,” because when it came to audience response at the nominations, “Dallas Buyers Club” was the clear winner, greeted with cheers for every nomination. It has an Oscar-friendly subject — a heroic battle against AIDS — and strong performances by Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto. It found a surprising six nominations.
The Academy Awards are March 2.
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Francois Hollande, 59, is threatening to sue the tabloid Closer for running seven pages of photos taken outside of Julie Gayet‘s apartment that supposedly prove that Francois — France’s president — and the 41-year-old actress are having an affair.
Yikes! While an affair has not been officially supported, Julie and Francois have definitely had interactions in the past — BBC News reports that the actress appeared in a promotional video for Francois’ presidential election campaign in 2012, in which she called him marvelous, humble, and “somebody who really listens.” However, Julie is married to Argentinian film director and script writer Santiago Amigorena and Francois has a long-time partner named Valerie Trierweiler, so their rumored relationship is arguable, to say the least.
Francois is now believing suing the publication, calling its report an “attack on the right to privacy.” However, he did not deny Closer‘s allegations, even though they said they would remove the feature from their website.
“Julie Gayet’s lawyer reached us to request we remove from the website all mention of this relationship,” said Laurence Pieau, editor of Closer. Laurence also observed that Closer has not been in contact with the presidential palace.
Francois Hollande & Julie Gayet: The Evidence
Rumors of Francois and Julie’s affair had been circling around for months before Closer issued their damning seven-page story, which purportedly proves that Francois regularly crashes at Julie’s apartment. There are several photos of the pair getting separately, and the mag even claims that the president’s bodyguard arrived the following morning with croissants.
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Styles ranged from prints and brilliant colors to sheer accents and even a cropped-top look.
Taylor Swift had one of the better looks of the night, donning a stunning embroidered Elie Saab red gown.
Wearing designer Naeem Khan, Jennifer Nettles walked the red carpet with a crystal and beaded number, while Kellie Pickler went for a sexy appear in her Georges Chakra Couture strapless long black dress.
Co-host Carrie Underwood varied her look many times throughout the night, but her red carpet Ralph & Russo Couture gown definitely turned some heads. The dusky-pink long-sleeved sheer gown featured some floral and beaded embellishments.
Miranda Lambert, meanwhile, stepped out in a blue low-cut gown with beaded embellishments. Lambert’s husband, Blake Shelton, apparently liked her look, tweeting Wednesday night: “My wife is so hot it’s ridiculous…”
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