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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Jared Leto admits just how hard he worked for his Golden Globe in bringing out acceptance speech : worldleaks
It’s well known that he starved himself to lose 40lbs to portray transgender AIDS activist Rayon in the Dallas Buyers Club.
But as Jared Leto had his best supporting actor award at the Golden Globes he brought out that weight loss wasn’t his only preparation.
The Thirty Seconds To Mars singer also waxed off every bit of his body hair and eyebrows.
‘I’d like this chance to clear up a few things,’ the 42-year-old said while accepting his prestigious award.
‘I did not ever use any medicine in this film. That tiny little Brazilian bubble but was all mine.’
The Beverly Hilton ballroom broke out into laughter as Leto – who wore his rock star long locks pulled into a messy bun for the formal appearance – talked of his physical shift for the role of Rayon.
‘It was a very shift role, I had to do a lot of things to prepare. One of the things I did was wax my entire body adding my eyebrows,’ he shared.
‘I’m just fortunate that it wasn’t a period piece so I didn’t have to do a full Brazilian.
‘Ladies, you know what I’m talking about though…and so do some of you men, I think.’
Leto brought his brother, Shannon, as his date to the awards ceremony.
Eventhough he considers himself more a musician than an actor and hasn’t taken a film role in five years, Leto is known for never shirking when it comes to work.
When training up to play John Lennon assassin Mark David Chapman in Chapter 27, Leto earned 40 pounds for the role.
The movie, which co-starred his girlfriend at the time Lindsay Lohan, did poorly at the box office when it was released in 2007.
Leto wasn’t the only one to lose weight for the Dallas Buyers Club, a true story about a bunch of misfits with AIDS who had to break US laws in order to secretly buy life-saving anti-viral medication.
Matthew McConaughey, who won Best Actor in a Drama for his starring role in the same film, also dropped 40 pounds to play an AIDS patient.
Leto finished his speech on a serious note, however, saying, “This is unbelievable. I didn’t make a film for almost six years because I was pursuing other dreams and I just have to say it’s more than an honor to come back and have this love and support and I never expected it and never even dreamed of it.
“I want to thank my team for making this so fun and giving me this incredible life, and to the Rayons of the world, thanks for the inspiration.”
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