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The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Critic’s Corner: Oscar Nominees 2014: The Snubs


    Because I don’t have a life, I’m pretty upset about some of the Academy’s major lapses in judgment this awards season—so I’m going to complain about it. Here are the films and filmmakers that were, for some godforsaken reason, unfairly omitted from the list of 2014 Oscar nominees.

    ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’

    Now I don’t want to beat a dead rabbit, but I need to say one thing: “Blue is the Warmest Color” is the single best film of the year.

    I could whine and moan about its absence at the Oscars this year, but, to be fair, the omission isn’t even the Academy’s fault—it’s France’s fault. Because the film was released in its home country after the Oscar cutoff date, the beautifully crafted love story was rendered ineligible back in October. Those Frenchmen really shot themselves in the foot—if the producers had just been on top of their sh**, the outcome of the 86th Academy Awards would’ve been very, very different. And much more French.

    But, oh well—winning the Palm d’Or, which “Blue” already has up its sleeve, is a much bigger deal than a pat on the back from the Academy anyway.

    Spike Jonze

    Yes, “Her” is getting most of the attention it deserves—it’s up for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay among others—but the decision to knock Spike Jonze off the Best Director list sounds an awful lot like Ben Affleck’s snub last year. Except that “Her” is markedly better than “Argo.” And Jonze is a genius, while Affleck is definitely, definitely not.

    ‘American Hustle’ Make-up and Hairstyling

    This is, perhaps, the Academy’s greatest sin this year. How DARE they forsake Bradley Cooper’s perfectly curled ‘do and Amy Adams’ crimped locks in favor of ? There is no way in hell that the make-up in “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” is more deserving of recognition than the work in “American Hustle.” Like, is this a joke?

    ‘12 Years a Slave’ Score

    Reminiscent of “Inception’s” haunting score, Hans Zimmer’s arrangement for “12 Years a Slave” is both masterful and unexpected. Unlike the saccharine, pandering scores of most historical dramas, Zimmer’s work in “12 Years a Slave” is gritty, modern and evocative of the terror of slavery. It might not have deserved to win, but it absolutely deserved a nod.

    And while I’m at it, I would just like to say that Zimmer’s “Inception” score should have crushed “The Social Network” back in 2011. No one remembers anything about the music in “The Social Network,” every man, woman and child with Internet access recognizes the “Inception” “BWAAAAAAMMMMMM” when they hear it.


    Joaquin Phoenix

    Look, I understand that not everyone and their mother can be nominated for an acting award, but come on. You’re really gonna snub Joaquin? I know there are only five spots, but still. I’m so bitter.

    ‘The Past’

    Asghar Farhadi’s “The Past (Le Passé)” did not even make the foreign film shortlist back in December, which seems like a gross error on the part of the Academy. While it’s no surprise that favorites “The Hunt” and “The Great Beauty” made it on the list, it’s really hard for me to believe that “The Past,” which critics have been “oohing” and “aahing” over since before it was even released, wasn’t even worthy of the shortlist. Farhadi—director of the stunning Oscar winner “A Separation”—surely churned out a film that merits a tepid nod at the very least.

    Robert Redford

    Confession: I haven’t seen “All is Lost” yet, so I can’t actually defend Robert Redford’s performance. But I figure it’s probably pretty good. Because he’s Robert Redford.

    And that’s all I’ve got.

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