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Academy Awards 2014: Nominees announced- snubs, surprises & analysis

Leonardo Dicaprio / Jonah Hill / Jennifer Lawrence
Leonardo Dicaprio / Jonah Hill / Jennifer Lawrence
Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures / Annapurna Pictures

'The Wolf of Wall Street' and 'Philomena' did their best to blow up everyone's predictions for Oscar nominations - including my own Oscar nomination predictions.

But 'American Hustle' and 'Gravity' lead all films with their 10 Academy Award nominations each - with '12 Years a Slave' right behind them with its nine nominations.

The nominations were not without their surprises - chiefly the Best Supporting Actor nomination for Jonah Hill ('The Wolf of Wall Street') and Award Season favorite 'Inside Llewyn Davis' getting shut out of all major categories. Hill was almost completely invisible all this Award Season - so he appears to have come out of nowhere to land his Supporting Actor nom. Meanwhile 'Llewyn Davis' appeared a number of Best Picture lists all Award Season - including National Board of Review, Independent Spirit Awards, Golden Globes and AFI Awards and outright won Best Film from the National Society of Film Critics. And after all that, 'Llewn Davis' has two Oscar nominations in technical category.

Feature films nominated for Academy Awards (number of nominations in parenthesis):

Films expected to get some Oscar love - but were completely shut out:

  • Lee Daniel's The Butler - No love for Oprah Winfrey or anyone in this all-star cast.
  • Rush - Daniel Bruhl received all sorts of Award Season supporting actor honors - but no Oscar nom.
  • Blue is the Warmest Color - Ineligible for the Foreign Language category - its last chance for an Oscar nomination was in the Best Picture category.
  • Monsters University - Joins 'Cars 2' as the only Pixar films NOT nominated for Best Animated Feature (award began in 2001).
  • Stories We Tell - this was a top contender for Best Documentary all award season. Not even nominated.


  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Philomena
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

The major surprise - no films about the moviemaking process or the heroics of Hollywood were nominated. Recent Hollywood-centric Oscar best picture nominees include 'The Artist,' 'Argo' and 'Hugo.' ... The last shot 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' had for an Oscar nomination -- after being ruled ineligible for the Foreign Language category -- was an outside shot of a 'Best Picture' nomination ... but maybe a foreign language, NC-17 film was a bit extreme for Academy voters to consider for Best Picture. Snubs- 'Saving Mr. Banks' had the best chance of being the 'movie about movies' Best Picture nominee - but it did not make the cut. Surprises- 'Philomena' was a nice addition to the Best Picture field.

ACTOR in a Leading Role

  • Christian Bale for 'American Hustle'
  • Bruce Dern for 'Nebraska'
  • Leonardo DiCaprio for 'The Wolf of Wall Street'
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor for '12 Years a Slave'
  • Matthew McConaughey for 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Surprises- Dern, McConaughey and Ejiofor were locks for nominations - but Dicaprio is the surprise nominee here (even with his Golden Globe win). Snubs- Tom Hanks and Robert Redford - either of these performances should have been nominated in place of Dicaprio.

ACTRESS in a Leading Role

  • Amy Adams for 'American Hustle'
  • Cate Blanchett for 'Blue Jasmine'
  • Sandra Bullock for 'Gravity'
  • Judi Dench for 'Philomena'
  • Meryl Streep for 'August: Osage County'

Surprises- Blanchett, Bullock and Adams are no surprise - but it's nice to see Dench in the field. Streep is a bit of a surprise, given how poorly received Osage County has been. Snubs- Emma Thompson ('Saving Mr. Banks') has won a number of Award Season best actress honors. Brie Larsen ('Short Term 12') would have been a great nom to represent indie films. Either Thompson or Larsen should taken Streep's nomination.

ACTOR in A Supporting Role

  • Barkhad Abdi for 'Captain Phillips'
  • Bradley Cooper for 'American Hustle'
  • Michael Fassbender for '12 Years a Slave'
  • Jonah Hill for 'The Wolf of Wall Street'
  • Jared Leto for 'Dallas Buyers Club'

Surprise- Abdi, Fassbender and Leto were locks. Jonah Hill is the shocker of today's Oscar nomination announcements. Hill has received almost no Award Season recognition for his WoWS role. Snubs- Daniel Bruhl ('Rush') has been a top contender for supporting actor all Award Season -- but he was left out of the Oscar field. James Gandolfini ('Enough Said') or even James Franco ('Spring Breakers') should have taken Hill's nomination.

ACTRESS in a Supporting Role

  • Sally Hawkins for 'Blue Jasmine'
  • Jennifer Lawrence for 'American Hustle'
  • Lupita Nyong'o for '12 Years a Slave'
  • Julia Roberts for 'August: Osage County'
  • June Squibb for 'Nebraska'

Surprises- no real surprises here. Snubs- some believe Oprah Winfrey ('The Butler) had an outside shot at a supporting actress nomination, but it was not to be.


  • David O. Russell for 'American Hustle'
  • Alfonso Cuarón for 'Gravity'
  • Alexander Payne for 'Nebraska'
  • Steve McQueen for '12 Years a Slave'
  • Martin Scorsese for 'The Wolf of Wall Street'


  • The Act of Killing
  • Cutie and the Boxer
  • Dirty Wars
  • The Square
  • 20 Feet from Stardom

Surprises- Netflix now has its first Oscar nominated film, with 'The Square.' Snubs- The fact that 'Stories We Tell' isn't nominated is not only shocking - it effectively hands the award to 'The Act of Killing.' Two main contenders for Best Documentary all award season have been 'Stories' or 'Killing' - they have traded off Best Doc wins. Now the best competition against 'Killing' is '20 Feet from Stardom' or 'Dirty Wars.'


  • CaveDigger
  • Facing Fear
  • Karama Has No Walls
  • The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
  • Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall


  • The Croods
  • Despicable Me 2
  • Ernest & Celestine
  • Frozen
  • The Wind Rises


  • The Grandmaster
  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners


  • American Hustle
  • The Grandmaster
  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Invisible Woman
  • 12 Years a Slave


  • American Hustle
  • Captain Phillips
  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Gravity
  • 12 Years a Slave


  • The Broken Circle Breakdown
  • The Great Beauty
  • The Hunt
  • The Missing Picture
  • Omar


  • Dallas Buyers Club
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
  • The Lone Ranger

MUSIC - Original Score

  • John Williams for 'The Book Thief'
  • Steven Price for 'Gravity'
  • William Butler and Owen Pallett for 'Her'
  • Alexandre Desplat for 'Philomena'
  • Thomas Newman for 'Saving Mr. Banks'

MUSIC - Original Song

  • "Alone Yet Not Alone" from ALONE YET NOT ALONE
  • "Happy" from DESPICABLE ME 2
  • "Let it Go" from FROZEN
  • "The Moon Song" from HER
  • "Ordinary Love" from MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM


  • American Hustle - Judy Becker (Production Design); Heather Loeffler (Set Decoration)
  • Gravity - Andy Nicholson (Production Design); Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard (Set Decoration)
  • The Great Gatsby - Catherine Martin (Production Design); Beverley Dunn (Set Decoration)
  • Her - K.K. Barrett (Production Design); Gene Serdena (Set Decoration)
  • 12 Years a Slave - Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Alice Baker (Set Decoration)

SHORT FILM - Animated

  • Feral
  • Get a Horse!
  • Mr. Hublot
  • Possessions
  • Room on the Broom

SHORT FILM - Live Action

  • Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)
  • Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)
  • Helium
  • Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)
  • The Voorman Problem


  • All Is Lost
  • Captain Phillips
  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Lone Survivor


  • Captain Phillips
  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Lone Survivor


  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Iron Man 3
  • The Lone Ranger
  • Star Trek Into Darkness

WRITING Adapted Screenplay

  • 'Before Midnight' - Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
  • 'Captain Phillips' - Screenplay by Billy Ray
  • 'Philomena' - Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
  • '12 Years a Slave' - Screenplay by John Ridley
  • 'The Wolf of Wall Street' - Screenplay by Terence Winter

WRITING Original Screenplay

  • 'American Hustle' - Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
  • 'Blue Jasmine' - Written by Woody Allen
  • 'Dallas Buyers Club' - Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
  • 'Her' - Written by Spike Jonze
  • 'Nebraska' - Written by Bob Nelson

The Academy Awards will be handed out March 2 at 4pm PST/7pm EST.

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