Mixed feelings and emotions surround the Oscar nominations and whether some deserved the nod or were overlooked.
The two most talked-about categories, Best Picture and Best Director, have been the topic of discussion since the nominees were revealed on Jan. 16. Some of the Best Picture nominees include “12 Years a Slave,” “Captain Phillips” and “Gravity,” as announced by actor Chris Hemsworth and Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Best Director category is filled with a variety of talent, but only time will tell if Steve McQueen will walk away with the win for “12 Years a Slave” on March 2.Aisha Harris, a pop culture blogger for Slate.com, said the Oscars nominations overlooked two great contenders, Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” and “Fruitvale Station.” These two movies showed promise when they first hit the movie theaters, but the excitement died down significantly once Oscar nominations arrived. Critics differ on the reason that these two films were snubbed.
“It seems telling that while ‘Fruitvale’ and ‘The Butler’ are Oscar-baity in many ways, neither movie turns its narrative about black history into a heroic moment for white people,” Harris wrote in her article “Why the Snub of Fruitvale Station Hurts Most.”
Critic Gene Seymour states: “I was more moved by the phenomenon of ‘The Butler’ than I was by the movie itself. It was enough of a commercial triumph, I thought, to have received more acting nominations than it did. But there were too many other movies that swooped in since the summer to capture people’s awe and imagination — ‘Gravity’, mostly.
“In the end, while ‘Butler’ had a lot of raw emotional power, it finally wasn’t strong enough on its own to carry energy to awards season.”
Ideanna Walton, a junior majoring in sociology, expressed surprise that “The Butler” isn’t an Oscar contender. “I thought for sure it was going to win or at least be nominated,” Walton said. “I thought it shed a different light on black history because we always have slave movies, but I like how ‘The Butler’ was different.”
The recent Golden Globe awards ceremony, whose outcome shows promise for Oscar nominees, captivated a record 19.7 million viewers, according to LAtimes.com. The breakout film “12 Years a Slave” is expected to walk away with the win for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, but it will have to fight it out with some strong contenders. Since “12 Years a Slave” won best picture at the Golden Globes, a win at the Oscars is anticipated.
Along with Hollywood executives and critics, social media outlets are igniting with opinions, including a tweet from CNN host Piers Morgan:
I don’t think anyone’s been ‘snubbed’ in the #OscarNominations – there have just been a lot of good movies. Best choice for years.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 16, 2014
Editor and reporter Jasmine Quarles covers TV and film for 101 Magazine.