Thursday, January 16, 2014
Best Animated Short 2013 - NOMINEES
And then there were five...
So earlier today the Oscar nominees were announced, and that means the lineup for the 82nd annual Best Animated Short contenders are out. Unfortunately I was busy with work earlier in the day so I didn't get a chance to make a post until now, but the five films that will join the annals of Oscar history below:
Get a Horse
Room on the Broom
I've only seen two of the five nominees, which is annoying. I've seen Get a Horse with Frozen back when it first came out, and Room on the Broom is available online for free and on DVD. As far as the other three films go, Feral is available for rent or purchase on Vimeo OnDemand. Tsukumo is a part of the compilation film Short Peace, which was recently released on DVD in Japan. I have a Japanese PlayStation 2 so I can watch Japanese DVDs so I'll import the DVD and watch it then. Mr. Hublot not available online or DVD yet, so if the producers don't make it available online soon, then I'll have to rely on the showings. I might go to that anyways if I can find the time.
So I did better on my predictions, getting three out of five, with Feral, Get a Horse and Mr. Hublot being the givens. I was off on the other two, missing out on Hollow Land / The Missing Scarf and the Annecy-winning Subconscious Password. It's interesting that for the second straight year, the Annecy Grand Prix winner made it onto the shortlist but couldn't get in the nomination circle. Last year it was Tram, and this year it was Subconscious Password. It's also worth noting that this year National Film Board of Canada was involved in four of the shortlisted films, and all four failed to make it in the final nominee circle. Perhaps the Academy is getting sick of our neighbors up North. Perhaps it's payback for awarding The Danish Poet over The Little Matchgirl?
In other news, the Best Animated Feature race is down to The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest & Celestine, Frozen, and Kaze Tachinu. It's upsetting that I haven't seen Kaze Tachinu, the latest film by Hayao Miyazaki - my favorite director, because none of the theaters near me is doing the special showings, and the DVD isn't out in Japan so I can't even import it. Frozen is the only of the nominees I've seen. It's pretty good, but it's no Wreck-It Ralph. "Let It Go" was a great song, and I hope it wins for Best Original Song.
As far as the Best Picture race goes, I've seen 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Gravity, Nebraska, and The Wolf of Wall Street. I have yet to see Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, and Philomena, but those are probably in the periphery. Most pundits seem to think that the race is down to 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, and Gravity. Not surprising since those three films led in nominations, with American Hustle and Gravity tied at the top with 10 each. The majority of predictors are down to 12 Years a Slave or American Hustle, because those deal with the dramatic themes that the Academy likes (aka Gravity is too rooted science fiction). American Hustle may suffer from being a comedy, but 12 Years a Slave is a pretty uncomfortable movie. Still, 12 Years a Slave is the most profound and artistic film that I've seen this year (not that it's a lot) and a far better film than American Hustle, which I find rather shallow and unlikeable in comparison. Still, American Hustle has nominations in all four acting category, the second straight year that David O. Russell did it. Given its popularity in the acting categories, which many of the pundits did not predict, it appears that it has a lot of popularity within the acting branch, which is the largest and may help it in voting. Still, it didn't help Silver Linings Playbook except give Jennifer Lawrence a Best Actress win. However, American Hustle is admittedly better than Silver Linings Playbook, which just feels like a mundane romantic comedy after the exciting first half, but I don't think it is really deserving of Best Picture.
Meanwhile, The Grandmaster was left out of the Best Foreign Language race despite making it onto the shortlist. It's the second time in three years that happened to a Chinese film, with Seediq Bale: The Abridged Version (aka Warriors of the Rainbow) missing out in 2011. The Wong Kar-Wai film did get nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design. The front-runners for Best Foreign Language Film may be either Italy's The Great Beauty or Denmark's The Hunt, the latter of which is on IMDb's top 250 list and I still have sitting on my desk. I guess I should try to watch it tonight. Oh well.
The Oscars are on March 2. We'll see what happens then. I guess I'll have to try to watch Feral, Mr. Hublot, and Tsukumo before then.
Meanwhile, enjoy the trailers
Get a Horse
Room on the Broom