Oscar Watching: Consensus Evades 2013
Awards, Fests, and Campaigns
While Inside Llewyn Gotham took Gotham, Fruitvale Station took prizes for breakthrough actor (Michael B. Jordan) and breakthrough director (Ryan Coogler). Brie Larson won best actress over Oscar front-runner Cate Blanchett; Matthew McConaughey won best actor.
The NYFCC also gave American Hustle writer-director David O. Russell and co-writer Eric Singer its screenplay award. Steve McQueen managed a director win. Blanchett and, more surprisingly, Robert Redford won the top acting prizes; Jennifer Lawrence and Jared Leto were named the best supporting performers of 2013.
The NBR went against the grain on Wednesday, also handing Spike Jonze its director prize for Her. Emma Thompson and Will Forte took the actress and supporting actor prizes, respectively. Less surprisingly, Bruce Dern won best actor, while Octavia Spencer won a much-needed supporting actress prize. The NBR deemed Inside Llewyn Davis the year’s best original screenplay and named The Wolf of Wall Street the best adapted script of 2013.
(Keep in mind, however, that Oscar always ignores at least one of the big NBR winners, a.k.a. the top eight races. The Los Angeles Times’ Steven Zeitchik reminds us on Twitter that NBR’s picture winner has made the Oscar lineup every year for the last 13 years, but I’m still wary of Jonze making the cut for best director. Same for Forte in supporting actor, but it’s a fluid race, so it might happen.)
Sony was pushing American Hustle as a drama at the Golden Globes. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, however, classifies the film as musical or comedy. The musical or comedy categories often present fewer obstacles than its drama counterpart, but it might change little in a competitive year like 2013.
Then again, its NYFCC win might give way for an American Hustle sweep at the Globes. The film should make the cut in the genre-specific picture, actor (Christian Bale), and actress (Amy Adams) races – and potentially win all three – and earn nods for director and supporting actress (Lawrence). Hustle might also score in supporting actor (Bradley Cooper and/or Jeremy Renner), and screenplay.
Guilds and other awards-voting bodies have already seen major musical or comedy front-runners like August: Osage County, Enough Said, Her, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, and Philomena. But the NYFCC gave American Hustle the last-minute surge it needed.
Bale will have to topple potential front-runner Dern, while Adams should net a nod (if not a win) alongside Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Enough Said), Scarlett Johansson (Don Jon), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County), and either Sandra Bullock or Melissa McCarthy from The Heat.
Speaking of Johansson, the HFPA deemed her voice-only work in Her ineligible for awards consideration. This decision puzzles since the star-loving Globes love Johansson: Despite missing out with Oscar for Lost in Translation, she picked up four Globe nods – including one for Lost – between 2003 and 2005.