I had pretty much reconciled myself to the fact that the Coens' latest was going to be overlooked. In fact, I predicted that it would only be nominated for one Oscar and it ended up with two nominations, so I probably shouldn't consider it "snubbed," exactly... but I do. This movie was so good and there were so many good things about it, from Oscar Isaac's terrific lead performance, to the cleverly structured screenplay, to the music which, sadly, wasn't eligible to be nominated anyway. AMPAS, you missed the boat.
Stories We Tell seemed like one of the safest bets around given how acclaimed it is and how often it showed up in the glut of critics awards at the end of 2013, but a particularly strong year for documentaries resulted in it being edged out. The year for documentaries was so strong, in fact, that one of the Foreign Language nominees is a documentary, marking only the second time that a documentary has been nominated in that category.
It's difficult to feel too bad about this since Emma Thompson already has two Oscars, but it's a surprise nonetheless (though not as big a surprise as Saving Mr. Banks' near total shutout, given the film's Oscar pedigree). Selfishly, I hope that this doesn't mean that we've seen the last of Thompson's utterly delightful presence on the awards circuit.
The team behind American Hustle can't complain about its presence in the nominations, having tied with Gravity for the most overall, but man did the makeup and hair artists ever deserve notice in this category. From Christian Bale's combover/toupee combo to Bradley Cooper's super tight perm, the hair in this movie is practically a character in its own right.
The single most shocking omission, to my mind. For a while prognosticators were predicting that Tom Hanks would show up as a nominee in both the lead and supporting categories, and though the likelihood of him netting a Supporting Actor nod for Saving Mr. Banks fell away fairly early in the season, he seemed to be a lock for Best Actor. Hanks did his best work in a decade in Captain Phillips, but you can't really argue that any of the actors nominated are unworthy. It was just a super strong year for actors (and actresses, and movies...).