Final sprint to the Oscars

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ gets re-release today after Oscar noms.

When the full slate of potential awardees for the 87th annual Academy Awards was announced Thursday morning, “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Wes Anderson’s exquisite historical toybox, and Alejandro Iñárritu’s “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” about a movie star’s Broadway meltdown, came away with nine nominations each, including best picture, director, and original screenplay. “The Imitation Game,” a WWII drama about mathematician Alan Turing, was nominated for eight Oscars, including best picture, director, actor (Benedict Cumberbatch), adapted screenplay, and supporting actress (Keira Knightley). So it makes sense that Fox Searchlight announced is re-releasing Wes Anderson’s film, which also won the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy, in 17 cities beginning today, Jan. 16. Locations where the film is playing include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas, Washington DC, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Houston, Seattle, Columbus, and Cincinnati.

The Grand Budapest Hotel, about the concierge at the titular hotel in the fictional Zubrowka, was released in March, early for a Best Picture nominee. By common consensus, the 2014 film most overlooked by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was “Selma,” Ava DuVernay’s dramatization of Martin Luther King’s 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march. The omission of DuVernay in the directing category — if nominated, she would have been the first African-American woman to be so honored — was not unexpected, given that she had been passed over in the Directors Guild nominations on Tuesday.

But David Oyelowo’s towering yet wholly human performance as King seemed to most onlookers to be a shoo-in for best actor, and the film’s script was similarly ignored. Or perhaps the predominantly older, white, male Academy members felt that last year’s win for “12 Years a Slave” was enough social progress, thank you.

It’s worth noting that the acting nominations for 2014, a year marked by extreme racial divisions in American society, are all-white for only the third time in two decades. Other snubs? “The LEGO Movie” was assumed to be the front-runner in the best animation category and wasn’t even nominated; co-director Phil Lord tweeted a photo of an Oscar statuette made of yellow Legos with the words, “It’s okay! Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” triumphed mostly in the technical categories, with five nominations that included original score and visual effects. The musical adaptation “Into the Woods” was nominated three times, including for Meryl Streep’s supporting performance, her 19th such honor and one that puts her further into the record books for most-nominated performer ever.

It was refreshing as well to see Poland’s “Ida” nominated for its lustrous black-and-white cinematography as well as in the foreign-language category.

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