Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca

What a competitive year. One of the biggest upsets when nominations were announced was the missing nomination for Tom Hanks as Captain Phillips. Almost anyone, including myself, would agree. His leadership role in the film topped only by his emotional breakdown at the end of the film leaves the audience in a state not that much different than his own. “Captain Phillips” landing the Best Picture nomination was no surprise however, and landing five more nominations after that just solidifies how strongly loved this film was, matched by fellow favorite “Dallas Buyers Club” with six nominations. Paul Greengrass narrowly misses the Directing category, with Alexander Payne (“Nebraska”) taking his spot, but writer Billy Ray lands an adapted screenplay nomination and this film lands in enough to major categories to make it a contender. But sadly it’s a three pony show this year, with “Gravity”, “12 Years A Slave” and “American Hustle” remaining the big three. With Best Actor in a Supporting Role basically locked up and Film Editing and Adapted Screenplay likely going elsewhere, “Captain Phillips” will likely be shut out completely in this competitive year to no fault of its own.

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Barkhad Abdi

CaptainPhillips-BarkhadAbdiNominated Role: Barkhad Abdi portrays Muse, the leader of a band of Somali pirates who seize a merchant vessel.

A first time actor living in my home state of Minnesota, working as a taxi driver, I am so extremely happy that Barkhad Abdi was nominated in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category. His work in “Captain Phillips” is matched only by Tom Hanks, but Hanks is a veteran when it comes to films and Abdi is a complete rookie. Having never even talked to Hanks before shooting the scene where the Somali’s burst onto the cargo ship’s bridge, Abdi reveals a knack for playing the deep villain, who is a product of his country’s making. You could argue that playing this role solidifies a stereotype, but Abdi grasps this role with more than a ancestral connection, but instead lives and breathes in this role. Jared Leto has this category locked up, but Abdi’s career can begin now with a nomination being the biggest win he could ask for.

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Christopher Rouse

CaptainPhillips-filmeditingChristopher Rouse just won an ACE Eddie Award last night for his editing work on “Captain Phillips” so that should be a strong indicator at where this film lands in the competition. “American Hustle” and “Gravity” are definitely strong competitors however. Rouse has won an Oscar before, for his work on “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007) which also indicates that he is at least somewhat popular among the Academy already. In my bare bones opinion, I feel like this category belongs to someone else, however, and will leave “Captain Phillips” without a win in this category as well.

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Editing: Oliver Tarney
Mixing: Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro

CaptainPhillips-soundeditingWhat do you say about a film in these categories? Unless the nomination is completely warranted, like that of last year’s Les Miserables in the Sound Mixing category last year where the singing performances were caught on set and mixed later, which proved to be a major accomplishment, there’s really not much to say about a film like “Captain Phillips” which offers up the normal audio fare for films. It’s a film on a ship and in a small lifeboat, so sound mainly relies on getting across the locations (i.e. water) and making the guns sound realistic. Apart from that, what else can be said besides films a film like “Gravity” is all about the sound editing and mixing to bring about the idea of space. All the sounds of created and that’s a much bigger accomplishment in my opinion. I do not see “Captain Phillips” taking either of these awards. This is everyone’s first nomination except Chris Munro, who also has a nomination for his work on “Gravity”. Munro previously won for his work on “Black Hawk Down” (2001).

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Screenplay by Billy Ray

You know Billy Ray recently from his co-writing work on “The Hunger Games” but he’s been writing screenplays since at least 1994 with his first recognized screenplay being “Color Of Night”, an erotic thriller starring Bruce Willis. Now, he earns his first Oscar nomination 20 years later, for his solo work on “Captain Phillips”. Working off the story by the real life Richard Phillips entitled “A Captain’s Duty”, Billy Ray does a wonderful job adapting this for the screen. Right now, however, I think it’s safe to say that either fellow Best Picture nominee “12 Years A Slave” will be taking this award or the three-quel “Before Midnight”, which has been captivating audiences since its release.

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// Produced by Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti, and Scott Rudin // Directed by Paul Greengrass //

// Dated Viewed: Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 // DVD //  26 films – 29 days //

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