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The 2014 Oscar Nominations: Shockers, Snubs and Wish Lists

blogO1Lee Daniels The Butler didn't do it—score an Oscar nomination that is. Nor did the film's actors, which makes it one of the more curious snubs of the 2014 Oscar season. Nominations were announced early Thursday.

American Hustle and Gravity boasted the most attention—10 noms in all for each—and Nebraska surpassed expectations, grabbing nods for Best Picture, Actor (Bruce Dern), Best Supporting Actress (the delightful June Squibb), Best Director (Alexander Payne) and Best Screenplay (Bob Nelson).

Good news for Dallas Buyers Club, the riveting period piece about an HIV-positive man in the 1980s who became an unlikely advocate for others during the AIDS crisis: The film collected six nominations, alongside Captain Phillips and Nebraska.

Other big surprises: Tom Hanks was off the Best Actor list for Captain Phillips; Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks) didn't garner a nom; nor did Robert Redford (All Is Lost) who, surprisingly, has never taken home the gold for Best Actor.

The Best Picture race, at least for now, seems to be between American Hustle, Gravity and 12 Years a Slave (which received 9 noms).

By all accounts, it feels like an American Hustle win this year. The film did well at the Golden Globes last weekend and true, it smacks of Best Picture, but so does 12 Years a Slave. And Gravity for that matter, for more so for its ability to create such an unforgettable journey from beginning to end.

Elsewhere ... it's time to be honest: Can't we already hear Jennifer Lawrence accepting her award on Oscar night? Or Amy Adams for that matter? But should the Academy dare to be bold this year, it would be downright refreshing to see some of the following on the this year's list of Best Oscar winners: Matthew McConaughey or Bruce Dern (Best Actor); a tie for Best Actress (Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep); Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club); Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) or June Squibb (Nebraska) for Best Supporting Actress; Twenty Feet From Stardom (Best Documentary): Frozen (Best Animated Feature); Before Midnight (Best Adapted Screenplay); Her or Blue Jasmine (Best Screenplay).

The Oscar telecast unfolds March 2 with Ellen DeGeneres returning for the second time as host. In the meantime, take note of some of the nominees below.

 BEST PICTURE

"American Hustle"

"Captain Phillips"

"Dallas Buyers Club"

"Gravity"

"Her"

"Nebraska"

"Philomena"

"12 Years A Slave"

"The Wolf of Wall Street"

BEST ACTOR

Christian Bale, "American Hustle"

Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"

Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years A Slave"

Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"

BEST ACTRESS

Amy Adams, "American Hustle"

Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"

Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"

Judi Dench, "Philomena"

Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"

Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"

Michael Fassbender, "12 Years A Slave"

Jonah Hill, "The Wolf of Wall Street"

Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"

Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"

Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years A Slave"

Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"

June Squibb, "Nebraska"

BEST DIRECTOR

David O. Russell, "American Hustle"

Alfonso Cuaron, "Gravity"

Alexander Payne, "Nebraska"

Steve McQueen, "12 Years A Slave"

Martin Scorsese, "The Wolf Of Wall Street"

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

"The Croods"

"Despicable Me 2"

"Ernest & Celestine"

"Frozen"

"The Wind Rises"

BEST FOREIGN FILM

"The Broken Circle Breakdown" (Belgium)

"The Great Beauty" (Italy)

"The Hunt" (Denmark)

"The Missing Picture" (Cambodia)

"Omar" (Palestine)

BEST DOCUMENTARY

"The Act of Killing"

"Cutie & The Boxer"

"Dirty Wars"

"The Square"

"Twenty Feet From Stardom"

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

"Before Midnight," written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke

"Captain Phillips," screenplay by Billy Ray

"Philomena," screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope

"12 Years A Slave," screenplay by John Ridley

"The Wolf of Wall Street," screenplay by Terence Winter

BEST SCREENPLAY

"American Hustle," written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell

"Blue Jasmine," written by Woody Allen

"Dallas Buyers Club," written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack

"Her," written by Spike Jonze

"Nebraska," written by Bob Nelson

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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