‘Her’ director deserves Oscar nomination more than others



The 86th Academy Award Nominees were announced on Jan. 16, but the ceremony won’t be held until Mar. 2. That gave us at Hilltop Views more than enough time to stop watching Beyoncé videos and catch up on watching all those nominated.

Just so we’re clear, I thought “Her” was the best film this year. Expecting a sci-fi spin on a “Lars and the Real Girl” story, I was struck dumb by the beautifully imagined future from Spike Jonze.

I never expected to learn so much about the human condition especially when it comes to love and loss in the relationship between an awkwardly-mustached Joaquin Phoenix and a computer operating system. But I did. And my heart was broken and then put back together again by the many surprising intimate, subtle, weird, and playful moments of this movie.

Because of the way in which “Her” captured all my attention and renewed my faith in movies as one of the world’s most powerful mediums, I would have few qualms with “Her” beating out other best movie candidates: “Gravity”, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, and “Captain Phillips.” I don’t think it will happen if only because “Her” is just too weird and too small for a Best Movie win. 

With that said, I have some other qualms with the Academy this year. Firstly, Spike Jonze is greater than David O. Russell. “American Hustle” as well as last year’s “Silver Linings Playbook” were great films, but there is no reason Russell should be beating out Jonze in any category. The fact that Jonze isn’t even nominated for directing is a shame. I love the stuff that Russell has been drawing out of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, but “American Hustle” had none of the chops of “Her.”

Moving on, I’m simply baffled that the only Academy recognition the Coen brothers got for “Inside Llewyn Davis” was for cinematography and sound mixing. They accomplished so much more musically than sound mixing under the direction of Marcus Mumford and T-Bone Burnett. The only other film music that meant half as much to anybody this year was “Doby” from “Anchorman 2.” Again, not nominated. 

Though outshadowed by his co-star, Barkhad Abdi, who turned in an all-too-real Somalian pirate for “Captain Phillips,” Tom Hanks deserved at least a nomination. Matthew McConaughey is going to win for his performance in “Dallas Buyers Club” and his co-star Jared Leto might just grab Abdi’s supporting actor award, but I’d like to have seen Tom Hanks thrown a bone for depicting yet another distressed man at sea.

Just to be clear, we should all also be impressed by Joaquin Phoenix, who was on screen by himself with a only a creepy mustache for 98 percent of “Her.”

Also the cat in “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

I want the world to thank Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke for having the courage to keep continuing the saga of Jesse and Celine with “Before Midnight” in any way they can. They’ve given us so much since 1995’s “Before Sunrise” and taught us so much about life beyond walking and talking at the same time. I’d love to have seen a best picture nomination and some acting nods for both Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke. I’ll have to content myself with crossing my fingers for their Best Adapted Screenplay nomination.

And yes, this is an Oscars prediction story from someone who has yet to watch “12 Years a Slave.” Apologies.

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