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Wyman: And the nominees are ...

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The nominations for the 86th annual Academy Awards to be presented on March 2 have been announced.

Let the controversies begin their swirling.

Honestly, people. I am shocked that anyone feigns to be shocked themselves at anything the Academy does. If the history of the Oscars has taught us anything, it is that there will be that some films and actors will be wrongly snubbed, and there will be films and actors included in the nominations that will lead you to ask yourself if the voters watched the same movie you did.

With regard to the Best Picture category, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth about this year's nominees. As you may know, several years ago, the Academy agreed to nominate 10 films instead of the traditional five as Best Picture. So this year, of course, they nominated nine (The reasoning behind this expansion, no doubt, was so that more films could put "Nominated for Best Picture" on the front of their DVD), which of course led the non-selected moviemakers to claim they had been cheated. Why was there not a 10th?!

Of the nine incredibly mediocre nominees, there are no exceptional surprises, in my opinion, of a film that should not be here. Only one, Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," opened to mixed reviews. Perhaps Hollywood's fawning all over Scorsese has hit new heights, or there is still guilt for ignoring his truly great films like "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas" but "The Wolf of Wall Street" is not even close to Scorsese's best work. However, as a side note, he would be best served if he would move on from his Leonardo DiCaprio-obsession and find a different lead actor once in a while.

While I could provide a list of considerable length that are better than the majority of nominees, "August: Osage County" and "Mud" stick out this year. "A:OC" was adapted from a stage play by Tracy Letts that garnered him the Pulitzer Prize, and the film had a cast that was a marvel to watch. In fact, were "August: Osage County" on this year's list of nominees, I would make it my favorite for the year (not to win; just my favorite).

"Mud" is a wonderfully brilliant film starring Matthew McConaughey as a fugitive on the run, and he gave just as brilliant of a performance as he did in "Dallas Buyers Club." If you have not seen it, do so.

The list of films not quite as good as "August" or "Mud" yet better than most of the nominees are substantial. The film "The Way, Way Back," starring Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, and Liam James, and the Coen Brothers movie, "Inside Llewyn Davis", which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, stand out because of their critical success. However, "Saving Mr. Banks" should be here, as well as Emma Thompson who was snubbed for her role in this film. Her co-star in the film, Tom Hanks, did not merit a nomination for his performance as Walt Disney, but he should have been nominated for Best Actor for his role in "Capt. Phillips."

"All is Lost" and "Blue Jasmine" deserve honorable mention as films that are just as good as the nominees.

The only film I am glad that did not make it, yet had Oscar-buzz, was "Lee Daniel's The Butler." There is no depth to the level of hatred I have for this movie that continues to grow as time moves past.

Obviously with such a blasé class , there is no clear front-runner for the Best Picture category. Much will depend on the marketing arms of each film between now and March 2, I am sure. To be honest, I am almost more excited to see how Ellen DeGeneres, who I think is the funniest person on the face of the earth, does as this year's host.

Mediocre movies such as "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "Nebraska" should hold hope and gratitude that their movies were nominated with such a mediocre class. And if you can figure out the reasoning on how the Academy is going to vote, let alone who and what will win, well then, you deserve an Oscar too.

About the Author
Who was that mysterious man you saw in the theater last night? You tried to get a look at him but he quickly disappeared in a puff of smoke, his cackle trailing in the air, leaving behind his calling card: a half-eaten box of popcorn and a lukewarm soda. He is Our Movie Reviewer named Tim!