As Oscars Loom, Here’s One Last Look at Some Great Shut-Outs

Steven Frears
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

The Spirit Awards wrapped this afternoon, a casual-atmosphere and frequently moving celebration of  independent filmmaking. In some cases, the winners foreshadow Sunday’s, but in many other instances, the Spirits honored some terrific work that was absent from Oscar’s roster.

On Sunday, the Academy Awards will mark the official close of 2013 film awards. So before that final love fest, let’s pause for a moment and recognize great work by some people who were NOT given enough recognition this year.

For example, Stephen Frears. Few people could have maintained the comedy-tragedy balancing act in “Philomena” like he did, and nobody could have done it better. So why didn’t the director get more attention? Maybe because it was a strong year, and maybe because there’s an indefinable buzz that attaches to some work, but not others.

So for all of you who were not nominated for an Oscar, remember that good work is its own reward, and that you will presumably be in the anointed Academy circle someday. In the meantime, here’s a pat on the back from Variety.

Director: Frears

Actor: Daniel Radcliffe, “Kill Your Darlings”

Supporting actor: Will Forte, “Nebraska”

Actress: Naomie Harris, “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”

Supporting actress: Sarah Paulson, Alfre Woodard, “12 Years a Slave”

Writing: Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio, Darius Marder, “The Place Beyond the Pines”

Production design, Steve Saklad, “Labor Day”

Song: Ed Sheeran, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

Cinematography: Bojan Bazelli, “The Lone Ranger”

Costume design, Ellen Lutter, “Grown Ups 2” (no joke; take a look at the party-scene finale)

Editing: Roger Barton, Matt Chesse, “World War Z”

Music: Henry Jackman, “Captain Phillips”

Sound, the team behind “The Conjuring”

And a special note to great work of people who were not even eligible:

Stunt teams on “The Lone Ranger” and “Lone Survivor

Casting, John Jackson, “Nebraska”; Francine Maisler, “12 Years a Slave” and “Captain Phillips”

And finally, hats off to the people who created those great opening credits for “The Great Gatsby,” “Oz the Great and Powerful,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “Stoker,” “Trance” and “World War Z”

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  1. Sam says:

    I am so glad that you noticed opening credits, it seems to be a lost thing. I hope that you and variety next year do a separate post on the best opening credits next year, if only to encourage it.

  2. Colin Vickery says:

    Great to see The Lone Ranger get a couple of mentions here. It was unfairly slammed by critics when it was released.

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