Psst... Oscar voters, don't forget about these 2013 standouts

Films from left to right: Inside Llewyn Davis, Her, and Stories We Tell.

Films from left to right: Inside Llewyn Davis, Her, and Stories We Tell.

Bruce Kirkland, Jim Slotek, Liz Braun, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:49 PM ET

We survived watching the drunken excesses of the Golden Globes. We now look forward to Thursday’s more sombre unveiling of Academy Award nominations. With all due lack of respect for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, nothing that happens Thursday had anything to do with Sunday.

Based on hype, traction and in most cases quality, Oscar’s front-runners for best picture were already obvious: 12 Years a Slave, Gravity, American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street and Captain Phillips.

The real unanswered question is: Which titles among the next wave will make it? Potential films include: Her, Dallas Buyers Club, Saving Mr. Banks, The Butler, Nebraska, Philomena, August: Osage County, the fun animation Frozen, longshot Fruitvale Station, Woody Allen’s overrated Blue Jasmine and the Coens’ Inside Llewyn Davis.

But we all have films we’ll be rooting for come Thursday morning.

Here are the ones our critics hope Oscar doesn’t forget:

Bruce Kirkland says…

• Inside Llewyn Davis, Best Picture - The Coens’ exquisite musical shouldn’t be overlooked.

• Her, Best Picture - Spike Jonze is a genius. I hope he is nominated for director as well.

• Chiwetel Ejiofor: Best Actor for 12 Years a Slave - I hope the inexplicable backlash doesn’t prevent Ejiofor’s well-deserved nomination.

• Joaquin Phoenix: Best Actor for Her - One of his best.

• Idris Elba: Best Actor for Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom - I hope Elba’s superb portrayal of Mandela will not be hampered by the mediocrity of his film.

• Meryl Streep: Best Actress for August: Osage County - It would be a shame if Meryl fatigue has settled in.

• James Gandolfini: Best Supporting Actor for Enough Said

• The Wind Rises: Hayao Miyazaki’s animated masterwork deserves multiple noms.

• All is Lost: Would love to see it nominated for best original screenplay because it tells its full story nearly silently.

Jim Slotek says…

• Scarlett Johansson: Best Actress for Her – The time will come when the Academy is going to have to rethink it’s “got to be there” mind-set that also prevents motion-cap acting wizard Andy Serkis from ever being recognized. Unlike the Golden Globes, there is no rule barring Johansson from an Oscar nom for her work as the enticing voice of the operating system Samantha in Her (to my mind, the best movie of the year, and oddly, the best romance). Disembodied it may be, but this is the performance of Johansson’s life.

• Daniel Bruhl: Best Supporting Actor for Rush – The incredibly versatile German actor gave two worthy Hollywood performances this year – as Julian Assange’s bête noir Daniel Berg in The Fifth Estate, and as the sandpaper-irascible F1 legend Niki Lauda in Ron Howard’s Rush. The latter was just terrific, one of the best racing films ever, and one whose disappearance from contention mystifies me. The writing and performances were great and the reviews solidly positive. If you get a chance to see it, do.

• Michael B. Jordan: Best Actor for Fruitvale Station – Maybe it’s the curse of TV (he’s been on The Wire, Friday Night Lights and Parenthood), or maybe there’s only room for one “black issue” film every year (12 Years A Slave). But in Fruitvale Station, Jordan gave a winning performance as real-life shooting victim Oscar Grant, an ex-con trying to right himself before being profiled and killed in an Oakland subway. His job was to convey a lifetime in a present-day day, in the hours leading up to the incident. Just a guy trying to right his life. It still affects me.

Liz says…

There are several films and people I’m hoping Oscar won't ignore this year.

First, I’m hoping Sarah Polley's Stories We Tell wins in the Best Documentary Feature category.

After that, I’m hoping The Wolf of Wall Street get the recognition it deserves

There's some bizarre controversy afoot over Martin Scorsese's new film, with accusations flying around that the movie somehow glorifies its own subject matter — mindless greed and wretched excess.

We don't recall Scorsese being accused of glorifying the mob when Goodfellas was released or viewed as a pro-mob gambling supporter over Casino, but never mind.

The Wolf Of Wall Street is an extraordinary movie, and Leonardo DiCaprio's performance is probably the best of his career. The movie also confirms once and for all that Jonah Hill is an underrated talent. Both actors deserve nominations, as do the movie, Scorsese and the soundtrack. For starters.

I'm hoping Oscar doesn't ignore Prisoners, especially for the performances from Jake Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman and Paul Dano, for director Denis Villeneuve and for the transporting cinematography from Roger Deakins.

And it would be so great to see In A World get some recognition for Lake Bell, who wrote, directed, starred in and produced one of the funniest movies of the year.

A person can hope...


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