Sunday, April 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Spielberg’s in at Oscars, Bigelow, Affleck are out

BEVERLY HILLS — Steven Spielberg had a great day at the Academy Awards nominations, where his Civil War saga “Lincoln” led with 12 nominations.

It was not so great for Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hooper and Ben Affleck, whose films did well but surprised — dare we say shocked? — Hollywood by failing to score directing nominations for the three filmmakers.

“I just think they made a mistake,” said Alan Arkin, a supporting-actor nominee for Affleck’s Iran hostage-crisis tale “Argo.”

“Lincoln,” ”Argo,” Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden manhunt thriller and Hooper’s Victor Hugo musical “Les Miserables” landed among the nine best-picture contenders Thursday.

Also nominated for the top honor were the old-age love story “Amour”; the independent hit “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; the slave-revenge narrative “Django Unchained”; the shipwreck story “Life of Pi”; and the lost-souls romance “Silver Linings Playbook.”

A mostly predictable bunch. But it’s baffling how Bigelow — the first woman to earn the directing Oscar for her 2009 best-picture winner “The Hurt Locker” — missed out on a nomination for one of last year’s most-acclaimed films.

“Yes, it was a surprise,” Spielberg said of Bigelow. “But I’ve been surprised myself through the years, so I know what it feels like.”

Spielberg was snubbed for a directing slot on 1985′s “The Color Purple,” which earned 11 nominations, including best picture. He also was overlooked for director on 1975′s “Jaws,” another best-picture nominee.

“I never question the choices the academy branches make, because I’ve been in the same place that Kathryn and Ben find themselves today,” said Spielberg, who finally got his Oscar respect in the 1990s with best-picture and director wins for “Schindler’s List” and another directing trophy for “Saving Private Ryan.” ”I’m grateful if I’m nominated, and I’ve never felt anything other than gratitude even when I’m not — gratitude for at least having been able to make the movie. So I never question the choices.”

Especially this time, when “Lincoln” has positioned itself as the film to beat at the Feb. 24 Oscars. Its nominations include best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis for his monumental performance as Abraham Lincoln, supporting actress for Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln and supporting actor for Tommy Lee Jones as abolitionist firebrand Thaddeus Stevens.

Oscar directing contenders usually are identical or at least line up closely with those for the Directors Guild of America Awards. But only Spielberg and “Life of Pi” director Ang Lee made both lists this time.

The Directors Guild also nominated Affleck, Bigelow and Hooper, but the Oscars handed its other three slots to David O. Russell for “Silver Linings Playbook” and two real longshots: veteran Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke for “Amour” and newcomer Benh Zeitlin, who made his feature debut with “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

Zeitlin, whose low-budget, dream-like film about a wild child in Louisiana’s flooded backwoods won the top honor at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, said he never expected to be competing “alongside the greatest filmmakers alive.”

“I’m completely freaking out,” Zeitlin said. “Those guys taught me how to make films. The VHS pile that was on the VCR when I was born was past Spielberg movies, and that’s why I started wanting to do this, was watching them thousands and thousands of times.”

Other nominees were caught off guard over how the category shook out.

“I would be lying if I didn’t say I was surprised,” Russell, a past nominee for “The Fighter,” said about Bigelow.

Lee, who won the directing Oscar for “Brokeback Mountain,” agreed that there were surprises — but pleasant ones, particularly for Zeitlin’s inclusion.

“Newcomers, veterans, a European,” Lee said. “It’s great company, and it’s an honor to line up with them, and encouraging because there is a newcomer.”

Colleagues of snubbed filmmakers were not so happy.

“That put a damper on my enthusiasm,” ”Argo” co-star Arkin said of Affleck, an A-lister who’s arguably proving himself a better director than actor. “I thought his work was the work of an old master, not somebody with just two films under his belt. I thought it was an extraordinary piece of directing.”

“I would have loved him to have been recognized in this,” Hugh Jackman, a best-actor nominee as Hugo’s tragic hero Jean Valjean for “Les Miserables,” said of director Hooper. “But no one will be able to take away the achievement, nor really that the eight nominations that ‘Les Miz’ has are more shared with him than with anyone.”

Composer Alexandre Desplat, who wrote the music for “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Argo” and earned a best-score nomination for the latter, said he was puzzled over Affleck and Bigelow’s exclusion.

“I think they both deserved to be nominated,” Desplat said. “Unfortunately, I don’t decide.”

“Zero Dark Thirty” has had backlash in Washington, where some lawmakers say it falsely suggests that torture produced a tip that led the U.S. military to Bin Laden. It’s hard to imagine that affecting the film’s Oscar nominations, though, given Hollywood’s history of playing loose with facts in depicting true-life stories.

The academy’s directing snubs virtually take “Argo,” ”Les Miserables” and “Zero Dark Thirty” out of the best-picture race, since a movie almost never wins the top prize if the filmmaker is not nominated. It can happen — 1989′s “Driving Miss Daisy” did it — but a directing nomination usually goes hand-in-hand with a best-picture win.

The nominations held other surprises. “Amour” won the top prize at last May’s Cannes Film Festival but mainly was considered a favorite for the foreign-language Oscar. It wound up with five nominations, the same number as “Zero Dark Thirty,” which came in with expectations of emerging as a top contender.

Along with best-picture, director and foreign-language film, “Amour” picked up nominations for Haneke’s screenplay and best actress for Emmanuelle Riva as an ailing, elderly woman tended by her husband.

“It’s the last stage of my life, so this nomination is a gift to me, a dream I could never had imagined,” Riva said. “Michael’s talent is to make the film real. … That’s why it touched the world. We are all little, fragile people on this earth, sometimes nasty, sometimes generous.”

Riva is part of a multi-generational spread: At 85, Riva is the oldest best-actress nominee ever, while 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis is the youngest ever for her role as the spirited bayou girl in “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

Spielberg matched his personal Oscar best as “Lincoln” tied the 12 nominations that “Schindler’s List” received.

Two of Spielberg’s stars could join the Oscar super-elite. Both Day-Lewis and Field have won two Oscars already. A third would put them in rare company with previous triple winners Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan, Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep. Katharine Hepburn holds the record with four acting Oscars.

A best-picture win would be Spielberg’s second, while another directing win would be his third, a feat achieved only by Frank Capra and William Wyler, who each earned three directing Oscars, and John Ford, who received four.

“Lincoln” also was the ninth best-picture nominee Spielberg has directed, moving him into a tie for second-place with Ford. Only Wyler directed more best-picture nominees, with 13.

“I think Steven is a full-fledged genius. I think he has transformed the motion-picture industry more than once, and he’s constantly pushing the envelope and changing,” Field said. “He stands alone. And he has the most profound respect, and he’s a scholar of John Ford and William Wyler and many others. … He’s a scholar of all of this because he’s so endlessly curious.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Supervisor candidates vary on Plan Bay Area

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
Earth Day means cleanup Day for Suisun City

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 5 Comments | Gallery

Hop to it: Couple lights up home, yard for Easter

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1

 
Bay Area makes growth plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

Ranking the best Bay Area athletes

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
The Edge hosts Easter egg hunt

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

Alooma Temple keeps children in mind

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield author to speak at women’s expo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Piano scholarship competition set in Vallejo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
The resurrection has changed the lives of Christians

By Perry W. Polk | From Page: C3

 
Armijo graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

 
Understanding your health insurance

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: D4, 1 Comment

 
Record Store Day a commercial hit

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Easter egg hunt brings out the smiles

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. joins Fairfield coffee corridor

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B7, 7 Comments | Gallery

City sets plan to dispose of property assets

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Counties tell Brown they need money for his law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
San Francisco probe leading to entrapment claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Exhibit recreates Warhol’s 1964 World’s Fair mural

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NASA’s space station Robonaut finally getting legs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Documents detail another delayed GM recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Official: 3 bodies retrieved from inside ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Costa Rican a celebrity after certified miracle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Government … for the government?

By Bill James | From Page: A8, 9 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoons for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Neighborhood speeders don’t get it

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 7 Comments

 
Why would a person do this?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

Sound off for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
Jeb Bush, love, and today’s GOP

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
 
.

Living

Today in History for April 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Bill Nye says he underestimated debate’s impact

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3, 10 Comments

 
Book details lives of cloistered nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

Horoscopes for April 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

 
Pete spends weekends at my house but he never invites me to his

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

.

Entertainment

Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Tartt, Goodwin finalists for Carnegie medals

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book on fracking illuminates pros, cons

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Sports

A’s score 3 in 9th, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Warriors beat Clippers 109-105 in playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings, Sharks look to put Game 1 in past

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Stults, Padres hand Giants third straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raptors GM Ujiri uses profanity about Brooklyn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Williams scores 24 as Nets beat Raptors 94-87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Durant leads Thunder past Grizzlies 100-86

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hawks take 1-0 lead by rolling past Pacers 101-93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Federer beats injured Djokovic to reach final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Indians set two new school records for track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Wie shoots 67, wins LPGA LOTTE Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Rapids, Earthquakes play to scoreless tie

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Travis Bowl Highlights

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Jimenez leads Langer by 1 shot in Greater Gwinnett

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Stars Recreation bowling results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Big names among prospective Buffalo Bills buyers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Award-winning archery champ shoots with his teeth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Survivors keep busy as Boston Marathon approaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Business

US delays review of contentious Keystone pipeline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Why high oil prices are actually good for airlines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Subscription sample boxes shake up beauty routines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Girls from modest families get lift in technology

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

Haunted house part of San Antonio apartment lofts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
Recalls this week: lanterns, exercise devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

Review: Siri-like Cortana fills Windows phone gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
.

Obituaries

Margaret Elizabeth Silva

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Lloyd G. Hoffmeister

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Ramon Isidro

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

 
Rogelio Tinoco-Zamudio

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

James Leroy Barbour

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
William Paul Wehrly

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Sealwyn Shirley Brucefield Shepherd Malkiewicz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics