Meryl Streep Oscar’s most-nominated actor
LOS ANGELES—With her recent Oscar nomination, Meryl Streep extends her lead as the most nominated performer in the Academy’s history. Meryl’s best supporting actress nod for her portrayal of the Witch in Rob Marshall’s “Into the Woods” brings her total to 19, way ahead of Jack Nicholson and the late Katharine Hepburn, who have 12 each. Meryl also lords it over esteemed actors Al Pacino, who has eight; and Dustin Hoffman, Judi Dench and Robert De Niro, seven each.
Meryl’s latest nomination was revealed by the Academy in its nominations announcement at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Chris Pine, directors JJ Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron and Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs read this year’s list in early morning rites attended by select media from around the world.
The world’s preeminent living actress is up against Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”), Laura Dern (“Wild”), Keira Knightley (“The Imitation Game”) and Emma Stone (“Birdman”).
Emma, for whom it is a first Oscar nom, had a “colorful” reaction: “Well, this is surreal. I am completely knocked out. Thank you to the Academy… I am very proud and lucky to be a part
of ‘Birdman’… I am so f***ing excited. Are you allowed to say f*** when you’re making a statement for the Oscars? I’m just really f***ing excited.”
Laura, who plays the mother of memoirist Cheryl Strayed (Reese Witherspoon) in Jean-Marc Vallée’s adaptation of the best-selling book “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail,” said, “I share this with Reese, who worked so diligently to protect this story, and our amazing producers, as well as Jean-Marc Vallée and Nick Hornby, who gave their art to shape ‘Wild.’”
Michael Keaton, also a first-time Oscar nominee at age 63, thanks to his acclaimed lead performance in Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu’s “Birdman,” remarked, “Humbled and, more than anything, grateful. So, so happy that Alejandro, the cast and crew are getting recognized. I am proud to be a part of such a bold, gutsy and daring experiment… Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am going to try as best I can [to] wipe this smile off my face. Wish me luck.”
“Birdman” tied with Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” for the most nominations with nine each, followed by Morten Tyldum’s “The Imitation Game” with eight. Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” and Robert Linklater’s “Boyhood” snagged six each; James Marsh’s “The Theory of Everything,” Chris Nolan’s “Interstellar” and Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash,” five each.
Only eight made it to the best picture race, a first since 2011, when the Academy changed balloting rules to allow between five and 10 nominees: “American Sniper,” “Birdman,” “Boyhood,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “The Imitation Game,” Ava DuVernay’s “Selma,” “The Theory of Everything” and “Whiplash.”
Alejandro, who also earned a best director nod, gushed, “I am very happy for the whole ‘Birdman’ flock; it took a lot of courage to make this film out of conventions. These nominations reflect the recognition of our colleagues [and] the Academy. I am proud, thankful and humbled.”
“Birdman” producer James Skotchdopole addressed directors everywhere: “Nine Oscar nominations for the singularly original ‘Birdman’ send a clear message to filmmakers around the world: ‘Taking risks while on a creative tightrope (without a net!) can have an incredible outcome!’”
Speaking of “singularly original,” Wes Anderson reacted this way about the nine nominations, including best director, of “The Grand Budapest Hotel”: “I’ve been asked to make a ‘statement,’ though I feel it does sound more like bragging… My producers and I send our… deepest thanks to the Academy and its 8,000 members for a whole slew of nominations, especially for my long-time collaborators Robert Yeoman, our cinematographer who has worked with me on seven movies; Milena Canonero, our Italian costume designer; Alexandre Desplat, our French composer; Barney Pilling, our English editor; Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, [also] English, hair/makeup; and Adam Stockhausen, production designer, [from] Wisconsin.
“Also, my friend Hugo Guinness, who cowrote the movie with me, expresses his gratitude. We feel deeply honored, thrilled and, frankly, very, very pleased with ourselves.”
Richard Linklater, who also bagged a best director citation, said on behalf of “Boyhood”: “It’s a huge honor for the film but I am most excited for my long-time collaborators of over 20 years—Sandra Adair and Ethan Hawke—and for our new, well, not-so-new partners Cathleen Sutherland and Patricia Arquette. I am also very thankful to Jonathan Sehring and everyone at IFC Films, to my good friend John Sloss and to everyone who worked on the film.
“I am especially thankful to the young actors Ellar Coltrane and Lorelei Linklater, without whom there would have been no movie, and who became wonderful young adults in the process.”
Sandra had the challenging task of cutting “Boyhood,” which was intermittently shot over 12 years, and was justly rewarded with a best editing nod. “To see the film get this kind of recognition is very humbling,” she said. “I feel privileged to have been a part of Richard’s team on this incredible journey.”
Richard, Wes and Alejandro square off with Bennett Miller (“Foxcatcher”) and Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”) in the best director race.
Bradley Cooper’s citation in “American Sniper” is his third consecutive acting nod, after “American Hustle” and “Silver Linings Playbook.” He joins Renee Zellweger and Russell Crowe on the list of performers who received three consecutive acting nods in recent Academy history.
Bradley’s fellow nominees are all first-timers: Michael, Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”), Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game”) and Steve Carell (“Foxcatcher”).
Knocked for six
“I am knocked for six by this,” said Benedict, sounding like the British guy that he is. “To ring my parents, who are both actors, and tell them that their only son has been nominated for an Oscar is one of the proudest moments of my life.”
Eddie, Benedict’s fellow English thespian, remarked, “I’m so incredibly honored to be recognized by the Academy, and even more thrilled to share this honor with the entire family of filmmakers, cast and crew of ‘The Theory of Everything.’ Congratulations to my fellow nominees, thank you to the Academy and thank you most of all to Stephen and Jane Hawking.”
Marion Cotillard’s best actress nod for “Two Days, One Night” is her second for a performance in a language other than English. She won the first, for “La Vie en Rose.” She’s in good company; she is only the fifth actor to earn two or more nods in foreign-language films. The other four are Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren, Liv Ullmann and Isabelle Adjani.
Marion is vying against Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”), Reese Witherspoon (“Wild”), and two first-timers, Felicity Jones (“Theory…”) and Rosamund Pike (“Gone Girl”).
Among the best supporting actor hopefuls, JK Simmons is the only one who notched his first nod (for “Whiplash”). The other nominees are Robert Duvall (“The Judge”), Ethan Hawke (“Boyhood”), Edward Norton (“Birdman”) and Mark Ruffalo (“Foxcatcher”).
In the best foreign film derby, the five who made it from a shortlist of nine are: “Ida” (Poland), “Leviathan” (Russia), “Tangerines” (Estonia), “Timbuktu” (Mauritania) and “Wild Tales” (Argentina). It’s the first nod for both Estonia and Mauritania.
Don Hall, whose “Big Hero 6” was nominated for best animated feature along with “The Boxtrolls,” “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” “Song of the Sea” and “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya,” said on behalf of fellow director Chris Williams and producer Roy Conli: “As kids growing up in Canada and Iowa, Chris and I dreamt of becoming Disney animators. Never could we have imagined that, one day, we would get to make a film like ‘Big Hero 6,’ and that one day, the film and all of the talented artists who made it would be recognized by the Academy. Roy, Chris and I… thank everyone at Disney Animation who made this possible.”
Colleen Atwood, the Meryl Streep in costume design, earned another nod, solidifying her status as the most nominated living designer with 12. Colleen created Meryl’s witch costumes in “Into the Woods,” the movie for which she is nominated.
The legendary Edith Head, who passed away in 1981, had 35 nods.
Roger Deakins, the most-nominated living cinematographer, bagged his 12th (the late lensmen Charles B. Lang, Jr. and Leon Shamroy had 18 each). Roger thanked his “Unbroken” director, Angelina Jolie: “I’m glad to be representing ‘Unbroken’ but in the end, I’m just happy to… work on the films that I do and to work with such inspiring directors as Angie.”
“Champagne! Twice!” exclaimed Paris native Alexandre Desplat in reaction to his two nods. “What an incredible honor to be recognized this year for two of my scores! Wes for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and Morten for ‘The Imitation Game’ offered me wildly different great fields of inspiration.”
While “Selma” made it as a best picture nominee, Ava’s exclusion in the best director race prompted an outcry from critics. The exclusion of the film’s David Oyelowo, who portrays Martin Luther King Jr., also surprised many. The all-white acting nominees further stirred criticism.
The Oscars will be handed out on Sunday, Feb. 22 (Monday morning, Manila time) at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are once again producing the show with Neil Patrick Harris as host.
(E-mail the columnist at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at http://twitter.com/nepalesruben.)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.