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...otherwise our stories would be completely overlooked by the "Academy."




Nominees for the 86th Oscars® Actor in a Leading Role

  • Christian Bale in “American Hustle”
  • Bruce Dern in “Nebraska”
  • Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”
  • Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club”

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Barkhad Abdi in “Captain Phillips”
  • Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle”
  • Michael Fassbender in “12 Years a Slave”
  • Jonah Hill in “The Wolf of Wall Street”
  • Jared Leto in “Dallas Buyers Club”

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Amy Adams in “American Hustle”
  • Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine”
  • Sandra Bullock in “Gravity”
  • Judi Dench in “Philomena”
  • Meryl Streep in “August: Osage County”

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Sally Hawkins in “Blue Jasmine”
  • Jennifer Lawrence in “American Hustle”
  • Lupita Nyong’o in “12 Years a Slave”
  • Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County”
  • June Squibb in “Nebraska”

Animated Feature Film

  • “The Croods” Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco and Kristine Belson
  • “Despicable Me 2” Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin and Chris Meledandri
  • “Ernest & Celestine” Benjamin Renner and Didier Brunner
  • “Frozen” Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho
  • “The Wind Rises” Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki


  • “The Grandmaster” Philippe Le Sourd
  • “Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
  • “Inside Llewyn Davis” Bruno Delbonnel
  • “Nebraska” Phedon Papamichael
  • “Prisoners” Roger A. Deakins

Costume Design

  • “American Hustle” Michael Wilkinson
  • “The Grandmaster” William Chang Suk Ping
  • “The Great Gatsby” Catherine Martin
  • “The Invisible Woman” Michael O’Connor
  • “12 Years a Slave” Patricia Norris


  • “American Hustle” David O. Russell
  • “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón
  • “Nebraska” Alexander Payne
  • “12 Years a Slave” Steve McQueen
  • “The Wolf of Wall Street” Martin Scorsese

Documentary Feature

  • “The Act of Killing”Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
  • “Cutie and the Boxer” Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher
  • “Dirty Wars” Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill
  • “The Square” Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer
  • “20 Feet from Stardom” Nominees to be determined

Documentary Short Subject

  • “CaveDigger” Jeffrey Karoff
  • “Facing Fear” Jason Cohen
  • “Karama Has No Walls” Sara Ishaq
  • “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
  • “Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” Edgar Barens

Film Editing

  • “American Hustle” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
  • “Captain Phillips” Christopher Rouse
  • “Dallas Buyers Club” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
  • “Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
  • “12 Years a Slave” Joe Walker

Foreign Language Film

  • “The Broken Circle Breakdown” Belgium
  • “The Great Beauty” Italy
  • “The Hunt” Denmark
  • “The Missing Picture” Cambodia
  • “Omar” Palestine

Makeup and Hairstyling

  • “Dallas Buyers Club” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
  • “Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” Stephen Prouty
  • “The Lone Ranger” Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Music (Original Score)

  • “The Book Thief” John Williams
  • “Gravity” Steven Price
  • “Her” William Butler and Owen Pallett
  • “Philomena” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Saving Mr. Banks” Thomas Newman

Music (Original Song)

  • “Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone”
    Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
  • “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
    Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
  • “Let It Go” from “Frozen”
    Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • “The Moon Song” from “Her”
    Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
  • “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
    Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

Best Picture

  • “American Hustle” Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison and Jonathan Gordon, Producers
  • Captain Phillips Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti and Michael De Luca, Producers
  • “Dallas Buyers Club” Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter, Producers
  • Gravity Alfonso Cuarón and David Heyman, Producers
  • “Her” Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze and Vincent Landay, Producers
  • “Nebraska” Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa, Producers
  • “Philomena” Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward, Producers
  • 12 Years a Slave Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen and Anthony Katagas, Producers
  • “The Wolf of Wall Street” Nominees to be determined

Production Design

  • “American Hustle” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
  • “Gravity” Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
  • “The Great Gatsby” Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
  • “Her” Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena
  • “12 Years a Slave” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

Short Film (Animated)

  • “Feral” Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
  • “Get a Horse!” Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
  • “Mr. Hublot” Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
  • “Possessions” Shuhei Morita
  • “Room on the Broom” Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

Short Film (Live Action)

  • “Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)” Esteban Crespo
  • “Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)” Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
  • “Helium” Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
  • “Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)” Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
  • “The Voorman Problem” Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

Sound Editing

  • “All Is Lost” Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
  • “Captain Phillips” Oliver Tarney
  • “Gravity” Glenn Freemantle
  • “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Brent Burge
  • “Lone Survivor” Wylie Stateman

Sound Mixing

  • “Captain Phillips” Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
  • “Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
  • “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
  • “Inside Llewyn Davis” Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
  • “Lone Survivor” Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Visual Effects

  • “Gravity” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
  • “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds
  • “Iron Man 3” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick
  • “The Lone Ranger” Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier
  • “Star Trek Into Darkness” Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • “Before Midnight” Written by Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
  • “Captain Phillips” Screenplay by Billy Ray
  • “Philomena” Screenplay by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
  • “12 Years a Slave” Screenplay by John Ridley
  • “The Wolf of Wall Street” Screenplay by Terence Winter

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • “American Hustle” Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
  • “Blue Jasmine” Written by Woody Allen
  • “Dallas Buyers Club” Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack
  • “Her” Written by Spike Jonze
  • “Nebraska” Written by Bob Nelson

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Here is an alternative list to consider


I'm not sure I understand why Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom is being overlooked by critics (did it come out too late in the year).  It was the best film I've seen in years and Idris Elba absolutely deserved to be nominated for any award dealing with film.  Naomie Harris was great as well, superbly depicting Winnie over the course of her life.



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Actually, the later a film comes out, the better its chances are of being nominated for awards because the movie will still be fresh in voters' minds.  That's why "The Butler" was re-released after its initial premier. Incidentally, all of the reviews I read of "Mandela, long walk to freedom" were luke warm, but did praise Elba's performance.  "Mandela" and its star are really nods to Africa, more than Black America.  "12 Years A Slave" is one long guilt trip, foisted on white America's conscience. Such money-making movies also function as a penance. 


Black contenders-for-award stories are of a certain type because it's more compelling to portray dramatic epics that expose injustices, or sympathetic biographical ones like "The Help".  The feel-good films like "The Butler" don't have a lot of high drama, just maudlin pathos. And bland comedies like "Best Man Holiday" appeal primarily to a black demographic. 


Plus, over the years, stories about heroic triumph over racism have  been told on both the large movie screen and small TV one and made little waves.   Maybe black film makers should concentrate more on telling white stories that will earn them enough money to produce positive black dramas in the future.   

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Yeah, the The Wolf of Wall Street was only been out 3 weeks before it was nominated for an award.


Kam rated The Butler as the #1 Black films for 2013 I thought it paled in comparison to Mandela or even 12 Years.  Of course I know these awards are biased and political, but they seem to carry so much weight.  Meryl Streep I heard somewhere has relieved 18 best actress nominations--18!  Many terrific actors have not had that many leading roles.


"Maybe black film makers should concentrate more on telling white stories that will earn them enough money to produce positive black dramas in the future."


Now there is an idea, taken directly from Steven McQueen's playbook.  I watched his film McQueen's film Hunger, about Bobby Sands who led a hunger strike for the Irish Republican Army, it was really quite good.  Clearly the experience has not hurt him.




Maybe I should do the same thing...

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Here are Kam's comments of this years Oscars:

2013 was widely lauded as the “Year of the Black Film,” but you would never know it, judging by the recently-announced list of Oscar nominations. It looks like the Academy settled on 12 Years a Slave as a sort of token black representative, with Steve McQueen (Director), John Ridley (Adapted Screenplay), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Lead Actor) and Lupita Nyong’o (Supporting Actress) landing nominations. Otherwise, the only other black nominee in a major category was Barkhad “I’m the Captain now!” Abdi, the Somalia-born cab driver who made his acting debut as the pirate who took Tom Hanks hostage in Captain Phillips.

Perhaps the most noteworthy snub was that of Fruitvale Station which had won coveted awards at both the Sundance and Cannes Festivals. Or maybe it was that of The Butler, which was my favorite film of the year. Upon that picture’s release back in August, colleague Roger Friedman was not alone in unabashedly declaring Oprah Winfrey already a lock to win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.

But, in the end, Oprah wasn’t even nominated, nor was her co-star Forest Whitaker, despite his having delivered a nonpareil performance. The list of overlooked thespians arguably extends to a couple other critically-acclaimed productions featuring black principal cast members, namely, the brilliant biopics 42 and Mandela.

What happens to Oscar buzz deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or does it dream of an NAACP Image Award?

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Sounds like if a pouting Kam had his way, every black movie released in 2013 should be an Oscar contender.  There were also many good white movies that were overlooked by the academy, not to mention outstanding performances by white actors who  didn't make the cut. This years' nominees are a pretty good cross section of what exemplified good film making. In the Hollywood selection process, you win some, you lose some. That's show biz. Get over it.


Kam's choice of "The Butler" being the best film doesn't reflect his usual standards.  This film was a cobbled together episodic paragon that jammed everything you always wanted to know about the black struggle into the stereotypical confines of a single family, taking broad liberties along the way.  Was it an entertaining tear jerker? Yes.  Was it good film making?  Not especially.  As for Oprah and Forrest, they adequately portrayed their roles, no better or worst than the multitude of other actors, who don't rate Oscars every time they appear in a movie.


The answer to Kam's final  question is "yes". Stop expecting special treatment.  An all-black venue where actors and the movies they star in will be nominated and crowned by their peers is the answer to his need for the black film community to be exclusively recognized.     

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Cynique there remains the very distinct possibility that the Black films were simply the best products this year.  Now I would not put The Bulter out front, but I certainly enjoyed it more than I did Gravity, sure Gravity should win some technical awards but as an enjoyable film, 12 Years, Mandela, and 42 knocks Gravity out the park.  Shoot I enjoyed the 2nd installment of the Star Trek reboot MUCH more than I did Gravity.  I wouldn't even strongly recommend Gravity.


I'm not sure recognizing Idris performance in the Mandela film, would require special treatment, to be nominated he deserves the recognition.  But you are right there are only a handful of slots and many fine performances will not be recognized.


And of course if our efforts are to be recognized we will have to do the recognizing.  I'm sure the NAACP will not overlook the Mandela, Fruitvale, Mister & Pete and all the other terrific films, featuring Black characters, that came out this year.  Maybe with a little recognition these film can generate additional revenue via DVD and on-demand viewers.

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Here are Kam WIlliam's annual list of the 100 Best Films of 2013


While 2013 may be remembered for black-themed films like 42, The Butler, Fruitvale Station and early Oscar favorite 12 Years a Slave, there were plenty of other excellent offerings released over the course of the year. The summer season alone featured a trio of outstanding horror flicks in The Conjuring, You’re Next and The Purge.


And fright fans were even treated to a fascinating documentary deconstructing the making of Night of the Living Dead entitled Birth of the Living Dead. The profusion of cinematic treats once again made it impossible to limit my favorites to just the 10 best.


So, as per usual, this critic’s annual list features 100 entries in order to honor as many deserving films as possible.



10 Best Big Budget Films


1.      The Butler

2.      Prisoners

3.      42

4.      You’re Next

5.      Gravity

6.      The Purge

7.      12 Years a Slave

8.      This Is the End

9.      Inside Llewyn Davis

10. American Hustle


Big Budgets Honorable Mention


11. The Heat

12. The Best Man Holiday

13. Philomena

14. Gangster Squad

15. Black Nativity

16. Fast & Furious 6

17. Jack the Giant Slayer

18. August: Osage County

19. Rush

20. The Great Gatsby

21. Olympus Has Fallen

22. Bullet to the Head

23. Saving Mr. Banks

24. Dead Man Down

25. The Conjuring



10 Best Foreign Films


1.      The Hunt (Denmark)

2.      Hannah Arendt (Germany)

3.      Paradise: Love (Kenya)

4.      Kon-Tiki (Norway)

5.      Aliyah (Israel)

6.       2+2 (Argentina)

7.      The Price of Sex (Bulgaria)

8.      S#x Acts (Israel)

9.      A Hijacking (Denmark)

10. The Broken Circle Breakdown (Germany)


Foreign Films Honorable Mention


11. Three Worlds (France)

12. Sweet Dreams (Rwanda)

13. Hava Nagila (Israel)

14. Paradise: Faith (Austria)

15. The Grandmaster (China)

16. The Iran Job (Iran)

17. Pad Yatra: A Green Odyssey (Nepal)

18. War Witch (Congo)

19. Paradise: Hope (Austria)

20. Rising from Ashes (Rwanda)

21. The Act of Killing (Indonesia)

22. Reality (Italy)

23. The Pirogue (Senegal)

24. Garifuna in Peril (Honduras)

25. Israel: A Home Movie (Israel)



10 Best Independent Films


1.      Fruitvale Station

2.      The Kings of Summer

3.      Nebraska

4.      Mud

5.      Drinking Buddies

6.      Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

7.      The Sapphires

8.      I Used to Be Darker

9.      The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete

10. Enough Said


Independent Films Honorable Mention


11. In a World…

12. Short Term 12

13. All Is Lost

14. Go for Sisters

15. Touchy Feely

16. Shadow Dancer

17. Lucky Bastard

18. Big Words

19. King’s Faith

20. Four

21. A Teacher

22. The Happy Sad

23. Mother of George

24. I’m in Love with a Church Girl

25. Finding Happiness



10 Best Documentaries


1.  Stories We Tell

2.  Dear Mr. Watterson

3.  Best Kept Secret

4.  A Place at the Table

5.  Muscle Shoals

6.  Unmade in China

7.  20 Feet from Stardom

8.  Schooled: The Price of College Sports

9.  Evocateur: The Morton Downey, Jr. Movie



Documentaries Honorable Mention


11.The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia

12.When Comedy Went to School

13.Venus & Serena

14. Liv & Ingmar

15.Call Me Kuchu

16.No Place on Earth

17.Red Obsession

18.Cutie & the Boxer

19.Inequality for All

20.Spark: A Burning Man Story

21.Bidder 70

22.Men at Lunch


24.When I Walk

25.Herman’s House

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