Home » News

Analysis: Robert Redford left adrift by Oscar

Published January 16, 2014 4:05 pm

Academy Awards • Sundance Kid's career-defining performance doesn't get nominated.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Robert Redford is not going to the Oscars.

On the morning before his Sundance Film Festival's 2014 edition kicked off in Park City, Redford — who gave a career-defining performance as a drifting solitary sailor in "All Is Lost" — was the most notable name left off the list of nominees announced Thursday for the 86th annual Academy Awards.

Instead, the Best Actor race is largely given over to younger actors: Christian Bale for "American Hustle," Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Wolf of Wall Street," Chiwetel Ejiofor for "12 Years a Slave" and Matthew McConaughey for "Dallas Buyers Club." The fifth nomination went to "Nebraska" star Bruce Dern, who is two months older than the 77-year-old Redford (and co-starred with him in "The Great Gatsby" in 1974).

Nine movies will compete for Best Picture: the con-artist comedy "American Hustle," the kidnapping-at-sea drama "Captain Phillips," the AIDS drama "Dallas Buyers Club," the space-survival thriller "Gravity," the high-tech romance "Her," the father-son road comedy "Nebraska," the heartwarming "Philomena," the slavery drama "12 Years a Slave," and the orgiastic financial comedy "The Wolf of Wall Street."

"Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave" tied for the lead, with 10 nominations each. David O. Russell's "American Hustle" got nine nominations, including a sweep of the four acting categories — which also happened last year with Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook."

Russell is nominated for Best Director, along with Alfonso Cuarón for "Gravity," Steve McQueen for "12 Years a Slave," Alexander Payne for "Nebraska" and Martin Scorsese for "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Cate Blanchett remains the front-runner for Best Actress, for her role as a socialite on the skids in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine." The other nominees are Amy Adams for "American Hustle," Sandra Bullock for "Gravity," Judi Dench for "Philomena" and Meryl Streep for "August: Osage County."

The supporting actor nominees are Barkhad Abdi for "Captain Phillips," Bradley Cooper for "American Hustle," Michael Fassbender for "12 Years a Slave," Jonah Hill for "The Wolf of Wall Street" and Jared Leto for "Dallas Buyers Club."

Fighting it out for supporting actress are Sally Hawkins for "Blue Jasmine," Jennifer Lawrence for "American Hustle," Lupita Nyong'o for "12 Years a Slave," Julia Roberts for "August: Osage County" and June Squibb for "Nebraska."

Redford isn't the only big name left off Oscar's list. Other big names, who were talked up for their Oscar potential, include Tom Hanks for "Captain Phillips" or "Saving Mr. Banks," Emma Thompson for "Saving Mr. Banks," Oprah Winfrey for "Lee Daniels' The Butler" and the Coen brothers for directing "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Redford's performance in "All Is Lost" earned him a Best Actor prize from the New York Film Critics Circle, as well as a Golden Globe nomination. Had he received an Academy Award nomination, it would have been only the second nomination for his acting — the first being for "The Sting" 40 years ago. (Redford has Best Director and Best Picture Oscars for "Ordinary People," and a lifetime-achievement Oscar in 2002.)

Some Oscar prognosticators have blamed Redford's omission on the fact that the actor didn't make enough public appearances or campaign enough with academy voters. Such comments illustrate how much the Oscar race has turned into Hollywood's version of politics, rather than a measure of the work on the screen.

Some notable movies that played at last year's Sundance Film Festival were acknowledged — or ignored — by Oscar.

The midlife romance "Before Midnight" received a nomination for adapted screenplay, shared by director Richard Linklater and the film's stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.

But last year's Grand Jury Prize winner, the police-shooting drama "Fruitvale Station," received no nominations.

Four of the five nominees in the Documentary Feature category played Sundance last year. They are the artists' profile "Cutie and the Boxer," the CIA exposé "Dirty Wars," the Egyptian revolution chronicle "The Square" and the music-filled "20 Feet From Stardom." The fifth nominee is the strangely fascinating "The Act of Killing," in which Indonesian death-squad leaders re-enact their crimes.

Two notable Sundance documentaries that missed the cut were the anti-SeaWorld exposé "Blackfish" and Sarah Polley's genre-twisting tale of family secrets, "Stories We Tell."

One of the Animated Feature nominees will screen at this year's Sundance. The cartoon "Ernest & Celestine," about a mouse who befriends a bear, will open the new Sundance Kids section Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Park City's Redstone Cinema 1. The screening is the world premiere of the movie's English-language version.

Well, at least one filmmaker in Park City this week will get to claim the title of Oscar nominee.


Twitter: @moviecricket —

Oscar telecast

The 86th annual Academy Awards will air Sunday, March 2, starting on the red carpet at 5 p.m., on KTVX, Ch. 4. 86th Annual Academy Award nominations

Best Picture • "American Hustle," "Captain Phillips," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Gravity," "Her," "Nebraska," "Philomena," "12 Years a Slave," "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Actor: • Christian Bale, "American Hustle"; Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"; Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street"; Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years a Slave"; Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club."

Actress • Amy Adams, "American Hustle"; Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"; Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"; Judi Dench, "Philomena"; Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County."

Supporting Actor • Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"; Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"; Michael Fassbender, "12 Years a Slave"; Jonah Hill, "The Wolf of Wall Street"; Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club."

Supporting Actress • Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"; Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"; Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"; Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"; June Squibb, "Nebraska."

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

Foreign Language Film • "The Broken Circle Breakdown," Belgium; "The Great Beauty," Italy; "The Hunt," Denmark; "The Missing Picture," Cambodia; "Omar," Palestinian territories.

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

Original Screenplay • Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, "American Hustle"; Woody Allen, "Blue Jasmine"; Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack, "Dallas Buyers Club"; Spike Jonze, "Her"; Bob Nelson, "Nebraska."

Animated Feature Film • "The Croods"; "Despicable Me 2"; "Ernest & Celestine"; "Frozen"; "The Wind Rises."

Production Design • "American Hustle," "Gravity," "The Great Gatsby," "Her," "12 Years a Slave."

Cinematography • "The Grandmaster," "Gravity," "Inside Llewyn Davis," "Nebraska," "Prisoners."

Sound Mixing • "Captain Phillips," "Gravity," "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," "Inside Llewyn Davis," "Lone Survivor."

Sound Editing • "All Is Lost," "Captain Phillips," "Gravity," "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," "Lone Survivor."

Original Score • "The Book Thief," John Williams; "Gravity," Steven Price; "Her," William Butler and Owen Pallett; "Philomena," Alexandre Desplat; "Saving Mr. Banks," Thomas Newman.

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

Costume • "American Hustle," "The Grandmaster," "The Great Gatsby," "The Invisible Woman," "12 Years a Slave."

Documentary Feature • "The Act of Killing," "Cutie and the Boxer," "Dirty Wars," "The Square," "20 Feet from Stardom."

Documentary (short subject) • "CaveDigger," "Facing Fear," "Karama Has No Walls," "The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life," "Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall."

Film Editing • "American Hustle," "Captain Phillips," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave."

Makeup and Hairstyling • "Dallas Buyers Club," "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa," "The Lone Ranger."

Animated Short Film • "Feral," "Get a Horse!," "Mr. Hublot," "Possessions," "Room on the Broom."

Live Action Short Film • "Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me)," "Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)," "Helium," "Pitaako Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)," "The Voorman Problem."

Visual Effects • "Gravity," "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," "Iron Man 3," "The Lone Ranger," "Star Trek Into Darkness."