Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Top 10 Oscar Surprises I've Seen Live

Not shocking, but a fun win from last year.

Oscar nominations drop in less than 24 hours, so here's a special list.

I've been an avid fan of the Oscars since I watched the 2003 ceremony, which saw Chicago win Best Picture and a few surprises as well. Also, I've watched the nominations announcement live since 2008, when No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood led the nominees.

Therefore, eligible wins/nods on this list either occurred during one of the winners ceremonies from 2003-2012, or they happened during the nominations telecast since 2008.

Note: I predicted Marion Cotillard's and Tilda Swinton's wins at the 2008 ceremony, and I wouldn't necessarily call them surprises. Otherwise, they'd definitely be on here. And I'm not going near the Crash vs. Brokeback Mountain debate.

10. The Bourne Ultimatum winning 3 awards, including Best Film Editing.

I love the original trilogy with Matt Damon. The technical work is solid, as are the performances and the storytelling.

9. "O… Saya" (Slumdog Millionaire) nominated for Best Original Song.

Love M.I.A. Love the song. This gave the film 10 nominations, which I agreed with at the time. Still amazed that M.I.A. is an Oscar nominee.

8. Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) nominated for Best Supporting Actor.

A scene-stealing performance from an actor who grew up less than 50 miles from where I did. How cool is that?

7. Adrien Brody (The Pianist) winning Best Actor.

How could I not mention him? At the time, I only knew the setting of the film, but I knew he wasn't the frontrunner. It was a great moment at the Oscars, and one they could repeat if DiCaprio is nominated with 4 previous winners. ;)

6. In the Loop nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

This hilarious little film based on characters from the BBC's The Thick of It was always a longshot. BAFTA spoke up, and I predicted it in my final Oscar predictions.

5. Exit Through the Gift Shop nominated for Best Documentary Feature Film.

One of my favorite documentaries was thought by many to be too "out there" for the Oscars. Happily, they were wrong.

4. "Lose Yourself" (8 Mile) winning Best Original Song.

Yes, I still love this win, and the song as well. If only Eminem had shown up to perform that year, he could've accepted it. That would've been interesting, to say the least.

3. Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) nominated for Best Director.

Only a Best Picture nomination could've made me happier (or maybe a nod for Amalric's wonderful work). It's one of the most moving, beautiful films I've ever seen, and Schnabel's direction was top notch.

2. In Bruges nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

After the Golden Globe and BAFTA love, I went out on a limb for this nomination, and it came true! It's too bad McDonagh didn't win for his brilliant work, but I was (and still am) thrilled that he was included.

1. The Tree of Life nominated for Best Picture and Best Director.

Again, I went out on another limb for this last year, and it paid off. Malick's gorgeous film was one of my favorites of 2011, so I was overjoyed that the Academy recognized it.


  1. These surprises me remind me that though a lot of prediction lists are on point, other nominees that aren't anywhere near the horizon of being nominated can make it through. Michael Shannon and The Tree of Life's nominations are definitely ones of recent years that stand out to me!

    1. Yeah, I love it when the Academy surprises like this.

  2. Hey, nice to see In Bruges on this list as I just spent two days looking at pics from it for my new feature. Glad to hear McDonaugh was nominated but it should've gotten a nod for cinematography as well, Bruges was practically one of the stars in the film!

    1. Definitely. Love the cinematography in that film! :)

  3. Agree with all of these. Fantastic list.

  4. I don't know a lot of Eminem's music, but I love Lose Yourself! I reeeally need to see 8 Mile.

  5. Excellent post! I'm glad to see In Bruges was nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

    1. Thanks! I cheered when that nomination was read. :)

  6. I think today's nominations would have 10 surprises at least :P