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« Podcast: Pre-Nom Party, Bring Your Own Dream Date | Main | Review: 'The Legend of Hercules' »

"All is Lost" For Oscar Noms?

One of the biggest question marks this season is what became of All is Lost's Oscar heat?

Was it the box office (okay but unnoteworthy)? The relatively laidback Robert Redford campaign when hard sells are the norm? Or was it merely that the movie is a quiet contemplative type fellow in a sea of noisy exuberant life-of-the-party types? Or was it that other quiet contemplative loner with which critics are far more enamored (That other guy goes, oddly enough, by Her)?

There is still a chance that All is Lost could pull a few nominations out of its hat this Thursday morning but with none of the recent guilds going its way, and very little in the way of critics awards, all might be truly lost. Which seems strange given the early heat it had for Best Actor and the nominations it probably deserves like the sound categories. I know it's not an original notion to compare it to Gravity in terms of theme and plot but the similarities don't end there. In both cases, the sound is inarguably crucial to the movie's success. Here's a veritable FYC ad for its Sound Mixing and Sound Editing...

Do you think the film will come up empty-handed on Nomination Morning or surprise with Redford and other stray nod? 

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Reader Comments (16)

I think after Bafta Dicaprio gets the 5th spot.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

I have been wondering this myself. I saw All is Lost for the first time just over a week ago (it only opened recently in the UK) and was very impressed. And the film has stayed with me. I think all of the reasons you give for the cooling-off of its heat are perfectly plausible. I really hope the film provides some pleasant surprises next Thursday. Redford deserves to be there, the film should also be up for both Sound categories, as well as Original Score. I even think it could justifiably lay claim to nominations for Film Editing and even Director. (I could see it as a lone director nominee back in the day, but will we ever get one of those again? I'd never say never...and this year it could happen - with Kechiche, for example.)

And yes, I think there are many comparisons to be made with Gravity. They have many differences, and Gravity's elements are more crowd-pleasing, eye-popping and 'noticeable', but if we take their broad themes to be similar, I think All is Lost is the more contemplative, more mature work.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Cosign everything Edward L. said.

I actually think Captain Phillips probably diminished its Oscar heat far more than Her. Both films were made on the open water and released around the same time, and Phillips is a much bigger Oscar contender than Her, which possibly could also be shut out. It irritates me to see Phillips, which I consider a conventional big studio made to receive Oscar nominations, receive all these nominations for Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Director, etc. which should go to the more impactful, more thought-provoking All is Lost.

Redford's lack of campaigning probably did hurt the film and his status, but that's who he is (and it probably explains his previous lack of nominations). The same could likely be said about the Coen brothers and Inside Llewyn Davis. I'm still hopeful that they all get nominations on Thursday.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I think it was the victim of bad marketing. I think if there was a better hook than "Watch a muted Robert Redford try to survive alone on a boat" people might have been a bit more intrigued by it. As it stood, the whole thing sounded like a chore to spend money on. I personally said I'll only see it if Redford gets a nomination (and by see it, I meant on DVD).

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAndy

I liked the film, to be sure, but it didn't blow me away like so many others this year. It has that contemplative element, as you write, and for me that means that I admire and appreciate the film more than love it. It didn't hook me right away, and it came across to me as more of a cinematic experiment than an all around great film that I want to watch again and again. Not that this is bad per se, but when it comes to voting for your favorite movie of the year, there are at least 15 more engaging films to choose from.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

'Lost' is my favorite film from last year. I'm sad to see it largely ignored. I'm glad to see someone mention the editing, though! In my opinion, no film did a greater job than 'Lost' in terms of making use of its runtime.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKBJr

Frankly, I think it's in the same category as The Iceman at this point. There's no logical reason for why films this well made in genres the Academy has gone for in the past didn't really get traction, but that's where we're at.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I still think Redford has a shot; the other one who might be in jeopardy is Hanks, especially if voters are notching their ballots for him for Supporting Actor for "Saving Mr. Banks." (Colin Farrell should also be in those 5 nominees, but you can't have everything.) Voters might look at the other potential nominees for Best Actor--none of whom except Christian Bale have won for acting--and decide that Hanks (and his 2 Oscars) should really only be in one category this year.

It's pretty much a given the other nominees for Best Actor will be Ejiofor, Dern (who should really be Supporting Actor, but there you are), McConaughey, and then the last two slots are shifting around between Redford, DiCaprio, Hanks, Oscar Isaac, Joaquin Phoenix, and Christian Bale. I still think Ejiofor and McConaughey will represent the "young turks" this year, and the other slots will go to Redford, Hanks, and Dern. DiCaprio seems to be the only one strong enough to bump Redford or Hanks out of contention, even though reaction to "Wolf" has been wildly mixed by some Academy members (one woman apparently almost attacked Scorsese after the screening)--I personally loved it, and think DiCaprio is terrific. IF there are upsets at the Golden Globes and DiCaprio takes Best Comedy Actor over Dern and McConaughey takes Best Drama Actor over Redford, Redford's shaky 5th slot is probably in heavy danger of going to DiCaprio.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDback

Golden Globes won't affected Oscar nominations, because the ballots were shipped back this last Wednesday. The last important nomination that could make a switch on nominations was the DGA. So, The Wolf has a little advantage above other dark horses thanks to the DGA now.

I really hope that All is Lost get a BA and Best Sound nomination, cause it truly deserves it.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeocdc

I feel like LionsGate/Roadside Attractions had not a clue how to roll this out. It was like they thought, 'Oh, we can make this counter-programming to Gravity'. They had so much time between Cannes and when it was released to figure it out but left it incredibly vulnerable. I also think the fact Redford is in IDGAF mode for campaigning really cares too much about it. Good for him. He probably just thought nothing could top those long-ovations at Cannes.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

I will be shocked if he is nominated. Jordan, Hanks, Ejiofor, McConaughey, Isaac, Phoenix, DiCaprio, and Bale all gave superior performances. I think Dern gets in as the sentimental veteran, not Redford.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

I haven't seen the film but I hope he gets in. To make room for him and Leo, I would regretfully push out Hanks.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I actually do think it has a really good shot in either or both of the sound categories. It's a tiny bit "arthouse" compared to a lot of what gets nominated, but the sound is SO PRESENT. I do wonder if it, Captain Phillips, and Gravity can all coexist in the same category, though.

At any rate, I'd be far more surprised if it missed in sound and landed in Actor than the other way around. Any buzz Redford ever had was used up before Thanksgiving.

January 11, 2014 | Registered CommenterTim Brayton

What I thought was so underplayed in the discussion about All Is Lost: It's a completely CONVINCING movie. I kept forgetting that the man on the screen wasn't really in danger from the waves battering, flooding and destroying his boat. Editing, cinematography, sound, production design: all of it added up to a beautifully crafted movie.

What I thought was overplayed about All is Lost: Redford's performance. His blankness just didn't read. I kept wanting more -- it was hard to connect with him -- and for me there just wasn't enough emotion underlying the stoic surface.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

The Best Actor category is very strong this year. There are at least 10 actors that could be nominatted compared to the 6 in the Best Actress field.

My bets are;- Dern, Ejiofor, Elba, McConaughey and Phoenix.

Those who will miss out;- DiCaprio, Hanks, Isaac, Redford and Whittaker.

God help me if Bale makes it into the final 5.

As for Actress;- the locks - Blanchett and Bullock. The other 3 slots will be filled by these 4 actresses - Adams, Dench, Streep and Thompson.

I've seen all these films and IMO - Streep deserves the final slot over Adams HANDS DOWN.

But I am getting a funny feeling not only will Adams get nominated but will actually win. It'd be her 5th nom and if you take into account her work in Her as well and she might just surprise.

And we'll be wriiting about her win as one of those 'Oscar wins for the wrong film' in a few years time.

January 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

I think Redford gets in, partly because of the legendary status he holds in Hollywood. If you see the speech Glenn Close gave before bestowing him with the NYFC award for best actor you can see clearly how much she stresses on the Sundance Institute and its importance, and you can even hear the crowd applauding at the mention of it.

Personally i'd give All is Lost at the least Actor, Score and the sound nominations. It deserves all the praise its garnered.

January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMustafa

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