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"Nominations for Everyone!" - Saturn Awards

I maintain that a lot of "special interest" awards bodies would instantly be more respectable if they'd limit their number of nominations in a category. The Saturn Awards, who've been handing out prizes for sci-fi/fantasy/horror films for 40 years now, are one such group. When you narrow your field of eligibility -- as all special interest awards bodies must to still fit within their special interest boundaries -- why then should your nominee list be larger than the standard model (that'd be Oscar. pay attention). Despite what seems like a neverending barrage of pictures released that are catering to the comic-con community, there are actually less movies like that than those that are eligible for other prizes which only have "release date" as criteria. And yet the Saturn Awards feel the need to have six-seven nominees in all the acting categories and multiple Best Picture awards. If you combine all of their Best Film categories, they have 34 Best Picture nominees! though Gravity and The Hobbit: The Smaugening are the nomination leaders.

It must be so insulting for any picture that was not nominated... though I can't think of any that weren't offhand. Hundreds of nominations with brief grumpy commentary are after the jump. 

Best Comic-to-Film Motion Picture:
“Iron Man 3″
“Man of Steel”
“Thor: The Dark World”
“The Wolverine”

The only snubbee I can think of here is Blue is the Warmest Color but those lesbians have no superpowers beyond very limber bodies and the ability to eat huge amounts of food without gaining a pound. 

30 more Best Picture nods after the jump...

Best Science Fiction Film:
“Ender’s Game”
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
“Pacific Rim”
“Star Trek Into Darkness”

Best Fantasy Film:
“About Time”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Jack the Giant Slayer”
“Oz The Great and Powerful”
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

Best Horror Film:
“The Conjuring”
“The Purge”
“This is the End”
“Warm Bodies”

I'm confused. I thought everyone, even horror fans, hated the Carrie remake. So who is voting for it? 

Best Thriller Film:
“The Call”
“The East”
“Now You See Me”
“The Place Beyond the Pines”
“World War Z’

This category is actually kind of fun as you can find fans of all of these movies and it's an interesting set of stylistically diverse films. 

Best Action/Adventure Film:
“The Book Thief”
“Fast & Furious 6″
“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”
“The Lone Ranger”
“Lone Survivor”

The Book Thief is an action film? oh my. I so misunderstood the marketing.

SEE WHAT I MEAN? Can you think of a single picture released in 2013 that they snubbed? The only one I can come up with is Stoker in horror (but it finds several nominations elsewhere). And anything with subtitles. 

Best Actor:
Robert Downey, Jr. – “Iron Man 3″
Oscar Isaac – “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Simon Pegg  - “The World’s End’
Joaquin Phoenix -” Her”
Brad Pitt – “World War Z’
Ben Stiller – “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”

Here they narrow it down a bit. How does Oscar Isaac qualify? Please to explain. And also: though I would certainly qualify as one of Brad Pitt's biggest film critic fans, it just seems all kinds of wrong to nominate him in this category for a very casual basic performance when you have people like Matthew Goode available to you from Stoker or Hugh Jackman in Prisoners considering your extremely wide concept of what types of films you're willing to honor.

Best Actress:
Halle Barry – “The Call”
Sandra Bullock – “Gravity”
Martina Gedeck – “The Wall”
Jennifer Lawrence – “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Emma Thompson – “Saving Mr. Banks”
Mia Wasikowska – “Stoker”

The great winnowing. Although I'm confused as to how Emma Thompson qualifies?! Is it because her character P J Travers wrote the beloved fantastical "Mary Poppins"? That means Saving Mr Banks was snubbed in Best Picture despite 34 nominations. Ouch.

The big shocker here has to be Martina Gedeck -- a subtitled film! -- in the allegorical Oscar submission The Wall from Austria

Best Supporting Actor:
Daniel Bruhl – “Rush”
George Clooney – “Gravity”
Benedict Cumberbatch – “Star Trek Into Darkness”
Harrison Ford – “Ender’s Game”
Tom Hiddleston – “Thor: The Dark World”
Ben Kingsley – “Iron Man 3″
Bill Nighy – “About Time”

Seven nominees. I need someone to explain the eligibility requirements to me. And also ohmygod. Even when you're willing to hand EVERYONE nominations you still feel the need to use category fraud? Why? There's plenty of room for everyone including Daniel Brühl in their correct category when you have this many nominations.  

I am mildly embarrassed for anyone who voted for George Clooney in Gravity. Please try to see more than like four movies a year. please and thanks. 

Best Supporting Actress:
Scarlett Johansson – “Her”
Nicole Kidman – “Stoker”
Melissa Leo – “Prisoners
Evangeline Lily – “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Jena Malone – “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Emily Watson – ‘The Book Thief”

Wait. The Book Thief again? Um.... Unless you're a Holocaust denier how is that film eligible in the highly fictional realms of fantasy/sci-fi/horror/etcetera. Okay, horror maybe. 

Best Performance by a Younger Actor:

Asa Butterfield – “Ender’s Game”
Chloe Grace Moretz – “Carrie”
Sophie Nelisse – “The Book Thief”
Saoirse Ronan – “How I Live Now”
Ty Simpkins – “Iron Man 3″
Dylan Sprayberry – “Man of Steel”

YIKES. But I guess options were limited (or were they judging on these other acting fields). Though I approve of the Ty Simpkins nomination for sure. And if The Book Thief is going to qualify for scifi/fantasy/horror awards, why not just throw in Tye Sheridan from Mud and make the category instantly more respectable. 

Best Director:

 J.J. Abrams – “Star Trek Into Darkness”
Peter Berg – “Lone Survivor”
Alfonso Cuaron – “Gravity”
Peter Jackson – ” The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Francis Lawrence – “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Guillermo del Toro – “Pacific Rim”


Best Writing:
Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro – “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Joel Coen, Ethan Coen – “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron – “Gravity”
Jennifer Lee – “Frozen”
Spike Jonze – “Her”
Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg – “The World’s End”

Given their "give everyone a best picture!" m.o. shouldn't they nix the animated category and just put the animated features they like in where they belong like Frozen for  Best Fantasy Film? 

Best Editing:
Peter Amundson, John Gilroy – “Pacific Rim”
Alan Edward Bell – “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Alfonso Cuaron,Mark Sanger – “Gravity”
Mark Day – “About Time”
Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill Rush, Christian Wagner, Kelly Matsumoto, Dylan Highsmith – “Fast & Furious 6″

Best Production Design:
Dan Hennah – “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Philip Messina – “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”
Andrew Neskoromny, Carol Spier – “Pacific Rim”
Andy Nicholson – “Gravity”
Jan Roelfs – “47 Ronin”
Robert Stromberg – “Oz The Great and Powerful”

Um, Ewww. Even Oscar noticed how special Her's vision of the future was. Dumb exclusion. 

Best Music:
Danny Elfman – “Oz The Great and Powerful”
Frank Ilfman – “Big Bad Wolves”
Howard Shore – “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Brian Tyler – “Iron Man 3″
Brian Tyler – “Now You See Me”
John Williams – “The Book Thief”

Best Costume:
Gary Jones – “Oz The Great and Powerful”
Michael Kaplan – “Star Trek Into Darkness”
Wendy Partridge – “Thor: The Dark World”
Beatrix Aruna Pasztor – “Great Expectations”
Penny Rose – “47 Ronin”
Trish Summerville – “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

Best Make-Up:
Patrick Baxter, Jane O’Kane,Roger Murray – “Evil Dead”
Rick Findlater, Richard Taylor, Peter King – “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Howard Berger, Jamie Kelman, Peter Montagn – “Lone Survivor”
Donald Mowat – “Prisoners”
Fae Hammond, Mark Coulier,Kirstin Chalmers – “Rush”
Karen Cohen, David White, Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou – “Thor: The Dark World”

Best Special/Visual Effects:
Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould – “Gravity”
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon,David Clayton, Eric Reynolds -”The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
Joe Letteri, John Desjardin,Dan Lemmon – “Man of Steel”
John Knoll, James E. Price,Clay Pinney, Rocco Larizza – “Pacific Rim”
Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossman, Burt Dalton – “Star Trek Into Darkness”
Jake Morrison, Paul Corbould, Mark Breakspear – “Thor: The Dark World”

I'm not sure what to make of this category saying no to Iron Man 3 (Oscar nominee) and yes to Man of Steel (not even an Oscar finalist). Bad taste? Or boredom with nominating The Amazing Adventures of Iron Man for a 5th time?

Best Independent Film:
“12 Years a Slave”
“Great Expectations”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“The Invisible Woman”
“Out of the Furnace”
“Upside Down”

Okay, what? I think the Saturn Awards have lost focus. Focus, people, focus. You're a genre award. You're supposed to be about fantasy, sci-fi and horror. That's your whole goddamn raison d'être. 

Best International Film:
“Big Bad Wolves”
“A Hijacking”
“How I Live Now”
”The World’s End”

Yay, Blancanieves. Nice surprise. And it fits within the genre framework being a retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Best Animated Film:
“Despicable Me 2″
“From Up on Poppy Hill”
“Monsters University”

A pleasant surprise to see From Up On Poppy Hill here. It definitely qualifies for genre related prizes.


Best Network Television Series Release:
“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
“The Blacklist”
“The Following”
“Sleepy Hollow”
“Under the Dome”

I realize that Sleepy Hollow is popular but I just couldn't sit through its camp derivative of everything ridiculous for more than 3 episodes. Boo. Also I think The Following (which I have admittedly only seen 2 episodes of) is one of the worst atrocities ever perpetrated on television. Just ugly ugly ugly. I do watch Almost Human (snubbed) for which The Boyfriend makes fun of me.

"Almost Human" - Total snubbing

The Boyfriend: It's just a procedural. Like "Law & Order" with robots and you hate "Law & Order".

Me: Well, yes, but robots

Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series:
“American Horror Story: Coven”
“The Americans”
“The Walking Dead”

Best Television Presentation of a Limited Run Series:
“Bates Motel”
“Black Sails”
“Breaking Bad”
“Falling Skies”
“Game of Thrones”

I'm suddenly unclear on what makes a tv series a "limited run" Aren't Game of Thrones and Bates Motel just regular series?

Best Youth-Oriented Television Series:
“Pretty Little Liars”
“Teen Wolf”
“The Tomorrow People”
“The Vampire Diaries”

"Dark Stiles" has taken over Teen Wolf

I can't get into Arrow. It just has no personality. So much boring in the way of casting. But then I often have trouble with Greg Berlanti's tv series for this generic reason. I still love Teen Wolf even if I think Stiles has become a Spike-like problem. 

Note to all showrunners: sometimes a character gets very very popular precisely because you have served him up in just the right dosage. This does not mean that you should make entire seasons about this character. End note. 

Best Actor in a Television Series:
Kevin Bacon -”The Following”
Bryan Cranston – “Breaking Bad”
Freddie Highmore – “Bates Motel”
Mads Mikkelsen – “Hannibal”
James Spader – “The Blacklist”
Noah Wyle – “Falling Skies”

My biggest problem with genre-specific awards letting people who don't belong to the genre in (like Bryan Cranston) is that it dilutes the actually important message: great acting can happen in any genre. It doesn't have to be the kind of acting that appeals to Emmy voters. 

Best Actress in a Television Series:
Jennifer Carpenter – “Dexter”
Vera Farmiga Bates – “Motel”
Anna Gunn  ”Breaking Bad”
Jessica Lange – “American Horror Story: Coven”
Rachel Nichols – “Continuum”
Keri Russell – “The Americans”

Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series:
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – “Game of Thrones”
Erik Knudsen – “Continuum”
David Lyons – “Revolution”
Dean Norris – “Under the Dome”
Aaron Paul – “Breaking Bad”
James Purefoy – “The Following”

Best Supporting Actress in a Television Series:
Kathy Bates – “American Horror Story: Coven”
Sarah Carter – “Falling Skies”
Gwendoline Christie – “Game of Thrones”
Michelle Fairley – “Game of Thrones”
Melissa McBride – “The Walking Dead”
Elizabeth Mitchell – “Revolution”

Couldn't you just fill this category up with American Horror Story: Coven and be done with it? Lily Rabe, Angela Bassett, Emma Roberts

Best Guest Star in a Television Series:
Stephen Collins – “Falling Skies”
Robert Forster – “Breaking Bad”
Danny Huston – “American Horror Story: Coven”
David Morrissey – “The Walking Dead”
Charlotte Rampling – “Dexter”
Gina Torres – “Hannibal”

Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series:
Colin Ford – “Under the Dome”
Jared Gilmore – “Once Upon a Time”
Jack Gleeson – “Game of Thrones”
Connor Jessup – “Falling Skies”
Chandler Riggs – “The Walking Dead

Home Entertainment:

Best DVD Release:
“Bad Ass Spider”
“The Brass Teapot”
“Curse of Chucky”
“Solomon Kane”
“You’re Next”

Best DVD Collection:
“Bowery Boys Collection: Volumes 2 and 3″
“Chucky: The Complete Collection”
“Friday the 13th : The Complete Collection”
“James Dean Ultimate Collector’s Edition”
“Mad Max Trilogy”
“Zatoichi: The Blind Swordsman”

Best Classic Film Release:
“Fantastic Voyage”
“Halloween (35th Anniversary Edition)”
“The Haunting”
“House of Wax”
“The Wicker Man”

Best Television Release:
“The Adventures of Superboy: The Complete Third Season”
“Search: The Complete Series”
“Star Trek: The Next Generation: Season 3, 4, 5″
“Under the Dome: Season One”
“The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season”
“The White Queen: Season One”


Your turn? Thoughts. What genre shows do you watch on TV and which of the movies do you think actually deserves prizes. Besides Gravity...

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Reader Comments (14)

"I am mildly embarrassed for anyone who voted for George Clooney in Gravity. Please try to see more than like four movies a year. please and thanks."


February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I guess Oscar Isaac qualified because his voice is out of this world.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I guess since the Book Thief is narrated by the grim reaper it could be considered fantasy, but action/adventure? So odd. I'm happy Jena Malone got some love even if there are too many nominees.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJonn

Very funny piece. I hope every Saturn Awards representative who reads it has the decency to blush and stammer.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKen

J.J. Abrams was in their Best Director field for Star Trek Into Darkness and Edgar Wright WASN'T? Really? Bad nerds. Bad BAD nerds!

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

So... Orphan Black and Tatiana Maslany wasn't eligible for this "genre" awards??

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChatan

I think Her hurt itself by not defining what genre it belongs too both in box office and awards. Its been called Sci-Fi, Contemporary, now Futuristic...... (and based on those high waist pants, I would call it Horror) and perhaps more. I get the idea of not defining yourself in order to hopefully attract everyone, but it also turns people off. If you are looking at a stack of screeners, you watch the ones you think you will like first, the ones you feel you have to watch next and the confusing or unknown are left to the end. Even if someone says they don't like Sci-Fi, at least they have an idea going in and others can change their minds by word of mouth. I will say, I think Futuristic is the best genre definition it has been placed under.

And yes, the Orphan Black snubs while Blacklist, The Americans and Breaking Bad are included is heinous. I like those last three shows, but what genre are they supposed to belong too? Even The Following is a stretch (I suppose its supposed to be Horror, its too obvious to be Thriller).

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

I think all these categories need renaming. "Here are four films that were based on comic books." "Here are six younger actors who were in movies this year." Makes much more sense this way.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMargaret

"focus, people, focus" I agree! Great Expectations??? What about Trance (which I liked a LOT more than other people), Upstream Color, and even John Dies in the End (which may be from 2012).

Peggy Sue--LOL

For TV, no Justified? What Margo Martindale's character did in Season 2 is definitely in the HORROR category. Also, I kind of like Grimm.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I am more than a little sad that this is the only recognition Michelle Fairley will ever receive for her incredible work on Season 3 of Game of Thrones.

I also loved Gina Torres on Hannibal and so am cheering her nomination. But, really? Mads Mikkelsen but no Hugh Dancy? If a show ever was a duet between two characters, it was Hannibal.

And I absolutely ADORE the ridiculous, batshit insanity of Sleepy Hollow.

The film nominations... I can't even talk about. They made me throw up in my mouth a little.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Peggy Sue: The voice is unarguable. The voice is lordly. The charismaless links between those segments, though? I'm really interested to see where Oscar Isaac goes next (due to the fact that, if the script were wildly different I probably WOULD place it in the top 5 of the year, but I can't extricate a performance from the script it's supposed to be executing), but I could, right now, think of FOURTEEN lead male performances that I think are BETTER than Isaac's due to what he DOESN'T bring to the table that's necessary to buy into the Llewyn Davis character. As much charisma as Simon Pegg pours into Gary King? (Of that field, I REALLY hope Pegg wins.) No, but, if we're reading the script correctly, he's, like Gary King, supposed to be some sort of a free-wheeling borderline con-man. Where is that in Llewyn's sullen, nakedly angry and charmless "kick me out now" delivery style? It's not. The script could have been quickly changed to accomodate the performance Isaac was willing to actually give (total charisma vaccum and all) between the song choices and make him come off better, but, as is, it makes the director and lead actor look embarassingly out of sync with each other. Nat accused PSH (while he was alive) of "masturbating" as an actor during things like Doubt or Synecdoche, New York (I don't agree on the latter, but different strokes and all that) and that's my personal issue with Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis. He's so far underplaying the very specific and polished Coen Bros. script (outside of those beautiful singing sections) that its like he's asking people to consider how "subtle" and "subdued" and "daringly charmless and unlikable" he is, even in spite of that flying in the face of the movie's actual PLOT. Thus, masturbating.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Nathaniel, I took a lot of crap for this on social media, but I wrote a RAVE review for the Carrie remake. I shocked myself by how much I really enjoyed that film. I mocked it for months based on the marketing campaign. It's a very different take on the story (and one from a far more feminist perspective than anyone anticipated) and that turned a lot of people off. The plot points are the same, but the context and power dynamics between the characters are very different. Carrie is the central figure in the story, but she's not really the main character in this film.

It's an ensemble horror about how the tiny little attacks against each other on a daily basis infect a community with animosity and hatred, leading to the destruction of the community. You know you're in for a wild trip when Margaret White is a tragic figure and Sue Snell's self flagellation by way of giving up on prom is treated like an act of Christ. It's a trip.

I do not agree with Chloe Grace-Moretz being nominated, though. She's intentionally vanilla. She's the Hummels and the wrath from Dogville wrapped in tiny ghost-like facade for the entire film.

Trust, it has no chance of winning Best Horror against The Conjuring (Warm Bodies as a spoiler), but I have no problem with the nomination. It would make my own list of the Best Horrors of 2013 (ranked): American Mary, Stoker, Carrie, Warm Bodies, Room 237 (psychological horror about obsession through the lens of Kubrick's films), Blackfish (like Jesus Camp, an unintended horror film), and The World's End.

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I'm kinda into any kind of awards or committee that sees fit to fete HANNIBAL so handsomely. So there's that bright diamond amongst a pile of WTF.

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMiranda

Young actor…did you at least see the Book thief to comment that young actress Sophie Nélisse …she is like the best young actor or actress I've and everyone agrees have ever seen to play such a role wonderfully at her age. Because if you you don't agree than i'm not sure you know anything about what a great actor really is!!!

March 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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