2013 Academy Awards®
Winners and History
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Academy Awards History (By Decade):
Introduction, 1927/8-39, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
Academy Awards Summaries
Winners Charts:
"Best Picture" Oscar®, "Best Director" Oscar®, "Best Actor" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar®,
"Best Actress" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar®, "Best Screenplay/Writer" Oscar®


2013

Picture:
"12 YEARS A SLAVE," "American Hustle," "Captain Phillips," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Gravity," "Her," "Nebraska," "Philomena," "The Wolf of Wall Street"
Animated Feature Film:
"FROZEN," "The Croods," "Despicable Me 2," "Ernest & Celestine," "The Wind Rises"
Actor:
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHY in "Dallas Buyers Club," Christian Bale in "American Hustle," Bruce Dern in "Nebraska," Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Wolf of Wall Street," Chiwetel Ejiofor in "12 Years a Slave"
Actress:
CATE BLANCHETT in "Blue Jasmine," Amy Adams in "American Hustle," Sandra Bullock in "Gravity," Judi Dench in "Philomena," Meryl Streep in "August: Osage County"
Supporting Actor:
JARED LETO in "Dallas Buyers Club," 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"
Supporting Actress:
LUPITA NYONG'O in "12 Years a Slave," Sally Hawkins in "Blue Jasmine," Jennifer Lawrence in "American Hustle," Julia Roberts in "August: Osage County," June Squibb in "Nebraska"
Director:
ALFONSO CUARON for "Gravity," Steve McQueen for "12 Years a Slave," Alexander Payne for "Nebraska," David O. Russell for "American Hustle," Martin Scorsese for "The Wolf of Wall Street"


American Hustle (2013)It must be noted that almost all of the most financially-successful (non-animated) films of the year, including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Iron Man 3 (1 nom), Man of Steel, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (3 noms), Fast & Furious 6, Oz the Great and Powerful, Star Trek Into Darkness (1 nom), and Thor: The Dark World, were no-shows for a Best Picture nod, or for any Oscars. They also received a minor number of nominations (with no wins) in all of the other categories.

The 2013 Oscars race was one of the most heated and unpredictable in recent memory - with three films leading and facing off against all of the other contenders. According to Academy rules, nine films were the # 1 choice of at least 5 percent of Academy voters. Two-thirds (six) of the nine Best Picture nominees were based on true stories about real people and events. At the time of the awards, the nine films had earned a combined $790.7 million (domestic), much less when compared to a total gross of over $1 billion for last year's nine nominees.

The Best Picture winner was director Steve McQueen's modestly-budgeted 12 Years a Slave (with 9 nominations and three wins, also Best Adapted Screenplay by John Ridley and Best Supporting Actress). It was a gripping survival tale (and true story with a harrowing depiction of slavery) of freed black man/musician Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) from Sarasota, NY, who was kidnapped and sold into bondage in the 1840s (recounted in his 1853 memoir). It marked the first time a film directed by a black filmmaker had won Best Picture, although McQueen did not win Best Director. It was also only the fifth highest-grossing film among the nine Best Picture nominees at only $50 million (domestic revenue). [Note: only 20 other Best Picture winners in Oscars history have claimed three or fewer Oscars (e.g., 12 with 3 Oscars, 5 with 2 Oscars, and 3 with only 1 Oscar). It matched the most recent Best Pictures Argo (2012) and Crash (2005) with only three total wins. And Ridley's scriptwriting win was only the second time the screenplay Oscar was given to a black writer. The first was Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious (2009).]

The film with the most wins was Gravity (with 10 nominations, and seven wins (mostly technical) including Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Director). Only one other Best Picture-nominated film has won more Oscar awards without winning Best Picture - Cabaret (1972) with 8 wins. Director and co-writer Alfonso Cuarón's and Warner Bros.' stunning drama and outer-space survival tale told about stranded astronauts (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney). [Note: It was the 6th film in Academy history released predominately in 3D to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination. It was also the 5th film in Oscar history to score Oscar nominations in all seven technical Oscar categories. It was by far the highest-grossing blockbuster film among the Best Picture nominees, and the only one among the top 10 highest-grossing films of 2013 - at # 6 - with $270.5 million (domestic) at the time of the awards.]

Two other Best Picture nominees and contenders (with Oscar wins) were:

In an upset, five of the nine Best Picture-nominated films won no Oscars at all:

In the Best Director category, there were five nominees - all with Best Picture-nominated films, and only one with a previous Best Director win. The winner was 52 year-old Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón (with his 4th career nomination, and his first Best Director win) for Gravity, a technically-superlative, realistic 3-D drama. He was the first Mexican-born director (or Latino) to win Best Director. [Note: Cuarón had three previous nominations: Best Original Screenplay for And Your Mother Too (Y Tu Mamá También) (2002), and Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing for Children of Men (2006).]

The other Best Director nominees were:

Regarding the Animated Feature Film category, the five nominees were some of the most profitable films of the year. The Oscar for this category was first awarded in 2002 (for films released in 2001). The winner this year was Frozen, from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the # 3 film at the year's box office (with $388.7 million (domestic revenue)). It was loosely based upon Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, about an ice princess. It also won its other Oscar nomination for Best Original Song ("Let It Go"). [Note: It was also the Golden Globes Award winner in this category, and it was Disney's biggest hit since The Lion King (1994). It was the first animated Disney soundtrack to hit Billboard's #1 album chart since Pocahontas (1995), and the first to maintain the top spot for multiple weeks since The Lion King (1994).]

The other four Animated Feature Film nominees were:

The unnominated Pixar animation Monsters University was # 7 at the box-office with $268.5 million (domestic).

Italy solidified its position as the country with the most Best Foreign Language Film Oscars - a total of 11 Oscars and 3 Honorary or Special Awards. It was the winner this year for its entry The Great Beauty. [Note: Italy broke its own record for number of Best Foreign Language Film nominations with its 28th for The Great Beauty.]

There were eight first-time Oscar nominees out of twenty performers in the main acting categories, including three newbie performers from 12 Years a Slave. Only seven of the 20 acting nominees were previous Oscar winners (and only one of those seven was male - Christian Bale). Meryl Streep was the lone thespian with more than one Academy Award Oscar win (three total). [Note: Although there were three black performers contending for acting honors, none of them was African-American. Chiwetel Ejiofor was from England and with Nigerian parentage, Barkhad Abdi was born in Somalia and raised in Yemen, and winner Lupita Nyong'o was Kenyan.]

In the Best Actor category, the five nominees included lots of first-time Oscar nominees, and only one nominee with a previous Oscar win. The winner was a first-time Oscar recipient: 44 year-old Matthew McConaughey as homophobic, good-ol'-boy Dallas rodeor and electrician Ron Woodroof, who was diagnosed with HIV in the early days of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and began to smuggle experimental drugs, in Dallas Buyers Club.

The other Best Actor nominees were:

In the Best Actress category, the five nominees were all old-timers with multiple nominations and awards - the five nominees had great Oscar success, with 38 nominations and 6 wins between them. (Amy Adams - the sole nominee in the category to be winless Oscar-wise, remained win-less.)

The winner was 44 year-old Australian actress Cate Blanchett (with her 6th Oscar nomination, since 1998 and second Oscar win) as self-obsessed, distraught, materialistic and disturbed New York socialite Jeanette "Jasmine" Francis (following her swindling husband's (Alex Baldwin) massive Wall Street high-finance Ponzi-scheme fraud), in San Francisco with her sister to rebuild her penniless and friendless life, in writer/director Woody Allen's dark drama Blue Jasmine (the film's sole win). Cate Blanchett became the first Australian actress to win two Oscars. [Note: Blanchett had previously won Best Supporting Actress for The Aviator (2004). She had two Best Actress noms for Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007), and two supporting nominations for Notes on a Scandal (2006) and I'm Not There (2007).] She also became the sixth actor to win an Oscar for a Woody Allen film, following after Diane Keaton for Annie Hall (1977), Michael Caine for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Dianne Weist for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and Bullets Over Broadway (1994), Mira Sorvino for Mighty Aphrodite (1995), and Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008).

The other Best Actress nominees were:

In the Best Supporting Actor category, all of the nominees were experiencing their first or second nomination, and the oldest nominee was 42 years old. The nominees had just two previous nominations and no wins. The winner in the category was 42 year-old Jared Leto (with his first Oscar nomination and win) as the touching, charismatic and transformed transgender (or transvestite) prostitute Rayon, infected with HIV and dying of AIDS (who joined co-star Matthew McConaughey in a smuggling operation for experimental AIDS drugs), in Dallas Buyers Club.

The other Best Supporting Actor nominees were:

In the Best Supporting Actress category, there were three first-time nominees, one of whom was the winner in her feature film debut -- 30 year-old Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o (born in Mexico), who portrayed the spirited field slave Patsey, mercilessly-abused, mistreated, and trapped by her angry and lustful slavemaster Edwin Epps (Michael Fassbender), in 12 Years a Slave. Nyong'o was only the 9th actress in Academy history who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for a debut performance (in a feature film) - with a substantial film role. She also became the sixth African-American (or black) actress to have won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

The other four Best Supporting Actress nominees were:

Notable this year was the fact that composer John Williams received his 49th career nomination (Best Original Score for The Book Thief). He had a total of five wins and more Oscar nominations than any other living person, and second only to Walt Disney (with 59) for most Oscar nominations ever.

Also, Woody Allen broke his own record with his 16th Best Original Screenplay nomination for Blue Jasmine. Allen has won the Oscar in this category three times: for Annie Hall (1977), for Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), and for Midnight in Paris (2011). Allen was the oldest winner of the award, at 76 for his 2011 film.

Most Obvious Omissions or Snubs:

Best Picture: Left out of the top race were August: Osage County (with only two nominations - Streep's and Roberts' noms), the Coen Brothers' tale of a struggling folk musician (Oscar Isaac) in 1961's Greenwich Village Inside Llewyn Davis (with only two minor nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Sound Mixing), Lee Daniels' The Butler (with no nominations) - a multi-decade story of black White House butler Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) who served eight US Presidents, and most surprisingly, Saving Mr. Banks (which only received one nomination for Best Original Score), about the making of the movie Mary Poppins. [Also, the Harvey Weinstein-produced biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, starring Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, earned only a single nomination for U2's Best Original Song entry Ordinary Love.] And Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine (with three significant nominations and one win) was not included as the 10th nominee. The Great Gatsby, the winner of two Oscars (for its sole nominations: Best Production Design and Best Costume Design), was conspicuously missing as well.

Best Director: Director Paul Greengrass did not receive a nomination for Best Picture-nominated Captain Phillips, nor did visionary writer/director Spike Jonze for his innovative view of the near future in the sci-fi romance Her, or first-time director Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station.

Best Actor: Two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks was snubbed as the fiercely determined title character in the you-are-there thriller Captain Phillips, and as the supporting character Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks. 77 year-old Robert Redford, with a powerful non-verbal performance, was denied a nomination for his harrowing role as a stranded sailboater in the middle of the Indian Ocean in J.C. Chandor's survival drama All Is Lost. [Note: Redford's sole previous acting nod was for The Sting (1973), about 40 years earlier. All is Lost received only one nomination for Sound Editing.] Also, the Best Picture-nominated Her was lacking a nomination for its divorcee protagonist-nerd (Joaquin Phoenix) in virtual love.

Best Actress: Emma Thompson was denied a nomination as fussy author P.L. Travers (with novel Mary Poppins) in John Lee Hancock's Saving Mr. Banks, as was Brie Larson for her role as foster care worker Grace in Short Term 12. Two other missing nominees: French actress Adele Exarchopoulos for the controversially sexy French drama Blue Is the Warmest Color, or Julie Delpy for the third film in a trilogy, Before Midnight.

Best Supporting Actor: The late departed James Gandolfini was not nominated for the comedy Enough Said. And Scarlett Johansson was not nominated for her voice-only role as the throaty, seductive and intelligent Siri-like OS system's Samantha in Her.

Best Supporting Actress: Early top contender Oprah Winfrey missed out on a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role as boozy truth-telling servant's wife Gloria Gaines in Lee Daniels' The Butler. It was her first major film role since Beloved (1998). And Octavia Spencer was overlooked for her subtle, heartbreaking portrayal of Wanda, the mother of the slain unarmed 22-year old African-American Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan) on New Years' Day in 2009, in Fruitvale Station (with no nominations).

Best Animated Feature Film: Pixar released 11 films since 2001 that were eligible for the Animated Feature Film award. Of them, only two failed to garner a nomination - the sequel Cars 2 (2011) and this year's prequel Monsters University.



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