How Did Boston Do at the Oscars?
It can’t always be Ben Affleck’s year.
If you looked to last year’s results and filled out your Oscars ballot giving preference to movies and nominees with Boston ties, you might be feeling a bit low this morning.
The 86th Academy Awards took place Sunday night, and, well, it can’t always be Ben Affleck’s year. The night didn’t give fans of Boston-themed cinema much to look for. (CNN has the full results here.) Sure, the camera cut to Sandra Bullock about 600 times, and she was in The Heat … ? But there was no The Departed or Good Will Hunting. That said, we had a few solid city connections to the ceremony. Here’s how Boston’s tenuous Oscars connections did:’
American Hustle was undoubtedly the city’s favorite son Sunday night. The movie was shot here, inspiring many a Bradley Cooper stalking session. And it was directed by David O. Russell, who not only worked as a teacher in Boston, but also made The Fighter. Sadly, though, the film got shut out of all the big awards. Russell lost for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. No luck there.
So if we had to stretch for another Best Picture nominee, we might go with Captain Phillips, the story of a ship hijacked by Somali pirates, based on the book by Massachusetts native Captain Richard Phillips. That, too, though came up short against the inevitability that was 12 Years a Slave.
There was Dan Golden, of Natick, nominated for an Academy Award this year in the Short Film (Animated) category. He and his creative partner Daniel Sousa made Feral. Golden worked as a sound composer on the film, and Sousa animated and directed. They lost to “Mr. Hublot.”
Then there were the documentaries. The Boston area, or Harvard University to be specific, had a huge hand in educating the Oscar-nominated documentarians of the night. Richard Rowley directed Dirty Wars. Joshua Oppenheimer directed The Act of Killing. Jehane Noujaim directed The Square. All three are Harvard grads. All three lost to 20 Feet from Stardom.
So yeah, the city didn’t have the night it might have had with another The Social Network or The Fighter or The Departed on its hand. Strange to remember that some movies don’t take place here, no? But maybe it was time we give work with ties to other cities a chance to shine. As they say (disingenuously), it’s always an honor just to be nominated.