The 2014 Oscar nominations are here, and a genre film is leading the pack.
The nominations for the year's biggest film awards were announced early Thursday morning, and by the end of the proceedings, Alfonso Cuaron's stunning space survival thriller Gravity was tied with David O. Russell's period caper picture American Hustle for most nominations, with 10. The film's most high-profile nominations include Best Picture, Best Director for Cuaron and Best Actress for star Sandra Bullock, but if you saw the film, you already know that a host of nominations in technical categories was absolutely inevitable when it comes to Gravity. The film is also nominated for Best Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezski), Best Production Design (Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard), Best Editing (Alfonso Cuaron and Mark Sanger), Best Visual Effects (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould), Best Sound Mixing (Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro) and Best Sound Editing (Glenn Freemantle). Capping off all of Gravity's Oscar love is a well-deserved Best Original Score nomination for composer Steven Price.
But Cuaron's dazzling film was not the only sci-fi flick to get noticed by the Academy. Spike Jonze's unconventional romance Her also earned five nominations, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay for Jonze, Best Original Song for "The Moon Song" (written by Jonze and Karen O.), Best Original Score for William Butler and Owen Pallett, and Best Production Design for K.K. Barrett and Gene Serdena. Sadly, Jonze did not snag a Best Director nomination, and Joaquin Phoenix (who already has one Oscar) did not earn a Best Actor nod, but the competition was rather fierce this year.
Other genre films also got some love in the technical categories. Not surprisingly, every nominee in the Best Visual Effects category was sci-fi or fantasy. Iron Man 3 (Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds), The Lone Ranger (Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier) and Star Trek Into Darkness (Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton) all got visual effects nominations alongside Gravity. The Desolation of Smaug also got nods for Best Sound Mixing (Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson) and Best Sound Editing (Brent Burge), while The Lone Ranger also earned a nod for Best Makeup and Hairstyling (Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny).
Rounding out all the genre love this year are the animated films. The fantasy adventure Frozen and the supervillain sequel Despicable Me 2 both earned Best Animated Feature nominations, and both also snagged nods for Best Original Song: "Let It Go" (by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez) for Frozen and "Happy" (by Pharrell Williams) for Despicable Me 2.
We've now got to wait more than month -- until Oscars ceremony on Sunday, March 2 -- to see who takes home the Academy Awards, so that means weeks of speculation, talking about who got snubbed and arguing over who should win. To see the full list of nominees, including 12 Years a Slave, Philomena, Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street and more, head over to the official Oscars website.
What do you think? Which awards will these genre flicks win?