Saturday, April 19, 2014

Family-friendly films find their seats in Oscar nominations

Compiled by Herb Scribner, Deseret News National Edition

Published: Thu, Jan. 16 2:45 p.m. MST

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"Frozen" (Top to Bottom) Elsa and Anna.

(Disney)

Family-friendly movies learned where they’re sitting in the minds of the Oscar nominee voters.

On Jan. 16, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominees for the 86th annual Academy Awards, scheduled for March 2. Many of today’s Hollywood stars — like Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale and Sandra Bullock — were highlighted on the list of nominees.

Several family-friendly films found nominations, too, including "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” “Star Trek Into Darkness,” "The Lone Ranger" and “Iron Man 3” all being nominated for Best Visual Effects.

Recent fan favorite “Frozen” was nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. The film — which has seen growing success in the last couple of weeks with its soundtrack reaching the top of the Billboard 200 charts and its top song “Let It Go” becoming a viral phenomenon — will look to ice “Despicable Me 2” and “The Croods” in the Best Animated Feature category.

But the other Disney film, “Saving Mr. Banks,” which tells the story of how “Mary Poppins” was made, was among the top snubs from the Oscar nominees this year, according to USA Today. The film was left off even though the Oscars nominated nine films for Best Picture instead of the allowed 10, USA Today reported.

“That was not very supercalifragilisticexpialidocious of them,” USA Today said.

USA Today also listed actress Emma Thompson, who played “Mary Poppins” writer P.L. Travers and earned a Golden Globes nomination for her efforts, as an actress who was snubbed from earning a nomination. Tom Hanks, for his role as Walt Disney, was also left off the nomination list for Best Actor. He was previously nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes for his part as Captain Richard Phillips in “Captain Phillips.”

In a surprise move, according to Variety writer Marc Graser, Pixar, which has won seven of the last 12 Oscars for Best Animated Feature, was shut out of the Oscars, as its recent film “Monster’s University” wasn’t selected by the academy. Pixar will now have to watch as Disney’s “Frozen” takes center stage, Graser wrote.

And like with the Golden Globes nominations, many of the Oscars picks for the Best Picture category are comedies. “American Hustle,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Her,” and “Nebraska” were all nominated for the best comedy film category at the Golden Globes. It was “American Hustle” that took the award home on Jan. 12.

Email: hscribner@deseretnews.com, Twitter: @hscribner

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1. truth in all its forms
henderson, NV,
Jan. 16, 2014

I don't know what kind of family you live in. But as for me and my house we serve the lord. Several of the "family friendly" movies are actually extremely inappropriate for anyone with children. Iron man 3 is full of violence, and saving Mr banks the dad is an alcoholic and the mom is suicidal. I don't feel that violent movies and alcoholic parents are appropriate themes for young children. Frozen is the only G rated movie that you mentioned in the article, call me old fashioned but violent PG-13 movies are not appropriate for families!

2. rightascension
Provo, UT,
Jan. 16, 2014

I'd most of the Oscar nominees are family films -- though it depends on the definition of "family" and what those families are up to.

3. infoman
Cedar Hills, UT,
Jan. 17, 2014

What exactly is "family friendly" supposed to mean? I would't allow my preteen kids to see any of the movies listed as such in the 3rd paragraph.

4. Brent T. Aurora CO
Aurora, CO,
Jan. 21, 2014

Who cares about the Oscars? Year after year, with very RARE exceptions, the Academy fails to recognize good films and honors degrading themes, profanity laced screenplays and debasing cinematography during an awards show that is often crude. One of this year's darlings, which by its trailer and description depicts debauchery on Wall Street, uses that most despised profane word 506 times in a 3 hour running time -- 2.8 times a minute! Even if the word doesn't offend, and it certainly does, the repeated, redundant, numbing use of any word 506 times equals a script devoid of originality, literary merit and praise.

What I know from decades of experience is that the praises of Oscar regularly points out the films to avoid. Also that time needs to pass; often the best films to see have been in the can for a decade or more standing the test of time.