Nigel Downer is a Toronto Mainstage alum and director of The Bob Curry Fellowship Showcase.
In a world where the 2014 Oscar nominations have been announced – by Thor himself, for the love of a Marvel God – some new realities have established themselves.
Welcome to this brand new dimension where…
- Jordan Catalano is a thing again. If you don’t immediately recognize that name as the hottest version of Jared Leto, then you are not in my demographic. Or in my hot-guy wheelhouse. After moonlighting as an eccentric rock star with 30 Seconds to Mars, he is now 42(!!!!!!!!!!) and in the Oscar race. Even dressed as a lady opposite Matthew McSkeletor, he is not forgotten by women age 29-36 as the flannel-draped Adonis who ushered them into womanhood. Part of me will always be waiting for that elusive Frozen Embryos gig.
- It really does happen when you are not looking for it. The “it” in this case is not true love or spontaneous weight loss, but an Oscar-worthy acting role opposite Tom Hanks. Barkhad Abdi, a real, live Somalian, was working as a limo driver in Minnesota when he was cast in Captain Phillips. This is both an inspiration and a massive burn on those who work long, frustrating years to succeed in film acting. On the other hand, it is a relief to see the Somalian pirate roles going to Somalians instead of Anne Hathaway:
- Jennifer Lawrence is the new Tom Hanks. Back-to-back nominations at age 24?! So Tom took a little bit longer, but America’s newest sweetheart is emulating the Academy’s best guy. Can she manage a trifecta reminiscent of Hanks’ Philadelphia/Forrest Gump/Apollo 13 run? If only the Academy cared about young adult fiction phenomena. Excuse me while I pour out some butterbeer for Harry Potter 1-8.
- Tom Hanks is the new Leonardo DiCaprio. Yes, Hanks is dominating this list like it’s the mid-90s. And in an unlikely turn, his old friend Oscar has turned as cold as the icy water in which Leo needlessly drowned at the end of Titanic. My teen heart that mourned the cancellation of Jordan Catelano equally railed against the ignorance of Leo’s unrecognized Titanic performance. Tom Hanks now knows the pain of a wronged lead actor on a doomed ship.
- Pixar is the new everyone else. They are no longer invincible. While Disney got the animated film nod for Frozen, Pixar’s Monsters University got skipped like some common, hand-drawn cartoon. Dreamworks, a double-nominee in the category, responded by designing a decal of Shrek peeing on Buzz Lightyear.
- Women do not direct major motion pictures. Apparently.
Natalie Shipman is an alum of The Second City Touring Company and ComedySportz Chicago. She currently writes, acts, teaches improv and performs stand-up around the city. Follow her on Twitter: @natalinasp.