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And the Oscar Doesn’t go to...

When the Academy Awards airs March 2, the East Bay’s film scene will be sadly underrepresented in the major categories. That’s not to say 2013 was a poor year for local talent. Here are a half dozen award-worthy films and performers.


© 2013 The Weinstein Company

Best Picture: Fruitvale Station

Richmond native and former Saint Mary’s student Ryan Coogler wrote and directed this riveting drama about the last day in the life of Oscar Grant. Filmed on East Bay locations, Coogler’s debut feature was in the running for a Best Picture nomination until the onslaught of Oscar bait movies hit theaters in December.


Courtesy of Zipporah Films

Best Documentary: At Berkeley

Frederick Wiseman’s four-hour doc covering all things Cal was one of the year’s best-reviewed films, receiving a perfect score from the New York Times for its comprehensive and challenging look at public education at the university level.



Best Actor: Tom Hanks

In one of the most surprising snubs, the Oakland-raised megastar (and two-time Oscar winner) did not receive a nomination for his career-best work as the captain of a hijacked cargo ship in the docudrama Captain Phillips. Some saw Hanks as a double snub this year, as his performance as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks also drew rave reviews. Perhaps he canceled himself out.



Best Director: Ryan Coogler

See Fruitvale Station, at left. Next up for Coogler is the Rocky spin-off Creed, starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan.


Best Animated Feature: Monsters University

Pixar movies are usually a slam dunk for an Oscar nomination, but not this year. Nonetheless, the
Emeryville studio’s prequel was a monster hit, grossing $743 million worldwide.



Merie W. Wallace/Paramount Pictures

Best Supporting Actor: Will Forte

Lamorinda-raised Forte broke out of his Saturday Night Live persona with a stunning turn as the son of Bruce Dern’s sad senior citizen in the film Nebraska, which did receive a Best Picture nomination. Forte was noticed as Best Supporting Actor by the National Board of Review for his delicate, nuanced performance.

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