Oscar Isaac, the Miami-raised star of Inside Llewyn Davis, has already had a dizzyingly successful year. His awkward, often off-putting performance in the Coen brothers' film has earned him a Golden Globe nomination and rave reviews from pretty much every film critic in the country.
But that wasn't enough to put him on the short list for the biggest award in Hollywood: the Oscars. The nominations were announced this morning, and Inside Llewyn Davis was largely snubbed by the Academy, earning no nominations for any of the major awards.
The Coen brothers' film has been an integral part of Oscar predictions for months now, and was nominated for three Golden Globes last weekend. But though it did earn nominations in categories like Sound Mixing and Cinematography, Llewyn was left off the Academy's list for Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Picture. Wait, what?
It can't be that Isaac hasn't paid his dues. Born in Guatemala as Oscar Isaac Hernandez and raised in Miami, Isaac became well-known in Miami long before he made heads turn in Hollywood. With The Blinking Underdogs, he performed regularly around town, playing guitar and singing ska and punk. He also starred in productions at the Coconut Grove Playhouse and GableStage before leaving South Florida to train at Juilliard in New York City.
In the years leading up to Llewyn Davis, Isaac has worked with big name stars from Russell Crowe (Robin Hood) to Madonna (W.E.) to Ryan Gosling (Drive). He's even paid his dues, as all actors must, in an episode of Law & Order. (Criminal Intent, specifically, way back in 2006.)
So it's refreshing that in interviews, Isaac seems, well, pretty chill. Even when it comes to cats, easily the actor's least favorite animal. In our interview with him late last year, Isaac recalled suffering an infected cat bite on his hand that sent him to the hospital for two days, and left scarring.
"Cut to five years later and the Coens are like, 'We've got five cats, and these nervous wranglers are holding these cats, and the cats are all freaked out, and we're going to attach these cats to you,'" Isaac explained. "I wasn't thrilled about that."
Isaac lost the Golden Globe to Wolf of Wall Street star Leonardo DiCaprio last weekend. (C'mon, Hollywood Foreign Press -- Leo didn't even have a single cat attached to him.) And this year's Oscars chose to honor the following actors instead: Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska) Leo (Wolf of Wall Street) Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club).
Nebraska is a bit of a surprise this year, earning a Best Picture nod as well as five other award nominations. Maybe Hollywood can only handle so much middle America at a time.
Here's the full list of 2014's major Academy Awards nominees:
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
Christian Bale (American Hustle)
Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Leonardo DiCaprio (Wolf of Wall Street)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Amy Adams (American Hustle)
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock (Gravity
Judi Dench (Philomena
Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
Best Supporting Actor
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
Jonah Hill (Wolf of Wall Street)
Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Supporting Actress
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
June Squibb (Nebraska)
Best Animated Feature
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
The Wind Rises
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