The biggest movie maven I know is my nephew Steven, who seems to know everything about movies, directors, and actors. I once asked him, on the spur of the moment, if he realized that Edward G. Robinson was Jewish. He not only answered, “Of course,” but then gave me the man’s real name: Emanuel Goldenberg.
Steven watches movies compulsively, often while consuming gallons of Mountain Dew and pallets of Doritos. His opinions are almost invariably sound—although I have to say that we nearly came to blows over the dreadfully pompous movie “The Tree of Life,” which he thought was fantastic. He writes about movies sporadically at his website “Truth at 24,” whose title comes from Jean-Luc Godard’s statement, “Cinema is truth at 24 frames per second.”
At any rate, Steven annually announces his choice of nominees for the best movies, actors, directors, etc. of the year—his equivalent of the Oscar nominations. But his “Oscars” are called, with his characteristic modesty, the “Golden Steves”. With more of that admirable modesty, he describes the purpose of the awards and when the winners will be announced:
Far and away the most coveted of motion picture accolades, Golden Steves are frequently described as the Oscars without the politics. Impervious to bribery, immune to ballyhoo, unswayed by sentiment and riddled with integrity, this committee of one might legitimately be termed “fair-mindedness incarnate.” Over 160 of the year’s most acclaimed features were screened prior to the compilation of this ballot. Winners will be announced Saturday, March 1, 2014.
The nominees for the Golden Steves (six per category) were announced on Friday. I’m putting below his nominations for best picture, director, actor, actress, supporting actor, and supporting actress, but to see the rest (screenplay, animations, foreign films, song, etc.) you’ll have to go to his site.
I’m ashamed to admit that, because I’m writing a book, my moviegoing has been terribly sparse this year, and the only “best picture” nominee I’ve seen is “Before Midnight,” which was a creditable end to the Ethan Hawke/Julie Delpy trilogy, though I admit that I saw it only because I’m in love with Julie Delpy. But you can trust the nominations below: any movie Steven recommends is worth seeing—except “The Tree of Life.”
Inside Llewyn Davis
The PastBest DirectorWoody Allen, Blue JasmineEthan and Joel Coen, Inside Llewyn DavisAsghar Farhadi, The PastSpike Jonze, HerRichard Linklater, Before MidnightJeff Nichols, MudBest ActorBruce Dern, NebraskaChiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a SlaveOscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn DavisMatthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers ClubJoaquin Phoenix, HerRobert Redford, All Is LostBest ActressCate Blanchett, Blue JasmineSuzanne Clement, Laurence AnywaysJulie Delpy, Before MidnightJudi Dench, PhilomenaEmilie Dequenne, Our ChildrenAdele Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest ColorBest Supporting ActorDaniel Bruhl, RushAndrew Dice Clay, Blue JasmineJames Gandolfini, Enough SaidRutger Hauer, Il FuturoJared Leto, Dallas Buyers ClubSam Rockwell, The Way Way BackBest Supporting ActressSally Hawkins, Blue JasmineScarlett Johansson, HerLupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a SlaveVanessa Redgrave, Unfinished SongLea Seydoux, Blue Is the Warmest ColorJune Squibb, Nebraska