oscarTomorrow night is Oscar Night, the annual celebration of cinema. As a huge film fan, I love the Academy Awards and have been watching them ever since I was a wee lad (more about that tomorrow).

I have also been doing my own version of the Oscars for many years. I take all the films I have seen in the calendar year and nominate films and talent in the same categories the Academy recognizes.

Sometimes the nominees match up – this year I love Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), and Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street) as did the Academy – but much of the time I nominate things the Academy overlooks or would never even think about recognizing.

I will spare you my full list of nominees and picks, but I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite films and performances that were overlooked by Oscar this year.

ABOUTFirst and foremost, the most fun I had at the movies this year was seeing About Time, the latest film from writer/director Richard Curtis (Notting Hill, Love Actually, etc.). I just love the film and the performances of its leads, Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and the always cool Bill Nighy. The film is just a delight and Mr. Gleeson makes a star-making turn while Ms. McAdams continues to be radiant.

Like many, I was shocked that Tom Hanks did not get the expected best actor nod for his work in Captain Phillips (there is a scene near the end of the film that is not only Mr. Hank’s best work ever, it is some of the best acting by anyone in a long time) – but there has been a lot of comment on that by others. My big beef was that Hugh Jackman was overlooked all awards season for his excellent turn in Prisoners.

Mr. Jackman’s performance, playing the father of an abducted girl, is stunning enough. However, put in context with his recent work in Les Miserables and Wolverine, you are amazed by his pure range. He gets my award for best actor hands down.

On the best actress side, I am shocked with the rest of Oscar fandom that Emma Thompson, who in my opinion is always Oscar-worthy, did not get the expected nod for Saving Mr. Banks. Again, a much commented on snub, so I will take up the snub of a real underdog, Greta Gerwig for her work in France Ha, a great underrated performance in one of the year’s quirkiest surprises. Ms. Gerwig, who will be a huge star some day soon, has been great in the past but really shined here.

NEBWell, I guess Mr. Hanks and Ms. Thompson, who each have two Oscars already, will be fine, but I am still upset.

Where the Academy and I agree most, is with the film Nebraska, which I enjoyed thoroughly. In fact, when I first saw Nebraska several months ago, long before Oscar season, I was quoted as saying I was going to start a one-man campaign to nominate June Squibb for best supporting actress. She of course did not need my help and has her first nomination at age 80-something and she deserves it.

Anyway, I could go on and on about the Oscars and movies in general. Love or hate what the Academy chooses to nominate and reward, it is always fun to talk about. So you know where I will be tomorrow night…In the meantime, in the words of the late great Roger Ebert, “I’ll see you at the movies.”

The Oscars air on ABC, Sunday, March 2 at 7:30PM (EST).

Check out About Time here.

Learn more about Prisoners here.

Discover Frances Ha for yourself here.

Visit Nebraska here.