Oscar nominations 2014 kick off superhero theme, honor genre films

Jan. 16, 2014 | 1:00 p.m.

The 86th Academy Awards aim to take a page from comic book movies. The 2014 Oscars ceremony will honor superheroes, real-life heroes and animated heroes, and Thursday morning’s nominations kicked off the heroic theme.

Patrick Doyle’s “Thor” soundtrack played as Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, took her place onstage early Thursday morning. Isaacs introduced Chris Hemsworth, who plays the hammer-wielding demigod in the Marvel films.

“I want to thank everyone for joining us for these exciting announcements, celebrating the heroes of movie-making,” she said. “And lucky for us, we have a superhero here with us today.”

PHOTOS: Oscars 2014 top nominees

The academy will expand on the hero theme with “The Oscars Celebrates Movie Heroes,” an exhibition at its Beverly Hills headquarters starting Friday to March 5. The show will feature still photographs, posters and video montages of films centered on real-life heroes (“Gandhi,” “Silkwood”), superheroes (“Superman,” “The Dark Knight”), animated heroes (“Shrek,” “The Incredibles”), action heroes (“Seven Samurai,” “Gladiator”) and literary heroes (“To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Grapes of Wrath”), according to a news release from the academy.

“We wanted to unify the show with an entertaining and emotional theme,” the award show’s producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said in the release. “People around the world go to the movies to be inspired by the characters they see on the screen. By celebrating the gamut of heroes who have enriched our movie-going experience, we hope to create an evening of fun and joy. And that includes the filmmakers and actors who take risks and stimulate us with provocative subjects and daring characters. They are all heroes in the cinematic landscape.”

Whether the heroic theme means host Ellen DeGeneres will walk the red carpet in a cape remains to be seen. The Oscars will air March 2 on ABC.

PHOTOS: Oscars 2014 snubs and surprises

Several genre-friendly films were among the nominees Thursday morning. “Gravity” — Alfonso Cuaron’s space thriller starring Sandra Bullock — earned 10 nominations including best picture. Cuaron earned a nomination for director, and Bullock received a lead actress nod. The film was also nominated for cinematography, film editing, original score, production design, sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects.

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” received three nominations, for sound editing, sound mixing and visual effects. “The Lone Ranger” received nods in the visual effects and makeup and hairstyling categories. “Iron Man 3″ and “Star Trek Into Darkness” also received visual effects nominations.

Animated feature film nominees include “The Croods,” “Despicable Me 2,” “Ernest & Celestine,” “Frozen” and Hayao Miyazaki’s “The Wind Rises.” “Frozen” and “Despicable Me 2″ also received nominations in the original song category.

Which films do you think are most Oscar-deserving? Let us know in the comments.

– Noelene Clark | @NoeleneClark | Google+

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