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‘Almost Live’ alum Bob Nelson gets Oscar nod for ‘Nebraska’ screenplay


When the Oscar nominations were announced Thursday morning, Bob Nelson heard his name called for Best Original Screen play for “Nebraska.”

“Wow,” responded Nelson, an “Almost Live” alum, as they replayed the nomination announcement on the Morning News on KIRO Radio.

His category is packed with heavy hitters: Woody Allen was nominated for “Blue Jasmine,” Spike Jonze for “Her,” and David O’Russell for “American Hustle.”

“Woody Allen, I’m taking him down!” joked Nelson. But he said his money is on David O’Russell. “American Hustle,” along with “Gravity,” were the two motion pictures to receive the most nominations, 10.

“Nebraska,” starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte, is over 10 years in the making. Nelson was waiting for the script to get into the right hands and it did. Alexander Payne wanted to make the movie. But after “Sideways,” he said he didn’t want to shoot another movie in a car right away.

It wasn’t until after Payne made “The Descendants” that he was ready to turn his focus back to the tale of a father and son going cross country to cash a “million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.”

KIRO Radio’s award-winning movie critic Tom Tangney was listening live to the announcement Thursday morning, too.

“I was nervous when they were going down the list, because he (Bob Nelson) was considered a possibility, and the fact that he was the last one named – it’s really fantastic for him.”

“Nebraska” received a total of six nominations. But Tom acknowledged there were a few snubs, as well.

“I don’t know anyone who’s more loved by the Academy than Tom Hanks,” he said, adding that Hanks was expected to get a double nomination for his work in “Captain Phillips” and “Saving Mr. Banks.” Hanks didn’t get a nomination for either.

Robert Redford was also a favorite for an acting nomination. He’s won an Academy Award for directing, but never acting. “All Is Lost” features Redford on screen during the entire movie. The film only received one nomination: sound editing.

Unlike last year, many of the Oscar contenders aren’t blockbusters. And for many of the films being acknowledged by the Academy, it was hard to even find money to make these films.

“People aren’t rushing out to see movies about AIDS (“Dallas Buyers Club,”) or slavery in the 19th Century (“12 Years A Slave”),” said Tom. But he contends the Oscars still resonate because of their cultural impact: they set standards for financing, gossip, and cultural trends.

It’s like the Super Bowl of movies, Tom said. According to Dave Ross, between Bob Nelson’s nomination and the Seahawks, maybe we’re about to put Seattle on the map.

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