There were some snubs among this year’s Oscar nominees, but the D.C. area has no reason to feel slighted: Spike Jonze, the region’s sort-of-native son, picked up three nominations for his futuristic love story “Her” — and Oscar oracles predict he could win at least one.
Jonze spent his formative years in the D.C. area, attending high school at Walt Whitman in Bethesda and the Field School in D.C. before moving to California, where his career took off. But as my colleague David Malitz discovered in this killer profile of Jonze, many of the interests that would have a huge impact on Jonze’s early career — punk music, skateboarding — were ones he developed while living in the D.C. area. Jonze used to see concerts at the Wilson Center, a local punk institution, and still listens to local favorites Minor Threat.
As far as the Oscars are concerned, Jonze is nominated in three major categories — best picture, best screenplay and best original song, the latter for “The Moon Song,” which he co-wrote with Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Karen O. “Her” also scored nominations for original score and production design.
Of course, nominations are one thing. Wins are another. But Oscar-watchers like Jen Chaney and Garth Sundem at Esquire, who have devised an enormously complicated mathematical formula for calculating best picture probabilities, give “Her” a pretty solid rating — below “12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle,” admittedly, but above past winners like “The Artist,” “The Hurt Locker” and “The King’s Speech.” And the fact that “Her” didn’t win best picture at the Golden Globes doesn’t necessarily hurt — only once in the past seven years have the Globes and Oscars aligned on that score.
In either case, it’s nice to see a D.C. native doing the city proud. Or a Maryland native. Same difference.