The Oscar nominations are followed by a burst of interest in contending films, and two arrived on DVD and Blu-ray this week.
Captain Phillips ($30.99 DVD/digital, $40.99 Blu-ray/DVD/digital combo) is the harrowing based-on-fact story of the hijacking of a cargo ship by Somali pirates; Tom Hanks plays the ship's captain, newcomer Barkhad Abdi is the pirate leader and Paul Greengrass (United 93) directs. It earned six nominations, including for best picture, Abdi as supporting actor, adapted screenplay, film editing, sound editing and sound mixing.
It is something of a surprise that Hanks, giving one of his best performances, was not nominated for best actor. Greengrass, for that matter, was overlooked as best director — although, since the Oscar folks now name up to 10 best-picture contenders (nine this year), more and more directors go unrecognized even as their films are honored. (Ben Affleck did not receive a directing nomination last year for Argo, which won for best picture.)
The other film with some new Oscar honors is Blue Jasmine ($30.99 DVD/digital, $35.99 Blu-ray/digital), the latest work from writer-director Woody Allen. Cate Blanchett stars as a wealthy woman who, after her life begins to fall apart, moves in with her poorer sister (Sally Hawkins). Blanchett is nominated for best actress, Hawkins as supporting actress and Allen for his screenplay.
During the recent Golden Globes ceremony, Blanchett won the prize for best actress in a drama and an absent Allen was honored for life achievement. Blanchett also has won SAG and Critics' Choice awards for the role.