“It’s an important film,” said Pickman, president of CP Casting Inc. in Boston, which has cast actors in a long list of well-known films, including The Social Network, The Town, Shutter Island, and Gone, Baby, Gone. “You can’t call it entertainment, really, but it’s powerful, and, in its own way, a life-changing experience.”
12 Years a Slave is a pre-Civil War biographical drama about a free African American man who was abducted and sold into slavery. Director Steve McQueen could be the first African American to win in the Directing category in Academy Award history. The movie is nominated in eight other categories.
Pickman called The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese, her “personal favorite.”
“A great comedy,” Pickman said of the film, which has five nominations. “The first-person narrative was an excellent storytelling choice. I kept asking myself, ‘How are they getting away with so much?’ I guess I just enjoy watching depraved bad guys.”
DiCaprio is nominated for Actor in a Leading Role. He has never won an Oscar despite receiving five nominations during his storied career.
“DiCaprio, Christian Bale, and Cate Blanchett are phenomenal, transcendent actors,” Pickman said.
Bale (American Hustle) and Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) are also nominated for Actor and Actress in a Leading Role, respectively. Their competition includes Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), Meryl Streep (August: Osage County), and Sandra Bullock (Gravity).
The Oscars will be broadcast live Sunday, March 2, at 7:00 pm EST/4:00 pm PST on ABC.