Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 06:54 pm est

NYU alumni seek to win big at 2013 Academy Awards

Posted on January 28, 2013 | by Joseph Ehrman-Dupre

NYU has an incredibly rich lineage of Academy Award winners, including – but certainly not limited to – Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Angelina Jolie. With the 85th Academy Awards coming up Feb. 24, this exclusive group of NYU alumni may welcome a few more into its ranks, with nominees Ang Lee, Lucy Alibar, Tony Kushner and Philip Seymour Hoffman, all graduates of Tisch School of the Arts.

“What is gratifying is that these extraordinary artists are such an integral part of the Tisch School community,” Tisch dean Mary Schmidt Campbell said.

Campbell noted that both Lee and Kushner screened their films, “Life of Pi” and “Lincoln,” respectively, for Tisch students, and that Hoffman often returns to teach.

“One thing I’ve always thought is that Tisch doesn’t just train actors or writers or directors, Tisch trains artists,” Tisch acting professor Laurence Maslon said. “Each of these folks is not just a leader in his [or] her respective fields, but an industry leader in terms of vision, commitment and bringing artistry forward into American culture.”

Lee has already won an Oscar for Best Director for “Brokeback Mountain” in 2006, but in “Life of Pi” Lee uses his understanding of humanity and human nature to craft a meticulous rendition of a story once deemed unfilmable. Because of his efforts, Lee has once again found himself in the Best Director and Best Picture categories.

Lucy Alibar and Tony Kushner compete against each other in the category for Best Adapted Screenplay. Alibar wrote “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” finding rare awards success with an independent film. Her words capture the life of young Hushpuppy and her Louisiana bayou home, the Bathtub. Kushner, meanwhile, tackles the tale of Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s biopic “Lincoln.” Kushner’s dense, lushly detailed and historically prescient writing keeps the dialogue-dense film engaging.

Tisch’s only acting nomination this year is with Hoffman, who previously won Best Actor in 2006 for his role in “Capote.” Now nominated for Best Supporting Actor for “The Master,” Hoffman’s larger-than-life personality and intelligence blend into a likable but ultimately antagonistic character as the leader of The Cause, a group reminiscent of Scientology.

While it is impossible to know whether these alumni will take home the gold, there is perhaps one surefire winner. According to most entertainment pundits, Anne Hathaway is poised to win Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “Les Misérables” as the tragic single mother Fantine. Hathaway, however, hails not from Tisch but from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

In what may be one of the most unpredictable Academy Awards in recent memory, NYU students should take pride in having their alma mater so widely represented.

“Their work is the gold standard and inspires all of us,” Campbell said.

A version of this article appeared in the Jan. 28 print edition. Joseph Ehrman-Dupre is a  contributing writer. Email him at film@nyunews.com.


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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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