Monday, March 3, 2014

Academy Awards Recap

     And so the 2013 film year finally came to close last night with 86th Academy Awards. For months all the word was that Gravity or American Hustle were going to win best picture and 12 Years a Slave was too much of a hard sit, and too harsh and realistic to be a winner for the predominant elderly, white Academy, but what joy when Will Smith read that the best picture was Steve McQueen's haunting, real and brutal 12 Years a Slave. Fantastic on their part. They finally got one right. In all honesty, I would have been fine with 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street or even Her winning best picture. They were the films, of the ones nominated, that had strong, cultural significance and importance. Films that truly matter in a social sense. I hope the Academy did not just vote for 12 Years a Slave out of guilt or fear they would be called racists if they did not vote for that film, regardless if they watched it or not. That would be serious bullshit. The film deserved it and should be mandatory viewing in high schools and colleges, especially history, literature and film classes. Great night for Steve McQueen and the 12 Years a Slave crew.
     12 Years a Slave also won best supporting actress for the wonderful, gorgeous Lupita Nyong'o. I was going to lose it, haha, if she did not win. It was no contest and she deserved it so much. The film also won best adapted screenplay for John Ridley. When he won that, I was feeling pretty good about the film winning it all, but its biggest competition was Alfonso Cuarón's suspenseful thrill-ride Gravity, which took home the most Oscar's with 7. Cuarón won best director and he also won best editing, with collaborator Mark Sanger. When they won editing I thought it might be over and best picture was on their way. Proved wrong. The film also swept the technical categories, as expected and thoroughly happy for Emmanuel Lubezki who won best cinematography.
     The film that many thought would take home some big awards but went home empty handed was David O. Russell's American Hustle. A mediocre, well-acted film, but nothing too special. An enjoyable, entertaining watch, but nothing more. I really wish The Wolf of Wall Street would have won something, but that is how it is.
    Kudos to Spike Jonze for winning best original screenplay for his innovative love story Her. The acting categories were pretty much locks, with the exception of the great victory for Nyong'o. McConaughey won best actor for Dallas Buyers Club and what icing on the cake for a well-respected career turnaround for the Texan. He has been doing amazing work of late and his current work on the HBO series "True Detective" might be his best to date. I wish Leonardo DiCaprio would have won, but cannot go wrong with McConaughey's great performance. Cate Blanchett won best actress for Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine and Jared Leto won best supporting actor for Dallas Buyers Club. No shock. Locks for months.
     Other than the great surprise of 12 Years a Slave winning best picture, the show was not that full of surprises. Most expected winners won and the overall show was boring and same old, same old.
Here is to next year!!!

*** My BEST OF and TOP TEN coming tomorrow on the blog ***

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