The 86th Academy Awards 2014

Another week, another completed year of nominations. This time I watched the films I had left from the 2014 ceremony:

The Invisible Woman, The Missing Picture, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Possessions, Just Before Losing Everything, Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?, That Wasn’t Me, Helium, The Voorman Problem, Cavedigger, Facing Fear, The Lady in Number 6, Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall, Karama Has No Walls.

Memorable highlights from this ceremony was of course “the selfie” and John Travolta making up names.
Here are my opinions on the winners:

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Okay, first of, what is the deal with American Hustle? I really could not stand this self-indulgent Scorsese-wannabe with famous actors playing dress up. Best picture my ass. That being said, it was a good bunch of worthy nominees in this category, my favorites being Her, Nebraska and Gravity. I think Gravity should have won, but 12 Years a Slave is a solid film, and I’m a fan of Steven McQueen, so I’m not mad.

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity
Agreed. A fun detail I noticed when I rewatched the ceremony is that the statue was handed to Cuarón by Angelina Jolie, who was the first choice to star in Gravity.

Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club
His physical transformation is impressive and performance is good, but I still think the oscar should have gone to either Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave or better yet Bruce Dern for Nebraska.

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club
No surprise that he won, but my pick would have been the terrifying Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave.

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave
Agreed. Now stop wasting your talent on all these Star Wars and Marvel movies.

Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze for Her
Yes. Great.

Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave
I wish Before Midnight had won. That would have made me happy.

Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen
This category should be renamed to Most Popular Animated Feature Film.
Ernest & Celestine and The Wind Rises were great.
The Croods and Despicable Me 2 were bad.
Frozen was in between.

Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty
Are we sure this was not directed by Fellini? I liked it, and I think I agree with it being the winner.
Although The Hunt would be a worthy winner too. I also really liked The Broken Circle Breakdown. Omar was a step down from the rest of them. The Missing Picture was great, but should have been in the Best Documentary category. Speaking of…

Best Documentary: 20 Feet from Stardom
I really don’t get why fluffy talking heads documentaries so often takes the statue, but then I heard the name Harvey Weinstein mentioned during the speech, and it made a lot more sense. Weinstein was the master of Oscar-campaigning, and when it comes to a “niche” category as Best Documentary, if you have Weinstein onboard, of course you’re going to win. But the real winner here is The Act of Killing. A one in a million documentary that shouldn’t even exists. If you haven’t seen it, do it! You won’t believe your eyes! Also, Dirty Wars was crap and The Missing Picture should have been nominated instead.

Best Documentary Short: The Lady in Number 6
I really enjoyed The Lady in Number 6, and it is a worthy winner, but Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall got under my skin. A really intimate film. They both should have won.

Best Live Action Short Film: Helium
Agreed. I also really enjoyed Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?

Best Animated Short Film: Mr. Hublot
I have a hard time remembering a lot of the films in this category, so I can’t really say.

Best Original Score: Steven Price for Gravity
This is tricky. I enjoy parts the Gravity score, but parts are really distracting and bombastic. My vote is for Her, simple and sweet.

Best Original Song: “Let It Go” from Frozen
Just four nominees in the category after one of the nominees got revoked. One less movie for me to see.
“Happy” by Pharrell is the best song of the four in my opinion, and Despicable Me 2 is not worthy of it.

Best Sound Editing: Gravity

Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
Yes, yes.

Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby
A boring and safe choice. Her with its subtle but impressive design should have won.

Best Cinematography: Gravity
Yes, yes, yes.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
The Lone Ranger… Sorry.

Best Costume Design: The Great Gatsby

Best Film Editing: Gravity
Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Best Visual Effects: Gravity
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

This is a really enjoyable project so far. I’m having a blast watching these films and I’m really looking forward to older films and ceremonies. I have traveled home for the easter so I’m having a break from watching Oscar-nominated films. But when I return, the films of the 2015 oscars will be next. Which means a dreaded film I was hoping I didn’t have to see will be waiting. Maybe the enjoyment of the project will come to a halt. Stay tuned to find out.

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