Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Some Comments About the 2014 Oscars

Though nowhere near the most enjoyable Academy Awards show I have seen, it was by far the most agreeable. 
I think I speak on behalf of most people when I say that Ellen Degenerous was quite the disappointment. Her pizza gag and twitter selfie debacle were highlights of the night and even they were not memorable enough to save her from securing her never-again-to-be-host stature. 

The 2014 Oscars nominations were certainly questionable especially in the Foreign Language Film category. Both Blue Is The Warmest Colour and The Past were snubbed. Here, for once I believe that the Golden Globes got it right - both films were nominated although the winners of the category were the same in both - The Great Beauty which I can argue too much with. I laughed upon seeing the Bad Grandpa nomination almost as much as I ridiculed the Jonah Hill best supporting actor nomination. This years Oscars was strange in that although you couldn't exactly predict the winner, the two front runners were incredibly obvious. But this alone was enough to have us on the edge of our seats for the entire duration of the highly-anticipated night.

Best Cinematography/ Film Editing/Sound Mixing/Sound Editing: GRAVITY

Gravity took home all of the technical awards. This was not only quite expected but highly deserved. The film thrived on pure and ingenuous editing skill. Of course audiences got understandably impatient by the one-after-another Gravity wins but if this were to happen to any film than none is more creditable nor worthy as this one. I did however mourn quietly and quickly for Inside Llewyn Davis' loss. 

Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen

One of Disney's most original works, Frozen was no surprising win but a pleasant comfort and reassurance that the simply good gets rewarded. Visually stunning and appeasing the appetite for a good old-fashioned adventure, Frozen could barely be compared to the mediocre standards of The Croods or Despicable Me 2. The other contenders in the category were incredibly weak. 

Best Actor In A Supporting Role: Jared Leto

This was the first win to be announced during the night and an effective crowd-pleaser. I was so happy upon hearing Jared Leto's success that I honestly had a ridiculous smile plastered across my face for a good half an hour. The two-man race pattern began here with a close battle between Leto's unbelievably authentic performance as a transexual man suffering from AIDS and Michael Fassbender's harsh and shocking representation of a slave owner. I would've been happy with either but Leto's win really showed that the world really is anyone's oyster. Possibly one of the greatest cross-over artist ever. Thank god music could spare him to us. 

Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty

Certainly a bittersweet category as a whole for me this year. The nominations still have me annoyed but I would be remiss if I neglected to say just how deserving The Great Beauty is. Film making at its most modern, director Paolo Sorrentino is always two steps ahead of us. He knows intrigue like the back of his hand and knows what we like before we do. 

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett 

Needless to say, Cate Blanchett had it in the bag months back. Her performance as neurotic, complex, materialistic widower was so real I would rewind scenes and just watch them repeatedly in fascination. Whilst Blue Jasmine is nowhere near some of Woody Allen's best Blanchett never ceases to amaze and amaze she did in her finest performance yet. At one point it did seem like Amy Adams had a chance with her deceptive and cool operating character but she did not quite insinuate the realistic layers of a complete person as Blanchett so eloquently does and so often. 

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron 

Here, I think a difference of preferences and views in terms of the weight of certain aspects of films takes precedence. Alfonso Cuaron excelled mostly in a technical sense. It is no mystery that Gravity was expertly handled and perfect in too many ways but I fully believed Steve McQueen to be the most proficient of directors in 2013. He managed to transcend a sort of beauty and resonance on the most tense and reprehensible subject matter. 

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey

Both Matthew McConaughey and Chiwetel Ejiofor were equally deserving in this category. The differentiation between their performances mirrored those between Michael Fassbender and Jared Leto's. A fair battle I'd say and one where likely winners emerged. 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong'o

This was my second favourite category win of the night. Despite my appreciation of 
Jennifer Lawrence's performance in American Hustle in a role that truly distinguishes her as an actor of incredible range and diversity - this award was made for Nyong'O. Intense, accurate and subtle, her character's suffering affected audiences worldwide. We could hardly see the actor behind her, and that is perhaps the greatest achievement of any performer. Her acceptance speech was also highly commendable. She captured the essence and will of the film in a short, sharp few sentences. 

"It doesn't escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is thanks to so much pain in someone else's. And so I want to salute the spirit of Patsey for her guidance and for Solomon thank you so much for telling her story and your own. Steve McQueen you charge everything you fashion with a breath of your own spirit".

Best Picture: 12 Years A Slave

Torturously perfect yet so difficult to watch at times, McQueen presented his audiences with a a piece of cinema that not only resonates but settles and makes you ache in awe,misery and pain in the injustice of it all. As the night progressed, I feared for 12 Years A Slave. Win after win on Gravity's part meant that their chance of snatching up the Best Picture win seemed scarily high. An injustice I would be raving on about for months on end. But this is exactly why I found this years Oscars to be the most profoundly agreeable. 

The Oscars have always been the most authoritative awards incentive and the 2013 awards season reminded us of this once again. Jennifer Lawrence took home the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress which we all know was quite the mistake, along with Philomena's most puzzling Best Adapted Screenplay win at the BAFTAs beating out the likes of 12 Years A Slave and The Wolf of Wall Street. But none of these could quite match up to the horrific moment when Will Poulter received the BAFTA Rising Star Award. It was an insult for him even to be nominated in the category let alone win. His contenders including Lupita Nyong'O and Léa Seydoux for god's sakes. I do however, mourn for Blue Is The Warmest Colour as a whole, a widely ignored brilliant film of 2013. 

A GIF Analysis of that Oscars Selfie

What They Are Probably All Thinking:

Ellen Degenerous: "I have such blue blue eyes. They really turn up on the camera"
Lupita Nyong'o: "You see me now Yale bitches? I got Angelina Jolie on my left, Kevin Spacey on my right..."
Jared Leto: "I don't care what happens. My hair just needs to make it into this picture. MOVE OVER JENNIFER"
Julia Roberts: "Smile Julia... wait no laugh. That's right you got it"
Bradley Cooper: "Finally I can use my photography talents and I'm in le miiiiidlle. We are an attractive bunch. Niiiiiiiiice"
Meryl Streep: "MOVE ELLEN, your shoulder is in my face"
Brad Pitt: "I still look pretty flash. Not baaaaaaaad"
Jennifer Lawrence: "Awwww Ellen's holding my hand. Shit - mine's all sweaty"
Angelina Jolie: "I have fwends"


  1. I love this post! The part at the end is so funny as well!