After all, it's just a ride….

Oscars 2014 Results

oscar2014Seize the day eh? Well, given that the opportunity presented itself to take a day off work, and if events in the Crimea deteriorate then this may be the last Academy Award ceremony before we’re tearfully strolling through an irradiated wasteland, I bit the bullet and actually stayed up to ‘watch’ the Oscars this year – well, when I say watch, I mean look at a computer and follow various feeds. As always I want to make it clear that I’m no celebrity whore, I don’t particularly care for the red carpet commentary and associated fluff, but as a movie fan there really is only one ceremony to indulge in, and hope for an amusing speech or strange win that distracts us, for just a moment from the inevitable absurdity of life. If I was smart then I would certainly have amended some of my initial predictions in the light of certain pictures and nominees achieving some genuine traction over the past few weeks, but rules are rules so I must stick to my initial instincts, however ludicrously ambitious some of them now seem. In terms of scores I’ve usually averaged a 50 to 60% ratio, but I’m usually pretty good on the major awards (actors, picture, director) with a few more technical predictions that bump up the average. Commentary will as usual jump around as the awards are announced in a different sequence than the hierarchy listed below, but overall I’m quite happy with the results, with a small swell of jingoistic pride for Gravity’s numerous positions. Apologies in advance for the vodka fuelled, late hour hallucinatory inspired typos and immediate and unconsidered commentary in advance….and I’ll tally the score later….

BEST PICTURE

slave

It’s quite rare, but sometimes when you’re watching a film a small voice is whispering in your ear that ‘this is it’. What I mean by that is that sometimes a subject, an injustice  and a period is getting the attention it deserves.  Sometimes this incomprehensible period is reflected in this most magical of art forms, and crucially every other representation of that era, of character, position or ideology will be measured against that yardstick. This is one of those pictures and a deserving win, I won’t remember being that dumbstruck when the credits rolled on this one for quite a while. The Academy got this one correct.

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

12 Years a Slave – WIN

Captain Phillips

Gravity

Philomena

The Wolf of Wall Street

Nebraska

American Hustle

Dallas Buyers Club

Her

BEST DIRECTOR

cuaron

A tricky result. Scorsese was great but rethreading old ground, as was Payne, just with a veneer. Russell was aping Marty. So that leaves McQueen and Cuaron, both equally great in what they achieved. So some small tears for McQueen but I can’t be too upset with this win, they were both equally brilliant in the films they controlled and delivered, and as I write this I guess the final assessment is being made…

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

David O Russell – American Hustle

Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity – WIN

Alexander Payne – Nebraska

Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave

Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

dallas5

There are rumblings that the traction under Matt given his recent TV successes has fostered this win – that the Academy voters punt their appreciation more on industry potential than genuine brilliance in one, and let me stress that one role – but I can’t say I’m surprised. I’d have preferred Ejiofor who gave a electric performance which was absolutely devastating, but in a different way so was this. He centres that reasonably affecting film and just to be obvious it ticked all those Academy boxes, so it goes….

DID I GET IT RIGHT? No

Christian Bale – American Hustle

Bruce Dern – Nebraska

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street

Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave

Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club – WIN

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

blanchet

The omission of Adele Exarchopoulos for Blue Is The Warmest Color still stings, but here we are. I like Blanchet and think she is fantastic in many projects but haven’t seen Jasmine, so will reserve judgement on this win. It’s 4:57. Kill me. PleaSse.

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine – WIN

Amy Adams – American Hustle

Sandra Bullock – Gravity

Judi Dench – Philomena

Meryl Streep – August Osage County

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

jared

An early assault from Dallas? I’m told Jared’s speech was OK (as I said I’m not watching live, just following the chatter), so good for him I guess….but Fassbender was better. I’m already tired…..(yawns)…

DID I GET IT RIGHT? No

Bradley Cooper – American Hustle

Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips

Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave

Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street

Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club – WINNER

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

lupita

Excellent, great result. Hawkins aside (again  I haven’t seen the movie) this was my best of the group, and I look forward to seeing her in other material soon. Is this the start of Slave defeating Gravity? It’s 3:28. Clichés abound….

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle

Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave – WIN

Sally Hawkins – Blue Jasmine

Julia Roberts – August Osage County

June Squibb – Nebraska

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

frozen

No surprises, not seen it so can’t comment, although a nod for Miyazaki would have been nice.

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

Despicable Me 2

Frozen – WIN

The Croods

Ernest & Celestine

The Wind Rises

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

122

Another righteous win, no complaints here. That film was superbly structured; it connects in all the small spaces, although I’m calling it now – there will be much grumbling about the time frame initiated in the film’s title which isn’t necessarily achieved;

DID I GET IT RIGHT? No

Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke – Before Midnight

Billy Ray – Captain Phillips

Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope – Philomena

John Ridley – 12 Years a Slave – NO

Terence Winter – The Wolf of Wall Street

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

hger

If there is one shock for me, before we get into the final ‘big’ four, then this is it. Allen is unsurprisingly frozen out but all the others also focused on characters, but not in such a modern way. Another great result, although this pitches my average back down. Has he matured from the Kaufman collaborations? Evidently. Still, curse you Spike Jonze (waves fist)….

DID I GET IT RIGHT? No

Eric Warren Singer and David O Russell – American Hustle

Woody Allen – Blue Jasmine

Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack – Dallas Buyers Club

Spike Jonze – Her – WIN

Bob Nelson – Nebraska

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

beauty

Having seen The Great Beauty a few nights ago night I was appreciative of its pedigree until about 3/4 of the way through the picture, but then it seriously lost focus for me and kinda drifted away from its withering Berrlusconi era satire of facile beauty, despite the clear conjuration of a social & spiritual void, the beautiful photography and of course the cinephile appeasing references to such international heavyweights as Da Sica, Fellini and Rossellini. Still, out of the others in this category I’ve seen it was the most memorable, and it retains a foreign prestige for the Academy I guess….

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

The Great Beauty (Italy) WIN

The Hunt (Denmark)

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)

The Missing Picture (Cambodia)

Omar (Palestine)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

song

Reality is collapsing, I simply don’t care, but another tick on the Minty side is welcome. I hear the Obit sequence was fairly gruelling – Ebert, Gandolfini, Karen Black, O’Toole, Leonard and of course the Hoffman…..

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

Let It Go – Frozen – WIN

Ordinary Love – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom

Alone Yet Not Alone – Alone Yet Not Alone

Happy – Despicable Me 2

The Moon Song – Her

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

cloony

Hmm, a minamilist score wins, I’m not sure how excited I should be about this….(I’m sorry)….it’s 4:20 for fucks sake…

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

The Book Thief

Gravity – WIN

Her

Philomena

Saving Mr Banks

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

20 feet

The Academy always do this, I think it must be a thing with international distribution. Not only do they nominate some very strange, unknown choices (at least from a European perspective) but they award the gong to pieces which make most go ‘what’? Remember Hoop Dreams being ignored? Anyway, I don’t even know what the winner is about, let alone it’s qualities, so good luck I guess..

DID I GET IT RIGHT? No

The Act of Killing

Cutie and the Boxer

Dirty Wars

The Square

20 Feet from Stardom – WIN

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

lady

Sounds like this was apt given the timings, so no bad blood on this mis-step of mine. I need another drink though (hic)….

DID I GET IT RIGHT? No

SaveDigger

Facing Fear

Karama Has No Walls

The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life – WIN

Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

BEST FILM EDITING

gravity3

What was I thinking? 20th century obviously. The technical brilliance continues for Cuaron and co., can they maintain the trajectory for the big wins? I think this is a nod to brevity, I assumed that the members of this clan would admire the attachment to various characters over different space and time (as seen in American Hustle) but maybe technology methods are dictating form. It’s 3:43. I have no idea what I’m talking about…

DID I GET IT RIGHT? No

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Dallas Buyers Club

Gravity – WIN

12 Years a Slave

BEST MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING

dallas

My first win, although it’s a shame Bad Grandpa didn’t cause an upset. That could have been quite a speech…..

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

Dallas Buyers Club – WIN

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

The Lone Ranger

BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

hublot

Mr. Hublot can fuck the fuck off. I hear Kim Novak made an appearance which would have been nice to see, a small sliver of Hollywood pre-1981. It’s half two, this is far too much work…..

DID I GET IT RIGHT?  No

Feral

Get a Horse!

Mr Hublot – WIN

Possessions

Room on the Broom

BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

helium

A lucky strike. I usually make an effort to see some of these shorts but I must admit my laziness this year, I will pay my respects when they finally get on-line. I’ll also avoid the obvious Gravity / Helium gags….;

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)

Avant Que De Tour Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)

Helium – WIN

Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)

The Voorman Problem

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

gatsby7

Tedious decision, incredibly old-fashioned. Her was brilliant, Gatsby was old school and obvious. That film was so predictable on every tactile visual level. I’ve lost score of my wins to losses ratio’s now, and I care even less…..stupid awards (hic)….

DID I GET IT RIGHT?  No

American Hustle

Gravity

The Great Gatsby – WIN

Her

12 Years a Slave

BEST SOUND EDITING

vity7

See below first. Good stuff, completely deserved, I’m not hearing (heh) much about the hosts performance or anything in the way of amusing ceremony moments. Sounds (heh) a bit dull. Sorry for the puns. It’s 3:16…..;

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

All Is Lost

Captain Phillips

Gravity –WIN

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Lone Survivor

BEST SOUND MIXING

vity1

No love for the Coens, and the inevitable technics of Gravity continues. Sounds (heh) like I dodged a bullet by missing U2’s nominated best song performance. And that is from a lapsed (1988 – 1994) fan….

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

Captain Phillips

Gravity – YES

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Inside Llewyn Davis

Lone Survivor

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

grAVITY3

Well, no intergalactic shock with this one – outstanding work from the boffins at Framestore which is the new benchmark for the medium, and the first win of the evening for us Brits….

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

Gravity – WIN

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Iron Man 3

The Lone Ranger

Star Trek Into Darkness

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

gatsby

Hmm, they always go for the aged stuff don’t they? Evidently the 1970’s wasn’t old enough. I guess the costume design was one of the better elements of that tedious film, so no major complaints…..

DID I GET IT RIGHT? No

American Hustle

The Grandmaster

The Great Gatsby – WIN

The Invisible Woman

12 Years a Slave

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

LUBSEKI

One of my favourite slots, I usually get this correct, and the stars are in alignment for the mischievous genius that is Lubezski. Nice tiny nod from Bill to his mate too, I wonder if last minute panic has got Rensais into the ‘In Memordium’ section….

DID I GET IT RIGHT? Yes

The Grandmaster

Gravity – WIN

Inside Llewyn Davis

Nebraska

Prisoners

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