Monday, March 03, 2014

Oscars 2014: post-mortem

Okay, I'm having a junior-junior-senior moment—what did we just watch? The 2014 Oscars or the 2013 Oscars? Is the event/broadcast counted as 2014 and the awards as 2013? When someone asks, who won best picture in 2013, is the answer 12 YEARS A SLAVE or ARGO? Later this year, let's say, June, when someone asks, who one best picture last year, what's the correct answer?


Anyhow, got 14 out of 16 on the Brattle's short ballot…

… and 18 out of 24 on the full ballot. Not bad, altho I see a couple of mispicks on my part now to which I hafta say, WTF was I thinking? =)

I'm getting pessimistic in my old age. More able to think like the Academy than in my naive youthiness.

"A" if I think there's an Academy pick vs. my pick ("X"). The category is green if I guessed the Academy's pick correctly; red if not. The winner of each category is green. My pick/s for Academy faves, if they did not match, are red.

Best Picture
[ ] American Hustle
[ ] Captain Phillips
[ ] Dallas Buyers Club
[ ] Gravity
[ ] Her
[ ] Nebraska
[X] Philomena
[A] 12 Years a Slave
[ ] The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actor in a Leading Role
[ ] Christian Bale (American Hustle)
[ ] Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
[ ] Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
[ ] Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
[X] Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

Best Actress in a Leading Role
[ ] Amy Adams (American Hustle)
[X] Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
[ ] Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
[ ] Judi Dench (Philomena)
[ ] Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
[ ] Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
[ ] Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)
[A] Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
[ ] Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)
[X] Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Shoulda stuck w Jared. The beautiful, talented, pretentious dude. =)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
[ ] Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)
[X] Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
[A] Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
[ ] Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
[ ] June Squibb (Nebraska)

Best Animated Feature
[ ] The Croods (Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco, Kristine Belson)
[ ] Despicable Me 2 (Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Chris Meledandri)
[X] Ernest & Celestine (Benjamin Renner, Didier Brunner)
[A] Frozen (Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho)
[ ] The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki)

THE CROODS is already on Netflix streaming, and I'm only just saying trailers for ERNEST & CELESTINE in theaters. Foo.

Best Cinematography
[ ] The Grandmaster (Philippe Le Sourd)
[X] Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)
[ ] Inside Llewyn Davis (Bruno Delbonnel)
[ ] Nebraska (Phedon Papamichael)
[ ] Prisoners (Roger A. Deakins)

Best Costume Design
[ ] American Hustle (Michael Wilkinson)
[X] The Grandmaster (William Chang Suk Ping)
[A] The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin)
[ ] The Invisible Woman (Michael O'Connor)
[ ] 12 Years a Slave (Patricia Norris)

Nicole informs me that it's more of a challenge/accomplishment under costume DESIGN to create wardrobe from scratch, whereas consignment of wardrobe that is relatively available and accessible is (of course) less work.

Best Directing
[ ] American Hustle (David O. Russell)
[ ] Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón)
[X] Nebraska (Alexander Payne)
[A] 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
[ ] The Wolf of Wall Street (Martin Scorsese)

Racists! =)

Best Documentary Feature
[ ] The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen)
[ ] Cutie and the Boxer (Zachary Heinzerling, Lydia Dean Pilcher)
[ ] Dirty Wars (Richard Rowley, Jeremy Scahill)
[X] The Square (Jehane Noujaim, Karim Amer)
[A] 20 Feet from Stardom (Nominees to be determined)

The undeniable crowd-pleaser wins. Makes for a memorable acceptance speech, that's for sure. ACT OF KILLING and THE SQUARE are both remarkable films that everyone should see. Just be ready for some painful realities. Maybe *chase* either of these films with 20 FEET to level you out, tho. =)

Best Documentary Short
[?] CaveDigger (Jeffrey Karoff)
[?] Facing Fear (Jason Cohen)
[?] Karama Has No Walls (Sara Ishaq)
[?] The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life (Malcolm Clarke, Nicholas Reed)
[?] Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall (Edgar Barens)

Alas, didn't see any of these. The Oscars was screening short packages in the weeks before the awards but only the animated and live action narrative shorts made it to my area. That's short-ist, dammit!

Best Film Editing
[ ] American Hustle (Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, Alan Baumgarten)
[ ] Captain Phillips (Christopher Rouse)
[ ] Dallas Buyers Club (John Mac McMurphy, Martin Pensa)
[X] Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger)
[ ] 12 Years a Slave (Joe Walker)

How is Edgar Wright not up for best editing every year he has a film out?

Best Foreign Language Film
[ ] The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
[X] The Great Beauty (Italy)
[ ] The Hunt (Denmark)
[ ] The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
[ ] Omar (Palestine)

The only one of the nominees I made it to this year. Kind of annoying that I'm only just now seeing trailers for some Oscar noms in theaters. Still, it's better than *no* U.S. distribution for the film, right? Just wish that the moviegoing populace didn't have to be months behind the curve. Blerg.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
[X] Dallas Buyers Club (Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews)
[ ] Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Stephen Prouty)
[ ] The Lone Ranger (Joel Harlow, Gloria Pasqua-Casny)

Best Original Score
[ ] The Book Thief (John Williams)
[X] Gravity (Steven Price)
[ ] Her (William Butler, Owen Pallett)
[ ] Philomena (Alexandre Desplat)
[ ] Saving Mr. Banks (Thomas Newman)

His score definitely made the movie stronger, like Williams did for JAWS. Also, I consider this a win for THE WORLD'S END. =)

Best Original Song
[ ] Happy (Despicable Me 2)
[A] Let It Go (Frozen)
[X] The Moon Song (Her)
[ ] Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

Heard the song for the first time on the Oscars and I do have to admit it's pretty damn good. Sweeping and swelling and with a really thoughtful message. I picked it based on the apparently universal love of the film (which I have yet to see, maybe this weekend). "Happy" *is* a pretty awesome earworm. I remember having it coiled around my brain when I left DESPICABLE ME 2, but I somehow managed to shake it loose pretty soon after. Now, tho, I feel the need to throw 99 cents at iTunes for it. Since that made it to the Oscars for 2013, I'm gonna make a bold prediction (not) and say that "Everything Is Awesome" will be up for the 2014 awards. =)

Best Production Design
[ ] American Hustle (Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler)
[A] Gravity (Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woollard)
[ ] The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn)
[X] Her (K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena)
[ ] 12 Years a Slave (Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker)

I really dig the vision of the near-ish future presented in HER. Clever—often small in scale—design and style choices that create a consistent (to my mind) world. But, hey, whaddyagonna do? GRAVITY, right?

Best Animated Short Film
[?] Feral (Daniel Sousa, Dan Golden)
[?] Get a Horse! (Lauren MacMullan, Dorothy McKim)
[?] Mr. Hublot (Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares)
[?] Possessions (Shuhei Morita)
[X] Room on the Broom (Max Lang, Jan Lachauer)

Alas, missed the animated shorts package (heh heh heh) this time around, so, except for "Feral," which I saw at the IFFB, I didn't know what to go with. "Hublot" clips on the Oscars look lovely, tho.

Best Live Action Short Film
[ ] Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn't Me) (Esteban Crespo)
[X] Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything) (Xavier Legrand, Alexandre Gavras)
[ ] Helium (Anders Walter, Kim Magnusson)
[ ] Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?) (Selma Vilhunen, Kirsikka Saari)
[A] The Voorman Problem (Mark Gill, Baldwin Li)

In second-guessing the Academics for this, I was kind of afraid of the saccharine "Helium" winning, but figured the coolness of "The Voorman Problem" would beat it. If "Voorman" didn't have its stars, would it have made it as a nominee? I can see "Helium" as an decent proof of skills, a portfolio piece, but for me as a moviegoer, a story eater, and not some film production in search of filmmakers, it was very unsatisfying.

"Just Before Losing Everything" is definitely the best of the bunch. A perfect short narrative that's tensely all show-me and no tell-me, with a great cast of adults and kids. It was robbed. I hope I see a feature from these filmmakers soon.

Best Sound Editing
[ ] All Is Lost (Steve Boeddeker, Richard Hymns)
[ ] Captain Phillips (Oliver Tarney)
[x] Gravity (Glenn Freemantle)
[ ] The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Brent Burge, Chris Ward)
[ ] Lone Survivor (Wylie Stateman)

Best Sound Mixing
[ ] Captain Phillips (Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro)
[ ] Gravity (Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro)
[ ] The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, Tony Johnson)
[X] Inside Llewyn Davis (Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff, Peter F. Kurland)
[ ] Lone Survivor (Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, David Brownlow)

Should've just gone w GRAVITY for all the technical categories, right? Also, I might've wanted to give LLEWYN and the Coen Bros a piece of the action and this seemed like the best (only?) category opp.

Best Visual Effects
[X] Gravity (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould)
[ ] The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds)
[ ] Iron Man 3 (Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Dan Sudick)
[ ] The Lone Ranger (Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, John Frazier)
[ ] Star Trek Into Darkness (Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton)

Best Adapted Screenplay
[ ] Before Midnight (Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke)
[ ] Captain Phillips (Billy Ray)
[X] Philomena (Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope)
[A] 12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)
[ ] The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)

I just love Steve Coogan and that he made this movie happen in all the ways he did—seeing the potential in the story, writing the screenplay, and co-starring. He and Judi Dench have a great dynamic on screen.

Best Original Screenplay
[ ] American Hustle (Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell)
[ ] Blue Jasmine (Woody Allen)
[ ] Dallas Buyers Club (Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack)
[X] Her (Spike Jonze)
[ ] Nebraska (Bob Nelson)

Keep on keepin on~

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