Monday, March 3, 2014

Academy Award Week 2014: The Conclusion (The Show, the Winners, the Speeches etc.)

Who thought a tweet would change the face of the Oscars, well it, and its all thanks to Ellen.  After last year's mixed to negative review on Seth MacFarlene, I would imagine Ellen will be invited back on a more regular basis to host the Oscars.  While most of Ellen's monologue rather tame there were two zingers which sealed the deal one to Liza Minnelli saying "You look good sir," which is a reference to numerous men doing a drag version of her.  The other joke was about 12 Years a Slave and not voting for it seeming racist.  The latter joke showed Ellen paying attention and barbing the Academy itself on what many members said was that the film was "too difficult."
Ellen DeGeneres group Oscar selfie

Throughout the rest of the night Ellen shined; she just makes you smile, giggle, and want to see her more.  Her bit with the pizza started out kinda rough, but when she actually brought out the pizza it just proves her bits work, and getting the audience involved and active in the show is what should be done.  The same can be said for her tweeting, and she along with a mass of celebrities have the most re-tweeted tweet ever, they even broke twitter.  What makes this special?  The Oscars have always looked to bring a younger audience into this show, and most of the time its been centered on hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway, and Seth MacFarlene, but honestly the Academy just needs to go with one motto, keep it simple stupid, and Ellen does that, and she is great at it.

While some of the heroes montages (namely the second won about fictional heroes) gave me the warm fuzzies, the Academy needs to ditch these themes, they make no sense, and make the show longer.  They also need to get presenters who are relevant/entertaining, and know their lines, I'm talking to you Zac Effron, and especially you John Travolta, who is "Adele Dazim?"  Do you mean Idina Menzel, oh that's right, none of you are good at reading off a teleprompter.  Even The Wizard of Oz tribute was great, short, sweet, and to the point, and Pink's performance was great. Why didn't Bette Midler sing during the In Memorium?  Singing after was a bit pointless, but she is the "Wind Beneath my Wings."  On a whole the show dragged a little, but Ellen saved the day, look for her to come back more.

The Winners

If you went with the predictable you did well in your Oscar pool, although Best Picture was nail biter, the eventual Oscar split happened.  12 Years a Slave won Picture, while Gravity won Director.  At the end of the night Slave won three awards including Picture, Lupita Nyong'o won Supporting Actress and the film won Best Adapted screenplay/  John Ridley who wrote the script is only the second black person to win in the screenplay category.  Slave joins two of the other best Best Picture winners Casablanca, and The Godfather as having only won 3 Oscars, but the message of this film will surpass only 3 wins, it is truly one of the most important films released this year, and its win was well deserved.

Gravity won the most awards of the night, 6.  The last film to win 6 awards and not win Best Picture, took place in a galaxy far far away, so space as well, and that was Star Wars.  Gravity's big grab of the night was a  Best Director win for Alfonso Cuaron.  Cuaron is the first Hispanic person to win the Oscar, in this category, and only the second non-white winner, Ang Lee has won this award twice.

The acting prizes went predictably too Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto won for Dallas Buyers Club, the last film two have won two actors prizes was Mystic River (2003).  Cate Blanchett was rightfully crowned Best Actress, she gave a stunning performance in Blue Jasmine.  

The irony of the night is the non-Best Picture nominee The Great Gatsby scored more wins (2) than Her, Philomena, American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, Nebraska, and Captain Phillips combined.  I like having a stock 10 nominees, not this nine stuff, it does mean some go home empty handed, it also means the Academy members who vote have to do more than just check things off, and rubber stamp a film.  With that said Her still did win one Oscar for Original Screenplay, which made American Hustle got 0 for 10, the last film to have an 0 for 10 night was Gangs of New York (2002).

One of the most interesting/snarky tweets I read last night was that the Academy gave American Hustle so many acting nominations, four one in each category, because they wanted the pretty movie stars to show up.  While that's probably false this film is only the third film in Oscar history to get an acting nomination in every acting category, and not win, the other two are My Man Godfrey (1936), and Sunset Boulevard (1950).  Gangs and Hustle do not have the most loses at the Oscars Turning Point (1977) and The Color Purple (1985) went 0 for 11 at the Oscars.   While Hustle was not the only film to go home empty handed it had tied for the most nominations, and did, not a great honor. See the full list of winners below. 

The Speeches

My favorite speeches of the evening rank this way:

Lupita Nyong'o-Best Supporting Actress, the girl is so mature, and grateful, just a genuine speech

Best Song Winner-Let it Go-Robert and Kristin Anderson Lopez-Quick, cute, and special, and Robert has the EGOT!

Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor, he wavered in the middle, but his speech and tribute to his mom, brother, and the AIDs cause was so great. (Could not get video yet)

Overall the evening was fun, solid winners, great host, and the most re-tweets! Bravo.  Please see the full list of winners below.

Best Supporting Actor
Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
>>Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips
Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street

Achievement in costume design
“American Hustle” Michael Wilkinson
“The Grandmaster” William Chang Suk Ping
>>“The Great Gatsby” Catherine Martin
“The Invisible Woman” Michael O’Connor
“12 Years a Slave” Patricia Norris
Dallas Buyers Club

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
>>“Dallas Buyers Club” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” Stephen Prouty
“The Lone Ranger” Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Best animated short film
“Feral” Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
“Get a Horse!” Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
>>“Mr. Hublot” Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
“Possessions” Shuhei Morita
“Room on the Broom” Max Lang and Jan Lachauer

Best Animated Film
Despicable Me 2
The Croods
Ernest and Celestine
The Wind Rises

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

Best live action short film“Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)” Esteban Crespo
“Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything)” Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras
>>“Helium” Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson
“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)” Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari
“The Voorman Problem” Mark Gill and Baldwin Li

Best Documentary Short Subject
“CaveDigger” Jeffrey Karoff
“Facing Fear” Jason Cohen
“Karama Has No Walls” Sara Ishaq
>>“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” Edgar Barens

Best Documentary Film
The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
The Square
>>20 Feet from Stardom

Best Foreign Language Film
The Broken Circle Breakdown – Belgium
>>The Great Beauty – Italy
The Hunt – Denmark
The Missing Picture – Cambodia
Omar – Palestine

Achievement in sound mixing
“Captain Phillips” Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro
>>“Gravity” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland
“Lone Survivor” Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow

Achievement in sound editing
“All Is Lost” Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns
“Captain Phillips” Oliver Tarney
>>“Gravity” Glenn Freemantle
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” Brent Burge
“Lone Survivor” Wylie Stateman

Best Supporting Actress
>>Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
June Squibb – Nebraska
Sally Hawkins - Blue Jasmine

Achievement in cinematography
“The Grandmaster” Philippe Le Sourd
>>“Gravity” Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis” Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska” Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners” Roger A. Deakins

Achievement in film editing
“American Hustle” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten
“Captain Phillips” Christopher Rouse
“Dallas Buyers Club” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa
>>“Gravity” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
“12 Years a Slave” Joe Walker

Achievement in production design
“American Hustle” Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler
“Gravity” Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
>>“The Great Gatsby” Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn
“Her” Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena
“12 Years a Slave” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“The Book Thief” John Williams
>>“Gravity” Steven Price
“Her” William Butler and Owen Pallett
“Philomena” Alexandre Desplat
“Saving Mr. Banks” Thomas Newman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Alone Yet Not Alone” from “Alone Yet Not Alone”
Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams
>>“Let It Go” from “Frozen”
Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

“The Moon Song” from “Her”
Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”
Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson

Best Adapted Screenplay
Before Midnight,
Captain Phillips,
>>12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Original Screenplay
American Hustle
Blue Jasmine

Best Director
>>Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell – American Hustle
Alexander Payne – Nebraska
Martin Scorsese – The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
>>Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Judi Dench – Philomena
Amy Adams – American Hustle
Meryl Streep – August: Osage County

Best Actor
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Christian Bale – American Hustle
>>Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
Bruce Dern – Nebraska

Best Picture
>>12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
The Wolf of Wall Street

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