Oscars 2014

So the biggest event in Hollywood is here! The 86th Academy Awards will have finished by the time this is posted, but I’m going to reflect on my predictions and on the awards ceremony. As well as winners and losers of the night, I’ve written some highlights from the ceremony and red carpet. You can find my original predictions here, so enjoy!

Best picture

My prediction: 12 Years a Slave

Result: 12 Years a Slave

It looked like it was going to go in Gravity’s direction, but I think it was a no-brainer that 12 Years would get it. It’s fantastic that this film has won, and great for the Brits! Congratulations Steve McQueen!!! And again, using his speech to highlight the issue of modern slavery.

Best director

My prediction: Alfonso Cuaron

Result: Alfonso Cuaron

Gravity is absolutely dominating the Oscars this year, so this was predictable. But again, there is a wealth of talent, it’s hard to make one choice.

Best actor

My prediction: Chiwetel Ejiofor or Matthew McConaughey

Result: Matthew McConaughey

The most well deserved Oscar of the night. Matthew McConaughey has spent most of his career making sub-standard romantic films, and he’s coming into his prime. He is Hollywood gold right now, and I couldn’t be happier that he won. It’s well deserved and hopefully from now on, he will only be associated with high quality cinema.

Best actress

My prediction: Sandra Bullock

Result: Cate Blanchett

Cate’s been gaining momentum in the past couple of weeks. And it’s nice to see someone not associated with Gravity. Again Cate makes reference to women in film, celebrating women on-screen, flying the flag for women everywhere in such a male-dominated industry. ‘Audiences want to see them, and in fact they earn money’.

Best supporting actor

My prediction: Jared Leto or Michael Fassbender

Result: Jared Leto

This didn’t surprise me, by all accounts, he was incredible in Dallas Buyers Club, and having seen bits of his role in the film, he clearly threw himself into the role, losing a shocking amount of weight and really involved himself in what must have been a difficult and challenging role. Well deserved.

Best supporting actress

My prediction: Lupita Nyong’o / Jennifer Lawrence

Result: Lupita Nyong’o

So deserved! She’s been hitting the awards circuit hard, and her speech, wow. We aren’t particularly fanatical about tears during speeches, but this one was different. It clearly means a lot to her, and its fabulous to again, see a Brit winning this one. Congratulations Lupita!

Best original screenplay

My prediction: American Hustle or Dallas Buyers Club

Result: Her

Surprising result to be honest, but Her has quietly been gaining momentum since the release of the nomination list. Again, well deserved, but all the categories this year are bursting full of exceptional films. It’s clichéd, and said every year, but this year there is so much diverse talent on show, it’s difficult to pick a single winner for anything.

Best adapted screenplay

My prediction: 12 Years a Slave

Result: 12 Years a Slave

After the board has been swept by Gravity, 12 Years a Slave gets its first win. It had to be 12 Years a Slave, well deserved.

The Oscars shaped up to be fairly one-sided, Gravity winning awards in every single type of category (nearly), and probably shows that the Academy has gone populist this year.  I can’t help but feel that Gravity is being honoured for technological ability, aesthetic and design reasons, rather than story. But, then again, that’s why the Oscars are both a gift and a curse to cinema. The clear winner might not always be the favourite, it might just be because it is so revolutionary in terms of technology. These types of films pave the way for future filmmakers. and without these types of films, we wouldn’t have new experiences, new cultural and artistic expression and that is truly the essence of cinema. However having said that, 12 Years, just pips Gravity at the post by winning best picture, which is fantastic. A great night for British Cinema.

FlikGeek Oscars highlights

  • Lupita N’yongo looks absolutely beautiful in a green flowing dress, but not one to focus on ‘OMG what are they wearing?!’ this is pretty much my only contribution to the fashion commentary.
  • Jennifer Lawrence said that she has done stair-dress tests to make sure there are no falls like last year. She’s such a legend. Although unfairly, I heard commentary that many want Jennifer Lawrence to win in the best supporting actress category just to see her speech, which I think is really stupid. It’s slightly indicative of an unspoken undertone of the Oscars, rather than best, it’s perhaps about ratings?
  • Cate Blanchett praises the film industry for recognising so many female-led, female driven films this year. With the likes of Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Lawrence and Cate herself being the talk of the Oscars, it’s refreshing to see so many leading ladies being acknowledged for something other than their attire.
  • Jared Leto’s beautiful dedication to his mother and brother. Also dedicating his award to sufferers of AIDS around the globe, which is obviously the focus point of Dallas Buyers Club. His was a difficult speech to follow.
  • Pharrell Williams performing the most infectious song of the year, Happy from Despicable Me. Notably he arrived on the red carpet wearing shorts, looking just as dapper as his A-List counterparts. It was a brilliant performance, and got everyone on their feet! Party on Hollywood!
  • All winners of Dallas Buyers Club used their speech to highlight the plight of AIDS. This to me is the true meaning of film awards. On a global platform it’s so heartwarming to see so many influential figures bringing attention to real issues, to me, this is one of the main purposes of film; to spread awareness of issues which may otherwise stay unnoticed.
  • The Lady in Number 6 wins best documentary short – representing the Brits! Such a beautiful little film too. The subject of the film, Alice, passed away a week ago aged 110, the Oscar was suitably dedicated to her.
  • The winner of Best Foreign Language film was The Great Beauty, but I think this category should be abolished. If a film is good enough to be considered best of anything in any category, then it should be considered alongside English-speaking films. And more importantly, it would be great to see major studios and production companies investing in helping distributing these films. Many cinemagoers would undoubtedly love to see diversity on the silver screen, and whilst they don’t have the enormous box-office potential of Hollywood productions, there is a wealth of audience members out there who would appreciate these types of films being more accessible.
  • A nice dedication from Bill Murray to Harold Ramis, who passed away last week, a huge Hollywood talent whose absence is felt all too prominently already.
  • A beautiful performance from Pink. In a tribute to The Wizard of Oz, celebrating 75 years since it’s release. She sang ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’, a song which undoubtedly is poignant for so many people.
  • The tributes to those who have sadly left us, as usual, are a sad reminder of talent that we are without. Notably, the inclusion of James Gandolfini, who was absent from the BAFTA lineup, which rightly annoyed many. James Gandolfini was there before Walter White, he gave us the Mob-Soap opera and television titan, Tony Soprano. But before his death, his film work was hugely under-appreciated, and he was one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood, never the lead, always supporting yet dominated every performance he ever did.
  • Again Cate Blanchett bigging up women in cinema during her acceptance speech for best actress, shouting praises of all women who work tirelessly in film. My new hero!
  • Leonardo DiCaprio not getting an Oscar means that the memes can live on!

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