So, not being from the United States, I had to wait until the morning to find out the results of the Oscars. There were some fantastic nominees this year, and some really worthy winners, most of all the legend that is Matthew McConaughey. I’ve been a champion of his ever since the rom-com days, so the word ‘McConaissance’ is a little too late for me. But, yeah, his recent run of hits alongside his amazing turn in the TV show True Detective mean he is on a different level at the moment. Good on ya Matt!
Here are my musings on the winners and losers in the Oscars 2014.
Winner: 12 Years A Slave
It’s hard to look past Steve McQueen’s tour de force really. I know, technologically speaking, Gravity was top draw and could easily have nabbed it for that alone, the best picture should go to the best story with the best actors, and for shear emotional heft, 12 Years… wins hands down. Dallas Buyers Club and Gravity will have pushed it close I’m sure, and it was nice to see smaller films such as Philomena, Her and Nebraska in there too.
Losers: The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle
The Wolf of Wall Street was always going to be too controversial and divisive to win the big prize, and whilst it was good to see it nominated, it wasn’t a big surprise it didn’t win. American Hustle is another picture that had big aspirations during awards season, after numerous nominations at the Golden Globes. Again, it was in a strong category, but I actually think it was pretty over rated anyway.
Winner: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club
In a category with such performances as Chiwetel Ejiofor and Leonardo Di Caprio, McConaughey seemed to suddenly come from no where about a couple of months back to start picking up some real momentum and finally scoop the prize. It is easy to see why when you watch Dallas Buyers Club, and McConaughey’s career best performance, and physical transformation to boot.
Losers: Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years A Slave and Leonardo Di Caprio for Wolf of Wall Street
Ejiofor will be disappointed to be snubbed, especially after his BAFTA and the fact the film he starred in won Best Picture, but the big loser AGAIN is Di Caprio. Yet to win the Oscar, he is rapidly becoming the new Martin Scorsese ironically! Next time Leo. the guy is so good that it’s only a matter of time.
Winner: Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine
There was an air of formality about this one from the moment Blue Jasmine opened. Blanchett was superb as the frazzled Jasmine in Woody Allen’s dramedy. There was some worthy competition in this category, but Blanchett stole the show to highlight just how good she is. A class act.
Losers: Sandra Bullock for Gravity
Sandra Bullock will no doubt be disappointed to lose out, after the hoo-ha surrounding Gravity upon it’s release had died down by the time the Oscars came around. The fact that she carried the movie almost single handedly was impressive, but the weighty subject matter dealt with by Blanchett probably just shaded the space adventure endured by Bullock.
Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club
I’m not convinced Leto should have won the best supporting actor award. Not to say his performance wasn’t good in Dallas Buyers Club, but I feel there were stronger performances in his category. Not least…
Loser: Michael Fassbender for 12 Years A Slave
Michael Fassbender, I thought, was superb in 12 Years. As good as he has been in any previous films, and that is saying something. He was head and shoulders above the likes of Jonah Hill and Bradley Cooper in the same category. In my mind he was also superior to Jared Leto and should have won the award. Barkhad Abdi also had a legitimate reason to expect to win.
Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years A Slave
I was pleased to hear that Nyong’o had won the award she thoroughly deserved, especially after she lost the Globe and BAFTA to Jennifer Lawrence. Not that there was anything wrong with Lawrence’s performance, which was the highlight of American Hustle for me. But Nyong’o was heartbreakingly brilliant in her role and deserves this award.
Losers: Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle and Julia Roberts for August: Osage County
Jennifer Lawrence, as mentioned above, can feel hard done by purely because she won the Golden Globe and BAFTA, so would have thought she was a shoe in for the Oscar as well. Julia Roberts was also superb in August: Osage County, better than she has been in years, but neither can be too annoyed they didn’t scoop the prize.
Winner: Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity
This, like the best picture, could have gone either way to 12 Years A Slave or Gravity. It fell the side of Gravity. I think largely because of the technical aspects that Cuaron implemented/overcame.
Loser: Steve McQueen for 12 Years A Slave
McQueen, I’m sure, will be more than happy with the Best Picture Oscar, but he could quite easily have scooped this as well. The other losers (Scorsese, Payne, Russell) can’t have to many complaints with not winning.
Best Original Screenplay
Winner: Spike Jonze for Her
No complaints with this what so ever. Jonze once again came up with a unique concept that was engaging and entertaining, as well as heartbreaking all at the same time. I great achievement.
Loser: Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine
Not that Woody Allen really cares I doubt, but this was one of his best films of recent years (along with Midnight In Paris) so he would have thought he might have been in with a shout perhaps.
Best Animation – Frozen (no surprises there)
Best Documentary – 20 Feet From Stardom (easy option for the academy, who should have gone for The Act of Killing instead)
Best Foreign Film – The Great Beauty (I’ve heard good things about this but not seen it. I have seen The Hunt though, and find it hard to believe it got passed over for an Oscar!)
Best Cinemaography, Editing, Visual Effects and Sound – Gravity (again, no surprises there)