Academy Award 2014: The Skinny!

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The show has been subdued, no gigantic Ellen DeGeneres dance numbers, but it has some good jokes. She’s a decent, if safe, choice for host.

The results are in, lets see how my predictions and choices panned out! Winner pictured, my choice in bold.

Best supporting actor

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Barkhad Abdi — “Captain Phillips”
Bradley Cooper — “American Hustle”
Jonah Hill — “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Jared Leto — “Dallas Buyers Club”
Michael Fassbender — “12 Years a Slave”

I picked this one correctly. Jared Leto turned out an AMAZING performance as Rayon, the gay man dying of Aids who teams up with a homophobic straight Aids victim to sell banned HIV drugs to patients in 1985. Damn well deserved.

Best costume design

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“The Great Gatsby” — Catherine Martin
“12 Years a Slave” — Patricia Norris
“The Grandmaster” — William Chang Suk Ping
“American Hustle” — Michael Wilkinson
“The Invisible Woman” — Michael O’Connor

Alas, the dazzling design of Baz Luhrman’s 1920’s Long Island beat out the magic of Amy Adams boobage. Is there no justice in this world?

Best makeup and hairstyling

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

I picked this one as well. There is no way that Johnny Knoxville in old man make-up or Johnny Depp with a bird on his head going to beat the AIDS patients. Not gonna happen.

Best animated feature

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“The Wind Rises”
“Frozen”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Ernest & Celestine”
“The Croods”

I did not have a horse in this race really, but I am surprised that Miyazaki did not win in his last film.

Best visual effects

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“Gravity”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Star Trek Into Darkness”
“Iron Man 3”
“The Lone Ranger”

I thought Hobbit would win this afternoon…then I saw Gravity. Holy crap. Not only was it a great movie, but the effects work truly was outstanding.

Best documentary feature

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“The Act of Killing”
“20 Feet From Stardom”
“The Square”
“Cutie and the Boxer”
“Dirty Wars”

The winner is about back up singers. I would have, and did, pick the movie about the 2011 Egyptian revolution, but what do I know. Either way, Blackfish was robbed.

Best supporting actress

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Jennifer Lawrence — “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o — “12 Years a Slave”
June Squibb — “Nebraska”
Julia Roberts — “August: Osage County”
Sally Hawkins — “Blue Jasmine”

I was hoping Squibb would win, especially for the graveside scene, but Lupita Nyong’o definitely earned it. Very moving.

Best cinematography

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“Gravity” — Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis” — Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska” — Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners” — Roger Deakins
“The Grandmaster” — Phillippe Le Sourd

I REALLY should have watched Gravity before making my pics. hehe. That’s what I get for a last minute rental.

Best production design

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“12 Years a Slave” — Adam Stockhausen and Alice Baker
“The Great Gatsby” — Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunn
“American Hustle” — Judy Becker and Heather Loeffler
“Gravity” — Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard
“Her” — K.K. Barrett and Gene Serdena

I figured this one as well. So much effort went into the design on this movie. I actually started following the production design news on the film about a year before it was released. Beautiful.

Best adapted screenplay

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“12 Years a Slave” — John Ridley
“Before Midnight” — Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater
“The Wolf of Wall Street” — Terence Winter
“Captain Phillips” — Billy Ray
“Philomena” — Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope

Another right choice for the Academy. Amazing movie.

Best original screenplay

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“American Hustle” — David O. Russell and Eric Warren Singer
“Blue Jasmine” — Woody Allen
“Her” — Spike Jonze
“Nebraska” — Bob Nelson
“Dallas Buyers Club” — Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack

This is another situation where I am handicapped by never seeing the film. I will correct this at the earliest opportunity.

Best director

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Steve McQueen — “12 Years a Slave”
David O. Russell — “American Hustle”
Alfonso Cuaron — “Gravity”
Alexander Payne — “Nebraska”
Martin Scorsese — “The Wolf of Wall Street”

It was Cuaron’s year it seems. I have no objections. All the films were very good.

Best actress

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Amy Adams — “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett — “Blue Jasmine”
Judi Dench — “Philomena”
Sandra Bullock — “Gravity”
Meryl Streep — “August: Osage County”

Well, my initial prediction from the summer came true! Always go with your first instincts. hehe. Seriously, I figured the Woody drama would wipe her out of contention. I am happy to see her rise above it.

Best actor

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Bruce Dern — “Nebraska”
Chiwetel Ejiofor — “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey — “Dallas Buyers Club”
Leonardo DiCaprio — “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Christian Bale — “American Hustle”

My friend Kelsey took to twitter over this, being a die hard DiCaprio fan, but he did not have a realistic shot this year. I saw Eijofor and McConaughey at the top, Dern in the middle, with DiCaprio and Bale bringing up the rear. I thought they would go with the slavery actor, but times have changed. 10 years ago Eijofor would have won. Today’s battle is over homosexual rights. This film tackles that, while exploring what it was like for those early AIDS victims. McConaughey stole the show. I called it wrong, but I am overjoyed to see him win.

Best picture

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“12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”
“Captain Phillips”
“Her”
“American Hustle”
“Gravity”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Nebraska”
“Philomena”

As expected, this amazing story won the day. Leaving the theater, the wife and I knew that we had just seen the best picture winner.

All in all, a decent Oscars. With so many strong films in 2013, this was one of the more difficult to predict. I got 5/15.

See you next year!

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