Thursday, January 16, 2014

My thoughts on the Oscar nominations


I haven't seen all the films yet and I'm certain I will have a lot more to say on the subject, but here are my initial thoughts reading the list of nominations:

Best Picture:
I’ve been underwhelmed with many of these films including “American Hustle”. I don't think most of them deserve to win best picture of the year. Is "12 Years a Slave" really original enough to be the winner? It's a great film but kind of by the numbers (though I'm voting for it for Best Ensemble for the SAG awards -- all great performances!).  I did like "The Wolf of Wall Street" a lot (though bothered by its misogyny and its herofication of DiCaprio's character). I'm seeing "Philomena" and "Nebraska" today or tomorrow before voting for the SAG awards, and I'm yet to see "Her", but out of this bunch I think I will have to pick "Gravity." It certainly was original, and though it’s an action film it's also quite moving. 

"12 Years a Slave"

Best Actor: 
I always love Leonardo DiCaprio and he was amazing in this role. But should he win for this? Leo was not nominated for the SAG awards (if the film hadn’t come out so late I'm sure that he would have been), so for the SAG awards I'm voting for Matthew McConaughey -- who did an amazing job. But I'm kind of hoping Leo will take home the Oscar. He was pretty incredible in this role. And he’s been snubbed so many times. 


"Dallas Buyer's Club"

Best Actress: 
I really liked Meryl Streep in "August: Osage County," but since she is kind of expected to always be excellent I think I'm voting Sandra Bullock for the SAG awards. It’s a really touching performance, and considering that she acted mostly by herself in a green room! I don't think Amy Adams performance was that special. I did like Cate Blanchett a lot in "Blue Jasmine" also though.  

"Gravity"

Best Supporting Actor:
I was really touched by Barkhad Abdi’s performance. Jared Leto's performance too but not as much as I had hoped. I think they could have done so much more with that character. The scene when she coughs blood and says that she doesn't want to die had me though. Bradley Cooper and Michael Fassbender both did outstanding work, and for the first time I actually liked Jonah Hill. But I think I’m voting Jared. 

Best Supporting Actress: 
Sally Hawkins for this performance? Really? Why? And Oprah Winfrey was snubbed! She is really good in "The Butler!" I didn't see "Nebraska" yet, so I’m going with the excellent Lupita Nyong.

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron

Best Documentary:
"Blackfish" was snubbed. 

Best Editing: 
Why is not "Wolf of Wall Street" nominated? Great use of editing to tell that story! "Dallas Buyers Club" so does not deserve to be here and "Gravity" was mostly done digitally, so no. 

Hair and Makeup:
The hair and makeup (and the costumes!) were the best parts of "American Hustle"  why was it not nominated? 

"American Hustle"

Original Screenplay: 
"Dallas Buyers Club" has so many problems in the storytelling. It does not deserve to be here. Watching this film one would think millions could have been saved if McConaughey's character had gotten it his way (Watch the excellent doc "How to Survive a Plague" for a different take on that). "Blue Jasmine" – really? The overall idea for the story was good but so not original as it was completely stolen from "A Streetcar Named Desire". 

Thoughts? 

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