Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscar winners

So I failed at Oscar predicting again. I always try to predict upsets. I can't help it.

But this is a very satisfying bunch of winners (other than The Act of Killing losing Best Documentary).

Here are the 24 newest Oscar winners. It doesn't validate films, it it not a confirmation of artistry. It is just an award, but it does become an easily accessible historical document, it alters careers (mostly for the better, although not always) and it does sell movie tickets. I mean, if more people now feel peer pressure to watch the harrowing and important 12 Years a Slave, I won't be complaining.

Other than the obvious significance of 12 Years in making plain the horrors of the slave trade (when films like Gone With the Wind had presented a sugar-coated version that was far more convenient to believe), Benedict Cumberbatch summed it up so brilliantly on the red carpet - the slave trade is very much still alive, and in many ways it's bigger (and smaller) than ever. Other than the fact that this is a beautifully made, heart-wrenching film, it really is an important film. Even if it just starts the conversations.

Ultimately, Gravity was the big winner of the night, going home with 7 naked gold men
12 Years a Slave, meanwhile, took home only 3
Dallas Buyers Club nabbed 3 as well
Frozen took 2
The Great Gatsby landed 2 more for the Luhrman-Martin household
And American Hustle was the night's biggest loser, losing each of its 10 nominations

(Incidentally, there are Oscars travelling all over the world - to Mexico (Alfonso Cuaron & Emmanuel Lubezki), England (Steve McQueen), Kenya, sort of (Lupita Nyong'o who was born in Mexico but is of Kenyan descent), Australia (Cate Blanchett & Chatherine Martin) and, of course, Italy (La Grande Bellezza)). I remember what a big moment it was for South Africa when Charlize Theron did her victory tour back home, so - well done, bunch of other countries!

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron - Gravity
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita N'yongo - 12 Years a Slave
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club  
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze - Her
Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley - 12 Years a Slave
Best Editing: Alfonso Cuaron & Mark Sanger - Gravity
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki - Gravity
Best Production Design: Catherine Martin & Beverley Dunn - The Great Gatsby
Best Costume Design: Catherine Martin - The Great Gatsby 
Best Hair & Make Up: Adruitha Lee & Robin Mathews - Dallas Buyers Club
Best Original Score: Steven Price - Gravity
Original Song: Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez - Let it Go (Frozen)
Best Visual Effects: Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk & Neil Corbould - Gravity
Best Sound Mixing: Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead & Chris Munro - Gravity
Best Sound Editing: Glenn Freemantle - Gravity
Best Foreign Language Film: La Grande Bellezza (The Great Beauty)
Best Animated Feature: Frozen
Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet from Stardom
Best Live Action Short: Helium 
Best Animated Short: Mr Hublot
Best Documentary Short: The Lady in Number 6