Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The 86th Academy Awards - Fantastic and Predictable

In this bloggers opinion, the biggest night in film was a success; albeit a relatively predictable one.  The 86th annual Academy Awards were this past Sunday and overall the winners were pretty expected.  The night started out with a decent opening monologue by host Ellen Degeneres who’s later antics proved to be hilariously random breaks in what is usually a long, overly serious award ceremony.  After ordering pizza for hungry celebs (and collecting money from them after) Ellen decided to take a spur of the moment “selfie” jam packed with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars which subsequently broke the record for most retweets ever and crashed Twitters servers.  But the host was just the background to a night which showcased some of the best films of not only the past year, but the past several.  As expected, the sci-fi powerhouse Gravity swept all the technical awards for the revolutionary new technologies created specifically for the film, and nabbed Alfonso Cuaron a well-deserved Best Director win.  Amazingly however, lead actress Sandra Bullock fell short to Cate Blanchett who took home the award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her part in the Woody Allen flick Blue Jasmine, its only award of the night.  Another surprise was Jared Leto who took home Best Supporting Actor for his emotionally charged role in Dallas Buyers Club alongside Best Lead Actor winner Matthew McConaughey.  Both had great speeches which saw Leto giving an emotional tribute to his mother and McConaughey giving shout outs to God, his father, and his roots ending his speech with his trademark “All right, all right, all right” from his 90’s breakout film Dazed and Confused.  I was thrilled that Best Original Screenplay went to a deserving Spike Jonze.  The director/skater/ frequent Jackass collaborator looked right at home in front of the thousands of Hollywood starlets as he accepted his award for Her.  Not surprisingly, Best Adapted Screenplay went to 12 Years a Slave which was based on the journal of Solomon Northrup.  Predictably, the film also went on to take home the most coveted award of the night, Best Picture which saw an overjoyed cast join producer/actor Brad Pitt and director Steve McQueen on stage to accept the award.  Pitt gave a short and humble speech before passing the spotlight off to McQueen who capped off a great night with a wonderful acceptance speech in which he dedicated the film to all those who have suffered slavery in the past and the 21 million who still endure it today.

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