Monday, 3 March 2014

The Oscars

So it's that time of the year and the Oscars have been and gone. It usually throws up a few conflicting emotions. Unlike The Golden Globes, which I've always felt are an excuse for journalists to be starf***ers and schmooze with 'in vogue' celebrities, the Oscars are voted by the contemporaries of the nominees, in the form of the The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As a result, you'd think that the nominations would reflect an informed opinion but more often than not it recycles the same tired opinions expressed in The Golden Globes. This year, however, was refreshingly different. That may in part be due to some genuinely great movies having been released this year but for the first time in a while, if you look at the winners of each award, they are all deserving. 

The winner of the best film category was '12 Years A Slave', a thought provoking biopic based on the memoir of Solomon Northup. This the kind of movie not considered as Oscar fodder due to its subject matter but this a movie that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and makes you sit up and take notice. For once The Academy took the wake up call, sat up and took notice. This is consolidated through the movie also picking up awards for Best Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley) and Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o). 

The movie to win the most awards was Alfonso Cuarón's 'Gravity', with 7 awards, earning the enigmatic Mexican nod for Best Director as well as awards for Best Original Score, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Cinematography, Film Editing and Visual Effects. A story encapsulating loneliness that Mark Kermode referred to as one of the only movies you HAVE to see in 3D and a movie that encapsulates the isolation of space giving new meaning to the tag line from Ridley Scott's 'Alien' 'in space no-one can hear you scream'. 

Also being represented well was 'Dallas Buyers Club' which earned awards for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto for Best Actor and Supporting Actor respectively. In addition the movie collected the award for Best Make-Up and Hairstyling beating out stuff competition from Jackass' 'Bad Grandpa' and 'The Lone Ranger'. 

I have to say, I am pleased that this years' Oscars have not necessarily gone for crowd pleasers such as American Hustle but have dared to be different and that can be only be commended. My only hope is that this represents a landmark for The Academy and it  doesn't slip back into the same bad habits and a repeat of 1990s debacle which saw 'Goodfellas' loss to 'Dances With Wolves' and Crash pick up the award in 2005. 

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