Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Oscars and the Grouch

Newsday Tuesday

Oscars and the Grouch

For most people the Oscars (or Academy Awards, although that didn’t help with my title) is a night of glitz and glamour, of film celebration and acting merits. For me it is a coffee fuelled late night, beginning at around 1:30am in the UK, which often results in me getting more tetchy as the evening rolls on. This year’s movies were a great bunch and aside from a few films I managed to have watched them all and give my own opinions. Now we both don’t have time to cover all of the films so let’s focus on the main winners shall we: 

12 Years a Slave - Best Picture/ Supporting Actress/ Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
For me this seemed an obvious winner for Best Picture. It had everything the Academy holds dear. Firstly it was a hard-hitting drama, it is rare to see Best Picture go to anything else, for instance Comedies and Action films stand little-to-no chance. The true story, based on the novel Push by Sapphire, hang on wait, no it was Solomon Northup’s memoirs, delved us into the world of slavery in the United States and one man’s struggles in his attempt at freedom. The acting was superb, especially by Chiwetel Ejiofor and Luptia Nyong’o (frankly the awards presenters deserve Oscars just for pronouncing those right), and although Chiwetel (I’d like to think we’re on a first name basis) missed out on the Oscar Statuette the nomination was completely deserved, and in the majority of Oscar lineups would have been his. 

Gravity - Best Director/ Original Score/ Sound Editing & Mixing/ Cinematography/ Visual Effects/    
                    Film Mixing
I don’t think I have long enough to describe my distaste for all the accolades this film has garnered. I went to see this in 3D at the cinema and whilst I can appreciate the outstanding visual effects and cinematography, for which they definitely deserved the awards, the overall movie left me angered that all of that time was wasted on this script. The movie itself seemed so ridiculous and Sandra Bullock’s character was just so insufferable that, like George Clooney’s character, I would have happily drifted into space to get out. The whole story of a bloody medical engineer being put in space after barely any training to repair the Hubble Telescope is laughable and that doesn't even begin to cover the stereotypical Vodka in the Russian Spacecraft and actual Ping Pong bats in the Chinese vessel. The point where she randomly guessed buttons, like Homer Simpson in a nuclear meltdown, I actually moved forward in my seat to leave. I could go on (in fact I already have gone on too much), but it angers me that this film was so lauded by the critics and public alike. 

Dallas Buyers Club - Best Actor/ Supporting Actor/ Makeup & Hair Styling  
There is one word to sum up this film - Aids Acting. The two leads were absolutely superb. Matthew McConaughey (I’m in my second week of lessons on how to spell that name, think it’s going well), was breathtaking as the lead and has put himself right back on the map after being a go-to romcom actor of the last decade. Jared Leto seemed destined to win from the moment he put on a dress and a wig, although I personally would have like to see the award go to someone else, Barkhad Abdi and Jonah Hill spring to mind with two wildly different but also incredibly vivid character portrayals. 

The Rest - 
Frozen - Best Animated Feature Film - DESERVED - Disney is back!
Spike Jonze - Best Original Screenplay - Her - DESERVED - Unique and original.
Cate Blanchett - Best Actress - DESERVED - Anyone but Sandra Bullock!
The Great Beauty - Best Foreign Language Film - SHAME - Was rooting for The Hunt.
20 Feet from Stardom - Best Documentary - Not Seen - Unfair to Comment
The Great Gatsby - Best Production Design/ Costume Design - Fair Play DESERVED
‘Let It Go’ from Frozen - Best Original Song - DESERVED - Catchy as a cold (just came up with that).

The Ceremony - 

Unfortunately for Ellen Degeneres I really feel she added nothing to the ceremony other than trying to act like ‘one of them’ with Hollywood’s biggest stars. The now infamous ‘selfie’ (pictured below) and numerous Twitter and Samsung references were so poorly veiled that it spoiled the moments she tried to make humorous. That pizza joke dragged on far too long and the audience were as uncomfortable as the delivery man by the end of it. Disappointing. The adding of all the Best Original Song nominees to the proceeding seemed to have been a last minute thought as they looked over the lack of material Ellen had between awards. 

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