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So you see every day, every week, every month and every year of my life, my hero's always 10 years away.

Oscar Winners 2014


That the biggest event of this year’s Oscars ceremony is a selfie probably says it all (and that it’s already been parodied into the ground probably says even more).  Until they get a presenter in with enough disrespect for the whole bloated behemoth that passes for evening’s entertainment, Oscar is consigned to being an annual damp squib/endurance test. As with last year I got the big one wrong, but a tally of 16 out of 24 isn’t at all bad. My random guesswork may be improving (only 11 right in 2013).


Best Picture
 Winner: 12 Years a Slave

I called Gravity, partly on the grounds of Cuarón being a lock for director. Surprisingly (as in, it’s not that common) the Academy picked a movie that didn’t get Best Director, as per last year. The uber-rich, pampered elite soothed their troubled consciences by giving the gong to a worthy picture this time out, one that can join the ranks of Gandhi, Schindler’s List and er… Crash as really being about something important. It’s the sixth winner since 1990 not to also take Best Picture. Did it deserve the award? I don’t think it’s as remarkable as some attest, but aside from The Wolf of Wall Street it’s probably the closest to a good fit. Also of note, and perhaps a harbinger of things to come, it joins last year’s Argo was a Best Picture winner amassing only three Oscars in total. The only other Best Picture winner since 1976 to share so few is Crash.


Best Director
 Winner: Alfonso Cuarón

As noted, a shoe-in. I think his work on Children of Men is more interesting (it helps that it’s a much better movie), but there’s no doubting the virtual virtuoso skill of Gravity’s director.


Best Actor
 Winner: Matthew McConaughey

McConaughey’s on a high, and this was an easy call despite the sterling competition. His acceptance speech was quite a feat of self-promotion (along with God-promotion, creating nearly as many column inches), as wittily noted by The Colbert Report.


Best Actress
 Winner: Cate Blanchett

The Woody worry didn’t end up losing Cate the title. With two awards she’s probably close to sealing the deal as the new Meryl. Not that the old Meryl’s gone anywhere.


Best Supporting Actor
 Winner: Jared Leto

This is one award I expect to do zero for the winner’s cachet. A bit like Cuba Gooding, Jr.


Best Supporting Actress
 Winner: Lupita Nyongo’o

Lupita has already gone on to bigger and better things. Exhibit A: Non-Stop. Nice to see Jennifer Lawrence (ain’t she adorable?) having fun with losing too.


Best Original Screenplay
 Winner: Her

I was surprised by this (I called American Hustle, which didn’t really deserve it). There haven’t been a whole lot of really great winners in this category in the last decade (exceptions are Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Midnight in Paris, both idiosyncratic tales like this). I should go and watch it I suppose, so I can actually give an informed opinion.

Best Adapted Screenplay
 Winner: 12 Years a Slave

Oohhh. Controversial. Not for winning, but for the evident ill feeling between John Ridley and Steve McQueen. Never incur a writer’s wrath. Although, unless you’re writer-director, it’s kind of inevitable.

Best Cinematography
Winner: Gravity

Lubezki’s sixth nomination, so a win is well overdue. I’d have given it to him for The Tree of Life or Children of Men (or both).

Best Costume Design
 Winner; The Great Gatsby

Shiny pretty duds won out. Not a great shock.

Best Sound Mixing
 Winner: Gravity

What’s to say? Space is a noisy place.

Best Film Editing
 Winner: Gravity

Good editing here, even when there isn’t any (like one long, continuous take). I went with Captain Phillips. Big mistake.

Best Sound Editing
 Winner: Gravity

For Gravity, see Sound Mixing above. For my pick, see Film Editing above.

Best Visual Effects
 Winner: Gravity

But of course.

Best Make-up
 Winner: Dallas Buyers Club

A reward for invention on a ridiculously low budget, which is always nice to see.

Best Production Design
Winner: The Great Gatsby

More shiny, shiny, pretty, pretty.

Best Original Song
Winner: Frozen

Apparently smart money was on Bono’s borefest (he looked nonplussed) I thought it would be Pharrel Williams. Instead they went for Disney by-numbers. It seems as if they always bag it, but the last example was Tarzan in ’99 (from baldy Collins no less). Prior to that it was just embarrassingly regular (’89, ’91, ’92, ’94, ’95).

Best Original Score
Winner: Gravity (Steven Price)

Price’s first nom and first win there.

Best Animated Short
 Winner: Mr Hublot

Disney didn’t get it! Count me shocked, if I could muster such a response in the animated feature category.

Best Documentary Short
Winner: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Always bet on the Holocaust.

Best Live Action Short
Winner: Helium

The Voorman Problem lost out to heartwarming. Heartwarming’s good, I guess.

Best Documentary Feature
Winner: 20 Feet from Stardom

Fuck knows what happened here. Perhaps the Academy thought they’d done their bit for worthy subject matter and wanted to celebrate something close to their entertainment marrow. Or perhaps they tried to make it through the director’s cut of The Act of Killing.

Best Foreign Language Film
Winner: The Great Beauty

I’ve seen this now, and it very much is the Academy’s idea of a European art movie; an easy choice to festoon with garlands. It is actually very good, though.

Best Animated Feature
Winner: Frozen


Perhaps shockingly, perhaps not (since the award has only existed since 2001) this is the first “straight” Disney winner (rather than Pixar). One in the eye (that would be Mike Wazowski’s cyclopean eye) for Lasseter land, since Monsters University (rightly) didn’t even get nominated.


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