Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Best: Oscar Night 2014

Because I have no life, I will live tweeting the Oscars tonight.  You can follow me at @CatholicSkywalk to watch me try to come up with something original and witty (but usually failing) about the night's proceedings.

I've already posted my made up Oscar Game in a previous post.  In it I also stated my predictions, but I gave no reasoning.   Now I'll walk you through my thought process, and we'll find out tonight how far off base I am.

BEST PICTURE: American Hustle.

Of the nominees, Gravity is clearly the best movie.  But this year I think its between Gravity and 12 Years a Slave.  The latter has received a lot more publicity lately and it has embarked on a rather unique Oscar advertising campaign.  I think the smart money is on 12 Years a Slave.  But I think that there is going to be an upset like Crash over Brokeback Mountain.  The Academy loves David O. Russel.  Even his mediocre movies get lavish praise.  After Silver Linings Playbook, their desperate to give him an Oscar win.  I think that this long term love affair will overpower this new and bold nominee.  And American Hustle is actually Russel's best movie and one of the better movies this year.

BEST DIRECTOR:  David O. Russel.

I think this could be split.  It's a 3-way race between David O. Russel, Steve McQueen, and Alfonso Cuaron.  Like I said, Gravity won't win Best Picture, but no can deny the visual power the movie.  It will win Best Cinematography, but it might possibly snag  Cuaron a directing Oscar.  McQueen might win for the emotional power of 12 Years a Slave.  But my whole argument for American Hustle's win is the affection the Academy has for Russel.  They will give the Oscar to him.

BEST ACTOR:  Matthew McConaughey

McConaughey is having a career Renaissance.  Back in the late night 90's, he came on the scene and starred in a number of high profile films.  For a while it seemed like his career plateaued.  But he has made a comeback in movies and television.  And his performance in Dallas Buyers Club has garnered nothing but accolades.  Also, Academy voters like it when an actor starves themselves for a part.  Chiwetel Ejiofor or Christian Bale might pull out an upset, but I think that this is McConaughey's year.  

BEST ACTRESS: Cate Blanchette

The Academy loves Woody Allen.  I don't think the recent allegations by his adopted daughter will affect this race.  And from what I've heard, Blanchette gives a heck of a performance.  But Amy Adams has been in a critical darling for a long time and has been nominated several times without a win.  If the Academy makes this a David O Russel night, then Adams can win.


He's going to win.  Playing gay is the best way to earn an Oscar.  Christopher Plummer, Tom Hanks, Sean Penn, William Hurt, Philip Seymor Hoffman...  It is not a surefire rule, but it definitely increases the odds.  It's like my theory that the best way for an actress to win an Oscar is to be an attractive woman who uglifies herself e.g. Charlieze Theron, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cottilard, Hillary Swank, Julia Roberts, etc.


The Academy loves her as well.  And with good reason.  She also gives one heck of a performance in the movie.


I don't think that Her is going to win any other award besides this one.  But Jonze's script is fairly original and they like his writing..

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Steven Coogan and Jeff Pope

From everything I've read, Philomena is very anti-Catholic.  So the Academy should eat that up.

Those are my reasons for the major awards.  Again, I'll do a post Oscar analysis next Sunday to see how far off I am.

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