Monday, March 03, 2014

The 2014 Academy Awards got stuck in a 'Gravity' well

Yes I came up with that title myself and let's face it, it's probably worthy of it's own award, but instead let me acknowledge last nights achievements in movie making.

Gravity deservedly walked away with seven golden statuettes including Best Director, Score, Cinematography,  and Visual Effects celebrating it as one of the most remarkable and original pieces of entertainment this century. As it's also the only one of the major motion pictures nominated that I'll probably watch at all [and I thought it was excellent], then I'm going to agree with everything it got.

The other winner was Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave, a more obvious Oscar-demander dealing with the darkest period in American history which took Best Supporting Actress for newcomer Lupita Nyong'o as well as the coveted Best Picture. Disney's Frozen also took two awards one for Best Animated Feature and Best Song, while The Great Gatsby took the two main Design awards.

Other winners included Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club with Best Actor and Supporting respectively. Cate Blanchett, Best Actress for Blue Jasmine and Spike Jonze for his Her screenplay. 

Ellen DeGeneres hasn't been on the Oscar stage for some time but she was certainly a safe option to host as well as someone who probably wouldn't get herself into too much trouble [even with Liza Minelli whom she accused of being a transvestite]. But I guess not everyone can be Billy Crystal.

The In Memoriam was nicely done and the inclusion of Harold Ramis was noted even though he only passed away a few days ago. Sadly however they always forget some very notable names like the great Dennis Farina, but the lack of Tom Clancy was quite frankly unforgivable.

Someone asked me what movies/people I'd give the awards to for the year instead. Well, I think Gravity's sound was outstanding and I can't think of another movie that needed such a rich soundbase before so I agree with the Academy. Alfonso Cauron's direction was also faultless so he'd still get best director. Again Visual Effects had to go to Gravity they blew Star Trek and Iron Man out of the water. In difference to actual winners, I would have given Best Actress to Bullock if only to never give an accolade to a Woody Allen movie and as great and necessary as Steven Price's score was for Gravity, the best score of the year was actually Trevor Morris' effort for Olympus Has Fallen [with a nod to Zimmers' Man of Steel]. 

Veering completely away from any nominations I'd tie Jim Carrey and Russel Crowe for Best Supporting Actor for Kick-Ass 2 and Man of Steel respectively [with a nod to Cumberbatch for Star Trek Into Darkness]. Diane Lane was in a class of her own in Man of Steel and would have had no competition from what I saw. I thought the most work into design was on display in Pacific Rim [with a nod to Riddick] while the physical stunt work in G.I.Joe: Retaliation, Fast and Furious 6 and It's a Good Day to Die Hard would be impossible to compare, and I don't think they give an award for it?  

Shane Black and co. easily wins any screenplay battle with Iron Man 3 as does Robert Downey Jr. for his portrayal of Tony Stark in it but it'd be impossible difficult to give a "best picture" award to a single movie. If there's a separate award for Animated Feature they should also break up the live action to respective genres. Then I'd be able to make Gravity best drama, Star Trek Into Darkness best sci-fi, The Hobbit The Desolation Of Smaug best adventure/fantasy, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa best comedy and Iron Man 3 best action movie - and if I can't do that, then why the hell not? I'm the General goddammit!

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