Read the reviews after the movies fade to black!
A palpable sense of fatigue is evident in Hollywood due to a longer campaign period and lack of excitement surrounding the Best Picture nominees (more on that later), and across the globe in Singapore, does anybody even care about the friggin’ Oscars? A poll by The New York Times indicated not even a quarter of the sample watched all 9 movies nominated for Best Picture, especially since more than half are indie features, the little movies that could, from Nebraska (my personal favourite of the lot), Philomena, Her to Dallas Buyers Club. None of these movies is as loud as The Wolf of Wall Street, combined.
Another reason for the jaded affairs is how the major and below-the-line categories are locked winners, ensuing a predictable outcome. The thrill of the Oscars race is no longer a heated debate whether Matthew McConaughey’s bare-bones role in Dallas trumps Leonardo DiCaprio’s almost-comic showiness in Wolf because it’s a foregone conclusion the former bongo drummer will win. But if anyone is willing to discuss whether Bruce Dern’s effortless, nuanced performance as an affable old soul seeking a last purpose in life deserves plaudits, I’m all ears. But then again, who cares?
Everyone just wants to know who are the winners. Shall we?
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sorry Amy, your plunging V-neckline didn’t translate into victory if you ask me. As much as I adored Her Royal Majesty Meryl Streep, I believe she “over-acted” in this role. Petition for Emma Thompson anyone?
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
WTF, Jonah Hill?! In this season where Robert Redford (All is Lost) and Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips) are snubbed, I give up.
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave
All-american girl Jennifer Lawrence may have to concede to new kid on the block Lupita for her whipping performance in 12 Years.
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Hands down, this is Cuarón’s year, or for the matter, many years to come because the film-making and technology is groundbreaking.
Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years A Slave by John Ridley
Tough to adapt from a historic memoir.
Original Screenplay: Her by Spike Jonze
For a film based largely on the meaning of social and computer-aided interactions and conversations, the beauty is always in the words. Spike Jonze’s script is truly an original.
Best Picture: 12 Years A Slave
A tough call between 12 Years and Gravity, with the former steeped in history and latter so progressive and ahead of our times. The Academy voters will be divided between those who traditionally favour films with gravitas and the big story arc that resonates with the nation, and then there are the people in the field who are besotted with the technicality and finer intricacies of the craft. I believe 12 Years inches slightly ahead, because voters are mindful of the subject Americans need to deal with right now, which is the centuries-old slavery sin that shaped the nation’s moral psyche today.
The biggest prize in Hollywood is not bad as an acknowledgement, and sweetly served as a token of repentance. It’s the right thing to do.