Tuesday, March 4, 2014

THE 86TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS


All right, all right, all right.

Another evening of glitz and glamour has concluded as this year's Academy Awards were handed out to the selected few to take home the coveted prize. After the somewhat mean-spirited, frat-boy humor of the previous host, Seth MacFarlane, the charming Ellen DeGeneres delivered a warm, sweet-natured and hysterical monologue although her joke about Liza Minnelli looking like a man in a dress was about the only questionable moment in the show. Ellen kept everything light and helped make the Oscars never feel like it was over three hours long. The highlights included Pharrell Williams getting the whole audience on their feet during his fun performance of "Happy", the pizza gag and causing Twitter to crash with a star-filled selfie.

It was nice to see such a wide, diverse cast of presenters. From a salute to classic Hollywood with a frail but still quite regal Sidney Pointer and frozen beauty, Kim Novak to appearances from the more recent old guard such as Jim Carrey, Bill Murray, Sally Field, Glenn Close and Harrison Ford to the current flock of young film stars, Michael B. Jordan, Emma Watson, Zac Efron, and Kerry Washington.

As far as the awards themselves, there were no real surprises as all of the winners followed the predictable pattern set by most of the other recent award recognition. "Gravity" received the most wins with seven statues but "12 years A Slave" went on to capture the top prize of "Best Picture" along with the screenplay and the lady of the moment, Lupita Nyong'o winning Best Supporting Actress. I was very pleased that the wonderful "20 Feet From Stardom" won for Best Documentary (with one of the subjects, Darlene Love bringing down the house as she broke out with an impromptu song) and less thrilled about the overrated "The Great Beauty" taking the Best Foreign Language prize. Overall, it was a really entertaining pizza party.

Here is the complete list of winners:

Best Picture: "12 Years a Slave"
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years a Slave"
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, "Gravity"
Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley, "12 Years a Slave"
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze, "Her"
Best Foreign Language Film: "The Great Beauty," (Italy)
Best Animated Feature Film: "Frozen"
Best Production Design: Catherine Martin & Beverley Dunn, "The Great Gatsby."
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, "Gravity"
Best Film Editing: Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger, "Gravity."
Best Sound Mixing: Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro, "Gravity"
Best Sound Editing: Glenn Freemantle, "Gravity"
Best Original Score: Steven Price, "Gravity"
Best Original Song: "Let It Go" from "Frozen"
Best Costume Design: Catherine Martin, "The Great Gatsby"
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Best Documentary Feature: "20 Feet from Stardom."
Best Documentary Short Subject: "The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life."
Best Animated Short Film: "Mr. Hublot."
Best Live Action Short Film: "Helium."
Best Visual Effects: Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk and Neil Corbould, "Gravity."