The Oscars (the 86th Annual Academy Awards) are finally here! This is the night (most – okay, maybe half) movie lovers look forward to. We’ll watch with anticipation, hoping our favorite movies and actors go home with a little golden man named Oscar - and let me tell you, that Oscar is one desirable dude - he’s flawless, and he’ll always stay that way … did I mention, he’s gold and he usually makes you rich … I’d really love to take him to bed… Oops, I’ve digressed.
Where was I? Right – this is a night to look forward because not only did 2013 have some amazing movies, but the actors in those movies turned out some incredible performances. If the roles from the nominated actors and actresses weren’t enough for you, the Oscars will feature some of the most anticipated musical performances, including Idina Menzel singing “Let It Go” (original song from Frozen), Bette Midler performing for the first time on the Oscars telecast, and a special appearance (billed as “epic”) by Pink.
Hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, the show promises appearances by Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, and Kerry Washington (that’s right, the Oscars are about to get “Poped” because you know there’s about to be a scandal!).
Before I get too involved with my “predictions” (where I rely on my “hopes” to make choices…must stop that…because it leaves me with a 50%-ish accuracy level), I must pose two questions for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences: Why are there not performance awards for actors and actresses in supporting and leading voice-over roles? It’s 2014! Toy Story 3 was a serious contender for “Best Picture” three years ago – better yet, Beauty and the Beast almost won 12 years ago! - and to think, their talented casts would be unrecognized in acting categories! It’s time for change!
Some of cinema’s most beloved characters are from animations – don’t the actors and actresses responsible for bringing them to life and endearing them to audiences (with just their voices) deserve to be recognized? Where’s the statuette for the Jodi Bensons (voice of “Ariel” [The Little Mermaid], “Barbie” [Toy Story 2 and 3], and “Thumbelina” [Thumbelina]) and Tom Hanks (voice of “Woody” [Toy Story franchise]) of the world. These actors provide voices for their characters, but also for generations to come.
…and while I’m at it, where is the Oscar for Performance in a Performance Capture role? Highly talented actors and actresses go unrecognized, yet their work is unmatched in restraint and physical demand. The best example of this would be Andy Serkis, who plays “Gollum” in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the new Hobbit franchise, as well as “Caesar” in the rebooted Planet of the Apes blockbusters. Or how about Zoe Saldana, who was widely praised for her performance as “Neytiri” in AVATAR. People know and imitate these characters – they’re inspiring any number of young/aspiring actors…
Now, as I step off the soap-box, I see no reason to not get right down to it. I’m predicting the biggest night for 12 Years a Slave and Gravity with appearances by Dallas Buyers Club, Frozen, and American Hustle. Here are my predictions (and hopes – though I’ll try to dial them back a bit) for the 86th Annual Academy Awards:
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave (winner)
Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club (winner)
Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine (winner)
Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club (winner)
Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave (winner)
Best Animated Feature: Frozen (winner)
Cinematography: Gravity – Emmanuel Lubezki (winner)
Costume Design: American Hustle - Michael Wilkinson (winner: The Great Gatsby - Catherine Martin)
Best Directing: Steve McQueen – 12 Years a Slave (winner: Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity)
Documentary Feature: The Act of Killing (winner: 20 Feet from Stardom)
Documentary Short: n/a (winner: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved my Life)
Film Editing: Gravity - Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger (winner)
Best Foreign Language Film: The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium) (winner: The Great Beauty – Italy)
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club (winner)
Best Original Score: Saving Mr. Banks - Thomas Newman (winner: Gravity - Steven Price)
Best Original Song: “Let It Go” – Frozen (winner)
Best Production Design: 12 Years a Slave – Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker (winner: The Great Gatsby)
Best Animated Short Film: Get a Horse - Lauren MacMullin, Dorothy McKim (winner: Mr. Hublot)
Best Live-Action Short Film: n/a (winner: Helium)
Best Sound Editing: Gravity – Glenn Freemantle (winner)
Best Sound Mixing: Gravity - Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro (winner)
Best Visual Effects: Gravity - Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould (winner)
Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave - John Ridley (winner)
Best Original Screenplay: American Hustle - Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell (winner: Her – Spike Jonze)