Why, it's only the 86th Annual Academy Awards, AKA, the Oscars! For some of you, this may not mean much, however for you fellow film buffs and fashion crazed out there, it's kiiiind of a big deal. In fact, even for you who do not think that you necessarily care about the Oscars, perhaps after reading this, you just might…
The biggest night in film certainly does boast some amazing fashion moments, however what sometimes gets lost on people is the meaning and significance of the awards banquet. The Oscars are certainly known for bringing in the A-List stars, but they also acknowledge the contributors of the world of film who are overlooked or forgotten by the general public; the documentarians, cinematographers, composers, songwriters, editors, animators, costume designers and visual effects gurus. Ultimately, it comes down to recognition. Do you ever consider the concept of recognition - complimenting, praising, applauding people for their efforts or a job well done? Do you think that if there was more recognition, there would be more good deeds in society? Thinking about the amount of attention suicide bombers and mass murderers receive, especially compared to positive acts of courage and bravery - kind of twisted no? There was an awards ceremony for young leaders in my area last month, which got me thinking about being recognized for contributions to my community. Even though I feel that the majority of the time I spend volunteering is purely due to intrinsic motivation, I will admit that it is nice for other people to acknowledge my efforts. Aside from "acting" (pun intended) as an evening of recognition, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences uses the proceeds to fund their educational opportunities for budding filmmakers.
Revenue from Oscar night provides worldwide education outreach and grant funding to institutions and non-profit organizations for filmmaking programs, fostering a future generation of filmmakers. The Academy has recently funded programs in Sarajevo, Cuba, East Africa and Iran.Therefore, by watching the Academy Awards on Sunday, you are supporting the advancement of technology, the pursuit of education and, most importantly, encouraging new voices in cinema!
I always try to watch the majority of the best picture nominations before the big night - how about you? The host(s) of the evening tend to make little puns and references to the various movies and so I reckon that knowing what they're talking about generally enhances the viewing experience. This year, I made note of the fact that there was an underlying theme with regards to the Best Picture nominees. It seemed that the films dealt with a heavy obstacle of survival. Did you notice? There was also an underwhelming lack of plots points focused around romantic love, as the on-screen relationships were mostly based on partnerships dependent on completing the task at hand. Kind of interesting.
Now for the fun part; here are my selections. As a disclaimer, I didn't see Philomena, Gravity or Captain Phillips. I started watching Nebraska (about 1/3 finished) but found it rather slow moving, so I shut it off. I know, cut-throat, aren't I?
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Actress in a Leading Role
BPicture: This is a challenging decision for me, torn between Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club. I'm going with Wolf of Wall Street because I felt like I was engaged throughout the whole film, which is ultimately what it is all about. Also, I was pleasantly surprised with "Her" because even though it has elements of everything that I enjoy (a sassy female lead, a complex and soulful man, a romantic entanglement etc.) there wasn't a lot to it. But, the soundtrack was fantastic and I guess I really empathized with Joaquin Phoenix's character. Plus, I think he was phenomenal and Scarlett Johansson really made the O.S. character really come to life, with her rather distinguished tone of voice. I think that this was partly because I could picture her whole entity playing the character (i.e. her body too) and therefore that is why it was easily envision-able.
BLeadActor: Again, between WofW or DBC. Leo will forever be one of my favourites… does he ever make a bad movie?? I also really enjoy Matthew McConaughey and think it's rather cool that he was also in WofW. Of course he's notable for his RomCom's like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Failure to Launch, but my favourite film of his to date is probably the crime thriller, The Lincoln Lawyer. In DBC, he reported losing roughly 38 pounds but it seemed like a lot more. He was unrecognizable onscreen and was very convincing as a redneck homophobe dying of AIDS. Christian Bale tipped the scale of opposite way for his rendition of a con artist in American Hustle, but I was quite disappointed with the film in its entirety. I think because I really wanted to enjoy it - I loved Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook so was hoping for another great deliverable. I'm going with Matthew for the win.
BLeadActress: Tricky. I think this was one of Meryl Streep's best roles yet - I can't recall ever seeing her so raw and stripped down! It's hard to choose her though, because she's been around forever and you just KNOW she's good, that it's not a very exciting choice. I kind of despised Cate Blanchett's character in Blue Jasmine, but I guess that means she evoked emotion out of me, so maybe it should go to her? I thought Amy Adams was quite forgettable in American Hustle and I have yet to catch Gravity or Philomena, so I guess I'm going with Cate Blanchett.
BSupportActor: Definitely Jared Leto in DBC. He was superb and I'm so glad he's back on the big screen after touring with his band 30 Seconds to Mars. I can't wait to see what role he takes on next! I'm a huge fan of Jonah Hill, and loved his pearly grill in WofW, but think he's best when his comedic genius is showcased more.
BSupportActress: Hm, I guess Lupita Nyong'o?! She's been nominated for upwards of 20 awards for her role of Patsey in 12 Years a Slave. From the scenes of torture, rape and a gut-wrenching plea of euthanasia, she definitely deserves it. As a whole however, 12 Years a Slave was just okay for me... I wanted there to be more of a substantial climax and there just wasn't. The best part was when you realize that the likeable white man is Brad Pitt (who's company Plan B, produced the film.. kidding… kind of.
Do you agree with my selections, or are you leaning in another direction?? I love discussing films so feel free to let me know what you loved/despised!
Besides checking my wins like I'm playing the lottery, another thing I'm excited to do, is enjoy the caliber of entertainment; it was just announced that PINK will be gracing the stage for a performance which I'm sure will be like no other! I'm still kicking myself that I didn't score tickets to see her in concert from her last tour. Also, of course, Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting - so good! Not to mention, the list of presenters is quite extensive:
Amy Adams, Kristen Bell, Jessica Biel, Jim Carrey, Glenn Close, Bradley Cooper, Penélope Cruz, Benedict Cumberbatch, Viola Davis, Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Sally Field, Harrison Ford, Jamie Foxx, Andrew Garfield, Jennifer Garner, Whoopi Goldberg, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Goldie Hawn, Chris Hemsworth, Kate Hudson, Samuel L. Jackson, Angelina Jolie, Michael B. Jordan, Anna Kendrick, Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Bill Murray, Kim Novak, Tyler Perry, Brad Pitt, Sidney Poitier, Gabourey Sidibe, Will Smith, Kevin Spacey, Jason Sudeikis, Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, John Travolta, Kerry Washington, Emma Watson, and Naomi Watts.
I almost always tune in to the pre-show red carpet coverage, to check out the usually beautiful and often hideous gowns. As the fanciest night in film, this is the night for the designers to really showcase what they're made of. It's fun to try and guess the designer that each star is wearing and make note of any trends that come up; whether it's the colour, cut or fabric, there are almost always some noticeable similarities between looks. I also really enjoy paying attention to how a look is styled; whether they have heavy makeup a high collar and simple hair, or bold jewelry but barely-there makeup and a low cut neckline etc. There are so many awesome and just as many awkward styling decisions that are made for each attendee, that it's fun to take note of each effort.
Here are a few of my favourite Oscar looks:
Also, the Golden Globes which are hosted in January, are a great precursor to the Oscars. Here are some of my favourite looks from the 2014 Golden Globes:
Enjoy the night!!