Oscar Primer 2014: Final Thoughts and Picks

Well I must say that this Oscar season has been like no other. Last year I only missed out on seeing four nominated films (along with the 5 Documentary Shorts), this year I was determined to top it no matter what. Turns out I managed to beat it by one! I only missed out on seeing three Best Foreign Films (Broken Circle Breakdown, Omar and The Missing Picture). Once again I couldn’t see the Documentary Shorts, seriously why are they so damn hard to see?

That said I managed to watch 49 different nominated films, which I am very proud of. This has been going on for a few years where I try to watch as many as I can. It started out as a contest with a friend to see as many as we could before the ceremony but the last three years I took it to another level and was determined to watch them all no matter what. One year I hope to be perfect in that regard.

What made this year special was I decided to write about every nominated film I have seen, which at first seemed like an awesome idea to help encourage me to watch the films quicker. Boy was I wrong! I originally planned on doing one write up a week for the duration of Oscar season, from the time the nominations came out all the way up to March 2nd when the statues are handed out. I learned within the time of making my first post I had to do two a week covering 3-4 films each time if I wanted to get it all done. What proceeded was that I was writing almost every single day for a three-month period, not to mention on top of my usual live concert reviews I also do for the site and a podcast guest appearance.

Don’t get me wrong this was a great experience and I feel like I have grown a lot as a writer, which is great for me. Unfortunately this has sometimes been a difficult time, like forcing myself to watch The Lone Ranger, The Croods, The Book Thief and Despicable Me 2. These are hours I will never get back, to the point where I wasn’t even really paying attention to The Lone Ranger and had a really hard time writing a review for it. On the flip side I saw some fantastic films I went in not knowing much about like Ernest et Celestine, The Great Beauty, The Hunt and The Invisible Woman. I left the theatre buzzing about The Great Beauty with so many ideas and thoughts that when I got home I had to quickly write them all down and I was compelled to write a full review the next day.

I love film and everything about the process of making them, so Oscar night is my high holiday. I hope that my reviews and critiques reveal that to everyone who took the time to read my work. I owe a lot to my girlfriend Stephanie who took time to read all of my work before I sent it in and helped correct my many sentence fragments. I will admit the errors became less common the more I wrote over these last few months. I also owe a lot to my editor and boss Sean Chin for sending me encouraging texts when I worried that all my work was for naught. He joked in one text that he now expects this output from me on a regular basis. If I find something worth writing about I will throw myself into it all the way, so I hope you enjoy my work and come back to read my ramblings again!

Without further ado I present my final picks for who I think will win the awards. I am putting this all on record so that when I am blatantly wrong you can rub my nose in it. Also everything highlighted in my ballot are films I have seen.

  • Best Picture- 12 Years a Slave
  • Director- Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
  • Actor- Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
  • Actress- Cate Blanchette (Blue Jasmine)
  • Supporting Actor- Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
  • Supporting Actress- Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
  • Cinematography- Gravity
  • Costume Design- The Great Gatsby
  • Film Editing- Gravity
  • Makeup and Hairstyling- Dallas Buyers Club
  • Production Design- The Great Gatsby
  • Visual Effects- Gravity
  • Original Screenplay- Her
  • Adapted Screenplay- 12 Years a Slave
  • Original Score- Gravity
  • Original Song- Let it Go (Frozen)
  • Sound Editing- Gravity
  • Sound Mixing- Gravity
  • Animated Feature- Frozen
  • Animated Short- Get a Horse!
  • Documentary Feature- 20 Feet From Stardom
  • Documentary Short- The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life*
  • Foreign Film- The Great Beauty (Italy)
  • Live Action Short- Helium

* I base this pick on what I have read from other critics since I have not seen any Documentary Shorts.

By these picks I have Gravity coming out on top with 7 wins followed by 3 wins for 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club.


About author

Music Editor at Live in Limbo and Host of Contra Zoom podcast. Dakota is a graduate of Humber College's Acting for Film and Television. He now specializes in knowing all random trivia. He writes about music, sports and film. Dakota's life goal is visit all baseball stadiums, he's at 7.