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.