Pop-Ed: Oscar 2014- Our Final Thoughts

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And thus ends the Awards season for 2013…a fantastic year for film.

So, what’s the big story from this year’s Oscars? Is it Gravity winning almost everything, but losing Best Picture? Hey, Jennifer Lawrence can actually lose an award. How about The Great Gatsby winning more Oscars than American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Nebraska, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Her combined. Someone got an EGOT, that was pretty cool. At the end of the day, I think the biggest story will be that there were absolutely zero upsets. Everything that happened was supposed to happen. We can pontificate for months about how “Oh, I think Gravity could pull it off,” or “You know, American Hustle has been gaining a lot of steam…there could be an upset!”

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Upsets at the Oscars really are rare, especially with Best Picture, which makes Crash winning in 2005 that much more special. I really think you’re going to see a lot more people complain about this more and more. I don’t think there’s anything to really solve here…it just is what it is. There will always be a Best Picture front runner that starts to take form around late November, and that movie will always win. The end.

But enough about the deeper meanings of the Oscars…for one last time, let’s take a look back at this year’s Academy Awards!

The Host

Ellen was great – funny, moved the show along, did a couple gimmicks that actually worked, and just had a good time. The pizza thing ran a little long, but it was fine. If that really was a delivery guy though, I’m dreading the day when he does talk shows and gets a movie deal or something. But whatever, maybe it was just an actor.

Quick Hits on the Ceremony

-Anne Hathaway’s dress looked like a disco ball

-Jim Carrey really needs to host an awards show

-That last heroes montage was obnoxious. “Oh, hey…here are movies people like, but we’ll never nominate them.”

-Aside from Best Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress, the Academy went straight “non major” awards until the very end…I kind of liked that

American Hustle…shut out

I’m not surprised, but this was really sad to watch. I wish it could have won something. Also, I really hate how there’s suddenly this weird backlash against the film, like this popular movement of people claiming it’s overrated. American Hustle is awesome. Get over it.

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Poor Roger Deakins

For those who don’t know, Roger Deakins is a cinematographer who’s been nominated for Best Cinematography 11 times, and has never won. He’s been the Director of Photography on such films as The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, No Country for Old Men, True Grit, and Skyfall. He was nominated this year for Prisoners, and lost again. If Gravity didn’t exist, he would have won this award no questions asked, but Gravity had to take Best Cinematography. When he finally does win an Oscar, that place is going to erupt.

Alright, enough tomfoolery. Let’s get to the meat…the awards:

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner – John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)

Whatever. This is the one award I’m annoyed that 12 Years a Slave won. It’s not that strong a screenplay. Aside from Captain Phillips, the other three nominees (Before Midnight, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street) were ten times more deserving.

Best Original Screenplay
Winner – Spike Jonze (Her)

This was by far my favorite moment of the night. In an awards ceremony that was dominated by two movies (12 Years a Slave, Gravity), it was great to see the best film of 2013 get its moment in the spotlight. If there were ever a movie to encapsulate “Original Screenplay,” it’s Her. Big congrats to Spike Jonze! AWESOME WIN!

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Best Supporting Actress
Winner – Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

I would have loved to of seen June Squibb win this, but Lupita Nyong’o is certainly more than deserving, and gave a great speech. Jennifer Lawrence…the magic had to end sometime. If she didn’t win last year, she very well could have won this award. I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing Jennifer Lawrence again though, don’t worry. Just as a side note, I love how even in a clip that is supposed to showcase Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep still steals the show. Meryl Streep is acting incarnate.

Best Supporting Actor
Winner – Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

No surprise, totally deserving.

Best Actress
Winner – Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

It was never in question. Cate Blanchett is the JV version of Meryl Streep…and I mean that as a huge compliment. If you haven’t seen Blue Jasmine, her performance truly is magnificent.

Best Actor
Winner – Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

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Despite how deep and stacked this race was all year, at the end of the day, it was destined to be Matthew McConaughey’s award. While I would have given it to DiCaprio, McConaughey is right there behind him, and I’m very happy for him to win this award. If there were anytime to use the phrase “It’s just an honor to be nominated,” this would be the category to do it. Leonardo DiCaprio will win an Oscar at some point, that you can be sure of.

Best Director
Winner – Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)

I think I dislike Gravity more and more everyday, and that became apparent when it was shoved in my face all night. While he was fifth on my list out of all of these directors, I’d be lying if I didn’t think his direction of Gravity wasn’t worthy of an Oscar – all these guys were. It would have been really cool to see Martin Scorsese win this though, but I guess that was never a real possibility.

Best Picture
Winner – 12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave was never going to lose this award. I’m sure everybody and their mother thought Gravity was going to win after it took all the technical awards and Best Director, but that was all supposed to happen. 12 Years a Slave is a good movie, and I don’t have a problem with it winning Best Picture. But in a year where we had films like Her, The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, and Nebraska, there were better options out there. But again…I’m fine with it.

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Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.