Well I'm coming at you fresh off of watching the Oscars. There were not a whole lot of surprises when it came to winners, 12 Years a Slave took the show's top honors, Gravity won for just about every technical award possible, Cate Blanchette won for Best Actress, and Matthew (Wooderson) McConaughey won for Best Actor. I wasn't a huge fan of Ellen's hosting, especially the pizza bit that just wouldn't die, but overall the show ran as smooth as one could expect. The two awards that I was happiest to see given out were Lupita Nyong'o for Best Supporting Actress in 12 Years a Slave, and Spike Jonze taking home Best Original Screenplay for Her.
I mean just look at this reaction. How can you not love that? You see a lot of jaded people at these kinds of award shows and to see this kind of unabashed pride and happiness from a winner is pretty cool. I felt the same way about Jonze during his acceptance speech. I thought that Her was an amazing story, regardless of what medium it was intended for.
I've been harking on this for awhile now, but the only thing that rubbed me wrong about The Oscars this year was the Academy's compete failure to recognize Inside Lleywn Davis for being the brilliant movie it is. For the Coens and Oscar Isaac to be snubbed is a little silly in my opinion. Still, you have to give a lot of credit to the voters for recognizing the two movies that best exemplified what movies are capable of: Gravity and 12 Years a Slave.
...and just to get this bit of snarkiness off of my chest, I was also happy to see that this years Oscars didn't turn into the American Hustle awards. I enjoyed American Hustle, but I was a little worried that the safe movie would win a bundle of awards, and to the Academy's credit, the better, riskier movies took home the big prizes.
Was anyone surprised when McConaughey once again dusted off his Wodderson impression for a major award acceptance speech? I certainly was not. I wonder if this Oscar win is the pinnacle of the McConaussance? I mean after these last couple of episodes of True Detective are over, and Matt takes home an Emmy, will that be the end? I certainly hope not. I think the world is a better place when McC is taking on challenging roles. I hope that his collaboration with Christopher Nolan is a smashing success and he gets the kind of financial freedom to champion projects in the same way that Pitt and DiCaprio do now. I'm in favor of whatever it takes to keep getting him roles that push him as an actor. No more rom-coms please. I have this dream that someday we will think about McConaughey in the same way we talk about Daniel Day Lewis, only DDL could never pull off a role as subtle and complex as Wooderson. Search your hearts, dear reader, you know it to be true.
Not much else to say about the show, other than It would be really great if we could get the ceremony itself to be an hour long, instead of the four hour death march that we all went through tonight. My proposal is that we keep the big awards, Best Actor/Actress/Director/Screen Play/Picture and parcel the other awards out over the course of a week. We could have a winner get announced every night on Kimmel, or any of the other Late Night shows. That way the people who win awards like Best Editing or Best Wardrobe design would get a chance to actually be interviewed, and have their voice heard instead of being given 20 seconds to give an acceptance speech so we can get back to Ellen's ongoing pizza joke bit. This will probably never happen, because it's such a huge ratings draw for ABC, and I realize that for a lot of people this like the Super Bowl. I just think a shorter show would be a lot more enjoyable to watch.
So that kind of wraps up last year in movies. I'm looking forward to a lot of these films coming out on BluRay/download. I have a heard time believing that this year will be nearly as good as 2013 was for cinema, but I guess I will just have to wait and see if the medium will continue to push forward, or if it will fall back into the relative drudgery of the last four years. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.