Monday, March 3, 2014

Links and an Oscar recap

Oscar winners:

Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave

The rest.

They got it right. Can you believe it? The Academy actually got it right for once when it comes to bestowing their Best Picture Oscar. Color me amazed; it would've been easy for them to award a less challenging movie (which is not necessarily an indicator of lesser quality), but in honoring 12 Years a Slave, they went with a film that will continue to be thoroughly talked about and discussed generations from now.

I went 20-for-24 with my predictions this year, which may be my best season ever (really shoulda gone with Her for Original Screenplay), and this prompts me to bring up a point I alluded to last week: should it be this relatively easy to predict the Oscars? I mean, if you're like me and you follow the Oscar race beginning in September, you see the patterns develop, and by the time the nominations are announced, you get a good idea of what'll make it in and what won't. And because the Oscars are last, after the critics awards and the guild awards and the Golden Globes and all those other awards are handed out, the Oscars look like they're simply continuing the pattern.

Is that because the feted movies and movie-makers are that good, or is it because the Academy doesn't want to rock the boat? For example, if they thought 12 Years was the best movie, would it have been that much of a stretch for them to give Best Director to Steve McQueen instead of Alfonso Cuaron, who was certainly as deserving? But then, Cuaron had been winning awards left and right. Maybe it was easier to vote for him as a result. I don't know. This is why I didn't bother watching the Oscars last night. I knew most of the awards were a foregone conclusion and that I could watch the acceptance speeches on YouTube today - which I have.

I know it's asking too much for the Academy to be more... adventurous in their selections of Oscar nominees and winners. That sort of thing's for critics and bloggers. Like I've said before, predicting the Oscars is a game, nothing more - something I forget from time to time, I realize - and the only people to whom it really matters are the nominees themselves. Still, I am glad that they got it right this year with 12 Years.

In other news: the Queens World Film Festival is back, and once again, I'll be there, beginning tomorrow night at the Museum of the Moving Image and continuing through the rest of the week at venues across the borough. The lineup of films is right here. If you're in the New York area (and if the snow's not too bad - fingers crossed), come on out and treat yourself to the fun. In addition to my reports here on the blog, I'll have pictures from the event on my WSW Facebook page, and of course, you can follow me on Twitter at @ratzo318.

Your links for this month:

Becky was not amused with the way some Hollywood legends were treated at the Oscars.

Ryan saw Shaft for the first time and I think he was impressed.

Alex has reformatted her blog to include discussion about fine art, but she still talks about movies - and The Monuments Men is one that hits both her interests.

Courtney has some choice words for that reporter who confused Sam Jackson with Laurence Fishburne.

Pam discusses a forgotten TV movie about female-on-male domestic violence.

On her book blog, Raquelle reviews the book that told the real story behind American Hustle.

Finally, legitimate proof that 80s action movies were objectively better!

How does one judge a movie that casts against gender, race or sexual orientation?

Oscar 2012 winners
Oscar 2011 winners


  1. Ryan was very impressed - thanks for the link, kind sir!

    1. Next you gotta watch Superfly and Sweetback!

  2. Boy, Rich, you really got a great score! Yes, I was not amused at all about the black carpet treatment given to Novak and Minnelli. I guess you could tell, huh? It was sweet of you to share the link ... thanks much!

  3. At some point I'll have to see if those moments are on YouTube so I can see them in context.


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