Academy Awards

86th Academy Awards

OscarsThis past Sunday, the 86th Academy Awards were held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The culmination of awards season, the Academy Awards are an exciting night full of glitz, glam, tears and lots of golden statues. This year, host Ellen DeGeneres brought laughs to audiences watching in the theater and at home with a long-running pizza bit that resulted in pizza actually being delivered to the celebrities in attendance, and a star-studded selfie that broke Twitter. Movie montages of the heroes, both real and imaginary, that have come from movies, a celebration of the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, and a moving In Memoriam helped round out the celebration of film.

Although the big winners at this year’s Oscar ceremony weren’t overly surprising, some of them were momentous. With his win as part of the husband-wife team behind Frozen’s hit song “Let It Go,” Robert Lopez became the twelfth and youngest (at 38 years old) member of the EGOT club. His previous wins include a Grammy and Tonys for the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon, as well as Emmys for the children’s cartoon, The Wonder Pets.

2014 Oscar Nominations: Best Actress & Best Supporting Actress

We’re counting down this year’s Oscar race!  And here are the top ten actresses!

As a life-long movie fan, I find these past few years to be especially exciting.  It’s largely accepted that 1939 was a banner year for movies.  The Best Picture nominations were films still considered among the best ever made.  (Among them were Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.)  It was the Golden Age of Hollywood.  And the actresses and actors of that time are still considered some of the best.

2014 Oscar Nominations: Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor

academy awardIn just a few weeks, winners will be announced at the Academy Awards, the culmination of the film awards season. This year’s nominees in the Actor and Supporting Actor categories are a diverse group. Five of the actors are nominated for the first time, and only one actor (Christian Bale) has previously won an Academy Award. With such amazing new or previously unrecognized talent, the race could be open to upset. Will the men of Dallas Buyers Club, who have dominated the race so far, continue their winning streak, or will there be a surprise win at the Oscars?

Although I haven’t seen all of the nominated movies so far, I already have my favorites. Who would you like to see win an Academy Award?

Best Actor:

Christian Bale (American Hustle): In American Hustle, Bale plays Irving Rosenfeld, a con artist forced by the FBI to set up a sting operation in exchange for his freedom. A method actor who exchanges accents at will, Bale has starred in everything from big budget blockbusters (most notably as Batman in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy), to smaller independent films (The Machinist). This is Bale’s second Academy Award nomination, with a previous win for Supporting Actor in The Fighter.

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street): Recognized for his role as Jordan Belfort, a corrupt New York stockbroker, this is DiCaprio’s fourth Academy Award nomination and his fifth collaboration with director Martin Scorsese. After huge mainstream success in the 1990’s with blockbusters like Titanic and Romeo + Juliet, DiCaprio has since starred in a number of critically-acclaimed and Oscar-nominated movies. DiCaprio has already won a Critics’ Choice Award and a Golden Globe this season, and his fans hope that this might finally be his year at the Oscars.

A Comparative Look at Awards Season

OscarsThis morning, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for the 86th Academy Awards. Honoring achievements in film, the Oscars are highly anticipated by Hollywood and movie goers alike. These nominations come several weeks after announcements of nominees for the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG Awards) and the British Film Academy Awards (BAFTA Awards).

Every year, I find it interesting to compare the lists of nominees in the major categories at these three awards shows. Sometimes the nominations are strikingly similar (as with this year’s nominees for best director and lead actress), and sometimes they are completely different (as with this year’s nominees for best supporting actor). Below, I have listed all the nominees for film, director and the four major acting awards.

Although the Bafta Awards and the SAG Awards are always handy indicators of what is likely to win at the Academy Awards, there are always surpries at each show. It will be interesting to see how the wins compare at the end of awards season.

For a look at the entire list of nominations for each awards show, visit the Academy Awards website, the BAFTA Awards website, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards website.

Best Film or Performance by a Cast:

  • 12 Years a Slave: Academy Award, BAFTA, SAG
  • American Hustle: Academy Award, BAFTA, SAG
  • August: Osage County: SAG
  • Captain Phillips: Academy Award, BAFTA
  • Dallas Buyers Club: Academy Award, SAG
  • Gravity: Academy Award, BAFTA
  • Her: Academy Award
  • Lee Daniels’ The Butler: SAG
  • Nebraska: Academy Award
  • Philomena: Academy Award, BAFTA
  • The Wolf of Wall Street: Academy Award

Read It, Watch It, See if It Wins

The Academy Award nominations are tomorrow, and I’m excited to see what films have been chosen.  This past year had quite a few adaptations of nonfiction books that opened to great reviews.  Here are a few titles that have been popping up in the nomination predictions.

     

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One More Time...

The Oscar show is over.  The gold statues have been handed out.  The show biz pundits have praised and panned various dresses worn by the women attending.  Some have even talked about the men’s clothing.  Comments have been made about the length of the ceremony.  And many have mentioned the host.

2013 Oscar Nominations: Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor

academy awardsThis Sunday, a hotly contested awards season will come to a close with the 85th Academy Awards ceremony. This year, the nominated actors appear in comedies, biopics, musicals and dramas, but all offer strong performances. Between the ten, they have thirty-five Oscar nominations and ten wins.  All but two of the actors have previously received Oscar nominations, and seven have won at least one statuette. While the Best Actor competition seems uncontested, the field is wide open in Best Supporting Actor. It will be interesting to see which nominees actually take home the award on Sunday!

Best Actor:

Black History Month at the Oscars

February has brought us two special events: Black History Month and the Academy Awards presentation.  So I think we should call attention to the Black actors and actresses who have paved the way for the next generation of talent – such as young Quvenzhané Wallis.  Past winner Denzel Washington is nominated again this year.  And, of course, he was preceded by others.

Therefore, let’s take a moment to acknowledge the talented Black artists who have won the Oscar.  Check out their array of movies, including those for which they received their awards.
 

Best Picture -- Now and Then

I’m at a disadvantage when it comes to this year’s Oscars.  I’ve seen very few of the nominated films.  Friends and family have told me about some of the movies, and I’ve looked up information on my own.  The nine films up for Best Picture are quite diverse, ranging from historical to fantasy to military to musical to western.

Now I will admit up front that I’m cheating a little on this blog.  I looked up the plots for most of the films.  And as I read, I couldn’t help being reminded of past Best Picture winners.
 

The Oldest and the Youngest

This year’s Academy Award nominations held a pleasant surprise and new record.  In the Best Actress in a Leading Role category, we have both the oldest and the youngest nominees in the history of the Oscars.  Emmanuelle Riva, nominated for the foreign film Amour, was 85 years old when announcements were made last week.  At the other end of the spectrum is

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