written by Omar Castillon (@omar_castillon)
The Academy Awards, or the Oscars, is one of the most prestigious awards any actor, crew member or even director can receive as an honor. Sure there’s the Golden Globes or even the BAFTA awards that people in the world of film can brag about. But that’s just the back story to all of the shenanigans that happen during the Oscars.
Ellen DeGeneres, the Oscars host this year, broke Twitter. All because of a selfie that she and Meryl Streep were originally going to be a part of but then it involved an onslaught of celebrity stardom. Note to anybody that wants to ever break Twitter, be famous and say that you will break the record for most retweets. Good job Ellen, you accomplished something that even the most controversial celebrity would never do easily.
Anyways, let’s talk about the nitty gritty. Gravity took home seven awards including best director. By the way, this is the first time a Mexican has ever won an Oscar for directing. The big surprise on the other hand is that it was not the winner for best picture. Instead Steve McQueen’s third feature film in his career, 12 Years A Slave, was the winner this year.
For those of you that have never seen McQueen’s other films, I recommend you watch them with an open mind. The first feature film he did was Hunger starring Michael Fassbender. There is a famous scene where it is a static shot (stationary shot) with Fassbender’s character talking to the priest for 12 minutes straight. There is no cut away, not even footage to back up whatever is being talked about; it’s just two people, one room and 12 minutes of stillness.
McQueen’s other film, Shame, deals with sex addiction and is one of the few films that received an NC-17 rating. So yeah, McQueen’s third film winning best picture is a clear example of how to be an artistically savvy yet gut-punching filmmaker that dares to push the limits of audiences comfort zones.
As for the best actors and actresses, (this includes supporting roles too), congratulations goes to Lupita Nyong’o, Jared Leto, Cate Blanchett and Matthew McConaughey. And yes, tons of Leo DiCaprio fans were disappointed by his loss, but honestly I didn’t really care. I was fine with either actor that was nominated this year. Same goes with the actresses as well. Yes, even the fans of Gravity were disappointed with Sandra Bullock’s loss. But it all comes down to who is in charge of the Oscars so if you want to blame someone, blame a committee that the people don’t have control over. Then again, it wouldn’t be the Oscars if we had fan input on who should win during the ceremony. If that were the case, this would basically be the MTV Movie Awards where The Avengers would win best picture.
The geeks on the other hand would have rejoiced with the Oscar for best animated feature film if The Wind Rises were the winner (we’ll miss you Miyazaki) but Frozen was a good choice nonetheless. The other technical areas such as sound editing and visual effects were well earned by the people behind Gravity. For those that work in the audio/visual medium know that dedicating time to a film or even an amateur video for YouTube is a painstakingly tedious task that few appreciate. To those that work for video production companies or even audio engineering companies, yeah I feel your pain and appreciate your hard work to make someone’s life a little more entertaining. Maybe it’s the inner broadcast major in me but I guess that’s why I was happy when Gravity won most of the technical categories.
Well, that was a little bit of a sidetrack but the Oscars are not only a celebration of films, but a celebration of the craft and hard work that goes into creating entertainment for the world. I’m sure that next year’s Oscars will be just as entertaining as Anne Hathaway’s sparkling dress that hurt my eyes during the broadcast.