Daily | Oscars 2014

Lupita Nyong'o in '12 Years a Slave'

Lupita Nyong’o in ’12 Years a Slave’

And with the presentation of the Oscars, this year’s awards season has finally crossed the finish line. The night played out pretty much as expected; here’s a sampling of what’s being said about the winners (in bold)—and, down there at the bottom of the page, about the awards in general.


12 Years a Slave.
American Hustle.
Captain Phillips.
Dallas Buyers Club.
The Wolf of Wall Street.

The Telegraph‘s Robbie Collin: “Steve McQueen’s film is the first Best Picture-winner in the Academy’s history to have been directed by a black filmmaker, and also the first since In the Heat of the Night, which won in 1968, to deal with the black experience in America in a remotely meaningful way. The decision will be read variously as bold, long-overdue, intrinsically political and absolutely correct. But hey, this is Hollywood: why can’t it be all four?”


David O. Russell, American Hustle.
Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity.
Alexander Payne, Nebraska.
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave.
Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street.

“Will Gravity date?” wonders the Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw. “Will successive outings on the small screen diminish its memory and obscure that gasp-inducing impression it first made on the world’s Imaxes? Possibly. But it’s such a superlative piece of entertainment, with state-of-the-art digital effects cunningly yoked to some old-fashioned hokey melodrama. It’s operatic in its over-the-top emotionalism. If Puccini could write a musicless sci-fi actioner it might look like this.”

Film Comment editor Gavin Smith interviews Cuarón.


Christian Bale, American Hustle.
Bruce Dern, Nebraska.
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street.
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave.
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club.

Flavorwire: “Well, when you give an Oscar to Matthew McConaughey, you’re gonna get a Matthew McConaughey acceptance speech, and you gotta give him this: he was at his absolute Matthew McConaughey-est. The biggest head-scratcher of his rambling speech? It’s a tough competition, but we’re gonna go with ‘[God]’s shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates.'”


Amy Adams, American Hustle.
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine.
Sandra Bullock, Gravity.
Judi Dench, Philomena.
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County.

Blanchett did indeed thank Woody Allen and reminded the industry that, when it comes to films about women, “audiences want to see them, and they earn money—the world is round, people!”


Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips.
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle.
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave.
Jonah Hill, The Wolf of Wall Street.
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club.

Leto backstage after his win: “I’m going to be celebrating to the break of dawn. Trust me. Look me in the eyes and see that I will revel tonight.”


Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine.
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle.
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave.
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County.
June Squibb, Nebraska.

Lily Rothman for Time: “In addition to thanking the usual Academy Awards suspects—castmates, her drama school, the Academy—she drew attention to the real people whose stories she helped bring to the big screen: Speaking to director Steve McQueen, she noted that the dead are watching, and that she believes ‘they are grateful’ that he brought their history back to life.”


Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell, American Hustle.
Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine.
Spike Jonze, Her.
Bob Nelson, Nebraska.
Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack, Dallas Buyers Club.

Spike Jonze: “We made a movie about relationships and intimacy, and that’s what we share together.”


John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave.
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater, Before Midnight.
Billy Ray, Captain Phillips.
Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, Philomena.
Terence Winter, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Variety‘s Dave McNary notes that Ridley also won at the Spirit Awards on Saturday. “But the script was ruled ineligible for WGA awards consideration because Ridley resigned from the guild during the bitter 2007-08 strike—a reminder of the many rifts that remain from the 100-day work stoppage.”


20 Feet From Stardom.
The Act of Killing.
Cutie and the Boxer.
Dirty Wars.
The Square.

Vulture notes that “among the people on stage to accept the award was one of the film’s subjects, singer Darlene Love. And when Darlene Love is on stage, Darlene Love sings. She brought the house down with a verse of “His Eye Is On the Sparrow,” proving if you really want a memorable acceptance speech, get a world-class singer to belt one out.”


The Broken Circle Breakdown.
The Great Beauty.
The Hunt.
The Missing Picture.

Paolo Sorrentino a few days ago at Criterion HQ


The Croods.
Despicable Me 2.
Ernest & Celestine.
The Wind Rises.

Cartoon Brew‘s Amid Amidi tells us about Frozen‘s “guardian angel.”


Roger A. Deakins, Prisoners.
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis.
Philippe Le Sourd, The Grandmaster.
Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity.
Phedon Papamichael, Nebraska.


Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten, American Hustle.
Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger, Gravity.
John McMurphy and Martin Pensa, Dallas Buyers Club.
Christopher Rouse, Captain Phillips.
Joe Walker, 12 Years a Slave.


William Butler and Owen Pallett, Her.
Alexandre Desplat, Philomena.
Thomas Newman, Saving Mr. Banks.
Steven Price, Gravity.
John Williams, The Book Thief.


American Hustle. Production Design: Judy Becker; Set Decoration: Heather Loeffler.
Gravity. Production Design: Andy Nicholson; Set Decoration: Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woollard.
The Great Gatsby. Production Design: Catherine Martin; Set Decoration: Beverley Dunn.
Her. Production Design: K.K. Barrett; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena.
12 Years a Slave. Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Alice Baker.


William Chang Suk Ping, The Grandmaster.
Catherine Martin, The Great Gatsby.
Patricia Norris, 12 Years a Slave.
Michael O’Connor, The Invisible Woman.
Michael Wilkinson, American Hustle.


Joel Harlow and Gloria Pasqua-Casny, The Lone Ranger.
Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews, Dallas Buyers Club.
Stephen Prouty, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.


Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams and John Frazier, The Lone Ranger.
Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossmann and Burt Dalton, Star Trek Into Darkness.
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and Eric Reynolds, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash and Dan Sudick, Iron Man 3.
Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould, Gravity.


Steve Boeddeker and Richard Hymns, All Is Lost.
Brent Burge, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Glenn Freemantle, Gravity.
Wylie Stateman, Lone Survivor.
Oliver Tarney, Captain Phillips.


Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick and Tony Johnson, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.
Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith and Chris Munro, Captain Phillips.
Andy Koyama, Beau Borders and David Brownlow, Lone Survivor.
Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro, Gravity.
Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland, Inside Llewyn Davis.


“Alone Yet Not Alone” from Alone Yet Not Alone. Music by Bruce Broughton; Lyric by Dennis Spiegel.
“Happy” from Despicable Me 2. Music and Lyric by Pharrell Williams.
“Let It Go” from Frozen. Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
“The Moon Song” from Her. Music by Karen O; Lyric by Karen O and Spike Jonze.
“Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Music by Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen; Lyric by Paul Hewson.


CaveDigger, Jeffrey Karoff.
Facing Fear, Jason Cohen.
Karama Has No Walls, Sara Ishaq.
The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed.
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall, Edgar Barens.


Feral, Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden.
Get a Horse!, Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim.
Mr. Hublot, Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares.
Possessions, Shuhei Morita.
Room on the Broom, Max Lang and Jan Lachauer.


Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me), Esteban Crespo.
Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just before Losing Everything), Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras.
Helium, Anders Walter and Kim Magnusson.
Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?), Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Saari.
The Voorman Problem, Mark Gill and Baldwin Li.

Variety‘s Andrew Stewart: “The night’s biggest shut-out went to American Hustle, which went 0 for 10…. Losing to McConaughey and Blanchett, respectively, Leonardo DiCaprio and Amy Adams are now 0-9 collectively.”

Criticwire‘s Sam Adams: “The Hollywood Reporter‘s ‘Brutally Honest Oscar Ballots‘ series has its unsavory aspects, but I’d argue that of all the pixels spilled covering this year’s Oscar race, there’s no more essential document when it comes to understanding who wins Oscars and why.”

The New Yorker‘s Richard Brody reminds us that “movies are a business, and the Oscars are part of that business—no news there. The news is that the business has become a big part of the news, and this fact is strangely inseparable from the aesthetic progress of the modern cinema.”

Updates: “The Best Picture race in particular was framed, sometimes explicitly, in moral terms,” notes Slate‘s Dana Stevens: “American Hustle vs. American history, Gravity vs. gravitas. An unpleasantly scolding example of this tone was the 12 Years Oscar-campaign slogan, ‘It’s time,’ which struck me as implicitly suggesting the movie didn’t deserve to be awarded on its own merits. But 12 Years a Slave didn’t come out of the evening seeming like the film had won anything just because, solemnly and starchily, it was ‘time.’ Its victory felt bigger—because less symbolic—than that.”

Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir: “Right now it feels as if the initial enthusiasm for Russell’s film faded quickly and it started to feel overly manufactured and a bit extraneous, next to a masterful technical construction that seemed to point the way toward Hollywood’s future and a challenging art film, made with old-fashioned craftsmanship, that served as a bracing corrective to its worst sins of the past.”

The “Oscars telecast is by its nature un-screw-upable,” argues Matt Zoller Seitz at Vulture. “And, more so now than probably ever, it’s about the dream that the entertainment machine will become more accessible to artists who aren’t white, and international in ways that aren’t just a matter of accents.”

Farran Nehme: “Let’s Talk About Kim Novak.”

“What was the most memorable moment from the 2014 Academy Awards?” asks Sam Adams and the Criticwire network responds.

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