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Oscar Watching: No Complaints Here

For the most part, the evening went as expected – well, maybe not John Travolta’s presenting of Idina Menzel, who performed original song winner “Let It Go” (Adela Dazeem?) or Darlene Love‘s lovely impromptu rendition of “His Eye is on the Sparrow” as 20 Feet from Stardom won best documentary feature. Still, Ellen DeGeneres proved to be an energetic host, opened with a great monologue, and still had time to order some pizza and take a selfie that took little time to break records.

Anyway, I went 20 for 24 with my predictions – my best since I first began predicting the madness often called the Academy Awards. I thought Jennifer Lawrence would win again, in the supporting actress category this year, and in the process pull a Luise Rainer or Tom Hanks. But I can’t say that Lupita Nyong’o’s win disappointed me – she’s such a wonderful actress who turned in a great performance, and I can’t wait for her star to rise. Also, my failure to predict Spike Jonze’s original screenplay win for Her? It’s been a long time since I’ve been so happy to be wrong.

The shorts categories are always tricky, so Mr. Hublot’s win over Get a Horse! shocked me, but it’s the best of the bunch, so I can’t complain. Also, it’s no surprise that Catherine Martin won production design for terrific work on The Great Gatsby (in addition to her costume design win for the same film), but I thought Gravity would more cleanly sweep the crafts races.

Sure, you can be a film lover without following the Oscars, but we follow the Oscars because we love film. That said, the Oscar season tends to bring out the worst in film lovers on the blogosphere. Oddly enough, I’ve no good reason to complain about last night’s winners – I don’t agree with each decision collectively made by the motion-picture academy, and some parts of the ceremony itself didn’t work, but it was hardly the disaster it could have been. Again, DeGeneres, a consummate pro, gets lots of credit for that.

But that’s enough about what I think. 12 Years a Slave won best picture, best supporting actress (the aforementioned Nyong’o), and best adapted screenplay (John Ridley). Dallas Buyers Club also took home three awards – best actor (Matthew McConaughey), best supporting actor (Jared Leto), and best makeup and hairstyling (Adruitha Lee and Robin Matthews).

Gravity> took seven awards – best director (Alfonso Cuarón), best original score (Steven Price), best cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki), best film editing (Cuarón and Mark Sanger), best sound editing (Glenn Freemantle), best sound mixing (Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, and Chris Munro), and best visual effects (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, and Neil Corbould).

And just in case you haven’t seen them yet – or if you want a refresher – here are the winners of the 86th Annual Academy Awards, one that will go down in the history books.


Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave (Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, and Anthony Katagas)

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze for Her

Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave


Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen

Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty (Italy)

Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet from Stardom


Best Original Song: “Let It Go” from Frozen (music and lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez)

Best Original Score: Steven Price for Gravity


Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki for Gravity

Best Costume Design: Catherine Martin for The Great Gatsby

Best Film Editing: Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger for Gravity

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Adruitha Lee and Robin Matthews for Dallas Buyers Club

Best Production Design: Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunn for The Great Gatsby

Best Sound Editing: Glenn Freemantle for Gravity

Best Sound Mixing: Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, and Chris Munro for Gravity

Best Visual Effects: Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, and Neil Corbould for Gravity


Best Animated Short: Mr. Hublot (Laurent Witz)

Best Documentary Short: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life (Malcolm Clarke)

Best Live-Action Short: Helium (Anders Walter)

Also, my year-in-advance picks (because I can’t help myself)

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Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren

Donovan Warren loves the wonderful world of film and all that comes with it. He specifically loves long takes, fabulous actresses, and keeping up with the Oscar season - even when it's far too early to make sense of anything.