OK, so I ran out of time posting about them (as per usual) but the final tally of my watching as many of the 57 movies with one or more nominations is........41!
I did it. I hit the goal I set myself.
I watched Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska, Blue Jasmine, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, The Grandmaster, The Great Gatsby, Frozen, Despicable Me 2, The Lone Ranger, The Croods, The Wind Rises, Prisoners, All Is Lost, Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Before Midnight, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, The Act of Killing, Cutie and the Boxer, The Square, 20 Feet From Stardom, Dirty Wars, The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Hunt, The Great Beauty, Cavedigger, Karama Has No Walls, The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, Aquel No Era Yo, Avant Que De Tout Perdre, Helium, Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa?, The Voorman Problem, Feral, Get A Horse!, Mr. Hublot, Possessions and Room On The Broom.
My favourites were Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Great Beauty, The Wind Rises, Despicable Me 2 and Mr. Hublot.
My least favourites were Before Midnight, Feral, Get A Horse! and Blue Jasmine.
But generally, I didn't feel this year had as many movies that blew me away as the past few years I've been doing this.
I am glad I did it though, because yet again I got to see a whole raft of movies I wouldn't have otherwise bothered to track down and watch. Perhaps I need to try a similar exercise with independent movies only sometime. Additionally, keeping busy keeps me from overthinking....which the way my mental health is at the moment is a very good thing.
But aaaaaanyway, here's my predictions for awards tonight:
Best Movie: 12 Years A Slave
(nuff said.....it just is)
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón - Gravity
(loved Gravity, but the excellence of the effects, sound and everything else they created to make the film possible, plus Sandra Bullock's incredible physical performance making zero gravity believable (she trained for months so you couldn't see where the connections lifting her were) wasn't matched for me by the minimal plot, so I don't have it as Best Movie or unfortunately for Best Actress. The movie is going to pick up a truckload of awards though in the technical categories)
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club
(McConaughey and Jared Leto's performances are bigger than the movie as a whole....lots of the other characters are quite one dimensional, I wanted to know more about the lady second in command running the Club, or the gay couple who donate the house....but reading the back story about how difficult and long a process it's been to make this movie at all, I'm overjoyed that it made the Best Movie category so got lots of focus in the last few months)
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
(Blue Jasmine was another movie where for me the quality of the acting was better than the quality of the movie (from Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins, who's up for 2 Oscars sort of....one for Best Supporting Actress in Blue Jasmine and as one of the voice cast (the green bird) in the Animated Short - Room On The Broom)). I found it fascinating that I could admire the acting so much but detest the characters they play and not really like the movie either.....and let's be honest Streetcar Named Desire does it better)
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club
(OK......this one....me and Goth Child have been 'arguing' (heatedly debating) the whole, 'should Jared Leto have played Rayon, or should a trans actress' question....I'm not going to get into all of that here, there are plenty of places on the internet you can read both sides. For me, I'm glad that a movie about HIV, Aids, bigotry against LGBTQ community etc has made it into the mainstream and into the 9 Best Movie nominations so more people got to watch it than perhaps would have otherwise (I wouldn't have been surprised to see it just showing in art cinemas). I'm also glad those that see it might perhaps think about how we were in the 80s and 90s...the hysteria....and how we are now, the progress we have made and the huge hills we still have to climb (Uganda, Russia, Arizona.....) I think that all the controversy aside, Jared Leto's performance is incredible (perhaps even better than McConaughey's) I desperately hope that both mention the LGBTQ community or certain individuals in their acceptance speeches)
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years A Slave
(although there's a possibility Jennifer Lawrence could win this.....I love her but still think her greatest performance was in Winter's Bone which she got a nomination but lost to Natalie Portman for Black Swan. Although I haven't yet seen American Hustle, I'm not convinced its the vehicle that could beat Lupita's performance in 12 Years a Slave)
Original Screenplay: Her
(I think this is one of my two hardest categories to decide...the other being Makeup and Hairstyling would you believe.....it's going to be Her or American Hustle, which also makes it really difficult as I haven't seen either.....so going on everything I've been reading, I may well get this one wrong, but ah 50/50 chance)
Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years A Slave
(doesn't seem to be much argument on this one)
Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty
(the shorts are usually my favourite categories to watch each year, but as they felt generally a bit lack lustre this time, so I enjoyed the foreign language movies the most....and I'm not just counting the ones up for this category, I'm adding The Grandmaster (which was beautiful) and The Wind Rises (again, absolutely beautiful) to the bunch. I had great trouble choosing between The Great Beauty (which left me feeling all warm inside with one of the greatest depictions of ennui since I Am Love) and The Broken Circle Breakdown (which is probably the one I would recommend most heartily for others to watch). The latter's editing is astoundingly brilliant and the lead actress's performance amazing. But as I have a huge soft spot for Italy, Rome and beauty portrayed in movies, The Great Beauty wins my choice)
Sound Editing: Gravity
(for my thoughts on this one....see this post)
Sound Mixing: Gravity
(has to be, but you can read more in my post here)
Visual Effects: Gravity
(for my thoughts on this one....see this post)
Film Editing: Gravity
(another tricky one this though, might go to Captain Phillips)
Animated Feature: Frozen
(though I saw The Wind Rises last night and it blew me away (haha) and has left my pondering a whole host of things long after I left the cinema, I think it's a no brainer that Frozen is going to win this year, and the fact that when Melchett dragged me to see it, it was far better than I thought it would be means for me, that's ok)
Short Film Animated: Get A Horse!
(I don't get this one at all, I do not understand why critics love Get A Horse! so much (unless its just nostalgia), when I saw it in the cinema the audience was audibly non-plussed by it...but I explain it all more here and why I'd love Mr. Hublot to actually win, but he won't.....sadness)
Short Film Live Action: The Voorman Problem
(the interesting thing is reading around this week, this category seems to be the most split of all of them amongst experts, many predicting The Voorman Problem or Helium and not many going with my favourite Avant Que De Tout Perdre, which I thought stood out miles as a complete entity, quality acting and serious suspense that drew you in. On watching what sort or things have won this category in recent years (I often get it totally wrong) I'd predict Helium would win, but I'm going for The Voorman Problem (it feels most like God of Love that won a couple of years ago) simply because I'm British and I love Martin Freeman, so you might have to make your own decision on this one)
Documentary Short: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
(if there were an award for bravery of amateur cameramen then Karama Has No Walls would win hands down, but simply for the better editing and incredible inspiring centre of this film, Alice Herz Sommers, who died last Sunday at 110....The Lady in Number 6 I think will win - you should watch it, especially if you're finding life hard at the moment, it's here for $4.99 rental on Vimeo)
Original Score: Gravity
(for my thoughts on this one....see this post)
Original Song: Let It Go from Frozen
(though purely as something I could listen to over and over again on my phone or the radio, I love Happy from Despicable Me 2)
Production Design: The Great Gatsby
(another no brainer)
Costume Design: American Hustle
(this category was The Great Gatsby's to lose and I think it did. I was so excited to see the costuming before this movie came out, it had such potential, so much freedom to go mad with the decadence but only a few of the costumes really stood out for me (eg. Daisy's gem-drop party dress, Gatsby's pink suit). I adored the costuming in The Grandmaster too....the use of fur and the silk dresses in the brothel, fabulous. I totally admire the costuming in 12 Years A Slave, especially as there apparently isn't much source material of what the slaves wore other than handmedowns from their owners, and was glad it won the Costume Designers Guild award for best period movie costuming......but there is such diversity, so much wealth, so much use of vintage and making new to blend with vintage in American Hustle.....plus I think for its omission in the Makeup and Hairstyling it should get extra credit here ;) Check out this article for tons of photos from all 5 nominated movies, and previous years' nominees)
Makeup and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
(though the makeup transformation of Johnny Knoxville is amazing and makes Bad Grandpa's exploits possible, the only other made-up person in the movie (the dead Grandma) detracts from the initial brilliance....so it's just one person....and the hair and make-up don't change at all during the film.....as opposed to Dallas Buyers Club, as actors go from healthy to seriously ill, to slightly better etc.....and if it's one thing that puts it above the rest, it's simply down the dark brown and purple lesions on the back of Rayon's hands towards the end....though why American Hustle didn't get nominated in this category is beyond me)
Documentary Feature: 20 Feet From Stardom
(though my heart would love The Square to win this one, this is the category I most regularly get wrong each year.....and I'm going for 20 Feet From Stardom simply because I think there's going to be a lot of love for the backing singers featured in the documentary (some of whom did sound effects and singing on Avatar and The Lion King etc) and because a similar vibe/music documentary Searching For SugarMan won last year over much meatier/worthier documentaries)
Be excellent to one another