The 86th Academy Awards have just concluded, and for once we can say that there was not a single surprise to be found among any of the winners. Top honors of the night went to Steve McQueen’s slave drama 12 Years a Slave, which also took Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o) and Best Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley).
However, you could easily say that Gravity was the big winner of the night, taking a grand total of seven Oscars, including Best Director (Alfonso Cuarón), Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects. For a while, it looked like the film was on the fast track to take the big prize, winning more Oscars than most Best Picture winners have won in the last several years. In the end though, the voters weren’t swayed by Cuarón’s masterpiece, turning to a film that they probably felt was more “up their alley.”
It is rather hypocritical though. As I pointed out in my analysis, it’s a very awkward situation to have the Best Picture winner take only three Oscars and not even win Best Director, while another film wins more than double that amount (including Best Director). This is a situation we haven’t seen for over 40 years. Perhaps they were feeling nostalgic?
As predicted, the results left many Best Picture nominees leaving empty handed, including American Hustle, which went 0 for 10. Captain Phillips (0 for 6), Nebraska (0 for 6), The Wolf of Wall Street (0 for 5), and Philomena (0 for 4) also went home without winning a single category.
As for the ceremony itself, personally, I found it rather dull and overlong. I loved Ellen’s shenanigans, but there was absolutely no need to have all four Oscar-nominated Original Songs performed, nor was there any need to have Bette Midler perform for the “In Memoriam” segment. I don’t mind montages when they’re good (speaking of which, what happened to the Best Picture nominee montages they used to do?), but having a random one for The Wizard of Oz and a performance from Pink just wasn’t necessary. These merely made the ceremony drag on.
Overall, I’m happy with how most of the awards went (even though Best Picture should have gone to Gravity without question, as it’s a masterpiece that will continue to be marveled at for many years to come), but they’ve still yet to fix the problem of making the ceremony itself more interesting to watch. Granted, most people only watch to see who wins, but they should at least get a somewhat memorable experience while doing so.
Check out a complete list of winners below and be sure to join in the discussion by telling us how you think the ceremony went in the comments.
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze, Her
Best Adapted Screenplay: John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave
Best Film Editing: Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger, Gravity
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, Gravity
Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby
Best Costume Design: The Great Gatsby
Best Original Score: Steven Price, Gravity
Best Original Song: “Let It Go,” Frozen
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
Best Visual Effects: Gravity
Best Sound Editing: Gravity
Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
Best Animated Film: Frozen
Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet from Stardom
Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty
Best Documentary Short: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Best Live Action Short: Helium
Best Animated Short: Mr. Hublot
7 Wins – Gravity
3 Wins – 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club
2 Wins – The Great Gatsby, Frozen