DIRECTOR – Frankly David O. Russell deserves more praise. His last 3 films have results in 11 (11!) nominations for his actors (and Mark Wahlberg was snubbed for The Fighter). No one can argue with Steve McQueen winning for 12 Years a Slave and that’s one of those historic wins that the Academy likes patting itself on the back on the rare occasion they recognize someone who isn’t a white male. But Gravity was so original and so technically complicated, Alfonso Cuarón deserves it for sure. And he isn’t a white male either.
ACTRESS – Perhaps because Cate Blanchett annoyed me so much in Blue Jasmine she should get my vote. Sandra Bullock carried Gravity, literally, but she just won an Oscar. So I am going with Amy Adams. She has never won, has deserved it, and was great in American Hustle. It’s my vote. I can play favorites.
SUPPORTING ACTOR – Jared Leto was fine. But frankly I am sick of straight actors playing gay and transgender roles. Let a gay man play it (and then be told he shouldn’t win cause he “wasn’t acting”). Oscar loves straight people cross dressing. But that’s not enough to get my vote. This was the best I’ve ever seen Jonah Hill whom I normally am not impressed with. But I’m going with a surprise even for me – Bradley Cooper. American Hustle was way over the top and all the actors were phenomenal.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Any of the five are fine. Jennifer Lawrence was the most memorable, but I am still bothered that she was about 15 years too young for her part. Lupita Nyong’o was tremendous. Unlike the Oscars, I don’t like giving my vote to a rookie actor. So I’ll go with June Squibb. Without her, Nebraska, a fine but plodding film, would have been a tough road.
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – Philomena by Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope. Not because it was the best of the 5 nominees, but it was the most complete story and the most unexpected surprise. (Yes, Captain Phillips which I loved, was also complete, but doesn’t get my vote because of the controversy on the “truth” of the story. I’m the captain, now.)
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Her by Spike Jonze. So original and believable. I have been told that men in general liked this film and women did not. Is that your experience?
ANIMATED FILM – I haven’t seen 2 of the nominees – The Wind Rises was just released into theaters and Ernest & Celestine is due for a March release. I expect The Wind Rises will end up being my favorite, but until then I’ll go with Frozen. I thought The Croods, while beautiful, was supremely dumb.
Again these are who I would vote for to win. Not who will win.
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