Saturday, May 3, 2014

2013 Re-Oscars


Hello, Bloggers, after seeing all the nominees in the major categories from this year's Oscars, I figured I'd not only give my picks in each category, but just for fun, I'd create my own alternate list of nominees in each category. This is, what I like to call, the 2013 Re-Oscars. Please note, this is NOT meant to portray the Academy, nor those that won and actually got nominated in a negative light. This is just my opinion and is just for entertainment purposes. Here we go:
Note: *- Who actually won, (WINNER)- my personal winner

Best Supporting Actor:
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle 
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave (WINNER)
Jonah Hill, Wolf of Wall Street
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club*

For me, this was definitely a toss-up between Michael Fassbender and Bradley Cooper, or as I like to call them the Fass and the Coops, but I'm going to lean towards Michael Fassbender because Cooper has a bit more of a lead role, in my opinion. If there is anybody from American Hustle that gave a true supporting performance, it was Jeremy Renner, who didn't even get nominated. Leto was a fair winner though and it is pretty neat to see the lead singer of the band 30 Seconds to Mars become an Oscar-winning actor, even though I thought his role was a bit too "on the nose". In case you are wondering what that means, "on the nose" is used to describe a film or role that too obviously wants an Oscar. I usually don't like to vote for performances like those, so that's why I didn't pick Leto. Abdi and Hill are also solid nominees and make this a pretty strong category.

However:

Alternate BSA Nominees:
Bradley Cooper, The Place Beyond the Pines
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave 
Ben Mendelsohn, The Place Beyond the Pines
David Oyelowo, The Butler
Jeremy Renner, American Hustle (WINNER)

Since American Hustle has such a strong ensemble, I wanted to nominate one actor whose nomination is on behalf of all the other actors in the film so they would still get recognized for their other film roles the same year, so I went with Jeremy Renner, who is my winner for his rather quiet performance as the corrupt mayor with good intentions. Instead of nominating him for Hustle, I chose to nominate Cooper for a film that I thought came out a little too early and was sadly overlooked this awards season: The Place Beyond the Pines, and nominate Ben Mendelsohn for the same film for his performance as a robber with a heart of gold. Michael Fassbender is technically the only nominee from the actual list that stays. The other new nominee is for David Oyelowo for his dynamic performance as the main character's son in The Butler. 

Best Supporting Actress:
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine 
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years A Slave* (WINNER)
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

Much like Best Supporting Actor, this is another solid category. I still agree with the Academy giving the Oscar to Nyong'o for her luminous yet heartbreaking portrayal of Patsey in 12 Years A Slave, but all the other nominees gave great performances. Roberts blew me away even though she is in the wrong category, Squibb stole the show as the old wife with a lack of a filter, Hawkins also gives a great performance and whose nomination was a good way to make up for her Happy-Go-Lucky snub, and even though I thought she was better in Silver Linings Playbook, I still enjoyed Lawrence's darkly comedic performance in American Hustle.

Alternate BSA Nominees:
Amy Adams, Her
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Melissa Leo, Prisoners 
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years A Slave (WINNER)
Lea Seydoux, Blue is the Warmest Color

The only nominees from the actual list that stay are Hawkins and Nyong'o. I honestly would've kept Roberts if she wasn't such a victim of category fraud. Amy Adams goes on here for her role in Her as her performance in that film was imprinted in my head after the film was over. Melissa Leo also goes on here for her enigmatic, chilly turn in Prisoners, as well as Lea Seydoux for Blue is the Warmest Color, even if the film was rendered ineligible after it missed the deadline to be considered for Best Foreign Language Film.

Best Actress:
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine* (WINNER)
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Another choice that the Academy and I both agree on, Cate Blanchett is also my winner for Best Actress. However, Dench is a very close "in another year" second. Adams was amazing as always as a cunning yet vulnerable con artist in American Hustle. Bullock did an outstanding job at acting with herself and was much better than
in her Oscar-winning turn in The Blind Side. Streep, of course, was great, although the role itself was a bit too "on the nose" and she didn't really need the nomination, to be honest.

Alternate BA Nominees:
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine 
Judi Dench, Philomena
Adele Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color (WINNER)
Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr. Banks

Even though Cate Blanchett gave a tour-de-force performance last year, there just happened to be another actress that also gave a tour-de-force performance in another film that coincidentally has the word "Blue" in the film's title. That actress was Adele Exarchopoulos in the love story Blue is the Warmest Color. Jennifer Lawrence also goes on here, but for her slightly more nuanced role as Katniss in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I know this isn't the type of performance that does get nominated, but that's why I chose to nominate Lawrence for this and not American Hustle. Plus, it would be amazing to see the Academy shine a light on popular mainstream films, I think. Emma Thompson also goes on my alternate list for her performance as the real-life novelist who struggles to let go of her legendary character Mary Poppins who is based off her childhood in Saving Mr. Banks.

Best Actor:
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, Wolf of Wall Street (WINNER)
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club* 

Now, this was a tough category this year, even for those who weren't nominated. Matthew McConaughey especially gives an astonishing performance in the rather modest film Dallas Buyers Club. As great as he is though, my vote goes to Leonardo DiCaprio for Wolf of Wall Street not just because of the performance, but like most of the public, I think he deserves an Oscar badly. Ejiofor also gives a strong performance in 12 Years, where he just acts with his eyes. Even though Dern is great, his performance was borderline supporting to me. As outstanding as he is, Bale is in a similar situation as he is in an ensemble piece, so it is hard for me to tell whether he is a true lead or not.

Alternate BA Nominees:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave
Hugh Jackman, Prisoners (WINNER)
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Mads Mikkelsen, The Hunt

DiCaprio, Ejiofor, and McConaughey all land on my alternate nominations list. However, my pick for the win goes to another who didn't get nominated, Hugh Jackman, who gives a career-best performance in Prisoners. Love the guy as Wolverine and Jean Valjean, but he is just tops in this film. Mads Mikkelsen also lands a spot on this list for his performance in the Danish film The Hunt, not only because of the performance, but just to recognize performances and films from foreign soil and not just those from my country.

Best Director:
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity* (WINNER)
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle
Martin Scorsese, Wolf of Wall Street 

Now, this was a tough one because my pick was definitely between Cuaron and McQueen. But I still went with Cuaron with McQueen coming in at a close, and I mean, CLOSE second. I still liked all the other nominees though. You can never go wrong with nominating Scorsese or David O. Russell who excelled at directing Hustle in a way that Scorsese would've in his prime. Alexander Payne also brilliantly directs Nebraska with his use of black-and-white to reflect the colorless rural America.

Alternate BD Nominees:
Derek Cianfrance, The Place Beyond The Pines
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity (WINNER)
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
Martin Scorsese, Wolf of Wall Street
Denis Villeneuve, Prisoners

There is no way I would leave out Cuaron or Steve McQueen. Not to discourage those that actually were nominated, but in my opinion, those two just gave the best directorial efforts of the year. Scorsese also stays on. With apologies to O. Russell and Payne, but the two new additions I have are Derek Cianfrance for The Place Beyond the Pines and Denis Villeneuve for Prisoners. Sure it makes the category hard to pronounce because most of my nominees have such colorful names, but it still makes the category as strong as the actual list.

Best Picture:
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena (runner-up)
12 Years A Slave* (WINNER)
Wolf of Wall Street

Quite a solid line-up, I would say. Honestly, this is a bit better than last year, even if there are some films I would leave off, which I will get too shortly. I'll start off with by saying 12 Years A Slave is not just the Academy's choice, but mine as well. It is not only a fantastic movie, but a BP winner that I think will hold up well historically. If I hadn't gone with that film, I probably would've leaned towards Her, Philomena, or Wolf of Wall Street. Gravity is a deserving nominee, but won the right technical awards on Oscar night, in my opinion. American Hustle is an entertaining movie and it is nice to see an entertaining film on the BP line-up because I fell those are rare. Dallas Buyers Club and Captain Phillips didn't really need to be on here despite their respective high points. Same goes to Nebraska. Which brings me to my alternate list:

Alternate BP Nominees:
American Hustle
Gravity
Her
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Philomena
The Place Beyond the Pines
Prisoners (runner-up)
Saving Mr. Banks
12 Years A Slave (WINNER)
Wolf of Wall Street 

Now, I have a feeling some will scratch their heads at me nominating The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but hear me out: It may be an entertaining film, but it also has great acting, a powerful story, and focuses on themes such as rebellion. Plus, as I said, it would be wonderful to see the Academy shine a light on popcorn fare more by not just placing them in the usual makeup and effects nods. Saving Mr. Banks also goes on here because of how it is an amazing movie about movies, like the last two winners for Best Picture: Argo and The Artist. The other two new inclusions are The Place Beyond The Pines and Prisoners. The ones from the actual list that stay are 12 Years A Slave, Gravity, American Hustle, Her, Wolf of Wall Street, and even Philomena. With this lineup, you have an eclectic mix of not just the kind of films that the Academy gravitates towards, but mainstream fare as well as darker smaller films that aren't typical Oscar films.

So, here are Matt's 2013 Oscar- Verse Winners:
Best Picture: 12 Years A Slave
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Best Actor: Hugh Jackman, Prisoners
Best Actress: Adele Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color
Best Supporting Actor: Jeremy Renner, American Hustle
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years A Slave

So, that was my list of the 2013 Re-Oscars. If you agree or disagree with any of my picks or alternate nominees, please feel free to write in the comments section. Even write down who you think got snubbed this awards season. Thanks for reading!