My Oscar Picks

Well, it’s not like I can do so much freaking Oscar reviews without doing a quick prediction. These predictions will have the same format as my Razzie predictions, with my top three picks for every category, except the ones which I haven’t checked out because they didn’t have any Best Picture Nominees (Categories with an “*” are categories in which I’ve seen less than three of the nominated movies). Also, if any movie that I did not watch wins their respective category, that movie will be added to my seemingly never-ending queue of reviews.

Honestly? I just look at the trophy and see a golden novelty dildo.

Best Visual Effects:

  1. Gravity
  2. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  3. Star Trek Into Darkness

This one is pretty much a no-brainer. While Benedict Cumber-Dragon was amazing and J.J. Abrams lens-flared Star Trek into beautiful oblivion (I’m hoping that nonsense I just pulled out of my ass makes sense to somebody), Gravity had some of, if not the most  the most, beautiful visuals I’ve ever seen in my seventeen years of watching movies.

Best Film Editing:

  1. Gravity
  2. 12 Years a Slave
  3. American Hustle

I’m still not entirely sure how one critiques editing, so admittedly, this category is kind of a crapshoot for me.

Best Costume Design* 

  1. 12 Years a Slave
  2. American Hustle

American Hustle could beat out 12 Years, because it did have a pretty fantastic costume design team, or whatever (And Amy Adams’ necklines sure help), but I think that the latter’s  costumes were just a little bit better.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling*

  1. Dallas Buyers Club

I’m shocked that American Hustle wasn’t nominated for this category, but honestly Dallas Buyers Club should win this award, based solely on the work they did with Jared Leto.

Best Cinematography*

  1. Gravity
  2. Nebraska

I’m kinda surprised that Nebraska was nominated for this category, because I really didn’t like the choice of black-and-white colouring, but whatevs. Gravity should and will win, anyways.

Best Production Design

  1. 12 Years a Slave
  2. Gravity
  3. American Hustle

Assuming that “Production Design” means “film sets and such”, I’d give it to 12 Years, mainly for the stunning contrast between the natural beauty of Louisiana and the brutality of the subject matter.

Best Sound Mixing/Editing

  1. Gravity
  2. Captain Phillips
  3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 

Yes, I know I mixed the categories of Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing, but a) It’s pretty much the same movies, and b) I don’t know what the fuck the difference between sound editing and sound mixing is supposed to be.

That said, Gravity‘s soundtrack was downright gorgeous.

Best Original Song (I Haven’t seen most of these movies, but the songs are on YouTube, so all’s good.)

  1. “Let it Go” from Frozen
  2. “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
  3. “The Moon Song” from Her 

Let’s face it, Disney songs are pretty much the bomb. Keep in mind that this is coming from somebody who thinks that any song off London Calling is the pinnacle of Western Civilization.

Best Original Score

  1. Gravity
  2. Her
  3. Philomena

Like I said, Gravity‘s score is fantastic. I liked Hers’ soundtrack too, but Philomena‘s just seemed nondescript to me.

Best Animated Short Film, Best Live Action Short Film, Best Documentary-Short Subject, Best Documentary-Feature, Best Documentary Film, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Animated Feature Film

I  haven’t seem any of the movies nominated for these, because a) Honestly, these are the least interesting categories to me and b) While I actually love animated movies, there’s no way I’m going to a theater filled with screaming eight-year olds to watch Frozen.

Best Writing-Adapted Screenplay

  1. 12 Years A Slave
  2. The Wolf of Wall Street
  3. Captain Phillips 

I didn’t find any of these scripts to be legendary, per se, but they were still pretty damn great. It could really go any way.

Best Writing-Original Screenplay

  1. American Hustle
  2. Dallas Buyers Club
  3. Her

I wonder if I could somehow develop David O. Russell’s amazing dialogue-writing ability without also developing his crippling douchiness…

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave
  2. Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
  3. June Squibb, Nebraska

Holy shit, I son’t think you could have picked three cuter nominees for this category.

Pictured: The Axis of Adorable.

Jennifer Lawrence is my favourite actress, and June Squibb was awesome too, but there’s just no way they match up to Mexican-born Kenyan Actress Lupita Nyongo’s film debut.

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
  2. Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave
  3. Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips

Fassbender played Edwin “Evil Incarnate” Epps to perfection, and Somali actor Barkhad Abdi was awesoome in his debut, but they just had bad luck this time, going up against Jared Leto as the tragic Rayon.

Best Actress

  1. Sandra Bullock, Gravity
  2. Amy Adams, American Hustle
  3. Judi Dench, Philomena

I think that Cate Blanchett is gonna win, considering the love she got at the Golden Globes, but I loved Sandra Bullock.

Best Actor

  1. Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
  2. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
  3. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

Man, does Leo ever have bad luck getting easy opponents on Oscar ballots, huh?

I had to pretty much flip a coin to decide who I thought was better between McConaughey and Ejiofor. All I can say is that I hope I don’t have to type either of their names again until next Oscar season, at least.

Best Director

  1. Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
  2. Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave
  3. Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street

I’m not that big of a director guy, but you don’t have to be one to know that Cuaron did a fantastic job with Gravity.

Best Picture

  1. 12 Years a Slave
  2. Dallas Buyers Club
  3. Gravity

Just read my review of 12 Years a Slaveit’ll tell you all you need to know.

Oscar Movie Review: Dallas Buyers Club

Hi, everybody! If you’re not too busy buying last minute gifts for your significant other(s), I have a movie review to check out!

Hoping that I picked a nice, easy to swallow, possibly romantic Oscar movie to review for Valentine’s Day, like Her or Frozen?


Dallas Buyers Club

 Directed by: Jean-Marc Valee

Produced by: Robbie Brenner, Nathan Ross, Rachel Rothman

Written by: Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack

Genre: Biographical Drama

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto

Other actors: Steve Zahn, Griffin Dunne, Dennis O’Hare, Dallas Roberts, Michael O’Neill

Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey), Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto), Best Original Screenplay, Best Makeup and Hair-styling, Best Film Editing

Plot: Dateline: Dallas, 1985. Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) is living the high life. Or, you know, as much of a high life that a poor, cocaine-abusing redneck working as a rodeo cowboy and an electrician could possibly live. However, despite living on the ass end of the poverty scale, he lives a pretty carefree lifestyle,  complete with banging lots of different women, macho posturing and good’ole 80’s homophobia. That’s why he takes it so hard when he discovers that he has been diagnosed with AIDS and is given a month to live (In those days, it was a common misconception that gay people were the only ones at risk for HIV and/or AIDS).

When he can’t get his hands on some AZT (An antiviral that was supposed to prolong the lives of AIDS patients), he smuggles some in with help from a hospital worker. However, the AZT doesn’t work (And his cocaine habit isn’t helping) and he’s checked into the hospital, where he meets both Dr. Eve Saks (Garner), who is sympathetic to his plight and Rayon (Leto), an HIV positive  transgender woman, towards whom he is irrationally hostile.

Frustrated with the care he is receiving, Ron drives across the border to Mexico to see a sketchy doctor (One of Mexico’s leading tourist attractions), who gives him a crap-load of drugs that actually work, but who have not approval from the Food and Drug Administration to be used in the United States. Back in the States with his drugs, Mr. Woodroof reluctantly teams up with Rayon to form the “Dallas Buyers Club”, where AIDS patients pay 400$ a month and, in exchange, receive all the medication they need.

While the story is based off of real events, the screenplay is completely original, and it and the plot are airtight. The movie was so engrossing that its (relatively) short 116 minute run-time felt long, not because I was in agony, but because I was so intent on seeing how everything was gonna go down.

Also, how is it that director (And my fellow Canadian) Jean-Marc Vallee wasn’t nominated for Best Director? The care taken in each of these shots is damn near perfect.

The script was downright amazing. It was funny when it needed to be, dramatic when it needed to be, and heartbreaking when it needed to be, although that may be more a result of…

The Incredible Acting: Wow. Just. Wow.

My first experience watching Matthew McConaughey on film was his supporting role in Tropic Thunder. After the 106 minutes  of hilarity that that movie brought, I found myself thinking back to his performance (For some reason) and thinking: “Sure, he was pretty funny…but can he play a dying, sickly, inhumanely skinny AIDS patient?”

You’re welcome, planet Earth.

As for his support (Leto and Garner), they both did fantastic jobs as well, especially Leto (Who you may recognize under all that makeup as being the lead singer of 30 Seconds to Mars) as the tragic figure that is Rayon. Garner was excellent as well, and  definitely should have been at least seriously considered for an Oscar nod.

What Oscar Nominations Does It Deserve?:

  • Best Film Editing: Sure, the editing of the…um…shots and the pacing was…great? I’m not that sure what editing is, you guys.
  • Best Makeup and Hair-styling: Yes, if only for the work they did with Jared Leto.

  • Best Original Screenplay: Yep.
  • Best Supporting Actor (Jared Leto): Hell yeah!
  • Best Actor (Matthew McConaughey): Man, we’ve come a long way from Dazed and Confused, haven’t we? Yeah, he deserves it.

Overall Opinion:

It’s not often that I can safely call a film perfect, and, if I looked hard enough, I could probably find something to quibble about, but I don’t feel like it, so congratulations to everybody involved with this film (Especially McConaughey and Leto), because I’m gonna go ahead and give it my highest possible recommendation. 

Overall Rating: 10/10

(On an unrelated note, if I ever have to type the word “McConaughey’ again, it’ll be way too fucking soon.)