The 86th Annual Academy Awards: Picks

Oscars

I was all excited about my Oscar picks because I’m pretty confident in them, and am not really wavering on any of them, but then I see everyone (the mass majority) has the same picks as me. Also, I’m never confident in my picks, and since I am this year it basically means that they’re all wrong, so I look forward to Philomena winning best picture.

Best Picture: The actual best picture isn’t even nominated (Before Midnight), but the second best one 12 Years A Slave is and it’ll win. I do not now how Inside Llewyn Davis is not nominated, not that it’d win, but c’mon. For fun let’s rank the best picture nominees:

12 Years A Slave

Gravity

The Wolf Of Wall Street

Her

Dallas Buyers Club

Nebraska

American Hustle

Captain Phillips

Philomena

Best Actor: Chiewtel Ejiofor gave the best performance, one that’s still hard to shake even months after seeing it, but Matthew McConaughey wins, he was great, though, and I love him more than anyone now, so I’m cool with it.

Best Actress: Blue Jasmine was a pretty forgettable film, but Cate Blanchett wins for it, she was quite good.

Best Supporting Actor: Love me some Jared Leto and he wins it. I really don’t think he has any competition here.

Best Supporting Actress: I wish beyond anything that June Squibb takes this home, but goddamn Jennifer Lawrence is nominated, so of course she wins this.

Best Director: All great nominees, but Alfonso Cuarón wins because Gravity was so different than everything else.

Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years A Slave, although I could see something like Terence Winter’s The Wolf Of Wall Street sneaking up.

Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze wrote a damn masterpiece. What an exquisite piece of writing that deserves to be recognized.

Best Animated Film: I really could care less about animated movies, but obviously Frozen wins.

Costume Design: I’m gonna give this to The Great Gatsby because period pieces with lavish wardrobes usually win this.

Film Editing: Gotta love those Greengrass edited films.

Cinematography: Gravity looked nice.

Sound Editing: Gravity sounded nice.

Sound Mixing: Gravity sounded nice.

Music (Original Score): Gravity sounded nice.

Music (Original Song): People really seem to love that Frozen song.

Visual Effects: Gravity looked visual effect-y.

Production Design: The Great Gatsby looked nice.

Make-up And Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club seems to be the one.

Best Foreign Language Film: I’ve only seen The Great Beauty, and it was indeed a beauty to look at, if lacking in other parts, but I’ll still pick it to win.

Best Documentary: The Act Of Killing is the only one of these I’ve seen and it’s pretty damn good. It has the buzz coming in.

Documentary Short Subject: I’ll say The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life wins because it’s about the holocaust. The Academy loooves giving shit to holocaust films, so yeah, I’ll take this one.

Short Film: I have no clue about this, so I’m guessing The Voorman Problem.

Short Film (Animated): Get A Horse! sounds like fun!

*UPDATE POST OSCARS: I got 19/24 correct, which I guess on the outset seems good, but I really expected myself to do a lot better, but I think this is my best year yet at picking the winners, so I’ll take it!*

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The 86th Annual Academy Awards Nominations Reaction

(ABC)

(ABC)

Best Picture:

Pretty great list of films, only haven’t seen Nebraska (which I’m almost literally dying to see) and Philomena, which I didn’t think it was necesary to see, but maybe I’m wrong. As with others, I can’t believe Inside Llewyn Davis didn’t get nominated, such a wonderful film in so many ways, and a Coen Brothers film, okay then. I think Before Midnight should be here, but of course it wouldn’t, it’s cool.

Best Actor:

Perfect list. Ejiofor deserves to win, but who knows.

Best Actress:

I’m a Bullock fan all the way, but I know Blanchett has been getting a lot of praise going into awards season. She is fantastic in Blue Jasmine, indeed, but really don’t think she matches Bullock in Gravity.

Best Supporting Actor:

Jonah Hill was good in The Wolf Of Wall Street, but not as great to get Oscar-worthy claim, but okay. I think Jared Leto takes this, but it’s a worthy category all around.

Best Supporting Actress:

Fine category, but I don’t think anyone has a chance against J-Law, and rightfully so.

Best Director:

I think Cuaron wins this like he won the Golden Globe, he tackled something unseen before in film, and even with the quality of director, I think he wins.

Best Documentary:

The only I’ve seen is The Act Of Killing, and it’s a juggernaut, I’d think it wins.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Great selection, anyway it could go. As good as Before Midnight is, I think it’s down between 12 Years A Slave and The Wolf Of Wall Street. Might be a toss up.

Best Original Screenplay:

Her should take this in a great category.

A kind of more shorter and abrupt post than I expeceted, and also didn’t expect to predict winners, but here we are. I’ll probably predict EVERY category right before the awards, but these are just some quick reaction thoughts after the nominations have been posted. All in all, though, this has been one of my favourite years of film in recent memory, where I’ve trully loved quite a films as standouts like Before Midnight, 12 Years A Slave, The Wolf Of Wall Street, Gravity Inside Llewyn Davis, Her and Dallas Buyers Club. Just great stuff all around.

‘The Act Of Killing’: Review

The Act Of Killing Banner

The Act Of Killing is indeed about the act of killing, but also its aftermath, the repercussions that come from living in and on top of a murderous regime, but like most would like, comeuppance is not always apparent. The film follows the current day lives of executors from the anti-Communist killing in Indonesia during the mid-1960s. We mainly shadow Anwar Congo, a death squad leader, who killed upwards of 1,000 people by strangling them with a wire. He and his co-horts gladly recreate their death sequences, in ranging genre “stage plays” as they descend again down this hellish tunnel, and arrive in some bizarre places.

As imagined, none of these men have particular regrets against killing thousands of people, because of course they were communists, it bred the luxurious lifestyle they have today, and it created several political and military organizations that today support his beliefs. It’s pretty haunting and terrifying how open these leaders are with the documentary crew, leaving nothing in the shadows as they speak honestly on what they’ve done. The only real evidence of pulling away is how the Pancasila group’s image might be perceived under some barbaric practices and recreations, but ultimately the organization chooses to leave these scenes in, as a “simulation of rage,” ironic to the killing practices that got them there in the first place.

We see these men engage in everyday tasks like going to the dentist, raising a family, drinking with company, all juxtaposing the horrors that befit these men so many years ago, and the openness which it is discussed, just like one would recall a vacation to Disneyland. It’s an interesting study into the minds of these men, admiring Hollywood films, and taking inspiration from such gangsters and movie start such as John Wayne and Al Pacino. They love play-acting their murder scenes, hamming it up like their favourite actor, having fun and re-enacting the deaths the caused so long ago, like it just happened yesterday.

Congo does often have doubts about his killings, waking up to horrifying nightmares of his atrocities, not being able to play one of his victims in one of the films anymore because he said he “felt what his victims felt.” There does seem to be some sort of moral twanging to his self, but who knows the actual depth of it, and it certainly doesn’t alleviate all the acts he’s done, and how he often still revels in it. As much so, the film explores the psychology of a person unlike anything I’ve seen before, in relation to genocides and dictatorships, as close as you could ever come.

7.5/10