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Breaking down the Oscar winners

Source: @TheEllenShow on Twitter

Source: @TheEllenShow on Twitter

Chelsea Sherlock, Blogger

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Things I learned from watching the Oscars on Sunday night:

  • Benedict Cumberbatch enjoys photobombing.
  • Kristen Bell is a hero for bringing a burrito in her clutch purse.
  • Meryl Streep is a selfie queen.
  • Ellen DeGeneres should be asked to host everything (mad props to her for actually ordering pizza and then collecting money to pay for it).
  • Finally, the Oscars continue to be predictable.

Regardless of whether people watched some of the nominated movies, guessing who will receive the Oscar isn’t that difficult. Hype, addressing a controversial issue in society (like racism in “12 Years a Slave” or homosexuality  in “Dallas Buyers Club”) and technical achievement are strong indicators for predicting Oscar winners. This can often lead to frustration with who wins an award, though there are those occasional surprises. Here’s your Oscar 2014 breakdown of some of the winners and whether they deserved to win.

Best Picture: “12 Years a Slave” There was really no question that this movie was going to win. It was brilliant and told a fantastic, heart-wrenching story. It was favored to win and deserved all the praise it received.

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Matthew McConaughey for “Dallas Buyers Club” This did surprise me. My pick was Chiwetel Ejiofor from “12 Years a Slave.” His performance seemed stronger and more in line with what the academy usually picks. Leonard DiCaprio was not going to win. Leo deserves a gold statue but for some of his previous roles, not for “Wolf of Wall Street.”

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Cate Blanchett for “Blue Jasmine” Blanchett’s win was completely out of the “Blue Jasmine.” Ha. I had barely heard of this movie or her role. I had thought Sandra Bullock was the clear choice, as “Gravity” relied so heavily upon her performance. I had never even heard of most of the nominees. I’m sure they were great movies, but let’s be honest, how many people saw “Blue Jasmine” this year? The film was ranked 10th domestically the weekend it premiered, and ranked 5,000th on my list of movies to watch.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Jared Leto for “Dallas Buyers Club” Leto was the obvious choice for the Oscar. His performance was so unique and deserving of it. Time magazine published a great article on the uneven portrayal of Leto’s character, Rayon, which is worth the read.  It’s good to see the academy willing to reward Leto for his great performance even in light of controversy.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o for “12 Years a Slave” Lupita was the correct choice for the academy, and she gave the best acceptance speech of the year. For those on team JLaw, I say to you that while she is fabulous, her role in “American Hustle” lacked the depth and raw emotion that Lupita displayed in “12 Years a Slave.”

Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song: “Frozen”/”Let It Go” This was the only choice that could be made. This movie is inescapable.

Email: chelseasherlock2017@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @musovogr

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