Why I’m Looking Forward to this Sunday’s Academy Awards®

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It’s finally here the end is in sight! This Sunday night represents the big night where months of campaigning and schmoozing by the film industry comes to a culmination with the 86th Annual Oscars® (notice how they’re not called the Academy Awards anymore?). What makes this year’s Annual Academy Awards so fascinating is the surprising amount of competitiveness that remains in many categories. Usually leading into the final weekend of the Oscars® we have a pretty clear picture of what film’s name was going to be read for Best Picture of the Year. But not this year. In fact there are so many close races I may actually have to watch the whole pain inducing four-hour long ceremony. Every year, I cringe at the lame jokes, painful banter, pans to Brangelina laughing with the jokes knowing full well they’re uncomfortable with all of the attention. (At least I think they are) This year’s Best Picture Race is the closest I have seen since Crash upset Brokeback Mountain for Best Picture of 2005. A year later, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed came on really strong and managed to win four awards when originally only being favorite to win only Best Director. This year we have a close battle between visual effects masterpiece Gravity fighting off prestige picture 12 Years a Slave. Gravity was good, great even, throughout most of the ninety minutes of a motion picture that flew by, Sandra Bullock worked her tanked topped body to carry off this entire movie. While Gravity can be considered a technical marvel, in my opinion, 12 Years a Slave was a true masterpiece. It’s brutal, it’s tough to watch but it sticks with you long after you leave the theater and that’s a good thing. When Best Picture is announced I think that Gravity will win because they are going to sweep a majority of tech prizes like Cinematography, Editing, Visual Effects and Sound Mixing and Sound Effects (Someone please tell me the difference between those two categories) that many Oscar® voters are just going to mark their ballot for Gravity all the way through. Which is fine, and wouldn’t be the worst pick but it in a year like this with such exceptional competition wouldn’t be the best movie pick of the year. For the acting awards, three out of four are slam dunks with Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett and Jared Leto all cruising to victory any of those three lose and consider it upset and anything could happen throughout the night. EW.com has a great article on why this year’s Best Actor competition ranks as one of the best ever, and I agree. Supporting Actress is a tough one with the battle between newcomer Lupita Nyongo versus now “veteran” Jennifer Lawrence. Personally I’m hoping for a victory for Nyong’o whose role of Patsey is small but pivotal and completely heart-breaking in 12 Years a Slave over that of Lawrence who I feel is miscast as the sassy mother and estranged wife of Christian Bale in American Hustle. There’s also something about Lawrence winning back to back Oscars® rubs me the wrong way…I mean if Julie couldn’t win back to back Oscars® for Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, JLaw has no business doing it either. Watch out for some potential victors in what are considered the lower level categories, can Her beat American Hustle in Best Original Screenplay? (And if Jennifer Lawrence loses as well, does that mean American Hustle, once with so much momentum, actually go zero for 10?) I hope Her wins, although the film has plenty of holes in its storyline, Her still had more imagination and creativity than any screenplay this year. Also, can Frozen finally win Disney its first award for Best Animated feature? And will songwriter Robert Lopez, at age 39, become the youngest winner of the EGOT with a victory for writing “Let it Go”? Finally my biggest hope is that Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (can’t forget the colon) actually wins Best Makeup over the likes of Dallas Buyers Club. I’m afraid the Academy is too highbrow to honor a Johnny Knoxville film but one can always dream right? Anyway this Oscar® Sunday I will be watching, blogging, tweeting, and texting my reactions to the winners and losers. How will you commemorate one of the most unpredictable Academy Awards season in recent memory?

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