Academy Awards! No matter how badly it hurts, we’re going for some Oscar picks…

Brace yourselves:

A Star is Born

Each year, the Indomitable Jan Evans makes her picks, and each year she’s WAY more right than wrong.

Today I hand over the site to Jan, so jot down a comment, or:

click on the red letters to join in

Jan Evans (polarstr) on Twitter.

IT’S OSCAR DAY!!!!! Another wonderful Oscar Day, and another edition of Jan’s Annual Picks for the Oscars – Who Will Win, and Who Should Win!

This year, welcome all you folks of TWITTER! Since you’re new to Jan’s Picks, here’s how this goes: I’ll probably slam your favorite film (NEBRASKA!), and you might disagree with me on many choices, but hey, that’s okay! Wouldn’t it be boring if we ALL agreed on EVERYTHING?

But please, above all, know that this is meant to be fun and entertaining, so bear that in mind when I diss your personal faves (NEBRASKA! AMERICAN HUSTLE!), don’t be offended. Well, maybe a little. I don’t care. After all, the title is JAN’S PICKS….so if you are reading this, you must be wanting my opinion.

So, that said, on we go!

And just so you know, this is a very unpredictable year. I understand that I usually hit 80%, but this year, um, don’t count on it. If you are placing bets from this list, be warned!

1. – BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

WHO WILL WIN:

Lupita Nyong’o for 12 YEARS A SLAVE

WHO SHOULD WIN:

I  saw all of these, and this will be shocking for those of you that know me. I actually agree with the Academy on this. Lupita Nyong’o gives a fine performance, especially for a virtual newcomer. She’s heartbreakingly sympathetic. Many people may pick the devastating whipping scene as her best, but the one that sets her apart from the other nominees is Patsey’s desperate plea to Solomon:

“Take me by the throat. Hold me

low in the water until I’s still

‘n without life. Bury me in a

lonely place of dyin’.”

Enough said. She wins.

2.-  BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

WHO WILL WIN:

Jared Leto for DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Seriously, here I go again, agreeing with the Academy. Jared Leto should win. He’s simply fantastic in the role Rayon, a transsexual suffering from AIDS. He embodies Rayon, her pride, her anger, her unbearable hurt. Rayon’s visit to her dismissive, intolerant father just breaks your heart. Jared Leto’s performance in this movie is stellar, and central to the film.

Now, a real contender is Barkhad Abdi, as Muse, the Somali pirate in CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. He. is. Scary. Good. in this role. A complete newcomer. I hope we see more of him.

The other nominees, Bradley Cooper, Michael Fassbender, Jonah Hill, all good, of course. Quality actors all, but the stand out? Jared Leto, with Barkhad Abdi a very close second.

3. –  BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

WHO WILL WIN:

Catherine Martin and Beverly Dunn for THE GREAT GATSBY.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

All of these look good, and completely run the production design gamut, from the 1840’s to some nondescript future, with outer space in-between. But good as they are, THE GREAT GATSBY production design was a daring, lush extravagance, filled with excess, almost a character in itself.

Catherine Martin and Beverly Dunn should win for THE GREAT GATSBY.

4. –  BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

WHO WILL WIN:

Seriously? Emmanuel Lubezki, for GRAVITY

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Okay, this is Roger Deakins’ 10th nomination in this category, for PRISONERS. He’s a wonderful cinematographer. Should he finally win this year? No. But, PRISONERS is beautifully shot.

The other nominees? Meh. Except Emmanuel Lubezki. His work on GRAVITY was simply amazing. But should he win? No.

Nobody saw GRANDMASTER. It’s not a very good movie, as a whole. But cinematographer Philippe Le Sourd? OMG! Every frame of this movie is stunning. I was blown away by the look of GRANDMASTER. So that’s it.

Philippe Le Sourd should win. But he won’t. And that’s okay, really. Emmanuel Lubezki did some remarkable work on GRAVITY.

 

5. –  BEST COSTUME DESIGN

WHO WILL WIN:

Patricia Norris for 12 YEARS A SLAVE? Michael Wilkinson for AMERICAN HUSTLE?  I don’t know…. WAIT! At the last minute, I say Michael Wilkinson will win, for AMERICAN HUSTLE. Don’t place a wager on that.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

This is tough. I didn’t see THE INVISIBLE WOMAN. Maybe the costumes are great. Of the others? I don’t really know. 12 YEARS A SLAVE, AMERICAN HUSTLE, GRANDMASTER certainly all create the period and place, but, um…. I guess I’ll have to go with THE GREAT GATSBY.

Catherine Martin should win for THE GREAT GATSBY.

6. –  BEST EDITING

WHO WILL WIN:

I DON’T KNOW! Okay, Alfonso Cuaron and Mark Sanger will win, for GRAVITY. BUT…. it could be Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers (don’t you love that name?) and Alan Baumgarten for AMERICAN HUSTLE.

You know I’m gonna change all these the morning of Oscar day, but by then, it’ll be TOO LATE to send you all an update list. Too bad.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Let’s make this a GRAVITY sweep. Okay. I say Alfonso Cuaron and Mark Sanger should win, for GRAVITY.

 

7. – BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

WHO WILL WIN:

Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews for DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB

WHO SHOULD WIN:

The BAD GRANDPA guy? HAHAHAHA! Oh, soooorrrrryyyyyy. I should not jest. Maybe he’s reading this. Seriously, to be nominated, your work must be great. So the makeup and hairstyling on both BAD GRANDPA and THE LONE RANGER must be good. Didn’t see either of them.

But I did see DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB, and I can’t believe any other nominee will take this award. Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews should win for DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB.

8. – BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

WHO WILL WIN:

I have no idea. Entertainment Weekly says Steven Price will win for GRAVITY.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

You know, all of these are good scores, and well suited to the respective movies. I suppose though, in the end, I’d lean toward Alexander Desplat for PHILOMENA, with Thomas Newman for SAVING MR. BANKS a close second.

I’m listening to the PHILOMENA score right now, so, yep, it should win.

 

9. – BEST ORIGINAL SONG

WHO WILL WIN:

“Let It Go” from FROZEN

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Well, once again, the Academy has selected the worst, most stupid songs ever, in this category. All right, I can hear you now. “How could you slam the fabulous U2 and the song from MANDELA? How COULD you?” Um….. BECAUSE IT’S NOT A VERY GOOD SONG. THAT’S HOW. But, I will say this: “Ordinary Love” is the least worst of the nominees. So it should win.

I hate this category.

10. – BEST SOUND MIXING

WHO WILL WIN:

Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro for GRAVITY

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Okay, I would really like to see my friend David Brownlow win for his work on LONE SURVIVOR, a good movie, by the way, but he’s not going to.

Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro should win for GRAVITY.

11. – BEST SOUND EDITING

WHO WILL WIN:

Glen Freemantle for GRAVITY

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Glen Freemantle for GRAVITY.

Boy, am I getting tired. This is hard work.

12. – BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

WHO WILL WIN:

Really? Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbuold for GRAVITY. Duh.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Seriously? There are other nominees? Really? Perhaps in any other year. But this year, Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbuold should win for GRAVITY. Duh.

13. – BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

WHO WILL WIN:

Spike Jonze for HER. Um….. Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell for AMERICAN HUSTLE? It’s a toss up.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Certainly the most original screenplay in this group of nominees is HER. I loved this movie. It’s a good script, with all the right elements.

AMERICAN HUSTLE, sure it was fun, with several good scenes, snappy dialogue, blah blah, but meh. No character arc. NEBRASKA, oh meh minus, all around (okay, that’s at least 12 Twitter followers GONE right now. Bye). BLUE JASMINE? Really? No comment. And DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB? I liked that movie a lot, as well as the script…. more on that later.

Spike Jonze should win for HER.

14. – BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

WHO WILL WIN:

John Ridley for 12 YEARS A SLAVE

WHO SHOULD WIN:

BEFORE MIDNIGHT? No. I liked this movie, but ramble ramble ramble in terms of screenplay. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET? Tons of hysterically funny dialogue. That’s it. So, no. PHILOMENA is a great movie….. but script? Maybe…. 12 YEARS A SLAVE? More on that when we get to the Best Picture category.

Billy Ray should win for CAPTAIN PHILLIPS.

 

15. – BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

WHO WILL WIN:

Most everybody says THE GREAT BEAUTY will win, so I will too. But I’ve also heard THE HUNT could be a spoiler. Can I have a point if either one wins?

WHO SHOULD WIN:

No idea. THE GREAT BEAUTY?

 

16. – BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

WHO WILL WIN:

20 FEET FROM STARDOM

WHO SHOULD WIN:

20 FEET FROM STARDOM, a very entertaining, well-made documentary. Loved it.

17. – BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

WHO WILL WIN:

No idea.  Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed for THE LADY IN NUMBER 6: MUSIC SAVED MY LIFE? Holocaust survivor things are hard to beat.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

No idea. Malcolm Clarke and Nicholas Reed for THE LADY IN NUMBER 6: MUSIC SAVED MY LIFE?

 

18. – BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

WHO WILL WIN:

Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim for GET A HORSE? Good title.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim for GET A HORSE? See above…..

 

19. – BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

WHO WILL WIN:

Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras for AVANT QUE DE TOUT PERDRE (JUST BEFORE LOSING EVERYTHING)? No particular reason… do not wager on this.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Xavier Legrand and Alexandre Gavras for AVANT QUE DE TOUT PERDRE (JUST BEFORE LOSING EVERYTHING)?

 

20. – BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

WHO WILL WIN:

Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho for FROZEN. I know, I know, I’m going out on a limb here, saying this little unknown film is going to win. I like to take risks.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Um, let’s see…..oh okay, Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee and Peter Del Vecho should win for FROZEN.

21. – BEST ACTOR:

WHO WILL WIN:

Really? Matthew McConaughey, for DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB. I know it’s a long shot…

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Okay, this is where the Twitter followers REALLY start to drop, from here on…. Those of you with regular subscriptions, well, you are stuck unless you change your email.

I’ve seen all of these performances, and they are all, um, mostly worthy. Let’s go down the list.

Christian Bale in AMERICAN HUSTLE: I love Christian Bale. He’s a wonderful actor, and good in this otherwise meh movie (So long, 10 Twitter followers). But good as he is, there wasn’t one moment that stuck out for me, in this movie. Good, but not Best Actor.

Leonardo DiCaprio in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET: I love Leo. He’s fantastic in this hilarious fast train of a movie. He pretty much IS this movie, and that’s a very good thing. More on that later. But while his performance is entertaining, I don’t care about his character. No character arc. Is that the writing? Or performance? Whatever, he’s not Best Actor.

Chiwetel Ejioter in 12 YEARS A SLAVE: A good solid performance. The problems

I had with this movie (more followers GONE!) I don’t think are his fault, more on that later. But still, a Best Actor? Nope.

Bruce Dern in NEBRASKA: Seriously? Why isn’t Tom Hanks here for CAPTAIN PHILLIPS? Well, it doesn’t matter, ‘cause Tom wouldn’t get my vote anyway, but Bruce Dern? I love Bruce Dern. He’s a great actor. Remember SILENT RUNNING, with Huey, Dewey and Louie? But in this movie? Even Bruce Dern can’t make NEBRASKA interesting. Sorry.

This brings us to Matthew McConaughey in DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB: I’ll admit, I have never been a Matthew McConaughey fan. I never thought he could act, I don’t think he’s particularly good-looking. But man, what a year for Matthew. He is fantastic in MUD. See that little movie. He has a small but memorable role in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. And in DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB, He. Is. Stellar. He embraced that character and went all the way with him. And I don’t mean just losing the weight, I mean living that bigoted, sick man who becomes a tolerant, caring, giving person. His relationship with Jared Leto’s Rayon, the character arc, the nuances in his performance, more than great. I have a new respect for Matthew McConaughey. He should win for DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB, hands down, no question.

 

22. – BEST ACTRESS

WHO WILL WIN:

Cate Blanchett for BLUE JASMINE. Yep, another long shot.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Now, these are all worthy performances. Down the list, one by one….

Amy Adams in AMERICAN HUSTLE: Again, as with the actors, I love Amy Adams. She’s got an enormous range, from sweet Meerkat girl to sexy in anything. But in this movie, I just didn’t see that Oscar moment. Her performance is nuanced, but, well, I can’t quite put my finger on why, but I don’t think Amy should win.

Meryl Streep in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY: Meryl, Meryl Meryl, arguably our  greatest living actress. Always good. She’s good in this, but the same good. I’d like to see Meryl show us different. And this movie was not good. Good moments, but a filmed play. Meryl shouldn’t win this year, and she won’t anyway.

Cate Blanchett in BLUE JASMINE: Okay, I’ll admit it. I did not like this movie. I’m not much of a Woody Allen fan, even before all the allegations that are going on. Cate is good in this movie, but…maybe I just couldn’t get past the bad movie. Still, she’s a fine actress, no question. If, well, WHEN she wins, I’ll applaud. It’s not a travesty.

Judi Dench for PHILOMENA: Judi’s my runner-up choice. I love her performance in this movie. Again, she’s nuanced, her deep emotions right on the edge, you can feel her pain, her heartache, but she never overacts, she’s always with her character. I love Judi. She never gives a bad performance.

Sandra Bullock for GRAVITY: I saw this movie on opening weekend. I’ve been thinking about all these wonderful actresses, and considering why Sandra Bullock’s character has stayed with me all this time. The other performances I’ve see much more recently, but I keep going back to Sandra Bullock. First off, understand that I am not an actress. But, that said, somehow I think it’s much more difficult to perform alone, without any another actor to play off. Sandra did that. And those moments alone are amazing, in my opinion. It’s Jan’s Oscar Picks after all.

Her struggle alone, her wrenching conversation with the man, his dogs and her reaction to the baby crying? Her determination to get home, to have a life. Her performance is the winner for me. Sandra Bullock should win for GRAVITY. But she won’t.

 

23. – BEST DIRECTOR

WHO WILL WIN:

Alfonso Cuaron for GRAVITY. Yeah yeah yeah Steve McQueen might be the spoiler with 12 YEARS A SLAVE. Say it ain’t so. Bye, 40 more Twitter followers…..

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Alexander Payne for NEBRASKA? WTF? Not a chance in hell should he win.

Steve McQueen for 12 YEARS A SLAVE? Not badly directed, kinda pedestrian. Look, I didn’t hate this movie, but he’s not best director. Not for me. I’m not sure why. When we get to Best Picture, I’ll talk about my quandary.

David O. Russell for AMERICAN HUSTLE: This is a well-directed movie. Just because I thought the film as a whole was meh, doesn’t mean it wasn’t well directed. But was it a stand out? Maybe…. Nope.

Martin Scorsese for THE WOLF OF WALL STREET: The followers are gonna leave in droves now. As most of you past readers know, I’m not much of a Scorsese fan. BLASTPHEMY! I know, but I am not sorry. His movies don’t do a lot for me. But, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET is extremely well directed. He’s close to getting the Should Win from me.

Alfonso Cuaron for GRAVITY: This movie is a technical marvel. This is filmmaking like you’ve never seen before. And I didn’t even see it in 3D. I can’t watch 3D for some reason. The colors are all wrong, I focus on the wrong things, and my head explodes. Messy. But seriously, the color thing is weird. It wasn’t until I saw AVATAR in 2D that I saw all the blue, and the other colors. Weird. Anyway, back to GRAVITY. A tremendous feat for Alfonso Cuaron. He should win.

 

24. – BEST PICTURE

WHO WILL WIN:

GRAVITY. No. 12 YEARS A SLAVE. No. GRAVITY. No. 12 YEARS A SLAVE. No. GRAVITY. You see the dilemma. Even the Producers Guild could not make up their minds.

I say GRAVITY will win. No. 12 YEARS A SLAVE will win. Whatever.

WHO SHOULD WIN:

Finally. Here we are. This is exhausting.

For the new readers, this is how we do this:

The Best Picture is not always the one I liked the best. What the Best Picture has to have is the best of all the elements, the best script, the best performances, the best cinematography, the best production design, the best directing, etc. You get the idea. There almost never is one picture that has all of those things, so then you have to weigh all those elements against all the pictures, finally arriving at the Best Picture.

So here we go, the lineup, from bottom to top. And just so you know, all except one of these picture deserves to be here, so when I diss your favorite movie, it had to go somewhere. Okay?

NEBRASKA: All right, all you Alexander Payne fans, shut up. Write your own list. I’m not a fan. I’m sorry if he’s your best friend. I liked ELECTION. I sort of liked ABOUT SCHMIDT. It went downhill from there. I didn’t hate NEBRASKA, but I didn’t particularly like anything about it either. BORING. The screenplay forced. NEBRASKA is on the bottom rung.

AMERICAN HUSTLE: You are yelling at me now. “How? Why? This great movie? Way down here?” Yep. Way down here. I watched this movie THREE times trying to figure out what all the fuss was about. I never got it. Listen, I love this cast. The performances were fine. The directing was fine. So what was wrong, you ask? THE SCRIPT. Lots of one note scenes. Entertaining to be sure, but where is the character arc? Did I care about any of these people? Not really. Maybe Jennifer Lawrence. You just care about her by looking at her. AMERICAN HUSTLE is not Best Picture. Sorry.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET: Yelling again.. I. Can. Hear. You… Look, somebody has to take this place in the line up. This movie is a sheer pure entertainment. It’s a roller coaster ride through the decadent 80’s. The dialogue is hysterically good. The pacing is just like the drugs, mind blowing. It’s the Leo show. But seriously, there is no substance to this movie other than the copious amounts of cocaine. It’s a Chinese food movie. You are hungry for more substance two hours later. Many of you are arguing now “But entertainment is what I WANT in a movie!” Okay. Then go see this. But a Best Picture has GOT to have more. It must be about something thematically. We must CARE about the characters. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET has many of the elements, but the script is lacking. It’s not about anything. Remember, this is Jan’s Picks for the Oscars.

12 YEARS A SLAVE: OMG I’m losing everybody now. But wait, hear me out. This line up, outside of NEBRASKA, is very difficult. Again, this is a good movie. It’s an important movie. It must be seen. Just because I gave it this place doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. But here’s the curious thing about this movie, for me, which is why it’s not ranked higher.

For a movie about an emotionally charged subject during an emotionally charged time in our history, I remained curiously uninvolved. And I’m not sure why. I’ve thought about this a lot and it’s very perplexing. Those of you who know me are aware of my deep interest in history, and in period films. Slavery of any kind, and particularly a man enslaved in this manner is an unspeakable wrong. But weirdly, at the end of this movie, when I should have been weeping for Solomon’s freedom, overwhelmed with emotion at his homecoming, I was not. Throughout this movie, I remained observant, and not participatory. I watched it, but didn’t live it. That’s not what should have happened. I was not engaged. And why was that? The performances were all there, the directing was adequate…. Was it the script? Did I need to see more of the life he had to grieve for the life he lost? Is it some lack in me as an audience? This is exactly the kind of movie that normally speaks to me, on a visceral level. So why didn’t this one?

I seriously do not have the answer to this. The script is not overly heavy-handed, and there are very intense moments, the Patsey/Solomon scene mentioned above in particular. I’m not sure what went wrong. Clearly I’m in the minority, and if this picture wins, I will applaud its success. Just because it was lacking an emotional element for me, doesn’t diminish the importance of it. Go see this movie. These movies need to be made. We must remember our history, and continue to learn from it.

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS: Actually, this movie is kind of on the same rung as PHILOMENA, but I can’t talk about them at the same time, so I went in alphabetical order.

I pretty much loved CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. Paul Greengrass is a tight, tense director, and he is perfect for this film. Captain Phillips as a character is a great example of the calm leadership we all want, and when strength is needed, there he is. The look of this movie plays exactly to the heightened tension of the situation, and the script really worked for me. There’s a lot of emotion in this movie, I felt a real compassion for some of the pirates, a compassion that completely surprised me. I cared. Tom Hanks made some incredible acting choices in the end of this movie. He should have been nominated. The courage under pressure and the true human emotions are strong in this movie. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS is a worthy contender, for me. Why isn’t it higher on the list? I think because I didn’t soar emotionally, except at the end. But see it. You won’t be disappointed.

PHILOMENA: This is a wonderful little film, and exactly why the extended nominee option works in this category. This movie would likely have been overlooked in the old five nominee limit, and it deserves to be here. This movie is quiet, small, personal, and packed with emotion. Judi Dench is at the top of her game. You are there with her on her quest to find her son. You want her to win, and (spoiler alert!) when things don’t turn out as she hoped, you weep with her. Her companion in her search, played by Steve Coogan has a wonderful character arc. I liked this script very much. Steven Frears is the exact right director for PHILOMENA. His directing never is obvious, he never overplays the story. Not only is this a good movie, it’s about something, and that is important to me. Characters grow and change, they are different at the end of the film, it explores a thought provoking topic, and apparently because of this movie, things are changing in Ireland. Go see it. Support these small movies. Okay, now that I’m writing this, I’m thinking that perhaps PHILOMENA should be higher on the list?

HER: This is a very interesting, thought provoking movie. I loved it. Set in the not too distant future, a lonely nerdy man falls in love with his computer operating system. Weird, right? But I cared more for that disembodied operating system voice than I did for most characters in many other films this year. That’s good writing. HER effectively points out the drawbacks of our disjointed, separate, distant society. What does it say when a man is more likely to fall for an operating system than a flesh and blood woman? And he’s not the only one in this movie to do so. Interesting thought, when many people today have Twitter crushes (I don’t mean YOU), Facebook lovers, sexting, and virtual sex. Perhaps we should try to connect more, in person? Maybe see people, in real life? Huh. All in all, HER is well crafted, completely original, a solid script, and very well directed. Spike Jonze is always interesting, and he doesn’t fail here. A very touching, emotionally driven movie. Something I did not expect. Loved it.

DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB: Okay, now we’re talkin’. This is a major film. Talk about emotion. Talk about performances. Talk about character arc. Talk about an important topic. This movie isn’t easy to watch, but it was way worth it, for me. This movie made me think. I was in it, right there, with these characters. Sure, it’s a story about the beginnings of the AIDS crisis, but it’s mostly about one man’s personal struggle, not only with his hideous disease, but with intolerance, bigotry, and the inept medical profession. People have complained that it did not address the AIDS crisis as a whole, but that’s exactly why the movie works. It’s personal, and because of that, we are engaged. There are many worthy scenes in this, but there is one particularly stand-out for me: when Matthew’s character Ron insists that his former friend shake the hand of transsexual Rayon. A major powerful moment. Sums up the ignorance of people, and shows the great change in Ron’s character, his tolerance. Tolerance is a key part of DALLAS BUYER’S CLUB. This movie has heart to burn, and for me, that is the most important part of a Best Picture nominee. Entertaining is fun, but I want to feel, and feel big as well. In the end, emotion is what makes a great picture, a picture that stands the test of time. There is more than technical craft in filmmaking, in my opinion. You may not agree. That’s okay.

GRAVITY: I have thought long and hard about the Best Picture nominees. They all, with the exception of NEBRASKA, are good movies, worthy of their nominations. They all have many of the necessary elements for a Best Picture. But GRAVITY, I’ve got to say, has them all, for me. As I said earlier, I saw this movie on opening weekend, on a huge screen. I saw it before all the other nominees. It is still with me. GRAVITY takes us on a visual journey beyond anything we’ve seen, it’s technically brilliant, but at the end of it all, it’s about one woman’s personal struggle with loss, with pain, her aching loneliness. These are all things to which we can relate. She’s ready to give up, yet, she struggles on, in her life, and in her plight, lost in space. She’s adrift in all ways, without gravity, so to speak. To me, this is filmmaking at its best. The technical achievements are huge, the directing top-notch, the performances flawless, the script tight. I soared emotionally. It’s about something thematically. I loved it months ago, I still do. Okay, let’s get real, the camera angle at the end, the I Am Woman Hear Me Roar angle on Sandra, yeah, I could have done without that. But whatever, I was crying.

GRAVITY should win Best Picture.

Okay, that’s it. Thanks, my last remaining Twitter followers for sticking with me. Forgive me all if I insulted your favorites, but well, that’s show biz.

Be sure to mark your ballots, have some great food and drink, and watch the Oscars on Sunday! Most importantly, have fun! I will be drinking and live tweeting from my living room! @polarstr

Jan

Jan Evans (polarstr) on Twitter.

12 comments

  1. Really enjoyed this! ^_^ I’ve only seen American Hustle & Captain Smith ~ Ha! I know Jan…PHILIPS 😉 So, I will have to go by your picks. But can say, don’t think Hustle worthy of any wins. And, just for the record, WHY would anybody un-follow you over this? Silly! Laters! ❤

  2. George Kaplan

    I can’t believe Jan didn’t stay to the end of the credits in 12 Years A Slave, she missed the big surprise musical number: “Springtime for Slavery”, tsk, tsk.
    What? “Bad taste!” How rude! Bwahahahaha!

  3. George Kaplan

    Man, Jan, they should have come to us; we’d have solved that pesky problem for them! By the way (or “btw” if I were 20 years younger and not persnickety!) I really enjoyed your rundown even when I was snorting in disagreement. 😉 Kudos!

  4. George Kaplan

    So, Jared Leto wins for Dallas Buyers Club!
    Interesting and bizarre fact: According to Guardian.co.uk the $80,000 (What the Fuchsia?!) Academy Awards goodie bags contain a *vaginal rejuvenation treatment* called the O-Shot… Does the “O” stand for “Oh You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me”?! I wonder if Betty White got one? Who am I kidding, she probably got ten! Madonna and Angelina Jolie were particularly happy with their goodie bags as each contained an Ethiopian orphan… (NAME DELETED) was thrilled because his contained a waxed and oiled 20-year-old named Tad… Disclaimer: Those last two claims may not be 100% true…!

  5. George Kaplan

    Tonight’s Academy Awards show, so long they had to have a second In Memoriam at the end to commemorate all of those who died while it was on the air…
    In 1939 Judy Garland sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow. In 2014 we get… Pink. No further comment necessary. *winks*
    The cute married couple who who wrote the Frozen ditty win for Best Song which means U2 don’t… Hooray!
    And Gravity wins BIG. Surprise! Or not. 🙂
    And now it’s a choice of “Party” or “Sleep”.
    P.S. That animatronic creation they got to present an award was pretty creepy. What, it was John Travolta?! Um. Never mind.

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