Monday, March 3, 2014

Day XXIX: Who Won?

By now, everyone is aware of last night's big winners at the Academy Awards. A hefty congratulations is more than due to Steve McQueen and the rest of Team 12 Years a Slave.

I managed to correctly predict 19 of the 24 categories, which is not too shabby! Still, I would have liked to do better. I probably could have done a bit more research into the "short" categories and not picked Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa for shits and giggles. Oh well!

Rather than present the ones I missed--because who wants to talk about doing poorly--I'd like to look at a few of the victories I would have overturned yesterday evening.

Best Supporting Actor went to Jared Leto for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club. Personally, I was a big fan of Leto's ability to capture Rayon in a very human, non-caricatured manner. I thought his temperament and quietness added a beautiful foil to the harsh and often aggressive nature of the film. Still, I agree with the rest of the internet: his performance could have a been a real breakthrough role for a trans actor. I think it's very important to recognize Leto's strength as Rayon, but the world could have used some exposure to a talented trans person in the role of, well, a trans person. I think it was a missed opportunity for education and acceptance. I would have preferred the award to go to Michael Fassbender, too. I thought he was incredible in 12 Years; I still have nightmares from that man!

Best Original Score was a joke. Sibley pointed out last night that Gravity's music was just a rehashed score from Inception. And it was! Lots of big booming "WAHHHHHHH's" and "EEERRRRRRMMMM's." That's so boring to me. I thought the music from Her was so touching and melodic and beautiful. I don't think there was a single moment during that film that left me wishing for a better tone or presence, and that's because the music was so unbearably great.

My favorite moment of the night was Lupita Nyong'o's acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress. She was a class act and was so genuinely thrilled and proud and gracious for her victory. Still... I think Julia Roberts was robbed. I think the academy has been catering to smaller roles over the last few years. And while some of them--Mo'Nique's heart-wrenching, gut-busting work in Precious--have been deserved, others--was Anne Hatheway even in Les Miserables?--were just too tiny to be as worshiped as they were. I think Lupita did a phenomenal job, but the amount of ferocity and grit and grief that Julia Roberts brought to August: Osage County was staggering. It was a stacked category, and they were all flawless performances, I just would have preferred a longer part to be acknowledged.

I want to leave this blog with a little infographic I stumbled across this afternoon and immediately emailed myself. It's a very, very sad at-a-glance look at the lack of diversity in the Academy Awards. And while I love The Oscars, this shit needs to change.

Property of Lee & Low

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