A Piece of My Thoughts about Oscars 2014

Oscars 2014

Well just like last year, I couldn’t watch or stream the 86th Annual Academy Awards, which aired on ABC Sunday, March 2nd, starting at 5:30 pm Pacific Time. It was around 7:30 am in Monday here in Indonesia. Yeah, Monday is an office day, I have to go to work, so all I could do was monitoring what happened both at the red carpets and the ceremony. (I can’t concentrate on whatever I was working on at office that morning!!). I won’t talk much about how Ellen DeGeneres, the presenter of the show, did her job (and opening monologue!) or how excellent the performers (gosh I really wanted to see Karen O performing “The Moon Song”!), but I have things to say about the winners.

To cover it all, I have two adjectives to describe Oscars 2014. First, ‘predictable’. I’m not good at predicting, I didn’t publish any predictions on either blog or Twitter, but I did read critics’ and analysts’ thoughts predicting the winners and mostly I agree with them. Second, ‘heart-pleasing’. Well there are one or two shocking wins but I am glad for whoever won the Oscars. Academy Awards is where you have to prepare for the worst because it’s somewhat dramatic. You know: campaign, lobby, ‘backers’, et cetera, et cetera. Now this time, everything goes smooth without any seemingly interference from those addressed as ‘Oscar whisperers’.

To see a complete list of Oscars 2014’s winners and nominees, click here.

1.  American Hustle is THE BIG LOSER

This is where I find myself sooo glad, sooo happy. Tell you what. As the days count, people start to change their prediction, especially for Original Screenplay category (like I said, I’m totally okay with all acting nominations that American Hustle gained, but getting the most nominations is just too much). See, I will always love Her. It won’t win the Best Picture—it’s okay, I can understand that—but I can’t understand if it doesn’t win for Best Original Screenplay. But people on Twitter keep making me doubtful because they think David O. Russell has ‘the power’ to ‘whisper’ to the Academy members about how American Hustle may also win an Oscar for best screenplay. That was just beyond me. How could a movie that started with “SOME OF THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED”? Seriously? But that it turns out that the universe is on my side. Not only that it didn’t win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (which, of course, went to Spike Jonze for his incredible Her), but also it DIDN’T WIN A SINGLE OSCAR.

2. 20 Feet from Stardom won over The Act of Killing

The Act of Killing is the only documentary I watched along 2013. LOL LOL. It may feel too one-sided if I judged that after winning a Golden Globe, it will also win an Oscar, but when I read tweet about 20 Feet from Stardom won over it, I literally screamed (my workmate and my seniors in the same room got panicked because I screamed all of a sudden!). I live in Indonesia and personally I think The Act of Killing is an important movie. Well I think the Academy want to play safe; they prefer something more accessible and universal to some true facts covering certain parts of the globe. So even though it was heart-breaking, I didn’t get mad because of it.

3. Viva Lupita Nyong’o

The lady has a star quality. Just since she arrived until finally she had an Oscar statue on her hand, she was stunning. She nails every red carpet she attends. She’s always be ‘the prom queen’ in the last award circles. And look how she dances along with Pharell on“Happy”! But it’s a bit arguable if this is gonna be her gate to a more qualifying career path. I’m afraid she’s gonna be the next Jennifer Hudson or Cuba Gooding Jr. You know, one win and then disappear. Esquire wrote a very goodarticle about what she should or shouldn’t do regarding to her (sudden) victory. (And deep inside I hope something better also happens for Barkhad Abdi). I mean, winning an Oscar or being nominated in Oscar is indeed not a guarantee for ‘a better future in Hollywood’. The rule may apply (recently we see Rooney Mara who finally gets chances to work with Steven Soderbergh, Spike Jonze, or even Terrence Malick since her Oscar-nominated role in Dragon Tattoo) but there are factors interfered. Nyong’o is the Hollywood darling now but I hope she’s always be our darling.

4. No Love for Leo

The internet wants Leonardo DiCaprio winning an Oscar more than he does. It’s been a very long round of memes and jokes (and supports!) made for the so-called ‘forgotten actor’. Sadly, I guess his role in Wolf of Wall Street is not his greatest. He went crazy. I don’t like it. It feels like he’s doing everything—literally everything—to show the world that he’s supposed to win a statue (even though some other actors didn’t do that much to win the same statue—what an irony) and after watching Wolf I thought if he’s gonna win an Oscar for his role, that’s not a victory I’m gonna be proud of. Laugh for this, but I personally think that his role in The Great Gatsby or Django Unchained is way better. He plays with charisma and mimics and gestures better than those ‘nasty’ behaviors he pulled over around. He’s gonna win an Oscar, I believe, but heck—he doesn’t even need one. We know he’s way greater than those who already won one for playing the lesser, ‘cheaper’ character than whatever Leo did.

I didn’t really follow what’s happening during Oscars 2014 but I followed all the ‘gimmicks’ via Twitter, including that most retweeted selfie (what was that cameraphone?), that sudden pizza party, the Travoltized ‘Idina Menzel’, and all. It’s been a very cheerful ceremony—one of the most heart-pleasing yet rarest Oscar events in recent years.

What do you think about Oscars 2014, folks?

Akbar Saputra

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  1. Well, controversies went around 20 Feet of Stardom, which is more "watchable' than other contenders. Yet, for me Gravity's failure of completing its 7 awards with Best Picture seems quite fair: 2013 is not just an easy round for any movie to "shine alone".
    And... so glad that storms of abhor to American Hustle suddenly over. For me, having their original title "American Bullshit' might be helping somehow... at least, the haters would understand why they won no Oscar... cause it's just bullshit, and bullshit is no hustle.
    No offense :)