THE OSCARS GET IT RIGHT1 comment
With the exception of the Pizza Gag that dragged on far too long, and sour expression on the grill of Meryl Streep’s husband, the Academy Awards basically had a good night. Even the usually numerous strange and uncomfortable moments seemed in short supply.
Not to toot our own horn, but we pretty much called the top five awards. Admittedly, we assumed “Gravity” would take Best Picture. It swept one award after another and seemed poised to run the table when Alfonso Cuaron was called for Best Director. Then again, we also said if anything could upset the space tome’s momentum it would be “12 Years A Slave,” a film that frankly was far more than deserving of the BP Oscar.
As for the other top earners, Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto were surprising and righteous picks. As an entire film, “Dallas Buyers Club,” didn’t deliver a home run swing, but it was a great effort, mostly due to these two performances.
Cate Blanchett has been Blue-chipper in every role she’s taken, but her turn in “Blue Jasmine” might be her best of all. Sandy Bullock was expected to ride the “Gravity,” train to best actress, but we pushed for lady Cate, and were pleasantly surprised.
More than the winners, we were most pleased to see “American Hustle,” and “Wolf Of Wall Street,” toss a pair of shutouts. It’s not that they were awful films, but they weren’t compelling, and certainly had no business cleaning up some of the chintzier awards from earlier in the season.
Martin Scorsese remains one of the most evocative directors American Cinema has ever produced, but his best days seem well behind him. We are lifelong fans and would love him to prove us wrong.
As for David O’ Russell, he and his flock of geeky fanny-kissers continue to baffle us. For the second straight year, he put forth a thoroughly average film, only this time he gagged it up with 70’s music, wigs and threads, which, despite the big names in the cast, were the only things “Hustle” had going for it. For all of the adoration he gets from the community, his work should be more memorable. Maybe someday it will be.