A Blast From the Oscar Past: 12 Years A Slave Wins Best Picture


165 years ago today, a slave named Solomon Northup received his freedom.

Solomon hadn’t been born a slave.  He was born a freedman in Rhode Island and settled, with his family, in New York.  He was a man of many trades, though probably best known as a fiddler.  He was 32 when, in 1841, he was kidnapped by two men who, claiming he was a fugitive slave that had been recaptured, sold him into slavery.  He spent 12 year separated from his family, working on plantations across the Deep South.  It was while he was owned by the cruel (even by the standards of the slave trade) Edwin Epps that Northup met a Canadian carpenter named Samuel Bass.  Northup told Bass the truth about his identity and it was with Bass’s help that Solomon Northup was finally reunited with his family.  Northup went on to write the memoir 12 Years A Slave and traveled the country, lecturing on abolition.

His later life is a mystery.  He vanished in 1857, while on a speaking tour in Canada.  At the time, there was speculation that he had once again been abducted and sold into slavery.  Others thought that he may have been murdered by pro-slavery partisans.  Of course, there were other who said that they met Northup in the 1860s and that he was helping slaves escape to the North during the Civil War.  One man, a Rev. Smith, even reported meeting Northup in 1863.

Over a century later, Solomon’s memoir was adapted for the screen.  Directed by Steve McQueen, 2013’s 12 Years a Slave was a powerful and haunting film, one that deservedly won the Oscar for best picture of the year.  Here’s that moment:

 

Here Are The Oscar Winners!


Gravity won the most but 12 Years A Slave won the award that everyone will remember.  With 7 Oscars, Gravity nearly tied with Cabaret for winning the most Oscars without also winning best picture.  Cabaret won 8 Oscars but lost best picture to The Godfather (which won 3 Oscars, the exact same amount as 12 Years A Slave).

 BEST PICTURE
“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“Gravity”
“Her”
“Nebraska”
“Philomena”
X – “12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST DIRECTOR
X – Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
David O. Russell, “American Hustle”
Martin Scorsese, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”

BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale, “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
X – Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

BEST ACTRESS
Amy Adams, “American Hustle”
X – Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”
Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
X – Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
X – Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“American Hustle”
“Blue Jasmine”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
X – “Her”
“Nebraska”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Before Midnight”
“Captain Phillips”
“Philomena”
X – “12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“The Broken Circle Breakdown”
X – “The Great Beauty”
“The Hunt”
“The Missing Picture’
“Omar”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“The Croods”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Ernest and Celestine”
X – “Frozen”
“The Wind Rises”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“The Act of Killing”
“Cutie and the Boxer”
“Dirty Wars”
“The Square”
X – “20 Feet From Stardom”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
“The Grandmaster”
X – “Gravity”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Nebraska”
“Prisoners”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
“American Hustle”
“The Grandmaster”
X – “The Great Gatsby”
“The Invisible Woman”
“12 Years a Slave”

BEST EDITING
“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
X – “Gravity”
“12 Years a Slave”

BEST MAKEUP
X – “Dallas Buyers Club”
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa”
“The Lone Ranger”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
“American Hustle”
“Gravity”
X – “The Great Gatsby”
“Her”
“12 Years a Slave”

BEST SCORE
“The Book Thief”
X – “Gravity”
“Her”
“Philomena”
“Saving Mr. Banks”

BEST SONG
“Alone, Yet Not Alone” from “Alone, Yet Not Alone”
“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2”
X – “Let it Go” from “Frozen”
“The Moon Song” from “Her”
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom”

BEST SOUND EDITING
“All is Lost”
“Captain Phillips”
X – “Gravity”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Lone Survivor”

BEST SOUND MIXING
“Captain Phillips”
X – “Gravity”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Lone Survivor”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
X – “Gravity”
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”
“Iron Man 3”
“The Lone Ranger”
“Star Trek: Into Darkness”

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
“Feral”
“Get a Horse!”
X – “Mr. Hublot”
“Possessions”
“Room on the Broom”

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
“CaveDigger”
“Facing Fear”
“Karama Has No Walls”
X – “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall”

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
“A quel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)”
“Avant De Tout Perdre” (Just Before Losing Everything)”
X – “Helium”
“Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?)”
“The Voorman Problem”

Here Are The Winners of The Independent Spirit Awards!


12 Years A Slave was the big winner at yesterday’s Independent Spirit Awards.  We’ll know if the same is true for the Oscars in just two more hours.

BEST PICTURE
X – “12 Years A Slave”
“All is Lost”
“Frances Ha”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Nebraska”

BEST DIRECTOR
Shane Carruth, “Upstream Color”
J.C. Chandor, “All Is Lost”
X – Steve McQueen, “12 Years A Slave”
Jeff Nichols, “Mud”
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”

BEST ACTOR
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave”
Oscar Isaac, “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Michael B Jordan, “Fruitvale Station”
X – Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Robert Redford, “All Is Lost”

BEST ACTRESS
X – Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Julie Delpy, “Before Midnight”
Gaby Hoffmann, “Crystal Fairy”
Brie Larson, “Short Term 12”
Shailene Woodley, “The Spectacular Now”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”
Will Forte, “Nebraska”
James Gandolfini, “Enough Said”
X – Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Keith Stanfield, “Short Term 12”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Melonie Diaz, “Fruitvale Station”
Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
X – Lupita Nyongo, “12 Years a Slave”
Yolonda Ross, “Go For Sisters”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”

BEST SCREENPLAY
Woody Allen, “Blue Jasmine”
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater, “Before Midnight”
Nicole Holofcener, “Enough Said”
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, “The Spectacular Now”
X – John Ridley, “12 Years A Slave”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
X – Sean Bobbitt, “12 Years A Slave”
Benoit Debie, “Spring Breakers”
Bruno Delbonnel, “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Frank G. Demarco, “All Is Lost”
Matthias Grunsky, “Computer Chess”

BEST EDITING
Shane Carruth & David Lowery, “Upstream Color”
Jem Cohen & Marc Vives, “Museum Hours”
Frank G. Demarco, “All Is Lost”
Matthias Grunsky, “Computer Chess”
X – Nat Sanders, “Short Term 12”

BEST DOCUMENTARY
X – “20 Feet From Stardom”
“After Tiller”
“Gideon’s Army”
“The Act of Killing”
“Cynn”
“The Square”

BEST INTERNATIONAL PICTURE
“A Touch of Sin (China)
X – “Blue is the Warmest Color” (France)
“Gloria” (Chile)
“The Great Beauty” (Italy)
“The Hunt” (Denmark)

BEST FIRST FEATURE
“Blue Caprice”
“Concussion”
X – “Fruitvale Station”
“Una Noche”
“Wadjda”

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Lake Bell, “In A World”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Jon”
X – Bob Nelson, “Nebraska”
Jill Soloway, “Afternoon Delight”
Mike Starrbury, “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete”

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (best feature made for under $500,000)
“Computer Chess”
“Crystal Fairy”
“Museum Hours”
“Pit Stop”
X – “This is Martin Bonner”

Lisa Predicts The 86th Annual Academy Awards


american-hustle-2

Well, it’s finally that time!  The Oscars are tomorrow night and, with so many close races this year, I can’t wait to see who actually wins.  Below, you’ll find my predictions for what will win.

Please note that these are not necessarily the films that I personally would pick to honor.  You can find that list here.  Instead, these are the films and performances that I think will win tomorrow.

A few notes: I’m predicting that Gravity will win the most awards but I still think that 12 Years A Slave will win best picture.  However, I also think that either American Hustle or Dallas Buyers Club could pull an upset win in this category.

For best actor, I am picking Matthew McConaughey but I do think that Bruce Dern could possibly win.  Dern’s been acting forever and the Academy might feel that this could be his last chance to win an Oscar.  Plus, he was really good in Nebraska.

For best actress, I’m predicting that Amy Adams will upset favorite Cate Blanchett.  As we saw with the SAG awards, American Hustle is popular with actors and the Academy might be hesitant about honoring a Woody Allen film this year.

Finally, for Best Makeup, I am predicting that Bad Grandpa will win.  Why?  Every year, there’s at least one totally fucked up win that nobody predicted.  And what win could be more fucked up than Bad Grandpa?  (Also, if Bad Grandpa wins, I’ll be able to say that I was the only person who predicted it.)

Best Picture — 12 Years A Slave

Best Director — Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity

Best Actor — Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

Best Actress — Amy Adams in American Hustle

Best Supporting Actor — Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Actress — Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle

Best Original Screenplay — Her

Best Adapted Screenplay — 12 Years A Slave

Best Animated Film — Frozen

Best Foreign Language Film — The Great Beauty (Italy)

Best Documentary Feature — The Act of Killing

Best Documentary (Short Subject) — The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Best Live Action Short Film — The Voorman Problem

Best Animated Short Film — Mr. Hublot

Best Original Score — Gravity

Best Original Song — “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

Best Sound Editing — Gravity

Best Sound Mixing — Gravity

Best Production Design — The Great Gatsby

Best Cinematography — Gravity

Best Makeup and Hairstyling — Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Best Costume Design — The Great Gatsby

Best Film Editing — 12 Years A Slave

Best Visual Effects — Gravity

Here are the DGA winners!


The Director’s Guild Awards were given out today and Alfonso Cuaron was named best director for Gravity.  For those of you looking for some guidance while trying to predict the closest Oscar race in history, Gravity has now won honors from the DGA and the PGA, American Hustle took top honors at the SAG Awards, and 12 Years A Slave was honored by the PGA (where it tied for best picture with Gravity).

So does Gravity have the momentum now?  Perhaps.  However, Cuaron’s victory isn’t exactly a surprise.  In fact, since before the Oscar nominations were first announced two weeks ago, a lot of Oscar watchers have been predicting that Gravity would win best director while 12 Years A Slave or American Hustle took best picture.

Or perhaps, even more intriguingly, perhaps American Hustle, Gravity, and 12 Years A Slave could end up splitting the vote and allow one of the other 6 nominees to somehow win a totally unexpected victory.*

Anything’s possible but, for now, here are the DGA winners:

FILM AWARDS

FEATURE FILM 
X — Alfonso Cuarón – “Gravity”
Paul Greengrass – “Captain Phillips”
Steve McQueen – “12 Years a Slave”
David O. Russell – “American Hustle”
Martin Scorsese – “The Wolf of Wall Street”

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Zachary Heinzerling – “Cutie and the Boxer”
X — Jehane Noujaim – “The Square”
Joshua Oppenheimer – “The Act of Killing”
Sarah Polley -–”Stories We Tell”
Lucy Walker – “The Crash Reel”

TELEVISION AWARDS 

DRAMA SERIES
Bryan Cranston – “Breaking Bad” (“Blood Money”)
David Fincher – “House of Cards” (“Chapter 1”)
X — Vince Gilligan – “Breaking Bad” (“Felina”)
Lesli Linka Glatter – “Homeland” (“The Star”)
David Nutter – “Game of Thrones” (“The Rains of Castamere”)

COMEDY SERIES

Mark Cendrowski – “The Big Bang Theory” (“The Hofstadter Insufficiency”)
Bryan Cranston – “Modern Family” (“The Old Man & the Tree”)
Gail Mancuso – “Modern Family” (“My Hero”)
X — Beth McCarthy-Miller – “30 Rock” (“Hogcock!/Last Lunch”)
Anthony Rich – “The Big Bang Theory” (“The Love Spell Potential”)

MOVIE/MINISERIES
Stephen Frears – “Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight”
David Mamet – “Phil Spector”
Beth McCarthy-Miller and Rob Ashford – “The Sound of Music”
Nelson McCormick – “Killing Kennedy”
X — Steven Soderbergh – “Behind the Candelabra”

VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – SERIES
Dave Diomedi – “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (#799)
Andy Fisher – “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (#13-1810)
Jim Hoskinson – “The Colbert Report” (#10004)
X — Don Roy King – “Saturday Night Live” (“Host: Justin Timberlake”)
Chuck O’Neil – “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (#19018)

VARIETY/TALK/NEWS/SPORTS – SPECIALS
Louis CK – “Louis CK: Oh My God”
Joel Gallen – “2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony”
Louis J. Horvitz – “55th Annual Grammy Awards”
Don Mischer – “85th Annual Academy Awards”
X — Glenn Weiss – “67th Annual Tony Awards”

REALITY
Matthew Bartley – “The Biggest Loser” (“1501”)
X — Neil P. DeGroot – “72 Hours” (“The Lost Coast”)
Paul Starkman – “Top Chef” (“Glacial Gourmand”)
J. Rupert Thompson – “The Hero” (“Teamwork”)
Bertram van Munster – “The Amazing Race” (“Beards in the Wind”)

CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS
Stephen Herek – “Jinxed”
Jeffrey Hornaday – “Teen Beach Movie”
Jonathan Judge – “Swindle”
X — Amy Schatz – “An Apology to Elephants”
Adam Weissman – “A.N.T. Farm” (“influANTces”)

COMMERCIALS
Fredrik Bond
John X. Carey
Noam Murro
X — Martin de Thurah
Matthijs van Heijningen

—–

*However, the best film of the year remains the unnominated Upstream Color.

Here Are The PGA Winners and Guess What? It’s a Tie!


12 Years A Slave

Whenever there’s a tight and potentially unpredictable Oscar race like there is this year, we look to the guild awards for guidance.  Last night, the Producer’s Guild decided not to provide that guidance.  For the first time in the organization’s history, there was a tie for Best Picture as both 12 Years A Slave and Gravity took the top honor.  Even further complicating matters is that the Screen Actors Guild gave their award for best film (or “ensemble”) to this year’s other main contender — American Hustle.  

American Hustle

It seems obvious that one of those three films will be named Best Picture of the year in March but right now, your guess is as good as mine regarding which one will actually take the top prize.

Here are the PGA winners:

FILM AWARDS

BEST PICTURE (TIE)
“American Hustle”
“Blue Jasmine”
“Captain Phillips,”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
X — “Gravity
“Her”
“Nebraska”
“Saving Mr. Banks”
X — “12 Years a Slave
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“The Croods”
“Despicable Me 2”
“Epic”
X –“Frozen
“Monsters University”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“A Place at the Table”
“Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story”
“Life According to Sam”
X — “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks”
“Which Way Is The Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington”

TV AWARDS

BEST DRAMA SERIES
X — “Breaking Bad”
“Downton Abbey”
“Game of Thrones”
“Homeland”
“House of Cards”

BEST COMEDY SERIES
“Arrested Development”
“The Big Bang Theory”
X — “Modern Family”
“30 Rock”
“Veep”

BEST TV MOVIE/MINISERIES
“American Horror Story: Asylum”
X — “Behind the Candelabra
“Killing Kennedy”
“Phil Spector”
“Top of the Lake”

BEST LIVE ENTERTAINMENT/TALK SERIES
X — “The Colbert Report”
“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“Late Night with Jimmy Fallon”
“Real Time with Bill Maher”
“Saturday Night Live”

BEST REALITY COMPETITION SERIES
“The Amazing Race”
“Dancing with the Stars”
“Project Runway”
“Top Chef”
X — “The Voice”

BEST NON-FICTION SERIES
“30 for 30”
X — “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown”
“Duck Dynasty”
“Inside the Actors Studio”
“Shark Tank”

BEST CHILDREN’S SERIES
“Dora the Explorer”
“iCarly”
“Phineas and Ferb”
X — “Sesame Street”
“Spongebob Squarepants”

BEST SPORTS SERIES
“24/7”
“Hard Knocks”
“Monday Night Football”
“Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel”
X — “SportsCenter”

BEST DIGITAL SERIES
“Burning Love” (web series)
“Epic Rap Battles of History”
“The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”
“Video Game High School”
X — “Wired: What’s Inside”

Gravity

LeonTh3Duke’s Favorite Films of 2013


I have to say, this might be the earliest I have ever posted one of these lists. For once I saw everything I wanted to see before the Oscars; and although I haven’t written as many reviews this year, I have loved A TON of what was released. For me, 2013 was one of the better years for film in a while. Which of course makes creating a list such as this so damn hard. But here goes…

…oh, and I should note, this list is ordered according to which films were my favorite/least favorite, not necessarily the best/worst; yes there is a difference if you ask me.

Least Favorite Films of 2013:

5 – “Star Trek Into Darkness” (dir. J.J. Abrams)

5 Star Trek Into Darkness

4 – “Don Jon” (dir. Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

4 Don Jon

3 – “This Is The End” (dir. Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen)

3 This Is The End

2 – “Mama” (dir. Andre Muschietti)

2 Mama

1 – “A Good Day To Die Hard” [Just so happens to be my least favorite AND the worst.] (dir. Satan… Hitler?…no wait, John Moore)

1 A Good Day To Die Hard

Favorite Films of 2013:

25 – “Prince Avalanche” (dir. David Gordon Green)

25 Prince Avalanche

24 – “Drug War” (dir. Johnnie To)

24 Drug War

23 – “The Wolverine” (dir. James Mangold)

23The Wolverine

22 – “Upstream Color” (dir. Shane Carruth)

22 Upstream Color

21 – “The Wolf Wall Street” (dir. Martin Scorsese)

21 The Wolf of Wall Street

20 – “Enough Said” (dir. Nicole Holofcener)

20 Enough Said

19 – “Frozen” (dir. Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee)

19 Frozen

18 – “The World’s End” (dir. Edgar Wright)

18 The Worlds End

17 – “Dallas Buyers Club” (dir. Jean-Marc Vallee)

17 Dallas Buyers Club

16 – “Blue Is The Warmest Color” (dir. Adbellatif Kechiche)

16 Blue Is The Warmest Color

15 – “An Adventure In Space and Time” (dir. Terry McDonough)

15 An Adventure in Space and Time

14 – “Stories We Tell” (dir. Sarah Polley)

14 Stories We Tell

13 – “Much Ado About Nothing” (dir. Joss Whedon)

13 Much Ado About Nothing

12 – “Blue Jasmine” (dir. Woody Allen)

12 Blue Jasmine

11 – “Mud” (dir. Jeff Nichols)

11 Mud

10 – “Frances Ha” (dir. Noah Baumbach)

10 Frances Ha

9 – “12 Years A Slave” (dir. Steve McQueen)

9 Twelve Years A Slave

8 – “Short Term 12” (dir. Destin Cretton)

8 Short Term 12

7 – “Inside Llewyn Davis” (dir. Ethan & Joel Coen)

7 Inside Llewyn Davis

6 – “Museum Hours” (dir. Jem Cohen)

6 Museum Hours

5 – “Stoker” (dir. Chan-wook Park)

5 Stoker

4 – “The Act of Killing” [The BEST of 2013 and possibly beyond.] (dir. Joshua Oppenheimer)

4 The Act of Killing

3 – “Before Midnight” (dir. Richard Linklater)

2 Before Midnight

2 – “Her” (dir. Spike Jonze)

1 Her

 

1 – “Gravity” (dir. Alfonso Cauron)

3 Gravity

 

These last three were honestly neck and neck and neck, and it wasn’t until I was ready to post this list that I bumped “Gravity” up to the top spot, replacing “Her”. As I mentioned above, this was such a great year for film and my favorite could change anytime in the future depending on when you asked me; but at this very moment I have to give it to “Gravity”.

 

(Some of My…) Favorite Performances of 2013 [No Specific Order]:

– Brie Larson (“Short Term 12”)

– Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”)

– Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club” & “Mud”)

– Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson & Amy Adams (“Her”)

(Some of My…) Favorite Filmmakers and Writers of 2013 [No Specific Order]:

– Filmmaker: Joshua Oppenheimer (“The Act of Killing”)

– Writers: Richard Linklater, Julie Deply & Ethan Hawke (“Before Midnight”)

Favorite Score of 2013 (Ran a Half Marathon To This Sucker):

– Steven Price (“Gravity”)