And the winners are ...


And the winners are ...


Date: February 26, 2014
by: Pam Nadon | Film Critic


I fully subscribe to the Oscar adage that “just being nominated is an honor.” That’s precisely why we watch the Academy Awards ceremony (well, aside from red carpet strutting). Garnering a nomination catapults one into that revered position of having created something meant to be seen, honored and possibly hurled into posterity. Most importantly, the event motivates audiences to seek out the very best in filmmaking. And, the nominees are ...

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

My choice is June Squibb, who has all the best lines in the film and most of them are raucously risque. At age 85, she’s a breath of fresh air.

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


I’m partial when it comes to Michael Fassbender in anything. His portrayal of a monstrous slave owner cuts to the quick. But most likely, Jared Leto’s uniquely brave performance as a transsexual will score the win.

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

It should be a tight race between Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep. But Streep, as always, gives a flawless performance as a mouthy matriarch, spewing vitriolic barbs, sparing no one.

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



Ejiofor clearly deserves the award for his gut-wrenching portrayal of a free man tricked into slavery. But Matthew McConaughey gets my vote for re-inventing himself by taking the high road as of late. He’s riveting as a homophobic electrician/cowboy who contracts the AIDS virus.

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


Alfonso Cuaron did something unexpected and got spacey on audiences. The result is groundbreaking and visually astounding. He breaks the mold and sets the bar for future filmmaking.

“12 Years a Slave”
“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

“12 Years a Slave” needs and deserves to win because its relevance is here and now for the shame we bear by having participated in such atrocities years ago. It’s a must-see film for every human being on the planet.

The 86th Academy Awards airs 7 p.m. March 2 on ABC. The show is hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

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