As much as I say I hate the OSCARs, I love them. I love the hype, I love the arguments, I love having endless opportunities to praise Jennifer Lawrence. Scrap that, I hate them. They get everything wrong and are the reason January is filled with try-hard films that are so determined to win an OSCAR that they kind of lose touch with how to make an actual movie. It is a very bi-polar relationship I have with the OSCARs and, as ever, I find myself disagreeing with most of the choices they make. For example, this year there are several missing people that I thought would definitely get into the running.
4 – JAMES MCAVOY – BEST ACTOR
James McAvoy went from likeable, reliable actor to incredible performer with Filth. I have always liked McAvoy, but his underacting and everyday man take on every role made him seem like someone that you wouldn’t expect to end up with an OSCAR. Then Filth came out, giving him the role of Detective Bruce Robertson and we saw him in a whole new light. He is amazing, turning everything we thought we knew about the actor upside down. He was horrid, appalling, yet at the same time, so much fun to spend time with. If McAvoy was ever going to get an OSCAR, 2013 was the year.
Don’t get me wrong, I never thought we would actually end up with the award. There were some amazing performances this year, coming from DiCaprio, Ejiofor and Hanks (yes, we will be angrily talking about that in just a moment). I liked the performance, but I don’t think McAvoy was going to top any of those actors. However, to not even be nominated is a jaw-dropping revelation. This was the year that McAvoy shined and he definitely deserved some of the OSCAR glory to tie up an amazing year in films. However, the OSCARs were far more interested in DiCaprio playing another man-child…
3 – TOM HIDDLESTONE – BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
The Supporting Actor/Actress category is actually my favourite of all the categories. With the lead actor and actress often having a movie made specifically to get them the award, the Supporting Actor is usually the surprise success. It is often the more worthwhile performance. Sometimes, an actor will be given a character for background material, but win us over, stealing the show. I think this is a much harder task and I love seeing the best of those performances of 2013. However, this year Supporting Actor seems a bit weak. While Supporting Actress has powerhouse performances from Lawrence and Lupita Nyong’o, Supporting Actor seems a little lost, like there wasn’t anyone too impressive to choose from. Jonah Hill is fun to spend time with, but is he really OSCAR-worthy? Bradley Cooper has been a lot better than he was in American Hustle, his FBI agent basically being the typical Cooper character but with curlers. The one actor who deserves the spot is Barkhad Abdi, who amazed everyone in Captain Phillips.
Then where the hell is Loki?! Granted, Thor 2 is hardly the place one goes to seek out OSCAR winners. Also, the amazing set-pieces, visual effects and costumes have been done in the original. Is it fair to let Thor get an award for continuing to be amazing? However, Hiddlestone surely deserves some more praise. The actor might have had a smaller amount of screen time, but he totally stole the show, improving the film whenever he opened his mouth and delivered a perfectly mischievous and malicious line. Besides, Anne Hathaway won an award for just as little screen-time last year. Maybe Hiddlestone is a long shot, but when I look at a very weak set of nominees for this year, I cannot help but wish that Tom Hiddlestone was given a fair shot.
2 – TOM HANKS – BEST ACTOR
OK, let’s get this out of the way, because we have all been wanting to get this rant off of our chest for quite some time. Tom Hanks truly is a phenomenal actor, aceing everything he has ever done. With the exception of Polar Express, Hanks has not been in a bad movie. He has not ruined a movie in any way. His entire career is made from successes and there are so many classics that are classics, because he delivered a truly phenomenal performance. I am not going to lie, I was not too impressed with Captain Phillips, not as much as everyone else at least. But Tom Hanks was truly amazing. Those final few moments were an incredible display of veteran acting. This could have, very easily, been crowned the winner of the year and I don’t know a single person which would have frowned at that verdict.
On top of that, there was Saving Mr. Banks. I haven’t seen this movie, but from reading reviews of fellow bloggers, Tom Hanks, once again, didn’t set a foot out of line. Sure, it might have been a little bit of an easy role for Hanks and didn’t push him in the same way that Captain Phillips did. But it still goes to show that Hanks had two amazing performances that deserved a nod at the OSCARs. And he didn’t get nominated for either. That is mind-blowingly unbelievable. However, there is a bright side. Hanks is probably scratching his head somewhere, wondering why he isn’t getting this nomination. He must, also, see the uproar at the snubbing of his two performances. This backlash from the fans, in many ways, is an award in itself and is perhaps the better compliment. Tom Hanks is a national treasure and no matter what happens, he is my winner of 2013.
1 – RON HOWARD – BEST DIRECTOR
Is it just me or was Rush kind of forgotten this year? Everyone I know was impressed with Rush. It captured the decade, nostalgia and tension perfectly, yet kept it subtle, rather than giving everyone snazzy 70s suits like American Hustle. While Gravity is probably the most statistically liked film of the year, Rush seems to be a close second. It was a great piece of film-making and one of the main things I took away from the movie, was how impressive Ron Howard was as a director! The race sequences were thrilling and accurate. The pace was timed amazingly well. Definitely OSCAR-worthy.
My problem with the Best Director category this year is that it does seem like a copy and pasted list of nominees from the Best Picture. This might seem like an accurate way to go about things. Gravity was so successful, because of Alfonso Cuaron and his thinking outside of the box method of filming that movie. However, a lot of the other films were successful, because of several factors. American Hustle had almost every department coming together and doing an amazing job: costume, the actors, the script. David O. Russell is almost definitely a massive part of that success, but he cannot take all of the credit. I think Cuaron can take a massive part of the credit for Gravity, as Bullock and Clooney didn’t need to deliver performances that were overly impressive. I would say the same for Howard. Rush was great, because of him. In my opinion, there is a big gap in the Best Director category.