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I started this blog as I entered my 40th year, and now firmly in my 40s, I continue to learn so much about life. I'm learning that life rarely goes according to plan and that there's something new to learn every single day, be it a subtle nudge or a smack in the face.... This is my blog about muddling through my 40s-working hard, writing a book, being an ammateur photographer, trying to exercise and eat well, endeavouring to be the world's best aunt, as well as having fun and laughing out loud every single day.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

#50 Dear Rocky, My 2014 Oscar Predictions

See Rocky's predictions here!
Dear Rocky, 

My earliest Academy Awards/Oscar memories also involve my parents, well, my mum at least.  I recall sitting in my pyjamas from an early age, perhaps even from age 6, watching the Red Carpet entries – the glitz and the glamour of the actresses’ gowns, jewells, hair and make-up.

As my sister and I grew older, we were allowed to stay up progressively later to watch more and more of the show until we outlasted mum who’d go to bed before the final award was given. 

We’d try to copy the hair styles of the actresses and I used to fantasise about my acceptance speeches if I ever stood on that stage.  Even the award ceremony cast the magic of the movies over my young mind.

When I recall my favourite Oscar moments over the years, they mainly involve fashion.  Here are some of my favourite stars:


Old Hollywood Royalty - Audrey Hepburn & Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly.  I was lucky enough to see this dress on exhibition in Bendigo, Victoria.
Sarah Jessica Parker is Hollywood Royalty in my eyes and can never go wrong in style and glamour!
Julia Roberts is the queen of the classic look.
Gwyneth just keeps getting better with age, doesn't she?  Another classic, timeless look.
I couldn't miss including Cate here.  Simply stunning no matter where she is.
For me, one of the most beautiful women in the world, star of You're The One, Lydia Bosch

When I think about Oscar moments that stay etched in my memory, for better or for worse, the first that spring to mind include:

  • Angelina Jolie kissing her brother for a little too long when she won for Girl, Interrupted in 2000
  • Gwyneth Paltrow’s speech about her father when she won for Shakespeare in Love in 1998
  • Ben Affleck and Matt Damon winning for Best Writing for Good Will Hunting in 1998
  • Anna Paquin as a young New Zealand lass winning Best Supporting Actress for The Piano in 1994.

And now Rocky, the moment you’ve been waiting for, my preferences for the 2014 Oscars.  You’ll notice I’ve left out predictions because I don’t really know what I’m talking about hahaha.


Best Actor:

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

In this category, I can only really comment on Christian, Leo and Matthew who I thought all gave riveting performances.  I know Matthew went to great lengths to prepare for this role-the weight loss, keeping his shirt on, and greatly limiting relying on his flawless smile… but there’s something about the Matthew McConaughey familiar Southern drawl that didn’t allow me to see the character.  I still saw Matthew Mc and so that for me, puts him out of contention.  I LOVED American Hustle and that will bias my opinions here, definitely.  Christian gave a brilliant performance that I totally bought, but yet somewhere in the back of my mind was the question “I wonder if he abused anyone on set?” and so, he’s out of contention for me.  That leaves Leo.  His character was so deplorable and the performance so intense that there were so many times in that film that I didn’t even recognize Leonardo as himself.  That, for me, is a brilliant performance.  Oddly, he played the character so well that I have largely assumed that Leo’s own life would be very similar to that of Jordan’s and so was surprised to read in an interview with Margot Robbie how seriously he takes his charity work and saving the environment and endangered species.

My preference  – Leo.

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

My countryman Cate Blanchett should be my sentimental favourite and there is no argument that she delved headfirst into mental illness and pull it off in a brilliant and authentic manner.  Flawless.  Meryl… sorry Meryl… while you made me hate you, I felt like you over-did it just a touch and you really didn’t need to.  Amy brought another diverse performance to her resume and the sexual tension she brought to the role (with Bradley) was palpable!  I haven’t felt that about a movie for a really long time.

My preference  – Amy.

Best Picture:
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

I usually pride myself on having seen all the Oscar movies before the awards, but unfortunately I live in a small town where the movies some slowly, if at all.  Here I’m missing Gravity, Her, Nebraska, Philomena and 12 Years a Slave.

I thought that Captain Philips was a great film, I went with Mum and Dad and they agreed.  You can’t go wrong with a true story about the strength and generosity of human spirit, can you.  Although, I did Tweet Tom Hanks to tell him this and he didn’t reply….(thanks Ron Howard!). 

You already know my thoughts on Wolf of Wall Street.

American Hustle was billed as the Movie of the Year and I went in with expectations accordingly that were pleasantly surpassed!  I adored this film – from the casting, to the costuming, to the performances and all the attention to hair – LOVED IT!

Dallas Buyers Club was of course interesting and showed a pivotal time in our history, culture and belief systems.  But it was a dark film and it stayed with me afterward, which is of course the mark of a good movie, but I’m not sure I liked it.  I could appreciate it for the message it sent and the story it told, but I haven’t found myself telling everyone about it or recommending it, so it doesn’t get my vote.

My preference – American Hustle

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

I know nothing of what it means to direct a film so this comment will be brief.  The movie with the largest number of awesome characters who moved, repulsed, repelled me was The Wolf of Wall Street.  Well done Marty.

Best Supporting Actress:
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

See, I don’t get the greatness of Jennifer Lawrence.  Don’t get me wrong, she’s pretty cool and does a great job, but does she do anything I couldn’t do?  That’s how I judge whether or not a role is challenging.  Would I be able to tap into the emotions and portray them in the same way as the actress portraying them?  I know what you’ll be thinking, and I’m sitting here smiling at myself as I sit here as a non-actor comparing my acting ability to an Oscar winning actress, but so far, I don’t see Jennifer stretching herself too much.  When I was little, I thought a good actress was one who could cry when it was called for.  Now it takes a bit more to impress me.

Same with the sister in Blue Jasmine.  Not a stretch I wouldn’t think….

But Julia Roberts in August…. She just keeps getting better in my opinion.  The subtleties in her facial expressions and body language, her lack of makeup and lines of wisdom…. She blew me away.  I laughed out loud and was equally as horrified, along with her as she realized the harsh truths about the impact her childhood still had on her as an adult.  It hit me hard from a psychological perspective. 

My preference – Jules.

Best Supporting Actor:
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

As per my comments above, Bradley didn’t seem to have to remove himself too much to portray this character, except for perhaps with his hair (hysterical!).  Having said that, he was a part of the heatupthescreenwithsexualtension duo, so there’s something to be said about that.

Jonah – brilliant!  Loved the teeth, loved it all.  He really fit the “wanna-be” guy and sort of proved it by taking a pay cut just to have the role.  I have to say, since seeing him in This is the End, I have really warmed to Jonah Hill.  I love that he wants to show he is a serious actor – and he is.

Jared – beautiful in every sense of the word.

But I’m going with Barkhad Abdi.  This dude scared the life out of me and as far as I was concerned, they plucked him off the African coast while he was pirate-ing for real, and put him in a movie.  Fantastic.

These are my thoughts.  Would love to hear your rebuttal because I’m sure to have ruffled a few feathers here.

Can’t wait to see how we go with our predictions.  How about you can feedback on the actual winners and losers and I’ll do a fashion report?

Happy viewing Rock,


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