Sunday, March 2, 2014

The 86th Annual Academy Awards...

Alfonso Cuarón (foreground) directs Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in a scene for GRAVITY.

While Steve McQueen's historical epic 12 Years A Slave took home the Best Picture trophy at the end of the night, the Academy Awards belonged to Alfonso Cuarón and his commercial and critically-acclaimed sci-fi hit Gravity. The space-disaster film took home seven Oscars...each for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing. Sandra Bullock was nominated for Best Actress on Gravity, but lost out to Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine. Gravity was also nominated for Best Production Design—but Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby was honored with this award instead. Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor for Dallas Buyers Club, his co-star Jared Leto won for Best Supporting Actor and Lupita Nyong'o won Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years A Slave. John Ridley won for Best Adapted Screenplay on 12 Years, while Spike Jonze took home the Best Original Screenplay trophy for Her.

Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor in a scene from 12 YEARS A SLAVE.

Gravity joins Star Wars: A New Hope, Inception, Avatar, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Apollo 13 in the club of successful sci-fi and/or space-themed movies that fell short of winning a Best Picture Oscar. Oh well. I think that NASA should be grateful that Gravity (along with the CBS TV show The Big Bang Theory) brought mainstream awareness to the International Space Station, Russian Soyuz spacecraft and Chinese Shenzhou capsules. Oh, and much props to Ellen DeGeneres for her great job hosting the Oscars, and Bill Murray for giving a shout-out to his late Ghostbusters co-star Harold Ramis in tonight's telecast. Carry on.

Ellen DeGeneres takes a selfie with scores of A-list Hollywood movie stars during the 86th Annual Academy Awards.
Photo courtesy of Ellen DeGeneres -

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