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(February 2014)

Academy Awards 2014 - We here at the Toast wanted Gravity to win Best Picture but are not disappointed that 12 Years a Slave won. The race for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year was tighter than it has been in a long time. Both of these were fine films but they are completely different kinds of movies and it’s too bad they had to go head-to-head. One thing though; we’ve seen Gravity two times already and are looking forward to watching it again. We’re happy we saw 12 Years a Slave but we don’t want nor need to see it again.

It’s not unprecedented but it is unusual for Best Picture and Best Director to be split but that happened this year and we’re very pleased that Alfonso Cuarón won Best Director for Gravity. Besides being a fine, involving story with superior acting it’s a technological tour de force with spectacular “how’d they do that” special effects and brilliant cinematography and guess what, it won Oscars for both Visual Effects and Cinematography. Gravity also won little Gold Men for Best Original Score, Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

Matt McConaughey won for Best Actor for Dallas Buyers Club. Another movie that was in the tight race for Best Picture and another we’re happy we watched but have no yen to see it again anytime soon. Matt lost a lot of weight for the role, 47 pounds, but not the 60 pounds that fellow nominee Christian Bale lost for The Machinist in 2004. In Matt’s acceptance speech he did see himself as his own hero in ten years.

Also winning in Dallas Buyers Club was Jared Leto. We have no special foresight but when we saw Dallas Buyers Club we knew Jared would win this award. He was fantastic and heart-breaking as the HIV positive transgender woman Rayon. "This is for the 36 million people out there who have lost the battle to AIDS," Leto said when he accepted the Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

For the Best Actress nominees; Amy Adams has been nominated four times and now had a 5th nomination for her smoking hot performance in American Hustle. Sandra Bullock was in almost every scene in Gravity and her portrayal of an astronaut thrust into a terrifying situation was sublime. However Cate Blanchett was Blue Jasmine. Without her brilliant performance as a delusional New York socialite who files to San Francisco when her world is collapsed there would have been a no movie. And of course she won Best Actress. 

Captain Phillips was Tom Hanks finest showcase in years and we’re sorry the Academy completely overlooked his performance but the movie was yet another nomination in this year’s very tight Best Picture race. Another nominee for this film was Barkhad Abdi for Supporting Actor but was not a win.

The old guy who founded CinemaToast was tickled pink to see Kim Novak at this year's Academy Award Ceremoney.Twitter has not been kind to her appearance be we didn’t mind it. The woman is 81 years old but has given us so much pleasure over the years and we’re so very thankful.

We were very pleased with The Best Documentary Feature winner. Our contributor, Matt Piucci had already written a wonderful essay on 20 Feet from Stardom. We were excited when it won and we so enjoyed Darlene Love’s acceptance speech and gospel song. Matt has also written a brilliant essay on Inside Llewyn Davis which won a Golden Globe as Best Picture but was only nominated by the Academy for Best Cinematography and Best Sound Editing and didn’t win either. However it is a good movie and you should read the essay.

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