Stillwater News Press

Our World

January 15, 2014

What do the Globes tell us about the Oscars?

In the wake of Sunday's Golden Globes, some questions linger, most of them having to do with the Oscars: Does Matthew McConaughey's win for best actor in "Dallas Buyers Club" knock Robert Redford out of the running? (Say it ain't so!)

Does Leonardo DiCaprio's acting win in the comedy category for "The Wolf of Wall Street" indicate that Martin Scorsese's bilious financial-scam flick might find more purchase with Academy voters than previously assumed?

The point lies not in the answers to those questions, but in the fact that anyone's asking them at all. Historically, awards season — which kicks off in the fall and chugs along until March and the culminating event of the Oscars — has been the chance for little-movies-that-could to get some "earned awareness" in the form of red carpet photo galleries and she-said-what?! acceptance speeches.

But in recent years, with Hollywood studios focusing more and more on "tent-pole" pictures based on comic books and bestselling young adult novels, little-movies-that-could are increasingly not so little. Rather, they're the kind of midbudget, adult-oriented dramas that, without pre-sold audiences, depend on awards shows for crucial marketing.

With that in mind, Sunday's Globes show was a triumph of spreading the love around to maximize the show's potential for getting tushies into seats. Granted, most filmgoers had already grokked that "Gravity" — whose director Alfonso Cuaron took deserved honors for best director — was must-see viewing last year. And the 1970s period piece "American Hustle" — which took three awards, including best comedy or musical — has found a gratifyingly healthy audience of fans beguiled by its unhinged energy and dreamy, scheme-y protagonists.

But with luck, Spike Jonze's charming speech upon winning best screenplay for his computer-generation rom-com "Her" will inspire more people to seek out that movie's sublime pleasures. And viewers transfixed by "All Is Lost" composer Alex Ebert's messy top-knot may be curious enough to check out that stunning seafaring drama, in which Redford delivers the performance of his career.

I'm still hoping Redford makes the short list when Oscar nominations are announced Thursday. He not only deserves to be nominated, he deserves to win — even in a year crammed with superb lead-actor performances. As for shoo-ins — it looks like Jared Leto has it in the bag for his sensitive portrayal of a transgendered AIDS patient in "Dallas Buyers Club" and Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine") might as well clear her mantel now. Still, I'm skeptical that the Academy will reward Jennifer Lawrence two years in a row. (I'm rooting for Lupita Nyong'o of "12 Years a Slave" in the supporting actress category.)

The lovable, larky "American Hustle" is clearly at the forefront of the Oscar hunt, its infectious brio leading observers to call it this year's "Argo." But the sheer technical chops of "Gravity" and the artistry and historical import of "12 Years a Slave," which won best drama Sunday, clearly make them potent Best Picture contenders.

Going into the Oscar race, there are few sure things, which makes it fun — and, more crucially, makes it necessary for more amateur prognosticators to see 2013's plethora of smart, superbly made, spectacularly entertaining movies.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Our World
Must Read
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Stocks
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Broken Water Main Floods UCLA "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH)