The following is a partial list of last night’s 86th Academy Awards winners. I’ve included Production Budget from Box Office Mojo, just for comparison:
Gravity: 7 Wins
Best Directing, Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects, Music (Original Score).
Production Budget: $100 Million
12 Years A Slave: 3 Wins
Best Picture, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay
Production Budget: $20 Million
Dallas Buyers Club: 3 Wins
Best Actor, Supporting Actor, Make-up and Hairstyling
Production Budget: $5 Million
The Great Gatsby: 2 Wins
Best Costume Design, Production Design
Production Budget: $105 Million
Blue Jasmine: 1 Win
Production Budget: N/A
Her: 1 Win
Best Original Screenplay
Production Budget: $23 Million
The Oscars last night made history in two categories… and I don’t mean Ellen Degeneres’ star-studded group selfie setting retweeting record. First, there was Gravity’s director Alfonso Cuarón as the first Latin American to win the Best Directing Oscar. Gravity seemed to be the major winner last night with seven Oscars. Basically the 3D, sic-fi movie had snatched all technical wins, as predicted by many.
But in every Academy Awards, the top prize is Best Picture, here we see 12 Years A Slave make history with Steve McQueen becoming the first black director to garner the Best Picture Oscar honour. Lupita Lyong’o also came out victorious as this is her first feature film. I’m happy to see too that John Ridley win the Best Adapted Screenplay, the second black winner to fetch a writing Oscar, after Geoffrey Fletcher for Precious in 2009. Ridley has turned Solomon Northup’s poignant memoir into a script for an impressive visual testament. Because of the film, this eye-witness narrative of Solomon Northup hopefully will find its way into school curricula soon. This is the power of cinema in transforming society.
Cate Blanchet‘s win for her role in Blue Jasmine gives her a chance to counter a misconception: “… and perhaps, those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films, with women at the centre, are niche experiences. They are not. Audiences want to see them, and in fact, they earn money.”
Hopefully after all the ‘history’ being made, one day we won’t have to identify the colour, ethnicity, or gender of winners in saying so-and-so is the first black, or hispanic, or woman to win this or do that.
The reason I’ve included the Production Budget in the above list is that I remember the ‘implosion’ of the movie industry‘ Steven Spielberg had predicted a year ago as he cited productions getting more and more costly, aiming at mega, iron-man effects to please the general public. While Gravity might fit that category with its 3D, high-tech, CGI-driven grandiosity and out-of-this-world spectacle, there are also worthy, smaller productions that cost only a fraction of a colossal budget, but still can move audiences and touch the human heart.
Related Posts on Ripple Effects:
12 Years A Slave: Beauty and Sadness (Movie Review)
Narrative of Solomon Northup: A Voice that Must Be Heard (Book Review)