After months of campaigning, the Oscars are finally here. I give you my thoughts on the winners, the show, and the future.

The Show

          In comparison to last year’s show, the 2014 Academy Awards where a vast improvement. The show had less unnecessary performances and appearances, instead having relevant concepts and overall took itself less seriously. The show was also better paced and had funny moments throughout the show instead of just at the beginning. Ellen Degeneres was funnier than expected and better than her last time hosting. Plus, Will Smith presented Best Picture. What more could you want?


Best Picture

Who Won? 12 Years a Slave.

Who Should Have Won? This was one of the first times in years when every single nominee deserved to be nominated. While I enjoyed American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street a lot, 12 Years a Slave deserved the top prize for its incredible storytelling, brutality, and devotion to subject matter. Also, Brad Pitt was able to win his first Oscar.


Best Director

Who Won? Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity.

Who Should Have Won? Cuaron completely deserved the Oscar for his visual ingenuity and creative storytelling. While David O. Russel has a talent for directing actors and Martin Scorsese is long overdue another Oscar, this was Cuaron’s year.


Best Actor

Who Won? Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club.

Who Should Have Won? This was one of the few categories where every nominee could’ve won and be justified. Out of the five impeccable performances, Chiwetel Ejiofer seems to be playing the most difficult role and Leonardo DiCaprio is taking the most risks.


Best Actress

Who Won? Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine.

Who Should Have Won? The Academy prefers emotional and loud performances over the subtlety and peace found in Judi Dench’s performance in Philomena or Amy Adams’s diverse and purely enjoyable performance in American Hustle.


 Best Supporting Actor

Who Won? Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club.

Who Should Have Won? Leto certainly had range, but this was Michael Fassbender’s year, whose performance in 12 Years a Slave was unforgivable and unforgettable. Bradley Cooper and Barkhad Abdi were also great, but Fassbender’s risks and range should have granted him the Oscar.


 Best Supporting Actress

Who Won? Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave.

Who Should Have Won? While the Oscar for Nyong’o was deserving, June Squibb’s performance in Nebraska was perhaps the most unexpectedly great performance and the most enjoyable.


Best Original Screenplay

Who Won? Spike Jonze, Her.

Who Should Have Won? While American Hustle and Nebraska where certainly enjoyable and Dallas Buyers Club had a significance, Spike Jonze’s screenplay was deep, rich, and incredible.


Best Adapted Screenplay

Who Won? John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave.

Who Should Have Won? 12 Years a Slave boasted an incredible script, as did fellow nominee Captain Phillips. But the social commentary of The Wolf of Wall Street or the great story of Philomena should’ve taken the prize.


Best Animated Feature Film

Who Won? Frozen.

Who Should Have Won? The comedic genius of Despicable Me 2 or the great storytelling of The Wind Rises should’ve gained them an award. Even The Croods was more worthy.


 Best Original Score

Who Won? Steven Price, Gravity.

Who Should Have Won? Her was the most memorable soundtrack, but Saving Mr. Banks was the best.


Best Original Song

Who Won? “Let it Go”, Frozen.

Who Should Have Won? The most deserving winners for this category where all snubbed, such as “Please Mr. Kennedy” (Inside Llewyn Davis), “Doby” (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues), and “The Money Chant” (The Wolf of Wall Street). That being said, “The Moon Song” (Her) was certainly the best and “Happy” (Despicable Me 2) was the most memorable.


Best Sound Editing

Who Won? Gravity.

Who Should Have Won? Lone Survivor was snubbed for many accolades, but the sound editing made the film’s brutality feel even more real.


 Best Sound Mixing

Who Won? Gravity.

Who Should Have Won? The genius musical sound mixing from Inside Llewyn Davis absolutely deserved the award.


Best Production Design

Who Won? The Great Gatsby.

Who Should Have Won? The 1970’s nostalgia of American Hustle was the favorite nominee, but the creative environment of Her was perhaps the most deserving.


Best Cinematography

Who Won? Gravity.

Who Should Have Won? Inside Llewyn Davis was snubbed for many Oscars and didn’t win either of the two awards it was nominated for that it deserved to win. Nebraska’s creativity also deserved to win.


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Who Won? Dallas Buyers Club.

Who Should Have Won? Bad Grampa? The Lone Ranger? Dallas Buyers Club absolutely deserved the win.


Best Costume Design

Who Won? The Great Gatsby.

Who Should Have Won? Once again, the 1970s nostalgia of American Hustle deserved the win.


Best Film Editing

Who Won? Gravity.

Who Should Have One? Every single nominee for best editing was good enough to be nominated. 12 Years a Slave, Captain Phillips, American Hustle, and Dallas Buyers Club where all worthy of winning.


Best Visual Effects

Who Won? Gravity.

Who Should Have Won? While it is impressive to create a world with visual effects like Gravity, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and to a lesser extent The Lone Ranger did, it is even more impressive to fuse an existing world with a fictional world. Therefore, Iron Man 3 deserved the win.


Next Year…

          Just to embarrass myself, I will give you my very early predictions for next year’s Best Picture nominees.

2015 Best Picture Nominee Predictions:

1. Gone Girl

2. Inherent Vice

3. Fury

4. Exodus

5. Unbroken

6. Jersey Boys

7. The Grand Budapest Hotel

8. Interstellar

9. The Hobbit: There and Back Again

10. The Imitation Game