My cats got me up early and I can’t get back to sleep, so I might as well make something useful out of it. And thus, a few post-Oscar thoughts.
1. For those of you who missed it, I did post some updates to my predictions prior to heading off on vacation; I appended them to my original post here. With the updates, I ended up going my usual five out of six in the major categories, sticking with Amy Adams for Best Actress mostly out of sheer cussedness (although I noted I was ready for people to say “told you so” when Blanchett won). I am however happy to say my bet that Her would get a screenplay award paid off. Go me.
2. Between the Oscar nomination announcements and the ceremony, I was surprised both by the major fade of American Hustle, which I thought was going to be a front runner, and the (to my mind) resurgence of Gravity, which I thought had peaked. But then, this is why I do an immediate prediction post and then a followup — there’s more than enough time between nominations and ceremony for things to change.
3. I noted in my original prediction post that I thought a Best Picture/Best Director split was likely this year, and I was correct about that (even if I initially was wrong about to whom the Oscar would go to). As I noted at the time, one reason a split seemed likely to me was that Steve McQueen, the director of 12 Years a Slave, was also a producer of the film. He’d get an Oscar if 12 Years won Best Picture, even if he didn’t get the director statuette. This made it easier for voters to honor Cuaron for his immense technical achievement in Gravity. Note that with Gravity and 12 Years flipping the wins in the categories would have the same effect as Cuaron was also a producer on his film. Either way, however, everyone goes home happy (except David O. Russell).
It’s also significant that McQueen is either the first black producer, or at least one of the very few (my quick jaunt through Imdb/Wikipedia is inconclusive) to win a Best Picture nod (Mr. McQueen is from the UK and therefore not African American). Cuaron is likewise the first Latin American to win Best Director. A couple more barriers down.
4. Incidentally, with 12 Years winning, Brad Pitt now has an Oscar; he was a producer on the film. We also now live in a world where Matthew McConaughey is an Oscar winner, which is a state of affairs I do not believe anyone would have thought possible even three years ago. Likewise Jared Leto. What a world. There are worse worlds to live in, to be sure. Possible few that are stranger.