For movie buffs, new year means award season


Every new year brings many annual events, from football playoffs to the start of a new semester. For stars of the big screen, the new year means award season.

From the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild honors to the prestigious Academy Awards, it’s the playoffs for film stars and movie creators.

Actors and directors have their hard work recognized as films from the previous year earn nominations and accolades from different groups around the world.

Movies from the past like “Gone with the Wind,” which earned eight Academy Awards in 1939, and the legendary “Titanic,” which earned 11 Oscars in 1997, continue to set the standard for filmmakers and audiences alike.

Motion pictures will live on, but so too will the many actors, screenwriters, directors, producers and composers who breathe life into these masterpieces.

Actors who’ve won multiple awards throughout the years, such as Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day Lewis, Katherine Hepburn and Meryl Streep, have taken movie making to its truest art form.

The same is true for directors like Steven Spielberg, who won best director for films like “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan,” and John Ford, who won four Academy Awards for movies like “The Grapes of Wrath.”

The annual award season can also make or break an actor’s career.

Jennifer Lawrence lost the Best Actress category in 2011 for her role in “Winter’s Bone” but went on to star in the franchise “The Hunger Games” as Katniss Everdeen. She won an Oscar in 2013 for “Silver Linings Playbook” as Tiffany Maxwell for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

Lawrence is now a global sensation, most recently earning a Best Actress in a Supporting Role nomination for the film “American Hustle.”

However, winning an Oscar doesn’t guarantee overnight success or household recognition.

The actor Jean Dujardin starred in the film “The Artist” and won in the Best Actor category in 2012. Dujardin hasn’t really been heard from since.

The award season also alerts audiences to see the films that have been nominated. Unknown writers, directors and actors can utilize the award season buzz and get their name out to the public.

David O. Russell, who is both a director and writer, is finally getting feedback and praise for his character-driven films like “Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Fighter” and “American Hustle.”

His latest film, “American Hustle,” is about survival of the fittest in a sense, with some betrayal. It is filled with raw dialogue that leaves viewers quoting each scene.

Some of those consumers wouldn’t be in theaters if there weren’t awards to promote the films, actors and movie makers every year.

Gitesh Pandya of made that point about “American Hustle,” writing, “With its incredible star power and awards buzz, ‘American Hustle’ led all the newly minted Best Picture Oscar nominees with an estimated $10.6 million for a hearty 28 percent jump.”

Who will win the 2014 Academy Awards?

It’s a tie for Best Actor in a Leading Role, judging by early awards. Leonardo DiCaprio and Matthew McConaughey have each earned Golden Globe and Critics Choice awards.

The Best Actress in a Leading Role will obviously go to Cate Blanchett for her role in “Blue Jasmine,” directed by Woody Allen.

Jared Leto will win the Best Actor in a Supporting Role award for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club.” He has already won his first Golden Globe, Critics Choice award and Screen Actors Guild award.

Lawrence is tied with newcomer Lupita Nyong’o, who gained buzz for her role as Patsey in “12 Years a Slave.” Lawrence won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and Nyong’o won the Screen Actors Guild award.

I predict Nyong’o will win for her stunning performance.

The magic of award season brings excitement for aspects ranging from screenwriting to acting. Many little things add up to one major artistic creation: the motion picture.

Academy Award nominations for 2014

The live Oscar presentation will take place March 2 on ABC. Nominations include:

Best Picture:

  • “12 Years a Slave”
  • “American Hustle”
  • “Captain Phillips”
  • “Dallas Buyers Club”
  • “Gravity”
  • “Her”
  • “Nebraska”
  • “Philomena”
  • “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Best Director:

  • Alfonso Cuarón – “Gravity”
  • Steve McQueen – “12 Years a Slave”
  • Alexander Payne – “Nebraska”
  • David O. Russell – “American Hustle”
  • Martin Scorsese – “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Best Actor in a Leading Role:

  • Christian Bale – “American Hustle” as Irving Rosenfeld
  • Bruce Dern – “Nebraska” as Woody Grant
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – “The Wolf of Wall Street” as Jordan Belfort
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor – “12 Years a Slave” as Solomon Northup
  • Matthew McConaughey – “Dallas Buyers Club” as Ron Woodroof

Best Actress in a Leading Role:

  • Amy Adams – “American Hustle” as Sydney Prosser
  • Cate Blanchett – “Blue Jasmine” as Jeanette “Jasmine” Francis
  • Sandra Bullock – “Gravity” as Dr. Ryan Stone
  • Judi Dench – “Philomena” as Philomena Lee
  • Meryl Streep – “August: Osage County” as Violet Weston

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

  • Barkhad Abdi – “Captain Phillips” as Abduwali Muse
  • Bradley Cooper – “American Hustle” as Richard “Richie” DiMaso
  • Michael Fassbender – “12 Years a Slave” as Edwin Epps
  • Jonah Hill – “The Wolf of Wall Street” as Donnie Azoff
  • Jared Leto – “Dallas Buyers Club” as Rayon

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

  • Sally Hawkins – “Blue Jasmine” as Ginger
  • Jennifer Lawrence – “American Hustle” as Rosalyn Rosenfeld
  • Lupita Nyong’o – “12 Years a Slave” as Patsey
  • Julia Roberts – “August: Osage County” as Barbara Weston-Fordham
  • June Squibb – “Nebraska” as Kate Grant

Best Writing – Original Screenplay:

  • “American Hustle” – Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
  • “Blue Jasmine” – Woody Allen
  • “Dallas Buyers Club” – Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack
  • “Her” – Spike Jonze
  • “Nebraska” – Bob Nelson

Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay:

  • “Before Midnight” – Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke
  • “Captain Phillips” – Billy Ray
  • “Philomena” – Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
  • “12 Years a Slave” – John Ridley
  • “The Wolf of Wall Street” – Terence Winter

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