Sunday, March 2, 2014: The 86th Annual Academy Awards were held to celebrate the excellence in film-making for the movie season in 2013. Naturally, Hollywood puts on its best face for a global audience as it showcases the best in cinema. The movie industry caters to all sorts of genres and creative visions where film fans are invited to engage in their most escapist fantasies. The Oscars should be larger than life as the motion pictures serve as that needed distraction to momentarily take us away from our all-consuming realities.
As inviting and intriguing as the Academy Awards are to movie lovers worldwide, just how accommodating were this year’s Oscar ceremony to enthusiasts of Science Fiction and/or fantasy fare? In my previously penned SFCrowsnest article ‘Do The Oscars Offer A Generous Wink At Science Fiction Cinema from 2013?’, we took a look at the Oscar-nominated fodder with sci-fi/fantasy leanings to determine if these nods were a fair representation of gaining Oscar gold’s attention. Well, there was a hearty selection of nominated Science Fiction/fantasy films that were in consideration…or at least a decent share to work with this crop of anointed notables. Cinema such as the well-received ‘Gravity’, ‘Her’, ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’, I’ron Man 3′, ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness’ and the panned ‘The Lone Range’r all had credible shots to tap Oscar on the shoulder. The question remains: was there actually a generous wink for these Science Fiction/fantasy entries or just teasing tokens that were fortunate enough to get noticed at all?
So where was the sci-fi love for this group of hopeful contenders looking for attention-getting Academy Award-winning favoritism? Well, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that Science Fiction movies and fantasy-related flicks still tend to struggle with making the grade for mainstream movie-making accolades (unless they are uniquely received and breakout productions that transcends all audiences…say like ‘Star Wars’ of yesteryear or ‘The Lord Of The Rings ‘trilogy and ‘Avatar’ within recent memory). Basically, Science Fiction and fantasy productions are relegated to just dominating in technical and sci-fi specific awards, something that can be viewed upon as both a curse and a blessing.
On the other hand, the 86th Annual Academy Awards did show the immense love which is good news for the ground-breaking and majestically-made ‘Gravity’ although the love was not spread evenly for the other sci-fi/fantasy ditties searching for Oscar’s respect. Yes, ‘Gravity’ clearly dominated at the Oscar event winning an array of awards as predicted based on the film’s technical and mind-bending opulence. Also, there was some recognition that went beyond the spectacular techno-tendencies for ‘Gravity’. Among ‘Gravity’s accomplishments during the movie industry’s most important evening was its victory for wins in the categories of Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Mixing, Best Best Sound Editing, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing. Plus, ‘Gravity’ gained impressive wins for Best Director (Alphonso Cuaron) and Best Original Score.
‘Her’ received an Oscar win for Best Original Screenplay (Spike Jonze) while the animated fantasy-driven ‘Frozen’ received its Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Song (‘Let It Go’).
Again, the so-called ‘sci-fi’ love may not have been extended or distributed liberally to the minimal Science Fiction and fantasy nominees involved in the running but the compelling ‘Gravity’ artistically made its presence known for the most part as both ‘Her’ and ‘Frozen’ had minimal success at the Oscars. Below are the Oscar-winning Science Fiction and/or fantasy recipients at the 86th Annual Academy Awards:
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, ‘Gravity’
Best Original Screenplay: Spike Jonze, ‘Her’
Best Animated Feature Film: ‘Frozen’
Best Cinematography: ‘Gravity’
Best Sound Mixing: ‘Gravity’
Best Sound Editing: ‘Gravity’
Best Original Score: ‘Gravity’, Steven Price
Best Original Song: ‘Let It Go’ from ‘Frozen’
Best Film Editing: ‘Gravity’
Best Visual Effects: ‘Gravity’