MSQ’s 86th Annual Academy Awards Recap

Now that the dust has settled…

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On Friday, February 28th, the New Pittsburgh Courier posted my Oscar predictions. This is the first time the MSQ covered the Oscars and publicly displayed any form of predictions. Some of MSQ’s most accurate predictions were Best Picture winner, 12 Years A Slave and Lupita Nyong’o for Best Supporting Actress. I was also 2 for 2 on Disney’s princess hit, Frozen; winning for Best Animated Picture and Best Original Song. (Sorry Pharrell!)

The diversity of the Academy Awards is not in the most ideal place, but it has evolved since inception in 1929. While Lee Daniels’ The Butler was catastrophically snubbed for not even being mentioned, 12 Years A Slave grabbed some big honors. And Lupita Nyong’o, fresh out of Yale’s School of Drama, had the biggest breakout role in decades. She effortlessly graces the red carpet with her fashioned presence and she’s become an iconic beauty.

I just recently had a debate with some colleagues about society associating her beauty with her success, assuming that no one would think she’s gorgeous if she didn’t have overwhelming success with 12 Years A Slave. To some extent, I agree. Yes, we idolize her because of her quick claim to fame, but her natural beauty magnifies our infatuation.

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Jennifer Lawerence’s equilibrium is off balance because for two years in a row she has fallen at the award’s show. Get it together, Jenn!

“Precious” (Gabourey Sidibe), as I call her, let me down again with this red carpet appearance. Refusing to reward mediocrity, she has to find a stylist who will compliment her weight or she has to lose the weight. It’s pretty much black and white. She must fire her stylist and lose some weight.

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Ellen DeGeneres is the most popular person in the World. She has literally become an American icon. She’s cute, funny, and culturally diverse. The award show’s ratings were the highest they have ever been. She broke a Twitter record, beating out the POTUS, for the most retweets ever! And anyone who can dress up in costumes, pass out delivery pizza, and mock her celebrity friends all in one taping is a pure genius.

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The picture that landed Ellen DeGeneres the Twitter world record:

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I have a confession…

I have never seen Blue Jasmine or Dallas Buyers Club. And it’s not really a confession, but if you’re an avid MSQ reader, you will notice that I have never written a review on either movie. Based off of their Oscar winnings last week, I will watch the movies as soon as possible.

For my very first Academy Awards’ coverage, I had a rewarding experience via satellite from Pittsburgh, PA. What did you think of this year’s Oscars?

12 Years A Slave

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I’ll never know what it means to be a slave, producing forced, free labor, in the United States prior to the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. More definitively, I could not imagine what it would mean to be a legally free person and still be held captive for little over a decade.

To date, the story of Solomon Northup and his 1853 memoir’s adaption in Direct or Steven McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave is the closest, realest slavery account ever captured in a theatrical form. The movie goes beyond the explicitness of Roots (1977), the unfairness of Amistad (1997), and the vulgarity of Django Unchained (2012). 12 Years a Slave posthumously pays tribute to Solomon Northup’s strength, perseverance, and survival techniques to overcome his unfortunate predicaments.

British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor vividly and undoubtedly gets better with time. Keeping a low radar, Ejiofor has the makings to possess a seasoned career as Hollywood greats like Morgan Freeman or Sidney Poitier. As a legitimate Academy Award contender, Ejiofor has made leaps and bounds since his initial minimal roles like mean, ego-tripping drug lord, Victor Sweet, in Four Brothers (2005) (which is one of my favorite movies by the way).

Opposite of Ejiofor was a petite, frail African actress, Lupita Nyong’o, who made her American film debut as Patsey, bursting onto the Hollywood scene with a vengeance. Her first major role will most definitely be a memorable one. Patsey was delicate, calm, and graceful. On October 22nd, Nyong’o won the New Hollywood Award at the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards.

Brad Pitt’s role of a Canadian carpenter and abolitionist, Samuel Bass, was climax changing because Bass finally aided Northup to freedom. But Brad Pitt was microscopic compared to the entire scheme and progression of the movie. I expected for Brad Pitt to be in his usual picture perfection and he was just “eh.” (ok, borderline, mediocre)

You will lose yourself, forgetting that you are watching a movie but actually thinking you are trapped on the hot, cotton-infested Louisiana plantation with Solomon Northup.

In the theatre, I watched as people cringe in their seats, scream in visual agony, and even one woman, walked out of the theatre due to the movie’s intensity. These actions are only a testament to the movies life-like narratives of Solomon North’s 12-year longing to see freedom again.

5 Stars: There are some gruesome, harsh realities in 12 Years a Slave, officially making it the best movie I have seen all year and equally, the hardest movie to watch.

Locally, 12 Years a Slave opens at the AMC Waterfront, Cinemark Robinson Township, and Manor Theater Friday, November 1st.

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