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?

Her

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“We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy.” – Amy (Amy Adams)

“Her” is a vibrant tale of two unlike forces falling in love. During a difficult divorce, Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with a computer operating system (OS) named Samantha (voice by Scarlett Johansson).

Set in future Los Angeles, “Her” takes a stab on how anti-social the world has become with smart phones, social media, and advanced technology. The plot frequently shows people preoccupied with their OS’ and cellular devices. The movie also suggests that the general public becomes stagnant and lazy; too lazy to write letters to each other that they enlist Theodore’s help to capture their personal sentiments.

The movie was very bright and colorful. The wardrobe, the set design, the cars, everything was full of deep pastels and light spring colors. I found it very refreshing and calmly close to the cheerfulness and illumination of the original Brady Bunch set.

Director Spike Jonze, who also directed Jay Z and Kanye West’s “Otis” video, took a deeper look on how many users have become obsessed with our technologies. We fall in love with other operating systems like connectivity, the internet, Facebook, Twitter, Google or the simple, convenient art of texting. What would you do if your WIFI was not working…if Facebook administrators deleted your profile…or if Apple discontinues its MAC or iPhone services?

The evolution of technology dissocializes people and reduces human to human contact. If “Her” is any indication of what to expect in the future, we will all eventually be consumed and absorbed with life-less programmed systems that tell us what we want to hear.

The overall theme of “Her” relates to a romantic theme of endless love, with no boundaries or restrictions. One man falls in love with a being other than human. And the inhuman computer program, which was originally design to be an assistant or organizer, evolves from its initial design to take on human like feelings and characteristics. And while you’ll never see Scarlett Johansson, her presence is visible leaving her mark. Her rusty yet soft voice brings “Samantha” to life.

In addition to the numerous nominations, 50 to be exact, the film has already won 34 awards including Best Film of the Year award by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and winner of Best Picture and Best Director by the National Board of Review.

“Her” recently received three Golden Globe nominations: Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), Best Screenplay and Best Actor (Motion Picture Musical or Comedy). The 2014 Golden Globes Awards airs on Sunday, January 11th on NBC.

WARNING: There are moments of strong sexual content, but it meaningfully aligns with the context of the movie.

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