Returning for its 86th year, the Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, March 2, 2014 to give recognition to the men and women involved in the film industry. Winners of the 24 categories up for contention, such as Best Picture, cinematography, writing, and editing will receive an Oscar award for their achievements. The ceremony will be hosted by comedienne Ellen DeGeneres in Hollywood, CA.
This year, there are nine Best Picture nominations. Frontrunners include American Hustle, Gravity, and 12 Years a Slave, who have received many nominations and high praise. The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese, has given Leonardo DiCaprio another shot at an Oscar in the Best Actor in a Leading Role accolade against Matthew McConaughey of Dallas Buyer’s Club, Bruce Dern of Nebraska, and Christian Bale of American Hustle. Meryl Streep’s performance in August: Osage County has led to her 18th Oscar nomination, this year against Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, Judi Dench in Philomena, and Sandra Bullock in Gravity. There has been much speculation over the outcomes of these races, and Jasmine Horan ’15 predicted that “[the] Best Picture [award] is going to go to 12 Years A Slave, best leading male actor to Leonardo DiCaprio [in The Wolf of Wall Street], and best leading female actor [to] Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine.”
Despite the long list of nominees, there were many who did not receive a nomination this year. Tom Hanks’ performance in both Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Banks as well as Oprah Winfrey’s performance in Lee Daniels’ The Butler were not recognized in this year’s nominations. Regarding the actors, Alex Ju ’16 said, “I believe that these actors know their own abilities and qualifications, and these cannot be judged through some temporal award.”
Despite media and cultural hype about the Academy Awards, some students at PHS view the awards with apathy. Patricia Wray, who teaches drama classes at PHS, said, “A lot of my students don’t even watch the Academy Awards.”
Aaron Olkin ’16, who does technological work for Tiger News and Spectacle Theatre, said, “The kind of effects, production, and quality [produced from] their equipment and resources that [they] have to work with is so beyond anything that I might have that I don’t have any interest in that sense.”
Although there may be national excitement about the awards, the outcomes of the awards don’t actually affect the student body. At the end of the day, whether or not Leonardo DiCaprio wins his long-awaited Oscar, students will carry on as usual, virtually unchanged.