Articles on Oscars 2014

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John Williams with Boston Pops. Chris Devers

How one man changed the landscape of film music

Walt Disney is, to many people, the most influential person who has been in film. And after all, he garnered the most accolades, receiving as many as 59 Oscar nominations. But there’s another film titan…
Australia’s most prolific Oscar winner, Catherine Martin, was awarded her fourth Oscar for production design on The Great Gatsby. What is it that production designers actually do? AAP

Explainer: what is production design?

When we watch a movie, how do we know where and when it is taking place? This is just one of the questions a production designer working on a film or TV show helps audiences answer. They do so through…
Director Haifaa Al Mansour’s Wadjda a shocking omission from the Oscars. Daniel Dal Zennaro

Festivals and funding need to support female film directors

The Oscars aftermath has begun to die down for another year, and stars are perhaps now starting to get over their hangovers. The racial diversity of this year’s awards has been widely championed, but we…
Harder to make than Philomena. ©2012 Final cut for real APS, Piraya Film AS and Novaya Zemyla LTD

Documentary funding gap stalls great films like The Act of Killing

This may sound like a strange request, but if you go to see Joshua Oppenheimer’s brilliant, Bafta-winning and Oscar-nominated The Act of Killing, pay close attention to the opening credits. Before the…
George and Sandra were relieved to hear they wouldn’t actually be filming in space. Warner Brothers

How Harry Potter magic turned Gravity into Oscar gold

The huge success of Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity at this year’s Oscars is a genuine cause for celebration for much of the UK film industry – not least for the many visual effects artists involved in its creation…
12 Years a Slave is to be mandatory viewing in all state-run US high schools. Francois Duhamel

Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave is an artistic and educational triumph

Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave walked away with the coveted prize of Best Picture at the Oscars last night. It faced fierce competition from contenders such as American Hustle, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity…
Catherine Martin, winner of both best costume and production design. Paul Buck/AAP

Oscars 2014: another lesson in Hollywood power

Once again the Academy has spoken. The roughly 6,000 members of that exclusive industrial club have had their annual votes counted. More members thought 12 Years a Slave a better film than Gravity, and…
Lupita Nyong'o won Best Supporting Actress at the 2014 Oscars. Paul Buck/EPA

The Academy Awards and racial diversity – what are the odds?

Oscars nominations and winners this year offered an unparalleled level of racial diversity. In the headline categories, Lupita Nyong’o won for Best Supporting Actress, Alfonso Cuarón was the first Mexican…
Personal transformation triumphs in American Hustle. Courtesy Roadshow Entertainment

Wigs, tans, boobs: American hustling for Oscars

“Some of this actually happened.” So reads the non-committal title card that precedes the opening scene of David O’Russell’s sixth feature, American Hustle (2013) – a film nominated for 10 Oscars at the…
45 seconds. One billion viewers. No pressure. Richard Harbaugh/EPA

Oscars speeches dos and don’ts – some lessons from history

For some they’re tearful, for others fearful; and for those of us watching they’re sometimes too much to bear. Oscars acceptance speeches offer a microcosmic view into a microcosm: a small world writ large…
The red carpet has become synonymous with fashion triumphs … and disasters. Daniel Deme/AAP

She wore what? How to read the Oscars fashion script

“She wore what‽” From the fashion commentary on the red carpet to the supermarket checkout, the 2014 Oscars fashion script will be no different at the 86th Academy Awards this weekend. But what we can…
Apparently the tuxedo was first worn in the New York Tuxedo Club. Mike Nelson/AAP

And the best penguin Oscar … a closer look at the tuxedo

The women on the red carpet garner so much attention on Oscars night it can be easy to overlook the men. Even the title given to the required dress code - “black tie” – is deceptive. What indicates to…
Zero gravitas. Warner Bros. Pictures

Why Gravity does not deserve the Best Picture Oscar

Gravity has been nominated for ten Oscars, and sauntered away from the BAFTAS with a controversial Outstanding British Film award under its belt too (much of it was shot in the UK, yes, but the stars shining…
The differing depictions of ‘captaincy’ play key roles in the film. Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Captain Phillips finds depth in human detail

This article contains spoilers. Paul Greengrass’ Captain Phillips advertises itself as little more than a tense, claustrophobic thriller – a dramatic re-telling of the 2009 incident in which Somali pirates…
A star’s public persona is a very tricky business. Matteo Bazzi/ EPA

The Cate Blanchett persona and the allure of the Oscar

No one is ever who they purport to be. And I suppose I’m most interested in the gap between who we project socially and who we really are. – Cate Blanchett, December 2013. With this month’s BAFTA win coming…
Philomena – an example of storytelling at its best. Alex Bailey © 2012 Pathe Productions Limited, British Broadcasting Corporation, British Film Institute and Philomena Lee Limited

No SFX please, we’re British! Why Philomena deserves its Oscar nominations

What do we expect from Oscar “Best Picture” nominations? A star-studded cast and breathtaking performances? Action sequences and special effects that blow our minds? Or a story so big we’ll remember it…
The Last of Us is as gripping as many of the films you’ll see in the cinema. PlayStation Europe

We’ve delivered our Citizen Kane, now give gaming an Oscars ceremony

Hollywood’s most celebrated actors, actresses and directors are, by now, finalising their outfits and having their manicures in preparation for the impending Oscars ceremony on 2 March. It’s considerably…

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