Best Actor: Editor Phil Busse believes that Matthew McConaughey deserves not one but TWO Oscars as Best Actor (and a third for Best Supporting Actor in his brief appearance in The Wolf of Wall Street.) The Texan heartthrob had his breakout year, finally reclaiming the greatness he showed in A Time To Kill and cleaning off that gloss left by his Kate Hudson filmathon. Yes, losing 30 pounds and playing an AIDS-infected homophobic cowboy was stirring, but honestly, his most nuanced performance—is he a creep?, or is he a hero?—in the southern Gothic Mud which made his Dallas Buyers Club performance seem like Forest Gump. Move over Kevin Bacon, Hollywood has a new Best Actor of All-Time!
Best Actress: In thank you speeches, Meryl Streep has been referenced more than any living or dead actors—and even thanked more than God him/herself by winning actors. Although Sales Director Amanda Klingman found her portrayal of an angry and prescription drug addicted mother in August: Osage County "horrifying," Amanda also thought that this year Streep should be patting herself on her back. . .with an Oscar.
Best Documentary: Membership in the Academy selection committee is 85% white, and 85% over the age 65. In no category more than the documentary does this demographic show its preferences. The short documentaries this year were drags, mostly about old people (The likely winner, The Lady In Number 6 is nice, in the way that visiting my grandma is nice, but that doesn't make a good movie.) And, the feature-length documentaries ignored remarkable quality films out there; our News and Outside writer James Williams feels as if Crash Reel was snubbed. The remarkably sensitive and well-produced film is about Kevin Pearce, a top snowboarder who suffered a brutal brain injury. As much PBS as MTV; a great movie.
Best Supporting Actor: Testimony to his scariness, Calendar Editor Kayja Buhmann says she would never get in a taxicab with Barkhad Abdi, the former cab driver in Minneapolis who played a Somalia pirate in Captain Phillips with a murky mix of psychopathic coolness and gooey humanness—and, in the process made Tom Hanks' acting seem like he was truly Forest Gump.
Best Makeup: Production Manager Jen Hornstein never thought that she would say these words: The Academy Award winning Jackass! But the convincing makeup for Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa? We can't wait to see Johnny Knoxville's acceptance speech! Will he punch himself in the balls?
Best Original Score: As severely disappointed as our Music Editor Brianna Brey was in Baz Luhrmann's utterly failed The Great Gatsby, the director's attempt to mash up Jay-Z-produced hip hop/dub soundtrack with lavish '20s pool parties, masked flappers spilling champagne on themselves and fast shiny cars, worked—at least for a New York minute. (Suggestions for the next Gatsby re-make: Director Wes Anderson; Gatsby: Bill Murray?) That said, Bri's choice for Best Original Score: Spike Jonze's Her, scored by the evergreen indie act, Arcade Fire. With haunting piano riffs, cold industrial strings, yet not overdone computerized contributions, Arcade Fire perfectly embodies the curiosity and mechanical disconnect of Her's 21st-century love story.
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for most innovative adapted screenplay because half, if not most, of what happens in the nearly three-hour film didn't happen in the original 276-page J.R.R Tolkien novel.