2014 Oscars Challenge: [21] Dallas Buyers Club – Six Nominations

2014_BestPicture

Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter

With likely two acting awards coming from the film, “Dallas Buyers Club” is a forced to be reckoned with. Even without a Best Directing nomination, the film likely lands into the top 5 with chances of the winning the Oscar for Best Picture. And even though it is entirely unlikely that it will win, this film will not go emptied handed, as Jared Leto is basically a lock for Best Supporting Actor. And with Matthew McConaughey only gaining more steam as we get closer to the Oscars, there may be no stopping him. Add on to that the lack-of-a-better-option in the Best Makeup category, and this film could easily go home with three Oscars. Do not count on the Best Film Editing or Best Original Screenplay awards to find there way to “Dallas Buyers Club” however and ultimately with “Gravity” and “12 Years A Slave” vying for Best Picture, there’s really no room McConaughey and Leto to bring the overall film to the big win.

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2014_BestActor
Matthew McConaughey

DallasBuyersClub-MatthewMcConaugheyNominated Role: Matthew McConaughey plays Ron Woodroof, a man diagnosed with HIV who finds a way to obtain the drugs that the government and the pharmaceutical companies are refusing to supply.

Until the Golden Globes, most money was on “12 Years A Slave” and lead actor Chiwetel Ejiofor for the win in this category, but with wins at the Globes, SAG awards, and even the Critics Choice Awards, all momentum has shifted. I’m torn because I love McConaughey and always have. From his romantic comedy days to the current McConaughessance with brilliant turns in “Mud”, “The Wolf of Wall Street”, and now “Dallas Buyers Club”, which got him this nomination. Truth be told, I still want Chiwetel to win the award. His role is so much more visceral than that of McConaughey’s. But with a desire to award the man and looking at what he did to procure this role, like losing almost 50lbs, there looks to be no stopping the man. This will be a pivotal moment in the Oscars, because if Chiwetel wins, it will show the Academy’s love for “12 Years A Slave” and could predict the Best Picture category. But all signs point to McConaughey and with that, “Dallas Buyers Club” would lock up the acting awards.

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2014_BestSupportingActor
Jared Leto

DallasBuyersClub-JaredLetoNominated Role: As Rayon, Jared Leto plays a transgender woman who forms an unlikely friendship with a homophobic straight man.

The Academy might as well hand Jared Leto the Oscar right now, because if there is one category that is locked up, it’s Best Supporting Actor. Jared Leto disappears into this role as a transgendered woman. You hardly recognize the front man from 30 Seconds To Mars, but he’s there and he knocks this role out of the park, being the highlight of the film. It also helps that this role then becomes a spokesperson for all transgendered people out there, showing how a homophobic straight man can assimilate to be friends with such a person and break down the barriers between prejudices. The only close second in this category would be Michael Fassbender, who already so short into his career deserves an Oscar desperately, but unless the Academy goes “12 Years A Slave” crazy, which I’m doubting, there’s no one who can topple (and no one that has toppled) Leto’s winning streak.

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2014_BestFilmEditing

John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa

DallasBuyersClub-filmediting“Dallas Buyers Club” is a straight drama and not to say editing isn’t important in dramas, but it’s much less important than in a film like “Gravity” or “Captain Phillips” in which tension is a huge factor in the way the film is cut together. Dramas, on the other hand, are quite linear and lend themselves to unfolding naturally on the screen. Again, editing is a difficult task no matter what the genre, but on a ranking scale such as this, “Dallas Buyers Club” will fall to the bottom of the pecking order and, in my opinion, rightfully so. As long as nothing detracts the viewer during the cut, the editor of a drama has done their job, but it’s not very often you step away from a dramatic film and awe over its editing.

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2014_BestMakeupAndHairstyling
Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews

DallasBuyersClub-makeupandhairstylingIf the Academy members are anything like me, they will be voting for “Dallas Buyers Club” for the sole reason of not having to call “Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa” an Oscar award winning film. Yes, the makeup of old Irving is probably the most intense of all three nominations, but with “Dallas Buyers Club” in the Best Picture category, much more people will give it the time of day. With makeup used in turning Jared Leto into a transgendered woman and making McConaughey’s sickly Woodruff look even sicklier, there is an award worthy nature to the makeup in this film. To me, it’s an open and shut case. “Jackass” does not belong in the annals as best of anything, regardless of its merit and “The Lone Ranger” was not liked by most, rendering it the unpopular choice. I’d like to say this is an easy pick come Oscars night, but things are never quite that simply and this could end up being one of the hardest categories to predict.

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2014_BestOriginalScreenplay
Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack

Being nominated for Best Picture is about the best endorsement a screenplay can get, which is why the winner of Best Picture or the close seconds and thirds are usually the films to take home the screenplay awards. This year all eyes are on David O. Russell’s “American Hustle” and Spike Jonze’s “Her”, which won the Golden Globe. With “Nebraska” also in the Best Picture category, “Dallas Buyers Club” has its work cut out for it. And not even being based on a true story sets it apart, as “American Hustle” is loosely based on fact as well. Again, not to say that this isn’t an award worthy screenplay, but if you’re looking to award the most inventive and creative screenplay of the year, you have to go with “Her”, which will likely be my pick come Oscar night.

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// Produced by Robbie Brenner and Rachel Winter // Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée//

// Dated Viewed: Saturday, February 8th, 2014 // Blu-Ray //  21 films – 23 days //

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