Around the Circuit: February 16th – February 22nd

AroundtheCircuit

Time is drawing to a close as the final stretch of awards season comes to an end next Sunday. Oscar ballots have already been turned in, and perhaps the votes will reflect last Sunday’s BAFTA ceremony where 12 Years a Slave edged out presumed winner Gravity to win “Best Picture” of the year. Below you’ll find links to editorials and other articles discussing the Oscar race post-BAFTA, as well as other pertinent news stories relating to the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony.

Story of the Week:

The Hollywood Reporter awards pundit Scott Feinberg analyzes the effects of BAFTA on the Oscar race. He notes that by and large the U.K.’s version of the Oscars won’t change the race significantly except perhaps in the “Best Supporting Actress” field, where Jennifer Lawrence walked away with a win that was all but assured to 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o. Also Gravity’s loss holds it back from being the slam-dunk frontrunner everyone had it pegged as, though the preferential voting system the Academy uses may help Gravity win after all (the system was also used for PGA, which Gravity ended up winning).

Best of the Rest:

Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone unveils her latest “State of the Race” piece, incorporating the theme of hope in order to suggest that voters often go the way of making history when it’s presented to them in such heartfelt, triumphant packages.

Much like this site, RogerEbert.com’s staff writers have written beautiful essays that state quite openly and honestly why someone or some film should win. It’s a fascinating read that illuminates the feelings these extraordinary Oscar-nominated films/performances/artists conjure within those privileged to watch them.

Gold Derby’s Riley Chow takes a stab at the “Best Original Song” category, cautioning us that Pharrell Williams is a much bigger threat than most pundits consider him to be. He’s mega-popular at the moment and his Oscar-nominated song from Despicable Me 2, “Happy,” is doing exceptionally well on the charts. His win could be in the vein of Eminem’s Lose Yourself where the “it” guy at the moment in music is recognized for his talents at the Oscar ceremony.

Deadline’s Randee Dawn astutely points out that it’s less about recognizing the actor than it is about rewarding “the scene” that gets them an Oscar nod in the first place. Dawn pulls quotes from major people in the industry who laud a performance by citing the scene that affected them the most, proving how the execution of a scene makes all the difference in voters’ minds.

Peter Kneght over at Indiewire gives some last-minute advice to Academy members filling out their ballots, namely drowning out the noise and trying to be as objective as possible when fulfilling a duty granted to only a select group of people in the world. In other words, don’t squander your privilege!

You want to know the elation it feels like when the best picture of the year actually wins “Best Picture”? Just watch the Top 25 Greatest Best Picture Winners, list courtesy of Entertainment Weekly.