Jared Leto had a golden finish to a rich award season, and Frozen put all its animated competitors on ice.
Leto was named best supporting actor at the 86th annual Academy Awards for his portrayal of a transgender AIDS patient in Dallas Buyers Club, following up significant wins at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards.
The actor thanked his mother, a teenage high school dropout and single mom from Louisiana who taught her children “to be creative, work hard and be special.” Leto also dedicated his Oscar “to anybody who’s ever felt injustice for who you are and who you love.”
Disney’s blockbuster musical cartoon Frozen has been ruling the box office and was honored with the best animated feature Academy Award, while Mr. Hublot garnered the Oscar for animated short.
Gravity went into the night tied with a leading 10 nominations with American Hustle, and the white-knuckle space thriller won its first Oscar for visual effects. Visual-effects supervisor Tim Webber noted director Alfonso Cuarón’s “audacity and courage” in letting the FX crew work their magic and thanked stars George Clooney and Sandra Bullock for “filling our visual effects with life and emotion.”
Dallas Buyers Club also won the Oscar for best makeup and hairstyling — makeup artist Robin Mathews thanked Leto and co-star Matthew McConaughey for “letting us torture you and transform you” — and Catherine Martin won her third Oscar for costume design for The Great Gatsby, directed by Martin’s husband, Baz Luhrmann.
The Italian movie The Great Beauty followed up its Golden Globe win with the Oscar for best foreign film. Director Paolo Sorrentino took time to thank Fellini, Martin Scorsese and Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona.
Helium won for live-action short, The Lady In Number 6 was awarded best documentary short subject and 20 Feet from Stardom, a movie about backup singers in the music industry, garnered best documentary. Darlene Love belted out a tune for the crowd, and director Morgan Neville dedicated the Oscar to producer Gil Friesen, who died two years ago: “Today I know he’s celebrating with us.”
The race for the best-picture Oscar — the night’s top prize — looks like it’s down to a three-horse finish.
Will Gravity or the stylish crime flick American Hustleprevail with the top prize? Or does the period drama 12 Years a Slave have one more emotional victory to eke out? Others in the category include Dallas Buyers Club, Philomena, Nebraska, Her, Captain Phillips and The Wolf of Wall Street.
McConaughey is up for best actor along with Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Golden Globe comedy actor winner Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave).
Blue Jasmine star Cate Blanchett is the odds-on favorite for best actress, though she has stiff competition — Amy Adams (American Hustle) has five Oscar nominations and no wins, and Bullock, Judi Dench (Philomena) and Meryl Streep (August: Osage County) have each won the category before.
Jennifer Lawrence of American Hustle will try to make it two Oscar trophies in two years. Last year’s best-actress winner is in the mix for best supporting actress, though 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o looks strong as well. The field also features Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County) and June Squibb (Nebraska).
Each of the three leading movies has its filmmaker up for best director, too, with Cuarón, Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) and David O. Russell (American Hustle) in the mix with Alexander Payne (Nebraska) and Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street).
The Frozen tune Let It Go and Pharrell Williams’ Despicable Me 2 track Happy are nominated for best original song with Karen O’s The Moon Song from Her and U2’s Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.