The Oscars vs The People

HOLLYWOOD - The Oscars are lots of fun, but on the other hand they fill us with rage! Every year, they pick a bunch of nominees that most of us have never seen and expect us to get all excited.

Meanwhile, the flicks that come out tops at the box office are all but ignored.

Leading up to the live telecast of this year's Academy Awards on March 2, we pit the Oscar Favourites against the People's Champions and try to determine who really is best.

It's an arty-farty battle of the fittest!

Best picture

The Oscar favourite: 12 years a slave

We were of course gobsmacked by this story of one middle-class black man's descent into hell as he's kidnapped and sold into slavery.

Chiwetel Ejiofor shows us all the decadence and madness of the old-timey South through his terrified eyes, and the film has been rewarded with tons of awards, including the Golden Globe for best picture.


The people's champion: The Hunger Games: Catching fire

This was the top movie in the US last year! Spectacularly entertaining, this story of one girl's struggle against an oppressive and blood-thirsty society has really captured the zeitgeist.

It has powerful drama and spectacular action, but most of all it explores dangerous themes in a meaningful fashion.

Which is really the "best" picture?

The Hunger Games: Catching fire

Though both films cover some similar territory, Catching Fire does so in a more imaginative and entertaining fashion.

Best actor

The Oscar favourite: Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

McConaughey has already won every major acting award available. Voters love body transformations such as the hunk's weight loss, and they also love terminal illnesses such as Aids.

Beyond all that, the resurgent McConaughey really is astonishingly good as the rodeo redneck with the "gay disease".


The people's champion: Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 was the biggest hit in the world last year, bringing in more than a billion dollars!

Downey Jr's charisma is as apparent as ever as his Tony Stark gets beaten by a terrorist and then has to fight his way back. Unfortunately, we've seen it all before.

Who's really the "best" actor?

Matthew McConaughey

He was a revelation, totally inhabiting a cowboy character who epitomised then transcended his stereotype.

Best actress

The Oscar favourite: Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine

Having already sucked up heaps of awards, Blanchett looks like a sure thing for an Oscar. Her diva performance as a downwardly-mobile divorcee is rather extravagant and showy, but that's kind of the point.

Recalling Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire, it's a painful portrayal of American delusion and disillusionment.


The people's champion: Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Lawrence is arguably the biggest movie star in the world right now, and this was one of the biggest worldwide releases of 2013.

Her poise and dignity elevate what is already a powerful narrative, and on a lighter note she looks amazing in those fantastic costumes!

Who's really the "best" actress?

Jennifer Lawrence

Her Katniss Everdeen is an unforgettable cinematic heroine who sets an inspiring example.

Best supporting actress

The Oscar favourite: Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle

Lawrence already won a Best Actress Oscar last year working with director David O Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, and this second partnership should produce another trophy.

She's alluring as a very mixed-up 70s housewife, somehow managing to seem hard-bitten even with her beautiful baby face.


The people's champion: Idina Menzel in Frozen

Okay, so Menzel doesn't actually appear in the animation, she just provides the voice for Elsa the Snow Queen.

But what a voice and what a performance. Frozen has become a phenomenon thanks in large part to Menzel's rendition of theme song Let It Go. This movie and character will be remembered by girls forever.

Who's really the "best" supporting actress?

Idina Menzel

She helped turn yet another Disney Princess movie into something truly special.

Best actor in a supporting role

The Oscar favourite: Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

Rock star and movie star, Jared Leto has reached a new peak this year with his performance in Dallas Buyers Club.

He brings humour, strength and sensitivity to his role as McConaughey's transsexual business partner. He's also one hot chick.


The people's champion: Orlando Bloom in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Everybody loves Legolas, and why not? He's stunningly beautiful and his balletic archery skills leave one awe-struck.

Bloom was born to play this role - he single-handedly made elves cool. This time around, we really get to know the character first introduced in The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring more than a decade ago, who turns out to be a bit darker than we expected.

Who's really the "best" supporting actor?

It's a draw

It's impossible to choose between Leto and Legolas. Let's merge them into one super-cool Leto-las.

Best director

The Oscar favourite: Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity

Cuaron has concocted a masterpiece with Gravity, a movie that works on absolutely every level - it's emotional, action-packed, visually stunning and technically brilliant. Ultimately, this story of how one woman - a superb Sandra Bullock - conquers her fears and the universe is pure cinematic poetry.

Incidentally, this is one Oscar movie that also killed at the box office.


The people's champion: Justin Lin for Fast & Furious 6

Fast & Furious 6 came in sixth at the worldwide box office, and director Lin is the dude responsible. He's taken what started out as a silly little car movie and turned it into a MASSIVE franchise.

The characters - Dom and Brian - are car gods, and the story is a modern-day motorhead myth. Lin's big stunts and big heart have equalled huge money and legions of fans.

Who's really the "best" director?

Alfonso Cuaron

A film such as Gravity requires unparalleled skill and artistry to pull off. Every piece fits perfectly, and in the end it's even bigger than the sum of its parts.

Final verdict: The people are victorious!

They should let us unwashed masses vote for the awards because we're totally better at it than those eggheads at the Academy.

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