We are on a journey to discover the sci-fi and fantasy movies that won the Oscar Award, from 1929 until today in the five main categories (Best Picture, director, actor, actress and screenplay).
The Story so far:
1933 – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
1942 – Here Comes Mister Jordan
1957 – The Red Balloon
1965 – Mary Poppins
1969 – Charly
1974 – The Exorcist
1991 – Misery & Ghost
2004 – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2005 – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2013 – Life of Pi
The 86th Academy Awards ceremony took place on Sunday, March 2, 2014 at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center, awarding movies released in 2013. 2014 saw two movies make it into the five main categories, and both are science fiction films.
1. Directing: Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity
Gravity went on to win a total of 7 Oscars, telling the story of a medical engineer and an astronaut who have to work together to survive in space, after a catastrophe destroys their shuttle and leaves them adrift in orbit. 90 minutes of tension if you ask me.
Casting is ever important, and after Robert Downey Jr. left the project, several actors were approached to play Matt Kowalski, including Daniel Craig, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Russell Crowe, Kevin Costner, and Denzel Washington. A similar situation happened for the casting of the female lead. Angelina Jolie was cast, but dropped out later. Natalie Portman turned it down because of her pregnancy. Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Marion Cotillard, Abbie Cornish, Carey Mulligan, Sienna Miller, Scarlett Johansson, Blake Lively, Rebecca Hall and Olivia Wilde were all subsequently tested or approached unsuccessfully. And now you can play your own version of the movie, imagining the acting duo of your choosing.
Overall the film success rested in the efforts Cuaron made to keep this space thriller as scientifically accurate as possible. Real astronauts can still find a few faults, but generally he got it right: laws of physics are mostly respected, without a suit no one explodes (Outland) or bloats (Total Recall), no one instantly freezes (Sunshine, Mission to Mars) or hemorrhage (Event Horizon). In fact, as 2001: A Space Odyssey teaches, an individual can survive for up to one minute, according to Nasa space medicine.
A cheerie movie for the whole family!
2. Writing (Original Screenplay): Spike Jonze – Her
Ah now, falling in love with AI… Have we not been there before? Still, Spike Jonze manages to bring his original touch to this not-so-new idea. Considering that this is the first movie he wrote and directed, I’d argue he did rather well.
Joaquin Phoenix plays a lonely writer who purchases the latest OS and gets a bit more in the bargain. As it turns out, this marvellous OS, voiced by Scarlett Johanson, it’s so good that Phoenix falls head over heels for it…her.
The initial voice was that of Samantha Morton, however, during editing (better late than ever, right?) Jonze felt she wasn’t quite right and Samantha agreed to step down, to be replaced by Johanson.
Oscar Run: Sci-fi 5 – Fantasy 8