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Will Ashton

Celebrate the movies you love, Oscars are meaningless

The Oscars were on Sunday, so Will gives his LCAAs (Lights, Camera, Ashton, Awards)

Because society lives in an ever-fluctuating be-all, end-all state of mind, we’re trained to believe the Oscars actually hold high merits.

But the truth is, it’s art. If your favorite movie didn’t win, that doesn’t make the experience and emotions you felt less impactful or vital. For something so universal and grandiose, film watching is an ironically personal experience.

However, don’t tell the Internet that. Twitter users have and continue to bemoan the Academy for their inability to recognize the “true greatest” in something as mundane as the Oscar-winning American Sniper. While I personally found the Oscars this year to be largely agreeable — as far as the actually award-giving goes — I feel it’s mandatory to note that awards for art don’t mean squat.

The Academy Awards don’t so much award the best in cinema, as much as they celebrate a year at the movies. That’s what I find so special about them. If you don’t go to the theater once a week or so like I do, however, it’s easy for the sentimentality to fly over.

I don’t see how people understand that the Grammys are useless, but think the Oscars are defining signifiers of what’s actually the best of the best — I have a feeling marketing plays into it. I believe it’s best for one to simply announce their favorites and not give a damn what anyone else says about them.

So you think Guardians of the Galaxy really was the best picture of the year? Sure, why not. The Lego Movie got snubbed, you say? I wholeheartedly agree. You loved American Sniper? Well, good for you.

Bearing this line of thinking, I created my own awards for 2014: the first and last year of the Lights, Camera, Ashton Awards. Yes, the good ole’ LCAAs. I suggest you make your own picks. So let me put on my very best (rented) tux, open the curtains and get down to business.

Best Picture: Whiplash

Runner-Up: Birdman

Best Actor: Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler

Runners-Up: Michael Keaton - Birdman, Andy Serkis - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Jude Law - Dom Hemingway, Ralph Fiennes - The Grand Budapest Hotel, David Oyelowo - Selma

Best Actress: Essie Davis - The Babadook

Runners-Up: Scarlett Johansson - Under the Skin, Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl, Tessa Thompson - Dear White People

Best Supporting Actress: Katherine Waterston - Inherent Vice

Runners-Up: Emma Stone - Birdman, Rene Russo - Nightcrawler, Naomi Watts - Birdman

Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons - Whiplash

Runners-Up: Ethan Hawke - Boyhood, Robert Pattinson - The Rover, Zach Galifianakis - Birdman

Best Animated Movie: The Lego Movie

Runner-Up: Ernest & Celestine

Best Score: Mica Levi - Under the Skin

Runners-Up: Hans Zimmer - Interstellar, Alexandre Desplat - The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Visual Effects: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Runners-Up: Godzilla, Interstellar

Best Documentary: Life Itself

Runner-Up: Citizenfour

Best Editing: Whiplash

Runners-Up: Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Original Song: “Everything is Awesome” - The Lego Movie

Runners-Up: “I Love You All”- Frank, “I’ll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)” - Muppets Most Wanted, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” - Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me

Best Original Screenplay - Nightcrawler

Runners-Up: Whiplash*, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Lego Movie, Locke

Best Adapted Screenplay - Inherent Vice

Runners-Ups: Gone Girl, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Selma


Congratulations to all the LCAA winners! Look for your prizes in the mail.

*I know the Academy deemed this an “adapted” screenplay, however, as its merits for being an adapted screenplay come down to a short scene in the film being taken out and adapted to get producers on board and have the film made in the first place, I call it original.

Will Ashton is a senior studying journalism and a staff writer for Email him at or find him on Twitter @thewillofash.

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