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Your Oscar picks are showing

Published March 12. 2014 05:01PM

The 86th Academy Awards are over. The Oscars have been handed out. However, many of the movies that received Oscars are still playing in theaters.

It was a great year at the movies in 2013. It was a record-breaker at the box office. It was a year for critically acclaimed and or commercially successful movies directed by and starring African-Americans, as well as for those starring women. And it was a year when six of the nine best-picture nominees were based on real events.

Alfonso Cuaron became the first Latin American director to receive a best director Oscar, for the breathtaking "Gravity," which received six other Oscars, in each of the technical categories it was nominated: visual effects, sound mixing, sound editing, cinematography and editing, as well as for music score.

Steve McQueen became the first black director to receive a best picture Oscar for the agonizingly excellent "12 Years A Slave," for which first-time feature film actor Lupita Nyong'o received a best supporting actress Oscar, and John Ridley received a best adapted screenplay Oscar.

Another big recipient was the insightful "Dallas Buyers Club" with both male nominees receiving statues: Matthew McConaughey, best actor; and Jared Leto, best supporting actor.

I had one incorrect pick in the Oscars race: Amy Adams for "American Hustle," when I had initially chosen the best actress recipient, Cate Blanchett, for "Blue Jasmine."

Audiences warmed up to "Frozen," which received Oscars for best animated feature and best song ("Let It Go").

Writer-director Spike Jonze received the best original screenplay Oscar for the enigmatic and fascinating "Her."

"20 Feet From Stardom," which gave long overdue recognition to 1960s pop-rock-Motown-R&B backup singers, received the best documentary Oscar.

"The Great Beauty," a glorious larger than life film about life, won the best foreign language film Oscar.

There were major Oscar shutouts.

Director Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," with five nominations, director David O. Russell's "American Hustle," with 10 nominations, "Captain Phillips" and "Nebraska," each with six nominations, and "Philomena," with four nominations, received not one Oscar.

Snubbed in action with no nominations were Robert Redford, "All Is Lost"; Tom Hanks, "Captain Phillips"; James Gandolfini, "Enough Said," and Forrest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, "The Butler."

Among the Oscar recipients, as of deadline, that are still playing at movie theaters in the region are: "12 Years A Slave," "Dallas Buyers Club," "Gravity" and "Frozen."

Among Oscar nominees, "American Hustle," "Philomena" and "The Wind Rises," again as of deadline, are also still playing. Check screen times at area movie theaters. Each of the Oscar recipients, nominees and the aforesaid non-nominees are worth seeing.

Box Office, March 7: "300: Rise of an Empire" ruled, opening at No. 1, with $45 million, keeping "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" opening at No. 2, with a strong $32.5 million, keeping "Mr. Peabody & Sherman" opening at No. 2, with a strong $32.5 million, and putting a stop to the reign of "Non-Stop," dropping to No. 3, $15.3 million, $52.1 million, two weeks;

4. "The Lego Movie," $11 million, $224.9 million, five weeks; 5. "Son of God," $10 million, $41.4 million, two weeks; 6. "The Monuments Men," $3.1 million, $70.6 million, five weeks; 7. "3 Days To Kill," $3 million, $25.5 million, three weeks; 8. "Frozen," $3 million, $393 million, 16 weeks; 9. "12 Years A Slave," with its three Oscars boots, moved back to the Top 10 after more than three months, $2.1 million, $53.1 million, 21 weeks; 10. "Ride Along," $2 million, $129.9 million, seven weeks

Unreel, March 14:

"Need for Speed," PG-13: Nefarious deeds surround a trans-continental car race. Aaron Paul and Dominic Cooper star in the action-thriller.

"Veronica Mars," PG-13: The teen private eye returns, just in time for her high school reunion in Neptune, Calif. Kristin Bell stars in the drama comedy.

"Bad Words," R: Jason Bateman makes his big-screen directorial debut and stars in a comedy about an adult trying to win a spelling bee years later.

"Enemy," R: A man sees his doppelganger (lookalike) in the mystery thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Isabella Rossellini.

Read Paul Willistein's movie reviews at the Lehigh Valley Press web site,; the Times-News web site,; and hear them on "Lehigh Valley Art Salon," 6 - 6:30 p.m. Mondays, WDIY 88.1 FM, and, where they're archived. Email Paul Willistein: You can follow Paul Willistein on Twitter and friend Paul Willistein on facebook.

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