Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 Oscar Nominations

Believe it or not, I've actually seen a lot of the Best Picture nominations this year.

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

So my pick for the film that will actually win is either Boyhood or Birdman. As far as the one I liked better? Boyhood all the way. I'm going to try and review all of these films so I can get back into writing reviews (I felt that my last couple have been kind of bad because I just haven't had a lot of time to write a lot of things in the past couple of months), but I can tell you right now that Birdman was the most pretentious piece I've ever seen in my life, and it didn't sit well with me. If I want meta, I'll go watch Community. I also really really loved Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson's magnum opus for sure. It's such a fun, well designed, and whacky movie you can't  help but enjoy. I also loved the beautiful romanticism of the Theory of Everything, and the Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are stellar (haha). The Imitation Game, about Alan Turing's code breaking days, was so bland for me, so I'm very meh about that one. I'm planning to see Selma soon, I'm interested to see a good civil rights biopic (I feel like a lot of them are just pats on the back to white people), extra points for being directed by a woman. Whiplash is the obvious underdog, and its greatest reward is probably just being nominated, but I do still want to see it. As for American Sniper, I'll probably skip because it looks just a tad too intense for me, but I'm totally rooting for Bradley Cooper because he has been making some super quality movies in the past few years.

Best Actor
Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

As far as who is actually going to win, I'd say it's evenly matched between Keaton and Cooper, with Eddie Redmayne possibly upsetting. Again, I'm not worshiping Birdman like everybody else, so I'm definitely hoping for a Bradley Cooper Oscar, but alas, that's how the world turns.

Best Actress 
Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)
Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Reese Witherspoon (Wild)

First of all, let's talk about who is not here, because it is a travesty. Amy Adams gave what I thought was the best performance of the year in Big Eyes, a movie that was also not nominated for anything else, which is terrible, because it was fantastic. It was unpretentious and beautifully done, and perfectly sad and funny in equal amounts. Also, Emily Blunt's excellent turn as the Baker's Wife in Into the Woods should have earned a nod, because not only was she a fantastic singer, she really brought energy to a part that absolutely requires it, without being really over the top. It was a beautifully subtle performance. But nope, we had to nominate Marion Cotillard again fr a movie that nobody saw. Anyway, with Adams out of the race, I'm really not sure who will win, so I'm going to say it's between Felicity Jones and Reese Witherspoon, with maybe Rosamund Pike thrown in as the upset.

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
Edward Norton (Birdman)
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

I have to admit, I'm kind of wanting J.K. Simmons to go in for this one, he's been doing quality work for years and really has never been recognized. But realistically, Ethan Hawke vs. Edward Norton. And again, where is Christoph Waltz for Big Eyes? I know he just won, but I really enjoyede this more nuanced take on characters that he has played more zainly in the past. He truly depicts the intricacies of a controlling and abusive husband perfectly.

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Laura Dern (Wild)
Keira Knightly (The Imitation Game)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)

For once in my life, I actually really want Meryl Streep to win (I usually think someone else deserves it). But her work as the witch was fantastic, so I'll take that. This is probably the only category I actually agree with in the entire Oscars race this year. If not Meryl, Patricia for Boyhood.

Best Director
Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman)
Richard Lanklater (Boyhood)
Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

I'm calling Linklater on this one, this movie was a miracle shot over twelve years and it was so good. If not Linklater, Birdman, for pretentious reasons.

That's it from me for now. I'll keep checking in to review these films, and maybe a couple of other things too. Stay tuned!

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