Thoughts on the Oscars.
I love going to the movie and do so almost every week. I have seen nearly all of the Academy’s Oscar Offerings…..for our consideration. Here are my thoughts. What are yours.
Number of Nominations (by movie):
“The Imitation Game” – 8
“Birdman” – 9
“The Grand Budapest Hotel” – 9
“Boyhood” – 6
“Interstellar” – 5
“American Sniper” – 6
Yet to be viewed: “Whiplash” – 5 and “Foxcatcher” – 5
I have seen all but Whiplash and Foxcatcher, both of which are on my list to be seen. The top four films, Birdman, Grand Budapest Hotel, Imitation Game, and Boyhood are ALL Extraordinary experiences. Each is very different. Each is memorable. I did not care for Sniper, or Interstallar. They are list from my most to least favorite for overall movie going experience.
“The Theory of Everything”
“The Imitation Game”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Yet to be viewed: “Whiplash”
Most of the list is what I expected. I would have liked to have seen “Into the Woods” make it. Making a musical work on the big screen is a huge challenge. “Woods” meets the challenge. Still, it was a very good year in film. The list is arranged in my order of preference for Best Picture.The academy can nominate up to 10 movies, but stopped short with eight this year. “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which won a best picture award at the Golden Globes, is starting to look like an unstoppable force as the buzz grows.
Actor in a Leading Role
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”
Where is David Oyelowo, who turned in a stunning performance as Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma.”? Both Keaton and Redmayne won acting awards at the Golden Globes — one for comedy, one for drama. I know that “Birdman” is in the comedy category in some of the awards but the film is gut wrenching in many ways- dashed dreams, literally. Redmayne IS Hawkins. Reminded my of Lewis in “My Left Foot.”
Actress in a Leading Role
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice’
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Yet to be Viewed:Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”, , Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”
I hated “Gone Girl”. Really Hated It. Contrived and Overacted. Ridiculous plot.
Julianne Moore is the favorite here, playing a linguistics professor grappling with an early onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Felicity Jones is so compelling as the one who gives Hawkins the spark that lights the bonfire of his driving will and intellect.
Actor in a Supporting Role
Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
Yet to be Viewed: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
I went to The judge expecting to be disappointed and Duvall managed to surprise me at every turn. I wish there were co-Oscars as Ethan “Captain, My Captain” Hawke has certainly grown into his acting chops.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Yet to be viewed: Laura Dern, “Wild”
Patricia Arquette is the clear favorite and she deserves to be but my favorite remains the woman behind the man (as in “The Theory of Everything” Keiraa Knightley as the inspiration for the WWII codebreaking Ultra Team and its lead genius.
Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Bennett Miller, “Foxcatcher”
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”
Where are the women? There was talk of not one, but two women securing nominations in this category: Ava DuVernay for “Selma” and Angelina Jolie for “Unbroken.” Jolie’s movie didn’t get the praise that seemed assured prior to release, but DuVernay certainly deserved to be on this list. I award the top prize to the director who creates a tapestry of carefully interwoven elements from the screenplay to casting to coaching the actors to staging to music selection. The Director is both the composer and conductor of the symphony and in “Birdman” Inarrtu creates a world that surprises me when I presumed I knew what the film was going to say and do. Linklater actually does not do much creating- he envisions a project to last 12 years and then manages to hold it together in such a way that it feels seamless.
Animated Feature Film
“Big Hero 6”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
Did not and likely will not see: “The Boxtrolls”, “Song of the Sea” “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”
The big surprise here is that “The LEGO Movie” wasn’t nominated as it had the fourth-highest domestic box office returns in 2014 and was widely praised….but not by me. Cute and boring. Big Hero? I was dragged there by kids and I left there as happy, as moved and as impressed as they were. The film had heart, a big heart, shared by its two leads, one human, and one not (well maybe not).
THAT’S MY REACTION. DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS?