Oscars 2015: Predictions

Here are my predictions for some of the Oscar 2015 categories! Boyhood-Bike Best Picture

Will Win: Boyhood

Should Win: Boyhood

Birdman and Boyhood are battling head to head here. Birdman perhaps is more deserving, a creative piece that shrewdly dissects Hollywood.  but I stand by the fact that Boyhood should win. Should we honor a film that may not be the most strongest narratively but purely for technical feats? Many feel that we shouldn’t. In this case, I think we should. You can’t deny that Boyhood managed to capture the magic and emotional resonance of time. We watch actors age before our eyes. It’s never been done before, could have easily failed, and I feel we should honor it for that. _MG_0817.CR2

Best Director 

Will Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Birdman

Should Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Birdman

Richard Linklater could easily win, but often the Best Picture winner differs from Best Director winner. The vote splits in order to honor the two films that are usually head-to-head frontrunners. (See last year, 12 Years a Slave and Gravity) While Linklater helmed a technical bravura, Iñárritu’s creative odyessy. michael-keaton-in-birdman-movie-1

Best Actor

Will Win: Michael Keaton for Birdman

Should Win: Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

This is hard. Again we have two frontrunners running head to head. I wish there could be a tie, because both are deserving. I am really starting to think Keaton will win. His long history in Hollywood gives him the edge, and this may be one of those cases where not only is the Oscar honoring the performance, but the actor’s longevity and career as well. While I think Keaton is deserving, Eddie Redmayne truly transformed into Hawking, which is no easy physical feat. I wish there was a way to honor them both, but I think Keaton will come out the winner. Julianne-Moore-in-Still-Alice

Best Actress

Will Win: Julianne Moore for Still Alice

Should Win: Julianne Moore for Still Alice

It’s her year. She deserves it. I loved Rosamund’s Amazing Amy, which is an iconic role that will be long remembered. I loved every actress in this category, and if any of them won it would be fitting. But she, and no other actress here, is no match for Moore at this point. Whiplash-7567.cr2

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash

Should Win: J,K, Simmons for Whiplash

Another lock. J.K. Simmons as the terrifying teacher was an explosive and memorable performance, the best in this category. boyhood_hires_3

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood 

Should Win: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood 

The only other actress in this category that I very much enjoyed was Emma Stone in Birdman, I thought she did a great job. However, Patricia Arquette’s tender performance as a single mom will take the prize. The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel-882x462

Best Original Screenplay

Will Win: Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness for Grand Budapest Hotel 

Should Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo for Birdman

I didn’t love Grand Budapest Hotel, I feel that Birdman should take this category. But I think the Oscars will finally honor Wes Anderson’s long-standing career in originality and quirkiness. I also enjoyed Nightcrawler in this category, but it’s being overshadowed by these two films. Whiplash should’ve been in this category as well. THE IMITATION GAME

Best Adapted Screenplay

Will Win: Graham Moore for The Imitation Game

Should Win: Graham Moore for The Imitation Game

Inherent Vice was incomprehensible, American Sniper is problematic, The Theory of Everything had great performances but fairly tepid story, and Whiplash shouldn’t be in this category. The Imitation Game was an exciting, taut, and emotional story and is deserving frontrunner. Birdman-bilde-6

Best Cinematography

Will Win: Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman

Should Win: Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski for Ida

Ida‘s stark black and white with tall landscapes were gorgeous, but Birdman’s  audacious style is likely to take this one. boyhood-ethan-hawke

Best Editing

Will Win: Sandra Adair for Boyhood

Should Win: Tom Cross for Whiplash

Strange that Birdman is not in this category! Sandra Adair will likely win for editing the 12 years worth of material. However, the heart-racing editing of Whiplash, especially in the thrilling drum sequences, are worthy of honoring.

eddie-redmayne-theory-of-everything

Best Original Score

Will Win: Johann Johannsson for The Theory of Everything

Should Win: Hans Zimmer for Interstellar

I’m partial to Interstellar‘s score, I loved the film and the soundtrack (especially the use of organs in the docking scene) made the entire experience overwhelmingly stunning. But Johann Johannsson’s score has been the frontrunner for this category.

f18cf5a756fad9721fb7ba745c74d16375bafe4e

Best Visual Effects

Will Win: Interstellar

Should Win: Interstellar

Interstellar will likely be honored for their reliance on less CGI to create those breathtaking space sequences.

Advertisements

Oscars 2015: Nominations Reaction

The 2015 Oscar Nominations have caused quite a stir. One being the sudden upset of the controversial American Sniper garnering several nominations, (and breaking box office records, many screenings have been sold out) Also the twenty actors nominated are all white (for the first time since 1998) causing backlash with the twitter hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. As well as the exclusion of several key female artists. I’m going to take a look at the leading categories, what I personally feel was left out or more deserving of a nomination.

SELMA

Best Picture

Nominated: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash

American Sniper has caused a lot of political controversy.  Many, mostly conservatives or those in the military, feel that he is an American hero who should be celebrated, while others feel he is a racist psychopath who murdered innocent Islamic people. For me, politics aside, it’s just not even that great of a film. It sits idly on the fence post, refusing to make a statement. It does not go into depth into the lead character’s psyche, leaving you very detached and uncaring about him (or his wife). There were only two scenes, and they were sniper ones, where I was emotionally on the edge of my seat. Like Chris Kyle, the audience is debating what to do. There is a sense of moral ambiguity in the character, one that is not seen in the rest of the film. But the rush from those two scenes dissipates quickly. However, many servicemen have been reacting strongly to the film, so it obviously touches them. But I think it is undeniable that this film doesn’t really touch new ground, or go above and beyond. I don’t think it deserves a Best Picture nomination. (But I will say, I think it’s pretty disgusting that this film outsold Selma on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend) The rest of these films nominated are deserving, though I’d argue to add Nightcrawler onto the list. Though it may have been too much pulp for the Academy.

546360b31225a2f9404eaec5_american-sniper

Best Actor 

Nominated: Steve Carrell in Foxcatcher, Bradley Cooper in American Sniper, Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game, Michael Keaton in Birdman, and Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Now, addressing the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, I’d like to address the fact that I believe you shouldn’t nominate someone just because of race (or gender) but it is downright baffling and a shame that David Olyweo was not nominated for his role in Selma as Martin Luther King Jr. He is astounding. He completely commands the role and, though the film doesn’t completely center around him, he carries it. Also, I would’ve like to see Jake Gyllenhaal nominated for Nightcrawler, his performance of the gaunt and eerie modern-day Travis Bickle was completely committed and transfixing. I did think Steve Carrell was chilling in Foxcatcher, so I understand the nomination. Bradley Cooper also, though I did not love American Sniper, I still felt his performance elevated it. However, I would definitely have swapped Cooper and Carrell for Gyllenhaal and most definitely David Olyweo. Or how lovely would it have been to see Miles Teller get a nomination for Whiplash?

deuxjoursunenuitstills008

Best Actress

Nominated: Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night, Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything, Julianne Moore in Still Alice, Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl, Reese Witherspoon in Wild

What a great category this year! A snub that shocked many was Jennifer Anniston for Cake, after much campaigning. Many of the other nominees were locks, but Marion Cotillard was the surprise spot. I’m very happy with this, for Marion Cotillard is top-notch and does incredible work. I can’t think of anyone else to add.

maxresdefault

Best Supporting Actress

Nominated: Patricia Arquette in Boyhood, Laura Dern in Wild, Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game, Emma Stone in Birdman, Meryl Streep in Into the Woods

While her “Stay With Me” performance is incredible, Meryl Streep does not deserve a nomination for Into the Woods. She doesn’t deserve one for EVERY SINGLE movie she shows up for! In her place, I would’ve loved to have seen Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year instead. Laura Dern for Wild was another surprise, but she was very effective in the film.

boyhood-ethan-hawke

Best Supporting Actor

Nominated: Robert Duvall in The Judge, Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher, J.K. Simmons in Whiplash, Ethan Hawke in Boyhood, Edward Norton in Birdman

This wasn’t the strongest category this year, no one else I could think of to put in place of these.

INHERENT VICE

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominated: American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Inherent Vice, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash 

The screenplay categories are odd this year, things that are adapted are in original and vice versa. Whiplash is based off a short film, so they’ve counted that as adapted screenplay. Would’ve been better in Original. I’m surprised Inherent Vice was nominated, but I have not read the source material. Many have said Paul Thomas Anderson did a good job echoing the author’s work. (I was just left in the theatre dumbfounded as to what I was watching) The biggest thing missing though is Gillian Flynn for Gone Girl! How on earth was she not nominated??? She would’ve been the first woman to adapt her own material to be nominated for an Oscar. (Or possibly win!) I would’ve also liked to see Wild here. I enjoyed how they intertwined the flashbacks throughout the main narrative.

The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel-882x462

Best Original Screenplay

Nominated: Birdman, Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Nightcrawler

Foxcatcher was based off a book I believe, so I do not understand how it was nominated for Best Original Screenplay? Boyhood‘s nomination also puzzles me, for the film did not really have a “script” throughout shooting, it was more of an organic process that developed throughout the years.

THE IMITATION GAME

Best Director

Nominated: Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Birdman, Richard Linklater for Boyhood, Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher, Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game 

I highly disliked Foxcatcher. It looked beautiful, but was painfully slow. It lost so much momentum and left me uninterested in the story. I do not feel that Bennett Miller deserved a nomination. Ava DuVernay was highly overlooked for Best Director. Her work in Selma was incredible. Her use of slow-motion work during the riot scenes is chilling. She completely deserved that slot in place of Miller. (She also would’ve made history, the first female director of color to be nominated.)

(Also side note, I wish Interstellar was nominated for more…but I’m one of the few who loved it and thought it was genius)

2015 Golden Globes: Predictions

boyhood

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Will Win: Boyhood 

Should Win: Boyhood

I’ve debated a lot about this, because I very much enjoyed The Imitation Game. I thought it had a rousing and enthralling story, led brilliantly by Benedict Cumberbatch. But it is a typical Hollywood triumph story (albeit a well-done one) that we have seen many times before. Boyhood is a filmmaking marvel, on the technical side. It is quite a simple story, the moving moments are a lot smaller. They may not hit you as hard as The Imitation Game, but I think we have to honor that. Selma is another strong front-runner, but it is pretty safe to say Boyhood has a lock.

eddie-redmayne-theory-of-everything

Best Actor – Drama

Will Win: Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

Should Win: Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game

Eddie Redmayne’s complete physical transformation as Stephen Hawking is stellar. He is able to convey so much through his eyes and facial expressions when words eventually fail him. While I do think that he deserves it and should win, but I also loved Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game. He was perfectly suited for the dishelved and socially awkward Alan Turing. He completely lived his character. But there is also no denying the physical feats that Redmayne went through to accurately portray Stephen Hawking.

Julianne-Moore-in-Still-Alice

Best Actress – Drama

Will Win: Julianne Moore for Still Alice

Should Win: Julianne Moore for Still Alice

I have not seen all of Still Alice yet, but from what I have seen Julianne Moore yet again brings her immense talent in this heartbreaking story of a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s. This is another tight category, for we also have Rosamund Pike who brilliantly brought to life Amy Dunne in Gone Girl, a complex role that is no easy feat to tackle. There is also Reese Witherspoon in Wild, giving her best performance to date as Cheryl Strayed. However, Julianne Moore deserves this one.

_MG_0817.CR2

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Will Win: Birdman

Should Win: Birdman

There is no contest in this category. One of the most wholly original films of the year, Birdman is a trippy and intimate journey into the artists’ mind, one that pokes fun at Hollywood and the image of celebrity. Birdman has astounding direction, cinematography, rousing jazz drums score, and outstanding meta-performances from Michael Keaton and Edward Norton, who’s roles poke fun at their own images. I actually didn’t LOVE it at first, there’s so much that you’re hit with. It definitely requires a re-watch, it hits you hard with a lot and there’s so much more to be absorbed from it than on a first watch.

michael-keaton-in-birdman-movie-1

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy 

Will Win: Michael Keaton for Birdman

Should Win: Michael Keaton for Birdman

Again, there is no contest for this category. Michael Keaton is outstanding and fearless in Birdman. The film s the perfect showcase for his talents, he is able to deftly craft this absurd satirical comedy.

????????

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy

Will Win: Amy Adams for Big Eyes

Should Win: Amy Adams for Big Eyes

Although this is under comedy, Amy Adams’ performance as Margaret Keane was more dramatic. She plays a quiet woman allows herself to be steamrolled and manipulated by her husband. It’s hard to make someone so passable likable and empathetic. While Emily Blunt is talented in Into the Woods, overall the whole film and performance feels very tepid.

Whiplash-7567.cr2

Best Supporting Actor 

Will Win: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash

Should Win: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash

J.K. Simmons is bone-chilling as this vindictive teacher in Whiplash. There are other strong performances in this category, specifically Edward Norton as the pompous method actor and Ethan Hawke as the absent dad in Boyhood. But J.K. Simmons gives a powerhouse performance that deserves to be recognized.

boyhood_hires_3

Best Supporting Actress 

Will Win: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood 

Should Win: Emma Stone for Birdman 

I have not seen A Most Violent Year yet, for which Jessica Chastain is nominated, so unfortunately I cannot consider that in my choices. Meryl Streep is her usual great self in Into the Woods, particularly during “Stay With Me.” But the rest of the role doesn’t leave much of an impression or reach great heights. Patricia Arquette as the mother in Boyhood is wonderful (especially in the scene where her boy goes off to college) It is no easy feat navigating and maintaing a character for twelve years, especially when you do not know their arc. (Boyhood was written as the years went along, not before shooting) I do feel that she should win the prize, but I also cannot ignore Emma Stone in Birdman. Her temper tantrum monologue in the film is her best work, showing a great range that goes beyond her penchant for sarcasm.

Boyhood-BikeBest Director 

Will Win: Richard Linklater for Boyhood

Should Win: Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman 

This is a tough category, for Richard Linklater definitely deserves to be recognized for helming this ambitious project could have easily failed, and it succeeds in tenfold. Boyhood is an impressive work that manages to redefine cinema. But there is also no denying the other talents in this category, specifically Alejandro González Iñárritu for his utterly inventive direction of Birdman and David Fincher for perfectly bringing to life the dark thriller of Gone Girl.

_AF_6405.CR2

Best Screenplay 

Will Win: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo for Birdman

Should Win: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo for Birdman

Gillian Flynn does a great adaptation of her novel, but again there is no denying the sheer originality of Birdman‘s creative story.