Howdy everyone! I’m a movie watching cat (no really – an actual cat!) who is being given an opportunity to muse on movies. Now let me explain myself first, I’m not a movie snob. I don’t watch a movie and look for subtle clues like say a certain color of a window curtain might be a clue to something otherwise unnoticed. I’m not gonna go too in depth on breaking a movie down. I couldn’t tell how to discern a good director from a bad one. (Ok maybe I could, if a movie sucks then the director most likely sucks). My rating systems consists of whether you should see a movie or not and how soon.
So you might ask how I can tell a good acting performance from a bad one? There’s a number of factors involved. If an actor disappears into a role is the best way I can explain it. You’re actually seeing the character on the screen instead of saying “That’s George Clooney doing his usual George Clooney thing.” Let’s be honest here – Does Clooney actually seem like he’s playing a different character in each movie? The only time he stood out to me – when he played someone other than a charming rogue – is when he played Fred W. Friendly in “Good Night, and Good Luck”, but I digress. It basically comes down to believability, and I have the basic grasp of that concept.
This first post/blog of mine will focus on the Oscars. I still like the Oscars, so sue me. Yes they get it wrong sometimes but sometimes they get it right. I won’t get into the political/social aspect of the awards, simply giving you my view on three things: Who will win, who I want to win (should win is another way of putting it but that sounds snobbish to me. Who’s to say who should win? I prefer “Want” since that simply indicates my preference), and who got snubbed. I also won’t judge pictures/performances I haven’t seen since that’s not fair in my opinion. The Will Win portion will be me reading the tree leaves of previous awards won in that category to try to gauge who will win the award. (Links open in new window)
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Will & Want To Win: Boyhood
SNUBBED: Nightcrawler; Interstellar
I loved “Boyhood”. Ever since I first saw it it resonated with me, probably because it reminded me of growing up since it occurred in the same time frame. “Boyhood” has been winning plenty of Best Picture awards but those have been Critic’s awards, and critics don’t vote for Oscars. If there’s a film to put your money on to win it’s “Birdman”. In the history of the Producer’s Guild and Director’s Guild Awards a film that has won both awards has failed to win Best Picture Oscar just 3 times. This year’s PGA and DGA winner in addition to the Screen Actor’s Guild’s top award? “Birdman”. And actors make up the largest voting bloc for the Oscars. But my gut says it just can’t see “Boyhood” losing this. I would’ve knocked “The Imitation Game” off this list and added “Interstellar” and “Nightcrawler”. I really loved both those movies, was disappointed to see them snubbed, especially “Nightcrawler”.
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night (Didn’t see)
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl (Didn’t see)
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Will Win: Julianne Moore
Want To Win: Julianne Moore
Snubs: None I can think of
I literally just saw “Still Alice” and I can see why Julianne Moore has been winning most of the awards this season. She gives a terrific performance as a woman suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s Disease. It really moved me as her character suffered the effects during the progression of her disease. Felicity Jones would be second if this was a poll as to me she really carried the movie more than Eddie Redmayne did.
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Will Win: Eddie Redmayne
Want To Win: Steve Carell
Snubbed: Jake Gyllenhall, Nightcrawler
Here’s why Michael Keaton could beat Eddie Redmayne, to me anyway, because he acted more in the film. I know that’s an out there theory but here it goes: In “Theory of Everything” Redmayne was basically a voice actor for half of the film. The first half of the film he did give a great performance where he was mobile but then throughout out the film he gradually becomes wheelchair bound. At the end he is basically sitting there not doing any physical acting.
There is a precedent for that type of performance winning (Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot). I’m not knocking his performance but in totality, Keaton actually acted more. I think that could play into some voter’s minds, but Redmayne has been on a hot streak as of late. He did win the SAG and Golden Globe though and that could be a predictor for Oscar night. It’s gonna be close come Oscar night. I liked Steve Carell the most. To go from a goofball like Michael Scott and transform into John du Pont, he blew me away. I honestly didn’t think he had it in him.
As for snubs I wish Jake Gyllenhall would’ve been nominated because I would argue all day for him to win. Heck I would’ve settled for a nomination. Overall a strong field and not a weak performance among the nominees. I don’t know who I could take out for Gyllenhall anyway.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Will & Want To Win: Patricia Arquette
Patricia Arquette, much like Julianne Moore, has dominated this category during awards season and is a lock to win. Her closest competitor for me would be Emma Stone, I enjoyed her performance in Birdman, a movie full of great performances.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Will & Want To Win: JK Simmons
This is another category where it’s a forgone conclusion. JK Simmons has seemingly won every award for his performance and I have no qualms with that. In a way its unfortunate because there’s not a weak performance in this bunch that I’ve seen (Didn’t see Robert Duvall in “The Judge”). I wouldn’t be disappointed with any of the other nominees winning but you can book Simmons to take the statuette home.
Alejandro Innaritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Will Win: Alejandro Innaritu
Want To: Linklater or Alejandro Innaritu
For Richard Linklater to keep this movie going over 12 years is a amazing accomplishment. I enjoyed the film, wouldn’t mind seeing him win but I think the job Alejandro Innaritu did in “Birdman” has tempted me to favor his work. Innaritu also won the Director’s Guild Award and only seven times in history has the winner of that award failed to win the Oscar. Both did a great job and I wouldn’t be disappointed to see either win.
No Will Win and Want To Win here, just predictions and some wild guesses (eventual winner in brackets):
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Theory Of Everything (The Imitation Game)
Best Original Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Birdman)
Best Cinematography: Birdman
Best Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Film Editing: Whiplash
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Pulling for Guardians of The Galaxy – My favorite film of 2014! Want to see them win something!)
Best Original Score: The Theory of Everything (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Best Original Song: “Glory” from Selma
Best Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Sound Editing: Interstellar (American Sniper)
Best Sound Mixing: Whiplash
Best Visual Effects: Interstellar
Best Animated Feature: How To Train Your Dragon 2 (Pulling for Big Hero 6)
Best Documentary: Citizenfour
Best Foreign Language Film: Ida
Best Animated Short: The Bigger Picture (Feast)
Best Live Action Short: Boogaloo and Graham (The Phone Call)
Best Documentary Short: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
One last prediction: Neil Patrick Harris will rock!