Oscar Nominations – Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Best Achievement in Editing.
The general consensus for the likely winner of Best Picture is 2014’s Boyhood, the story of a boy’s journey through life filmed over a period of 12 years. It has been described as thoughtful and poignant and has certainly warmed the hearts of audiences. Patricia Arquette is likely to win best Supporting Actress for her role. This is an all American coming of age tale and it seems to be the kind of movie that restores your faith in humanity. Although it is certainly an achievement for Linklater in filming this over 12 years with the same cast coherently, it is a safe film – should safe films be winning awards?
Oscar Nominations – Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Best Achievement in Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing,
Whiplash stars Miles Teller as Andrew, a talented jazz drummer who at a prestigious New York Music School develops an odd relationship with an intimidating Professor (J.K. Simmons). An examination of the lengths hopeful artists are prepared to go and the abuse they are willing to take to master their art it is a thrilling movie with an intense relationship at the heart of it. What Birdman and Grand Budapest Hotel were missing was a satisfying ending, in contrast, the finale of Whiplash has been widely enjoyed.
Selma is the story of the three month period when Martin Luther King led publicized marches from Selma to Montgomery to campaign for equal voting rights for Black Americans. There has been an outcry on Twitter about the lack of Oscar nominations for this film, audiences in the States have certainly been moved enough to think it Oscar worthy. Quite clearly, films on the subject of inequality and Black Americans do win Oscars (last year’s 12 Years a Slave) but it could be argued that although the audience are suitably outraged at the events in these films, the message seems to be that this kind of thing doesn’t happen anymore. The message from Selma is that what was agreed then has not quite been fulfilled by the American Government and that many of its key players often hinder the progress of equality and that that is not necessarily a thing of the past. It could equally be argued that just because a story is moving, it does not make the film making worthy of accolades.
The Imitation Game
Oscar Nominations: Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Best Achievement in Directing, Best Screenplay based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Best Achievement in Editing, Best Achievement in Production Design, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures
Another Brit lovely, Benedict Cumberbatch exercises his acting talents as Alan Turning, the ground breaking mathematician who during World War II cracks an enigma code which helps the Allies win the war. As well as solving complicated enigma codes, the real Turning struggled to conceal his homosexuality in a time when it was illegal to be gay and was later imprisoned for that very crime. Kiera Knightley is also up for Best Supporting Actress but has tough completion from Laura Dern, Patricia Arquette and Meryl Streep. A taut, well executed thriller with excellent performances, audiences have thoroughly enjoyed it. It could win Best Screenplay and perhaps even Best Motion Picture. Criticisms have been that it is too conventional, that more screen time is given to Turning’s relationship with Knightley than his homosexuality and that it is predictable Hollywood fodder- none of which ever ruined a movie’s chance of winning an Oscar.
Not everyone likes a film that makes you think: “What the f**k just happened?” so Inherent Vice will not be for everyone. However if Burn After Reading made you giggle delightedly at the sheer audacity of it then you might just love it. Joaquin Phoenix looks suitably stoned and hopeless as a private investigator navigating a trippy LA in the early seventies. Inveigled into searching for a missing person for his ex-lover (Katherine Waterston) he soon becomes embroiled in a complicated web of crime. Phoenix looks like he is having great fun in this romp and that energy is sure to be shared with the audience. It has a couple of Academy Award Nominations but has unsurprisingly missed out on the big ones. That means it is probably excellent.
I would be exceptionally disappointed if Rosamund Pike did not win the Best Actress Oscar. It seems 2014’s Gone Girl was all but been forgotten. It was a devilish delight of a film, a truly unexpected and unflinching thriller such as graces the screen rarely. Pike was a revelation and it was her performance that carried the film and in my opinion she deserves the accolade. Click here for our Review of Gone Girl.
French Actress Marion Coutillard could be a contender for the Best Actress Oscar for Two Days One Night. She has had several wins and numerous nominations across the award circuit for her role as a young woman who must spend the weekend convincing her colleagues to keep her in her job rather than receiving a bonus for her dismissal. Lorillard is an experienced and talented actress, particularly touching in Rust and Bone.
- What Will Win – Boyhood
- Should it Win – No – but the general consensus is it is difficult to pick out any of the nominees that really deserves to win Best Picture, many have elements of greatness, but none were great
- What Will Win – Eddie Redmayne
- Should it Win – not really, although his performance is good, our writers think Keaton and Carrell were far better
- What Will Win – Rosamund Pike (surely they have to give Gone Girl some recognition)
- Should it Win – absolutely without a doubt
Best Supporting Actor
- What Will Win – Edward Norton
- Should it Win – absolutely without a doubt – I would watch it again just to watch him
Best Supporting Actress
- What Will Win – Patricia Arquette
- Should it Win – Patricia Arquette (she has never won an Oscar and deserves one because she’s awesome)
- What Will Win – Richard Linklater
- Should it Win – Inarritu (while Birdman was flawed – this man deserves recognition for creating a film unlike any other)
Best Adapted Screenplay
- What Will Win – The Imitation Game
- Should it Win – No – Inherent Vice should win
Best Original Screenplay
- What Will Win – Birdman
- Should it Win – Without a shadow of a doubt
- What Will Win – The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Should it Win – definitely
Best Film Editing
- What Will Win – The Imitation Game
- Should it Win – possibly
Best Original Song
- What Will Win – Everything is Awesome from the Lego Movie
- Should it Win – well it has to win something but personally I think Lost Stars is a better song