It’s been a really strong year in regards to my apathy about award shows. I didn’t even finish watching the Golden Globes, and if I did watch the Emmys, I completely forgot it. This is good for me! Awards don’t matter, after all, unless it’s the Jackson Hole Elementary Spelling Bee Award, of which I am a proud recipient.
But, as there is no Nobel Prize for film and I have no way of getting to Cannes to give my personal opinion on what should win the Palme d’Or, so I talk about the Oscars instead. Heeeeere we go.
Nominees: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash
My Pick: If the gods are good, Birdman.
What I’d Like To Win: Birdman!
The heat of the debate in the Oscar-invested community is whether or not Linklater’s “TOUR DE FORCE” (a term I loathe, much like this movie!) Boyhood is going to take the golden man, or Iñárritu’s fascinating, complex character piece Birdman will.
By, uh. By description alone you can tell what I’m rooting for.
Both films were small, intimate pieces, that both had massive concepts behind them; Boyhood, with it’s twelve years of filmmaking, and Birdman, with it’s long, single-takes shots, seamlessly weaved together. However, when you take the concepts out and look at the individual elements of the film side by side, one clearly towers over the other in terms of quality and entertainment. Birdman has a vibrant cast who pour their heart and souls to their character, much like their characters pour their hearts and souls at each other. The script itself also weaves in with the one-take concept, considering it’s about the staging of a play which, in their own way, are done in “one take”. The movie feels like a play, which is why the concept works so well. However, the film would also work well without the concept.
Boyhood, on the other hand, has a striking concept as well, but the script fails to elevate it to any other level other than “IT TOOK SO LONG TO FILM LOOK!!!” which just reads as sort of manipulative, to me. The lead character is so incredibly drab it makes the movie hard to sit through. The dialogue is all things that been explored in previous Linklater films, and I just…. I just don’t care. At all. That’s it.
I’d be pretty okay if The Grand Budapest Hotel won as well, since Wes Anderson is awesome and he should be universally recognized as such.
There’s also another minor controversy in the Best Picture category, regarding the fact that only 8/10 slots for nominations are filmed. And I guess they just decided to… ignore Gone Girl… A Most Violent Year… Foxcatcher et cetera… but, what’cha gonna do. Last year I was upset that they snubbed Inside Llewyn Davis, and now I’m realizing that the Academy just actually doesn’t care about our feelings.
I mean, they nominated American Sniper for BEST PICTURE. That really just says it all, doesn’t it?
Nominees: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Birdman, Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game
My Pick: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
What I’d Like To Win: Iñárritu, no contest, but it would actually be really nice to see Wes get his!
As someone who has always championed technicality and artistry, Iñárritu is the clear frontrunner in my head. The amount of detail, dynamics, and complexities shown through the direction alone in Birdman is unparalleled by anything this year.
But of course, instead of painstaking attention to detail and fascinating camera work, the Academy is probably just going to give it to fucking Linklater, because IT TOOK TWELVE YEARS THAT’S SO LONG WOW!!! (Even though I can only take so many medium shots before I want to actually burn down the movie theater).
Still, my official pick is going to be Alejandro because for some reason I still have hope that the Academy will actually do right by me, truly showcasing my naivety.
It would be nice to see Wes Anderson get an Oscar for best director, but at this point it’s just sort of giving him one out of consolation for having such a unique and interesting style all these years. If he won, I wouldn’t be mad about it.
Also I can’t really fathom how Morten Tyldum (Imitation Game) is nominated over Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) and Ava DuVernay (Selma) but I mean, at least it’s not Clint Eastwood.
Nominees: Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne
My Pick: Michael Keaton
Who I’d Like To Win: Michael Keaton
If you guys didn’t know, I kind of liked the movie Birdman. That says it all about my choice.
Keaton’s biggest competitor so far this award season has been Eddie Redmayne however, who definitely showcased his ability in The Theory of Everything. He did a terrific job. But it was nowhere near as nuanced as Keaton’s. But the possibility of Eddie getting the award is incredibly high because what they say about actors playing people with disabilities getting Oscars is actually 100% true.
There were a lot of snubs in this category. Namely, Jake Gyllenhaal who was absolutely electrifying in Nightcrawler, as well as David Oyelowo (Selma) and Ralph Fiennes (Grand Budapest) who were both completely washed over in lieu of Bradley Cooper who… I mean, he’s a fine actor and all but did you really, really have to nominate him? DID YOU REALLY? The Academy is shoving American Sniper down my throat and I can’t stand it.
Nominees: Marion Cotillard, Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike, Reese Witherspoon
My Pick: Julianne Moore
Who I’d Like To Win: Rosamund Pike
You know what they say. Play someone with an illness or disability and you get an Oscar. Not to dig on Julianne Moore because she is a consistently great actress, but when they give her an award this year, it will really be more of a lifetime achievement award than the Best Actress of Last Year. Still Alice was a fine movie (I didn’t talk about it in my catch up reviews, mostly because I was watching it while I was writing them), and she did a really really good job, but… Rosamund was still better, in my eyes. She was pretty much the sole reason I went back to see Gone Girl so many times, because her interpretation of that now infamous character was just so, so stellar.
Nominees: Robert Duvall, Ethan Hawke, Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo, J.K. Simmons
My Pick: J.K. Simmons
What I’d Like To Win: Ed, Mark, or J.K.
Man, Whiplash was a freakin’ awesome movie.
Also this might be the category I hate the least! None of these people bothered me! I mean Ethan Hawke has never been my guy but I actually also didn’t hate him in Boyhood either. The thing I hated about Boyhood was the boy, which wasn’t really his fault, so y’know.
J.K. Simmons gonna win though, don’t even fool yourself into thinking anything different.
Nominees: Patricia Arquette, Laura Dern, Keira Knightly, Emma Sone, Meryl Streep
My Pick: Patricia Arquette
What I’d Like To Win: Emma Stone
I’m actually okay with Patricia Arquette winning for Boyhood because she was the sole reason I didn’t smash my face into my computer while watching that bland, palaver-filled nonsense.
Emma was really good in Birdman though, and convinced me she was actually a real actress and not your run of the mill teen drama girl, so that was cool.
I don’t know why Keira Knightly is nominated at all because her performance wasn’t exactly life changing, but I guess slim pickings this year? Whatever.
Nominees: Citizenfour, Finding Vivian Maier, Last Days in Vietnam, The Salt of the Earth, Virunga
My Pick: Citizenfour
What I’d Like To Win: I dunno. Whatever. My favorite doc of the year wasn’t even nominated, so.
Admittedly I didn’t watch every documentary this year, but I did watch Citizenfour, which is apparently the front runner. It makes sense because it’s definitely the most topical documentary out of this particular bunch, and it was some really compelling stuff.
I’m pretty sad my Jodorowsky doc didn’t make the cut, but I think even documentaries about him are too abstract for the Academy to handle. Understandably so.
Nominees: Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea, The Tale of Princess Kaguya
My Pick: How to Train Your Dragon 2
What I’d Like To Win: The Lego Movie :(((
The Academy Awards do not give a single fuck about animated films. This is common knowledge. I didn’t even see How to Train Your Dragon 2 but it’s probably gonna win because it’s the one with the most buzz around it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they gave it to the Disney vehicle like they have for the past two years, though.
The Lego Movie and The Book of Life got screwed. F you, Academy. I thought I trusted you with the Animated Feature category after Rango won in 2011 but you’ve spit in my face since then, and you should be ashamed.
Nominees: Ida, Leviathan, Tangerines, Timbuktu, Wild Talkes
My Pick: Ida
What I’d Like To Win: Is it too early for Xavier Dolan’s Mommy to win? Yes? #MOMMY2K16
I didn’t brush up on my Foreign films this year, whoops. Hollywood Reporter says Ida, I’ll just go with them.
Nominees: American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Whiplash
My Pick: Boyhood
What I’d Like To Win: Whiplash god damn!!!
I can’t believe American Sniper is nominated, that is actually laughable.
Anyway the editing was probably the best part Boyhood so I guess they’re gonna win, even though Whiplash’s cuts were soooo well executed, god DAMN.
And I’m actually offended and appalled that Gone Girl wasn’t nominated for editing but I’m starting to learn that life just isn’t fair.
Nominees: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Interstellar, Into the Woods, Mr. Turner
My Pick: Grand Budapest
What I’d Like To Win: Grand Budapest
Say what you want about Wes Anderson & his team of pals, but they know how to design a fucking set. Outstanding as usual, corporeal.
Though the design in Interstellar was the best part of the movie, and the design in Into the Woods was absolutely 100% perfect and true to the musical, so either of those winning would be A-okay with me as well.
Nominees: Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ida, Mr. Turner, Unbroken
My Pick: Birdman
What I’d Like To Win: Birdman do not even talk to me right now
Look we can all appreciate Wes Anderson and his color schemes and flawless symmetry but don’t mess with me on this one aight thanks bye
Nominees: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar, X-Men: Days of Future Past
My Pick: Intersellar
What I’d Like To Win: This is a fun category!!! Let’s make everything win!!
2014 was an awesome year for popcorn movies, you guys. Cap 2, the new Apes movie, Guardians… all of those movies were like, wonderful. I felt more emotions in Captain America 2 than I did for Boyhood, and Cap 2 was a freakin’ huge studio blockbuster while Boyhood was the small indie arthouse thing. Like, what parallel universe have I stumbled into?
As this category is for visual effects though, I’m gonna have to go with Nolan. Good stuff this year, bros.
Nominees: Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Guardians of the Galaxy
My Pick: Grand Budapest
What I’d Like To Win: They were all good, and I’m really not picky about makeup.
I dunno, I liked Tilda Swinton’s getup and Saoirse’s birthmark shaped like Mexico. Steve Carell’s nose was pretty fun though.
Nominees: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Inherent Vice, Into the Woods, Maleficent, Mr. Turner
My Pick: Grand Budapest
What I’d Like To Win: Grand Budapest
Not picky about this category either, but dem colors!!
Nominees: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Interstellar, Mr. Turner, The Theory of Everything
My Pick: The Theory of Everything
What I’d Like To Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel, but only because my fav’s weren’t nominated.
This category wins the Oscar for “Category Maddison Hates the Most this Year” because Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross’s soundtrack for Gone Girl was a pivotal factor in why that movie worked so well and they didn’t even nominate it. Also, Birdman’s score was completely out there and AWESOME and yet of course The Academy are gonna go with the safe route, picking whatever sounds the closest to a John Williams score (not to dig on him because Jurassic Park is my shit) because they’re boring old white people who don’t actually know anything about music.
Nominees: The Lego Movie, Selma, Beyond the Lights, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, Begin Again
My Pick: Glory, Selma
What I’d Like To Win: Glory or…. EVERYTHING IS AWESOMMMEE!!!
I’m picking Glory because Common is the shit.
If Everything is Awesome wins, though, then The Lonely Island will be on their way to an EGOT which would I think just be a big boost in morale for this country.
Nominees: American Sniper, Birdman, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Interstellar, Unbroken
My Pick: American Sniper
What I’d Like To Win: I dunno, Birdman I guess ‘cuz I like that movie best.
For a space movie, Interstellar’s sound was wweeeeirdly off-par, especially when you compare it to last year’s Gravity. Dunno why it’s nominated, but whatever.
Nominees: American Sniper, Birdman, Interstellar, Unbroken, Whiplash
My Pick: Whiplash
What I’d Like To Win: Whiplash
Too bad Into the Woods isn’t nominated, I thought their mix was swell; plus it’s pretty hard to pull off a musical that effectively. Whiplash’s mix was DOPE though so I’m hoping for a win there–though it’s a competition between that and American
Nominees: American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Inherent Vice, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash
My Pick: The Imitation Game
What I’d Like To Win: Inherent Vice because that’s actually just great that it’s nominated honestly. Go PTA!
the bullshit script
that was American Sniper
over Gone Girl
that is just
No lie, Gone Girl was maybe my favorite screenplay of the entire year and they just…. wow. Wow. Wooow. Wow. I try so hard not to buy into the “The Academy is Sexist!!!” thing but this shit…
Nominees: Birdman, Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Nightcrawler
My Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel
What I’d Like To Win: ANYTHING BUT BOYHOOD. RE-NOMINATE AMERICAN HUSTLE FROM LAST YEAR, I WOULD RATHER SEE THAT WIN THAN THE DRAB, DISCONNECTED, STONER-WISDOM SPOUTING NONSENSE THAT WAS BOYHOOD
Please Wes. Crush Linklater. Just crush him.
Welp, that’s it for my picks. Who will win? Who’s speech will move us to tears? When will all the existing Academy members will die? What alien species will overrun our planet first? Time will tell!