The Academy Awards. My favourite time of the year when we get to celebrate film and the amazing performances the year has brought us. It is a good year, but pervious years have been stronger. There’s no equivalent to 12 Years a Slave or Gravity, however there are some distinctive nominees. Such as the one of a kind Boyhood, the “one long take” comedy Birdman and the pastel coloured The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Sadly there have been some snubs that would have made the list more diverse. Female directors Angelina Jolie and Ava DuVernay failed to make the cut. DuVernay’s film Selma recieived little love from the Academy as well. Amy Adams and Jessica Chastain failed to get nominations, however they are multi Oscar nominees who sadly wouldn’t have won even if they did make the list. Adams did recently win the Golden Globe for her role in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes.
It’s a long blog post but I hope you enjoy it and engage in discussions of who you think should win, who was snubbed and do you think generally it’s a good list. I’ve highlighted the films that I think will win and put the films in Italics of the ones that I want to win.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory Of Everything
Whilst it may not be the most interesting list, it does feature some good films. I still need to see all of them but the ones I have seen are unique. For example, Boyhood stands out as being the most bold and unique piece of filmmaking. Having been shot over 12 years, the film seamlessly goes through each stage of their lives being one coherent film. For that reason, I believe that Boyhood will win and should win.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Wes Anderson is one of the most fascinating and visionary directors out of the list. Being what some would call an auteur, he is finally recognised in the Best Director and Best Picture category after receiving Best Original Screenplay nominations in the past. However, Richard Linklater has done what no director has done before. It must have taken courage to keep coming back year after year, having a vision but not knowing exactly how it will turn out. I commend him for making such a stripped back, raw and unique film that is one of a kind.
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory Of Everything
Interestingly enough, this list consists of nominees and no Oscar winners. So it’s an even playing field I guess. Now, whilst I’m not a huge Cumberbatch fan, he gave such a convicting performance. He is a great actor and showcased his skill brilliantly in The Imitation Game. However, after losing out to Redmayne at the Golden Globes, could his chances of Oscar glory fade away?
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory Of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
My heart says Rosamund Pike but my head says Julianne Moore. This list is a great list, I love all of these actresses. Pike gave a career defining performance as ‘Amazing Amy’ in the 2014 thriller Gone Girl. She gave such a complex and exciting performance. However, Moore is now a five time Academy Award nominee and recently won the Golden Globe for Best Actress, could Moore have her moment at the Oscars? Either way, it’s an incredible achievement for Pike for her first nomination and also for Felicity Jones. I haven’t seen The Theory of Everything yet but I’ve loved her since 2011’s indie hit Like Crazy. I’m personally happy that Cotillard has received her second nomination, after winning for La Vie En Rose in 2008.
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into The Woods
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone gave a hilarious stand out performance in Birdman, easily one of the highlights of the film. However, Arquette recently won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and has a lot of buzz around her performance spanning over 12 years. For me it is between these two to take home the trophy. However I’m really happy for Knightley’s second nomination, she was so good in The Imitation Game.
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
JK Simmons, Whiplash
JK Simmons has been receiving critical acclaim for his performance in Whiplash, having recently won the Golden Globe. I have yet to see the film but I expect great things from him. That’s why I think he will potentially win. However, Ethan Hawke gave an impressive performance spanning over 12 years. Having been nominated three times before, he is an actor that deserves due credit for his one of a kind performance in Boyhood.
Big Hero 6
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Song Of The Sea
The Tale Of Princess Kaguya
Fans of The Lego Movie are in despair. The film has been apparently been snubbed by the Academy Awards. Personally, I’m not that heartbroken. It’s a colourful and fun film, but the ending ruined it for me and I can’t look at the film that same way again. Now the big contenders are Disney’s Big Hero 6 and DreamWorks Animations How To Train Your Dragon 2. Personally I hope that latter wins. The first one was worthy but lost out to Toy Story 3, this time with Pixar out of the way, How To Train Your Dragon 2 deserves due credit for being a mature animation full of action, heartbreak and fun.
I’ve only mentioned some of the categories, please go on my Facebook page and there will be a link so you can see the full list of nominees.