Freitag, 16. Januar 2015

OSCARS 2015 - Nominations & Reaction

 Hello there puny humans,
yesterday the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences revealed their nominees for this year's Oscars. Admittedly, I didn't get to see alot of the films they nominated yet, but I think I've been spending enough time enjoying movie news to at least know most of them. As usual there were some well deserved recognitions and some huge disappointments too. But without further ado, I want to present to you the different categories and candidates (of course with some commentary on my part): 

Makeup and Hairstyling
The Grand Budapest Hotel 
Guardians of the Galaxy

Comment: Guardians had some very cool make-up, but it was still pretty Star Trek-ish. Foxcatcher on the other hand gave us something we haven't seen before: An ugly Channing Tatum!

Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into The Woods
Mr. Turner

Comment: Period-pieces like Mr. Turner almost get an instant nomination in this category. However I think that this one ist between The Grand Budapest Hotel and Into The Woods. The latter looked very cool in the trailer and the former just stands out through cleverness and attention for details. 

Best Score
Alexandre Desplat, (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Alexandre Desplat, (The Imitation Game)
Hans Zimmer, (Interstellar)
Gary Yershon, (Mr. Turner)
Jóhann Jóhannsson, (The Theory Of Everything)

Comment: Well, statisticly, Alexandre Desplat has the biggest chance to take this one home. But it's nice to see Hans Zimmer up there for his amazing organ sound on Interstellar. 

Best Original Song 
"Everything Is Awesome" from The Lego Movie
"Glory" from Selma
"Grateful" from Beyond The Lights
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me
"Lost Stars" from Begin Again

Comment: The Lego Movie, yay! A fun nomination. Also seeing "Lost Stars" from Begin Again getting some attention makes me very happy. The movie itself was alright, but Adam Levine's version of the main song really stuck with me and I listened to it over and over again. But a very important nomination is missing: Billy Boyd's "The Last Goodbye" from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies truely arose strong emotions in millions of Middle-earth and cinema fans, and was a far superior song to the pop-tune "Grateful"! A real shame! Personally, I think the Award just might go to Glen Campbell, as it is said to be the last release of the musician suffering from Alzheimer's disease.  

Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Song Of The Sea
The Tale Of Princess Kaguya

Comment: No Lego Movie?! That's really too bad. Interesting too see a less traditional animated feature like Song Of The Sea on the list. And it's always nice to have a Japanese film like The Tale Of Princess Kaguya in the mix. 

Film Editing
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

Comment: Not too sure about this one as I haven't seen all the flicks on there. The Grand Budapest had some very great editing, but it was typically Wes Anderson and nothing ground-breaking, so maybe this one goes to a film that got snubbed somewhere else. 

Best Cinematography
Birdman, (Emmanuel Lubezki)
The Grand Budapest Hotel, (Robert Yeoman)
Ida, (Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski)
Mr. Turner, (Dick Pope)
Unbroken, (Roger Deakins)

Comment: I really am missing Interstellar and Nightcrawler on this list. Both beautiful films that achieved a lot of story-telling and created an amazing atmosphere just through their camera work. Might not matter however, because Birdman is a hot candidate with its the-whole-film-looks-like-a-single-shot style. 

Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Guardians Of The Galaxy
X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Comment: It can almost be considered a cinematic tragedy that two visually breath-taking films like Interstellar and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes have to compete against each other. Both of these movies had better effects than a lot of the winners of past years, but if I had to put my money on it, I'd give the award to Interstellar. Simply because a scientific paper was released based on its animation of a black hole. 

Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything

Comment:  Here we go. I haven't seen any of these films yet. But maybe the Academy gives it to Inherent Vice, as it is the only big nomination it got. I'm really not sure though. 

Original Screenplay
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Comment: A tough one! But I think if we focused on the "originality" then The Grand Budapest Hotel needs to take this one home. It is such a complex but yet simple story, with awesome characters and hilariously clever ideas. Birdman, however, is praised for its philosophical undertones, and Nightcrawler had some great social commentary. We'll see... 

Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, (Boyhood)
Laura Dern, (Wild)
Emma Stone, (Birdman)
Meryl Streep, (Into The Woods)
Keira Knightley, (The Imitation Game)

Comment: Well, I guess no one is surprised to find Meryl Streep's name on the list. In her thirty-seven year career, the legendary actress has been nominated 19 times for an Academy Award of which she won three. She holds the record of most-Oscar-nominated actress of all time, as well as the record for most Golden Globe Awards with 8 wins out of an unbelievable 29 nominations. She's always a good pick, but a woman who's missing here in my opinion is Carrie Coon, who played a small but very memorable part in Gone Girl. Actresses have been nominated for much less. 

Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, (The Judge)
Ethan Hawke, (Boyhood)
Edward Norton, (Birdman)
Mark Ruffalo, (Foxcatcher)
JK Simmons, (Whiplash)

Comment: The Judge really tried hard to be an Oscar-contender, but best supporting actor is its only nomination. A derserved one nonetheless, but JK Simmons' performance in Whiplash has gotten a lot of love from critics and he is defineítely the frontrunner in this race. The hopes of seeing Andy Serkis up there were always utopian. No big surprise he didn't get a spot. 

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, (Two Days, One Night)
Felicity Jones, (The Theory Of Everything)
Julianne Moore, (Still Alice)
Rosamund Pike, (Gone Girl)
Reese Witherspoon, (Wild)

Comment: I really hope this one goes to Rosamund Pike, who did an exceptional job portraying "Amazing Amy" in the riveting thriller Gone Girl. Her competition is not to be underestimated however: Felicity Jones gave a strong performance in The Theory of Everything, Cotillard and Witherspoon have both won before, and Julianne Moore is with five nomination not quite Streep-Level, but definitively an Oscar-darling. 

Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory Of Everything

Comment: In the last couple of years it was always pretty clear which actor would take home the gold, so it is refreshing to see that the race is a bit more open this time. Keaton and Redmayne both received a Best Actor Golden Globe this year (remember the Globes distinguish between "Drama" and "Comedy or Musical"), but the other gentlemen on this list all gave fantastic performances too. Yet there is an actor who showed incredible acting talent this year and most certainly should be on this list: Jake Gyllenhaal. I'm extremely disappointed that he got snubbed and it was a real WTF?!-moment when I saw he did. A feeling that I had quite often with the Academy in the past and it always makes me lose faith in their judgement a little more.

Best Director
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, (Birdman)
Richard Linklater, (Boyhood)
Bennett Miller, (Foxcatcher)
Wes Anderson, (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Morten Tyldum, (The Imitation Game)

Comment: Somehow the Academy must not like Christopher Nolan. Despite the fact that he is the only director ever to have six of his films in IMDB's list of top 100 movies of all time, he has so far never been nominated for an Oscar in the category Best Director. So once again Interstellar is left out, but I have to admit that the contenders presented are all very strong as well. Boyhood might be somewhat of a frontrunner, but The Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman are very close behind.

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory Of Everything

Comment: Now this is the point where I am straight-up angry. All the other categories have only five nomination slots and so when I don't find my personal favorite on there but the rest of the picks is good, I can at least tell myself that it must have been a close or tough call. But in 2010, the Best Picture category was extended to ten films per year. So to see only eigh films on this list and none of my Top 3 films of 2014 is almost an insult to me. Irrespective of wether they could possibly win or not, films like Interstellar and Nightcrawler most definitely deserve the respect of a nomination for their artistic value and ambition alone. A big let down and something that makes me less excited for the upcoming event.

So these are my thoughts on the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards. Obviously, I left out a few categories that didn't really need commenting, except maybe for Interstellar being up for Best Sound Mixing eventhough people complained about the dialogue being overshadowed by the loud noises of the spacecraft. A point of critique that I don't share, and apparently neither does the Academy. You will find the full list of Nominees over here. Despite a few significant poor choices, I am still looking forward to Hollywood's biggest event on February 22nd. Especially because Neil Patrick Harris is hosting. What did you think of the nominations? Feel free to comment below!

Your Cinemartian

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