2015 Oscar Nominations Final Thoughts: Update as of February 22, 2015

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Award season is so addictive to me.  It’s one of my favourite times of the year; it’s like Christmas for movie fanatics.  It also makes winter slightly less awful.  This morning, the 2015 Oscar Nominations were announced and I couldn’t wait to check them!  I was like a child on Christmas morning going downstairs to check if Santa had delivered, and Santa did indeed deliver.  I will present each category and then present my thoughts as best as I can (considering that there are some movies on this list that I did not see).

I have decided to BOLD all of the movies I HAVE seen.

Best Picture

  • American Sniper
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Selma
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

This year the Academy decided to nominate eight movies in this category, and that’s fine with me as there were so many great films.  My first thought when I saw the list was, “YAY WHIPLASH!”  Whiplash has been my favourite movie of 2014, and it was pretty much snubbed at the Golden Globes besides J.K. Simmons winning the Best Supporting Actor Award in the Drama category.  What a great film.  It is my pick for Best Picture along with the Theory of Everything; however, Boyhood or Birdman may take the win.  It’s funny because everyone is saying that Birdman is going to win, but I am not convinced.  Any of these movies could take it; however, I don’t really want Selma or American Sniper to win.  Selma was a good movie, but it wasn’t an AMAZING movie.  American Snipier was a definitely a good movie too, but I find it is relying too much on its patriotism rather than its content.  Interesting that Foxcatcher did not make it into this category; I am really shocked.  The Imitation Game was a great movie, but perhaps a bit too Hollywood for the win, and although the Grand Budapest Hotel was amazing, it is typical Wes Anderson, so I am doubtful it will win.

Best Director

  • Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu – Birdman
  • Richard Linklater – Boyhood
  • Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
  • Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

I feel like Richard Linklater will win in this category simply because the movie he took on was filmed over 12 years; an interesting concept and feat.  If I were to pick anything else, I would say Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birman because it was an interesting movie with something new to offer.

Best Actor

  • Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
  • Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
  • Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
  • Michael Keaton – Birdman
  • Eddie Redmayne -The Theory of Everything

If this award does not go to Eddie Redmayne, I will be very upset.  His performance as Stephen Hawking for The Theory of Everything was beyond amazing; it was eerie how well he portrayed him.  The way he moved his body and truly showed the horrors of motor neurone disease was haunting and even Stephen Hawking himself said that Eddie’s performance was very accurate.  From running around to no movement at all, I simply can’t describe how awesome Eddie’s performance was in this movie.  Steve Carell definitely deserves his nomination because Steve Carell was one creepy dude in Foxcatcher.  Solid acting from Benedict Cumberbatch in Imitation Game; he definitely deserves to be here.  Michael Keaton was fantastic in Birdman and to me should be runner up for Best Actor; however, Eddie Redmayne’s performance was just too good to beat.  Bradley Cooper was excellent in American Sniper, but not an Oscar winning performance for me.  Bradley Cooper could have been easily replaced with David Oyelowo; his performance as MLK Jr. was incredible despite Selma being a bit dry at times.

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

Finally saw Wild with Reese Witherspoon, and she was quite excellent in it.  Both Both Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike were solid in their respective films, but Marion Cotillard was absolutely brilliant in Two Days, One Night.  Great movie and a flawless performance from Cotillard.  Julianne Moore in Still Alice; however, knocked it out of the park.  An amazing performance overall and an even better portrayal of someone suffering with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease.  It was incredibly real, heartbreaking, and moving.  They say that she will win, and dammit, I hope she does.  Reese Witherspoon was great in Wild, but Julianne Moore’s performance was just incredible.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Robert Duvall – The Judge
  • Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
  • Edward Norton – Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

All I can say about this one is that FLETCHER IS TAKING HOME OSCAR.  If J.K. Simmons does not win this, something is wrong with the world.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
  • Laura Dern – Wild
  • Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone – Birdman
  • Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

Meryl, are you only in this category because Meryl?  Into the Woods looked horrible, so I haven’t been in a rush to see it.  I think Patricia Arquette will take this one, but for some reason I am lukewarm about this category.  Also…no Jessica Chastain from A Most Violent Year?  She should have been in this category over Meryl Streep hands down.  Into the Woods looks incredibly terrible.  Laura Dern should not have been nominated for Wild, because while her performance was good, it simply was not nomination material.  She was barely in the movie, and nothing stood out (for me at least).  Kristen Stewart from Still Alice could have easily been in this category.

Best Original Screenplay

  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Foxcatcher
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Nightcrawler

My vote is for Birdman on this one, my second choice going to Nightcrawler because that was a great movie.  I think Birdman will win, and that’s fine with me!  No Selma I see…well, that’s fine because honestly, some of that movie could have been cut.  I would have maybe liked to have seen St. Vincent or A Most Violent Year in this category.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • American Sniper
  • The Imitation Game
  • Inherent Vice
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

Lots of American Sniper love from the Academy this year, which is interesting because the Golden Globes could care less about it.  My vote is for The Theory of Everything or Whiplash.  Fantastic movies!!!  Curious about Inherent Vice though, but it didn’t get great reviews.  We shall have to see.  No Gone Girl though?  A little disappointed that it didn’t get recognized.

Best Animated Feature Film

  • Big Hero 6
  • The Boxtrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • Song of the Sea
  • The Tale of Princess Kaguya

YES!  This category makes me happy in a sadistic way.  Why you may ask?  Because NO LEGO MOVIE; that’s why.  I hated The Lego Movie.  I thought it had very forgettable characters, a subpar plot, and a massive appeal to the new ADHD generation.  ‘SPLOSIONS!  SPACESHIP!  BAD GUY!  BOOM!  It was aimed at the Vine generation where kids need something new every six seconds.  While the animation was very impressive it was just a big advertisement for Lego with the man of the year, Chris Pratt.  I absolutely hated it.  It doesn’t even compare to such amazing films like Toy Story, Wall-E, Spirited Away, or the Nightmare Before Christmas just to name a few.  Having said all of that, How to Train Your Dragon 2…REALLY?  That movie was awful.  I remember sitting through it thinking, “When is this over?”  The Tale of Princess Kaguya was a visual orgasm and had a wonderfully traditional Japanese story.  It’s definitely one of the best animated films to come out in a long time.  Big Hero 6 was another disappointing piece of horrible.  Probably one of the worst Disney movies I have ever seen, which is sad because it had so much potential to be a really neat movie.  Disney movies simply don’t have any heart or depth in them anymore.  Whoever is overseeing these projects should be fired because not only are they boring and sub-par stories, but they are so simple and basic that I feel like kids these days aren’t being exposed to imaginative animation like they use to be.  Animated movies like The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Secret of Nymn, and Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland are just a few that I grew up with that had great stories and were always interesting.  Big Hero 6 was soooooooo dumbed down for kids and had ZERO depth.  I didn’t care about any of the characters, and it just felt like a Third Party animated movie…which is funny because it seems like the Third Party stuff is the best now.  The only good thing about Big Hero 6 was the animation, because damn, that movie looked good.  The Boxtrolls was a complete surprise because it was actually very interesting and full of creativity!!!  It felt like a movie from my childhood and was very engaging.  The stop-animation was also incredible.  Song of the Sea was incredible.  It was moving, told a beautiful story, and had incredible animation.  It was so magical and fun; it reminded me of a Studio Ghibli movie.  My vote is for Song of the Sea just because it was so unique.  The Tale of Princess Kaguya was FANTASTIC, but I have come to expect great things from Japanese animation, so it was no surprise that it was so good.  Song of the Sea was just an incredible adventure that more children need to see.

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Ida (Poland)
  • Leviathan (Russia)
  • Tangerines (Estonia)
  • Timbuktu (Mauritania)
  • Wild Tales (Argentina)

I have now only seen one of these, Ida, and it was just so-so for me.  It didn’t grab me like I thought it would; however, the cinematography was interesting (well, those are my boyfriend’s words, haha) and the acting was solid.  No Two Days, One Night in here?  After seeing it, I feel it should have at least gotten a nomination.

Best Documentary – Feature

  • Citizenfour
  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Last Days in Vietnam
  • The Salt of the Earth
  • Virunga

Having only seen Citizenfour and Virunga, I definitely can’t pick a favourite yet, but I have enjoyed the two that I have seen.  So far my favourite of the two would still be Citizenfour; however, Virunga was very well done and opened my eyes to some REALLY messed up stuff.  I would have really liked to have seen Alive Inside be nominated in this category as it was a very moving and touching film about how music can awaken those with dementia.

Best Original Score

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat
  • The Imitation Game – Alexandre Desplat
  • Interstellar – Hans Zimmer
  • Mr. Turner – Gary Yershon
  • The Theory of Everything – Johann Johannsson

Ah, one of my favourite categories!  Since I am such a score buff, I get way too into this category.  I am generally happy with the list.  My vote is for Johann Johannsson for Theory of Everything.  It was an incredibly beautiful score.  He is also a newcomer, so it would be nice to see him win.  Alexandre Desplat, on the other hand, is one of my favourite composers EVER (probably in my top 3) and both his scores for The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game were FANTASTIC.  Definitely deserving to win.  Hans Zimmer’s score for Interstellar was also incredibly powerful and truly presented the feeling of what it would be like to travel in space.  I listen to all the bolded scores above often (except Mr. Turner), and all of those are phenomenal.  The score to Mr. Turner was actually pretty bad sorry to say.  I didn’t enjoy the movie and the music was VERY repetitive and did not fit the movie very well.  Honestly, it kind of reminded my boyfriend and I of the score to Under the Skin.  The the same three notes OVER AND OVER AND OVER again.  Sad to see that Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor’s score for Gone Girl was not nominated as it was incredible and very creepy.  It fit the movie very well.  Another nomination that would have been nice to see here would have been Justin Hurwitz’s score for Whiplash; excellent stuff.  Mr. Turner definitely does not deserve to be nominated in this category.  Shame on the Academy for nominating this terrible score instead of Gone Girl or Whiplash.  The score to the Tale of Princess Kaguya was also very fantastic and easily could have been in this category.  Shame on you Academy.

Best Original Song

  • Everything is Awesome – The Lego Movie
  • Glory – Selma
  • Grateful – Beyond the Lights
  • I’m Not Gonna Miss You – Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me *
  • Lost Stars – Begin Again

Glory will probably win, but it wasn’t that great of a song. It’s movie about MLK Jr. and Common raps in it?  I didn’t get it.  Everything is Awesome fit The Lego Movie, but it’s a horrible song, let’s face it.  Haven’t heard the others, but will definitely get on that.  I am sure they are better than Everything is Awesome.  My vote is for Glen Campbell because at least he is respectable.  *I have also listened to the song (despite not seeing the film), “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” and it is an excellent song.  Out of everything nominated in this category, it is a beautiful song with fun diminished chords having a VERY Beatles-y sound mimicking the ambient vocals of John Lennon, the guitar of George Harrison, and the slow paced percussion of Ringo Starr.  Really enjoy this song and in a perfect world, it would win.

I realize there are other categories, but I am not going to comment on them…Interstellar for Best Visual Effects though!  C’MON!

What were your thoughts on the Oscar Nominations for 2015?  Happy, sad, pissed off?  I am a little sad to see that The Drop, Chef, Fury, A Most Violent Year, and Top Five didn’t get recognized, but what can you do.  Great year for movies!

Image Credit: http://stocklogos.com/sites/default/files/full-41.jpg

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