Well it appears the Academy Oscars are once again upon us, a brilliant spectacle where the best of the 7th art are judged anually by the most prestiegeous and best quallified white wrinkly old american men... Yeah, although the movies may change the judges will not, and neither will the idea of this award show being heavilly influenced on politics, it is indeed a shame when something so important and universal has judges like this: But, things are changing, slowly, but changing, and as the years pass the winners in each category are becomming more diverse and in a way, better. So let's hope this year of 2015 brings some big winners for this show, but before winning, they must be nominated and so I will use this thread to talk about each category and it's nominees in detail, and the first one will be the biggie, Best Picture!
Here we go, let's start with the biggest award in the show, Best Picture, the award to determine which movie was superior than the others, which one represents not only the movies, but the society during the year. Let's see what films are nominated to this great award.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Who would expect a movie like this to come out! Especially with Michael Keaton starring in it, it's almost a match made in heaven. Birdman, directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu is the story of Riggan Thomas, once known quite well to movie theater goers as an iconic super hero called "The Birdman" had recently turned down a fourth installment of the franchise. Now washed up, he attempts to reinvent himself as a director by staging a new adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story called "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love". The events leading up to the Saturday night premiere prove to be one disaster after another as the original lead actor is injured while on set and Riggan scrambles to find a replacement, but the replacement proves to be exactly who he needs - a method actor who takes the job way too seriously. But Riggan has a hard time juggling between the set, his replacement actor, his equally washed up daughter, and a host of other disasters that prevent a proper staging of the play. Meanwhile, a New York Times critic who Riggan has to woo threatens to shut down production of the play before it even starts with a scathing review of the opening night performance. Does Riggan have a hit on his hands or will he even make it past opening night?
The story alone captivated me into watching this movie, but I got so much more, from great acting performances by every actor(yes, even Zach Galifianakis) and great directing illusions that make movies a worthwhile experience, in this case I'm referring in the style chosen by the director in making it seem that most of the movie is being filmed in one continuos take. Mix that with some great camera angles, amazing special effects and a former super-hero as your lead, and you have a movie to remember.
Let's face it, wether you've seen it or not, you probably already heard about this movie, and also know what the big fuss is about, but anyway, I'll say it again, because it's something worth mentioning.
Boyhood is the film made by director Richard Linklater who took it upon himself to tell the story of a young boy's life from childhood through those awful teenage years, but instead of getting diferent actors to portray the kid in diferent ages, our friend Richard decided to film the movie for 12 FREAKING YEARS! making anual recordings and also taking that time to write the rest of the script, surelly his procrastination knows no bounds. All joking aside this movie is one of those mind childs that some people put their whole time and money into, and this one shows just how much love someone can have for a project, also the acting is surprisingly solid, the camera work is conventional something that fits a movie as simplistic as this, a great way to show life to those who are living it.
The Theory of Everything
Honestly I'm surprised no one has made this movie sooner, a melodrama about the life of Stephen Hawking with his wife Jane Hawking, basically, it's a tissue movie guys, it's obviously that, actually this couple's actual life together is already a tear-jerker, and that is why a movie about them doesn't come as a surprise. The acting between our two leads Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, seems like they were the lovers themselves, I bought it so well it felt like the real life of the couple. All in all a pretty solid film, especially if you like some tear-jerker melodramas.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Four words: "Directed by Wes Anderson", there you go, you honestly don't need a lot more to imagine the experience you'll have viewing this film. Now if you have never seen a Wes Anderson flick I guess I can try and explain it, although, in the end you have to watch one to really know what it's like. The story centers about a book, well, actually it's about an author, no, in fact it's about who this author talked to and where. And the story of that person life as a bell boy in the prestigious hotel called The Grand Budapest, the story is settled during pre-Worl War 2 europe, and it's a great comedy/drama with enjoyable performances that immerse you into a tale style story, all in all a very entertaining and clever movie that I'll see again and again and again.
Well, not to sound hateful, or racist at all, because I actually liked the movie, but, I sort of get the vibe of "Obligatory Race Movie", especially with the other two years having Django and 12 Years a Slave, I don't know it just looks bad that there's always that one movie, if there were more than one, I bet it would look better and less forced. But my weird way of thinking aside, I actually enjoyed this movie, Ava DuVernay brings us the story behind Martin Luther King's campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. And me being very ignorant on these years of history was surprised by learning so much about the hardships of a people and the battle a man puts to defend his ideals for a better world, it's a great historical piece and honestly 2 oscar nominations are not enough for this work, hopefully it gets more recognition.
The Imitation Game
Yet another historical movie, gee these judges sure love to remember the past. So, Benedict Cumberbatch is playing a genius, you wonder if he plays one long enough, how long will take for him to become one? Well this particular genius is mathematician Alan Turing, who, during the 2nd World War basically outright won for the allies by finding a way to decipher nazi messages and codes, of course this is done with a team full of colurfull characters, including Keira Knightley doing a wonderfull job as she's known to, but not all is right, for you see, Alan is gay, and back then gays weren't that much apreciatted, in fact, Alan Turing was knighted for his services for the crown after he died, that's kind of a dick move there Britain. Basically the wholle movie is centered on the importance that the job of this man and his team was, and how he was ostracized by his homosexuality in the process. A strong movie displaying values of hatred that are now a thing of the past... right?
Oh boy, this movie, this was a weird one, especially for me since my musical background is basically playing the recorder during music class(did anyone actually learn something from that btw?) so I couldn't connect to some parts of this film's story, but I was intrigued in seeing where it would go. The story's about a young and talented drummer attending a prestigious music academy finds himself under the wing of the most respected professor at the school, one who does not hold back on abuse towards his students. The two form an odd relationship as the student tries to achieve greatness, and the professor tries to stop him. I would recommend it to those who like good drama and good music, because both of those parts are done phenomenally, Damien Chazelle really knows what to do to bring this movie and it's battles to life, and it entertained me greatly.
Wait, seriously... you've got to be kidding me, a Bradley Cooper war movie is nominated for best picture...Really!?...Oh, it appears it has 5 other nominations! Seriously, while Selma only has 2 this one gets 6!?
Yeah, in case you didn't get it, I don't like this movie, and here's why, Bradley Cooper plays Chris Kyle a Navy SEAL sniper becomes legendary for his accuracy and amount of lifes he has saved, sure enough after so much time spent on the battlefield he goes through the normal trauma that all army heroes go through of not being able to live a normal life in a loving and care-free environment. Now that's all fine and good, in fact this movie could go towards a deep analysis of a veteran's psyche, something not yet fully explored for these new veterans. But when Clint Eastwood is the one driving this truck don't expect any turns, basically all I could think was Clint pretending he was Cooper in the movie, making him go through an 80's war movie, rather than a good drama, it gets to a point that it's interpretation of war is literally like every good conservative american things, black and white, good and evil, there is no neutral ground, and evil has a face to hate.
Unfortunatelly my hate doesn't stop there, you see one of the nominations this movie has is Best Writing for an Adapted Screenplay, meaning there was an original source, in this case a book, with the same name, and you know what, when you read it, it's a completly diferent story, it's analytical, it's deep, it's dramatic, but most of all it's smart, something this movie isn't, if this gets an Oscar of any kind, I'll be thorougly disappointed.
Well, that's all for this category, next time I'll focus on the Leading Roles Male and Female.
Now for the lead actors and actresses, we've had some great performances this time around, even some surprising results. And it all comes down to who could act better in any movie, so let's see the nominees.
Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
Whoa, that's Steve Carell? Just how much make-up is on his face? Goodness that's kind of distracting... But regardless the diferent face, let's talk about the roll, Steve plays John du Pont an eccentric millionaire who invites an Olympic wrestler to live and train at his estate. The story of this movie didn't really suck me in, it wasn't as interesting as other nominees, and well, I don't really fancy Steve's drama acting, I'm not saying it's bad, just, that it shows that he is much more comfortable doing comedy roles.
Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
(Sigh) Do people really think he's that good of an actor, I mean, he's okay and all, but I wouldn't say he's great, especially in this movie. I already said my opinion about the movie itself, but his acting did not help the cause, it was sub-par, I don't know if it was his fault or the director, but I've seen him do a better job before, so yet again, I do not think this is a fair nomination.
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
I've said it before and I'll say it again, this kind of role is a very familliar turf for Cumberbatch, wether it's TV or movies, he has already played a genius of some sorts. And he does not do a bad job at it, he knows how to act the part, he shows confidence while saying his lines, and gives proof that he studied his role well, so a good job from a good actor, I can say that it was just as expected.
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
So Michael Keaton returns! And he's playing his life, kind of, without the crazy parts, I hope. So, this casting choice was, by far, the best of the season, the story that centers on an actor who can't get rid of the enormous recognition a single role gave him, played by an actor recognized by either Batman or Beetlejuice. Just perfect, and his acting showed the true bad side of that recognition, it was strong, dark and crazy, something that I never expected, and it turned out beautiful, I seriously hope Keaton continues making movies of the same caliber.
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
My first reaction when I saw this movie was, who? My mind was not getting any recollection of the actor and what he had previously done, but a quick stop at imdb fixed that, and apparently I have seen him once before as Marius from Les Mis... Boy that was a forgetful role, but not this one, this time Eddie did a great job playing young Stephen Hawking, he had an immersive style and a convincing attitude brought this great genious on the big screen, a delightful performance to watch.
Now for the actresses, the leading ladies of the show.
Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)
Marion in this movie plays Sandra who has just been released from the hospital to find that she no longer has a job. According to management, the only way Sandra can hope to regain her position at the factory is to convince her co-workers to sacrifice their much-needed yearly bonuses. Now, over the course of one weekend, Sandra must confront each co-worker individually in order to win a majority of their votes before time runs out. It's a touching story with a nice analysis of the human mind in the way of, just what are you willing to do for others. Marion does a great job playing this troubled yet strong woman, and makes us root for her to the very end.
Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
What a twist! Okay not really, I already mentioned the great chemistry Jones and Eddie shared on this movie, so it's no wonder that she was nominated as well. She does a great job playing Jane Hawking, and they both go together so well, I almost forgot they were acting, they made a great melodrama couple, and deserve the nominations.
Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Moore brings to life the character of Alice Howland a happily married with three grown children, a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words. When she receives a diagnosis of Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested. The story's nothing new, but still interesting, if there was more talk about the disease, and less focus on the sappy family drama, but, oh well, you get what you get, and we got a great performance out of Julianne that makes you feel for the character and her problems, sure some of the other casting was distracting like, Alec Baldwin and the little vampire girl Stewart, but nonetheless it was a great job on Moore's part.
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Women! Why must you ruin everything!?... Sorry, but this movie sort of gives that vibe, not in a bad way, more in a, don't trust your heart too much way. Or does it? Could it all be lie? Well the story goes as follows. On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick's portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife? It's a dark and interesting mistery with our leading lady playing a great part in warping our mind while we try to figure it out ourselves, a must-watch if you're a mistery lover.
Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
Yay it's drama galore in Oscar town, seriouly people ligth the hell up, viewing these movies made me somewhat depressed... Well, Reese plays Cheryl Strayed who with the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother, has lost all hope. After years of reckless, destructive behavior, she makes a rash decision. With absolutely no experience, driven only by sheer determination, Cheryl hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. So basically it's a journey drama, our character goes through many changes, learns important lessons, etc. etc. The story, again is nothing new, but I see the Witherspoon did a good job performing this character, she was emotional when she needed, calm and collected when it called for it, she made a good portrayal of someone in the midst of changing her life.
That ends the leading roles, next, the ones who support the big ones... the supporting roles.
Okay now for the supporters, those whose job is to make the leads look better.
Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Poor Robert Duvall, why do you get bad movies now? Okay the movie wasn't bad, per se, it was well shot and well cast, I mean Duvall is a murderous judge, love it. But it's just SO clichéd it's not even funny, for a drama as serious as this it has a huge amount of clichés to be taken seriously. But Duvall's performance was great nonetheless, because, well it's a part that fits him, an old murderous judge, it was just good casting.
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
Daddy, is that you? That basically sums it up nicelly, it was his part, Dad, that's how it's even credited. And he does a good job, he gives away the vibe of paternity, a figure of security, pride and manliness when you're young, a friend later turning into that old man who likes to talk about things that you really don't care about. Hawke plays each step of a father amazingly, just like most actors in this movie.
Edward Norton (Birdman)
YAY! The return of the nazi-man! But here he's just an actor, so no, there isn't extreme violence from him, but there is a good funny performance. Norton really did bring a lighter side to this story, and made it much more entertaining to watch Keaton when they're sharing a scene. Edward did what a supporting role must do, and it was fantastic.
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
Ummmm, meh, he was okay, I guess, to be fair he wasn't bad or anything, but that just sums up the whole movie for me, I didn't find any part of it particullarly enjoyable, but nothing I could hate either, this whole movie is in the grey area for me, I think if you want a better opinion, you should take your own conclusions.
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
He wants photos, photos of Spiderman! Yeah, imagine that, but much more brutal, demanding, and overall, just sickening attitude. Simmons did a great job playing the antagonist in the young drummer's career, punishing him, but at the same time teaching him some important lessons, it's a cruel but mesmerizing role, that I won't soon forget.
Now for the supporting actresses.
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
And now it's mommy's turn, I could basically say the same I said with Ethan Hawke here, so there's really no need to eleborate, Patricia plays the mother in Boyhood, and the characterization is very well made, she acts like a mom, and that's what she was supposed to do.
Laura Dern (Wild)
Yet another mother, but this one is just... well, I don't think it's Oscar material. Basically whenever this character was on screen I always thought, "So when is she gonna die?" Without me even knowing the premisse of the movie, it was an obvious performance with your tragic clichés of a lost loved one. Predictable and, somewhat bland.
Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
Good actress performs with also good actor, and they're both british!? Chemistry! Yeah, it is a given they would go well on screen if you look at it simplisticly, but still it is true, Keira shines in this performance as a great supporter of Cumberbatch's character and it's struggle managing to also have an interesting story herself. The two of them made the movie quite enjoyable.
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Ah Emma, how can I ever hate your performances, you are just so enjoyable to watch, and not only because of the looks(although she is very beautiful) her acting style always seems to suck me in, and this movie is no exception, a great representation, and a fantastic way to create doubt in our minds at the end of the film.
Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
D'ARGH! What the hell is that thing?! My god what happened to her? Christ that looks weird! And that's basically all of the emotion I got from the movie, it's a bland Disney live action movie, there's not much to it, including Streep's performance. In a way it represents how bland Disney can really be as a whole when it doesn't care about a project.
But now we'll see what happens when they do care, next stop the Best Animated Features.
Here we go, let's get light-hearted and happy again! It's time for the Best Animated Feature nominees. Big Hero 6
Awww, look at it, isn't it just adorable? But then again it's an obvious money grabber because it's super heroes and Japan references... But it's just so cute in every way. Yeah it's a Disney animated feature meaning two things, it's gonna be good, it's gonna look good, but it'll take your money and your soul. But we're used to it, we've been doing it since childhood. The story is about robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who learns to harness his genius-thanks to his brilliant brother Tadashi and their like-minded friends: adrenaline junkie Go Go Tamago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred. When a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo(seriously), Hiro turns to his closest companion-a robot named Baymax-and transforms the group into a band of high-tech heroes determined to solve the mystery.
It's light-hearted, it's fun, it's touching, well animated, and it has some good action. Basically it's a Disney cartoon.
Was this movie THAT good? Really, does it deserve an Oscar, I mean this studio has put out so much better movies, this is very sub-par for them in my book. Well, what's the story? The Boxtrolls, a community of quirky, mischievous creatures who have lovingly raised an orphaned human boy named Eggs in the amazing cavernous home they've built beneath the streets of Cheesebridge. When the town's villain, Archibald Snatcher(Hahahaha, what?!), comes up with a plot to get rid of the Boxtrolls, Eggs decides to venture above ground, "into the light," where he meets and teams up with fabulously feisty Winnifred. Together, they devise a daring plan to save Eggs' family. Ummm, well, that sounds like a lot of movies, regardless that, it's extremly lacking in originality, except on the design of the trolls, the rest is just bland and boring, especially the villain, a villain with such a ridiculous name should be a bit interesting. In my point of view you can skip this movie.
How to Train Your Dragon 2
YES! Dreamworks you did it again! What a great sequel, if anyone asks you to give an examle of a great sequel you should say Star Wars Episode V, but this is also a great one. The second chapter of the trilogy returns to the fantastical world of the heroic Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless. The inseparable duo must protect the peace - and save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago. But that's just a very brief synopsis, first, if you can, see this movie on IMAX because it is beautiful, even better looking than the first one in my opinion, the story's still strong, and family is still a heavilly explorated theme. It's pretty, it's cool, it's How to Train Your Dragon.
Song of the Sea
I know I said Big Hero 6 was adorable, but I take it back THIS is true adorableness, I mean, just look at that poster and tell me you don't want to say "Aww". But just being adorable is not enough, the story and animation play a big part. Saoirse is a child who is the last of the selkies, women in Irish and Scottish legends who transform from seals into people. She escapes from her grandmother's home to journey to the sea and free fairy creatures trapped in the modern world. And she's just so precious while doing it... Well, the story is indeed very interesting diving into the Northern British mythology, with some references to other countries' it's very light-hearted, well paced, and beautifully animated, each frame is just filled with adorableness, it's a cute movie, but a good movie.
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Studio Ghibli animation about Japanese mythology! Sold! I loved this movie, but then again, I love a lot of Studio Ghibli's movies, I even kind of liked the Wind Rises. This movie just shows the quality this studio has, taking a known japanese folk-tale of a princess that grew from a bamboo stalk. I won't say anything else for those who don't know the story because it's something you must experience yoursleves, be it reading the tale, or watching this utterly beautiful animated master-piece, it's a great movie, and I'd recommend it to anyone.
Wait... that's it for the Animated movies? WHAT THE HELL!?
Okay, now it's time for the real bitching, I'm gonna talk about my biggest problems with these Oscars, the snubs, the bad nominations, and overall complaints.
First - Lego Movie Snub
Seriously? The Lego Movie, a movie so clearly adored by everyone, a movie that showcases how amazing animation can be, and that teaches the important lessons about growing up, this movie isn't nominated for best Animated Feature?! I wouldn't be so upset if something like Boxtrolls wasn't also nominated, but it is! So what the hell!? Did they really think a movie like that is better than the Lego Movie!? ARGH, it's just so stupid!
Second - Selma Snub
Two Oscars, this great, interesting, well acted, well directed movie, just got 2 Oscars. While the Clint Eastwood America-fest 2014 get's how many again? That's right 6!!! Including best adaptation, just, god damn it Oscars, it's almost like you enjoy making cinema lovers angry. This issue has already been discussed greatly with members of the staff of Selma making their opinion heard, I honestly hope they at least, kick-ass in the international awards.
Third - Guardians of the Galaxy Snub
Okay, seriously, WHAT THE HELL ACADEMY!? Makeup and Hairstyling and Visual Effects? That's it? No soundtrack, no Chris Pratt nomination, no Best Adaption!? This is just shamefull.
Fourth - American Sniper's Totally Not Political Nominations
.Actor in a Leading Role
.Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Just, urgh, screw you.
Well, that's about all I found worth mentioning about this years Oscars, what're your picks for this year? Do you have any complaints about this year's selection, or every years at that? Were you surprised about any nomination? Feel free to talk about it.
Anything by Wes Anderson...YUS!
If J.K. Simmons doesn't win supporting act, I'm gonna go ape shit.
Yeah, I also think he did the best job of them all, his role had such a great intensity to it.