UPDATED @ 12:15 a.m on February 23rd
I was half-right.
No surprises in the acting categories.
Birdman took the big prize but I really thought Linklater would be given Best Director. So although everyone knows that Boyhood is the better film, they still chose the shallow showbiz story.
And Best Screenplay for Birdman? Did not see that coming. A huge error, I think.
I’m happy The Grand Budapest Hotel won so many Oscars (including Alexandre Desplat, who was competing with himself). But it would have been nice if Anderson had got something personally.
Foxcatcher was shut out.
As for the show itself, it was a bit meh.
A Sound of Music tribute from a very restrained, almost resepctable looking Lady Gaga? (okay she looked like a tacky porn star at a prom; seriously, girl, cover up those tats).
Lady Gaga followed the Common / John Legend duet: From “Glory” to Whore-y?
But listen, Goodfellas is 25 years old this year? How come she didn’t sing a song honouring that?
John Travolta looks like a Ken doll
Jared Leto looked like Jesus if Jesus went to a 1970s prom
There weren’t that many speeches thanking God … but there was one that mentioned the family dog.
I knew Neil Patrick Harris would do a magic trick
Nice burn of the Academy introducing Jennifer Anistion and David Oyelewo
Also, a great Edward Snowden joke
So the Oscars are finally here. In a few hours we’ll see what all the campaigning has wrought.
You can read my Oscars posts here.
I am not expecting any big surprises in the acting categories. it’s the Best Picture that still has me stumped. I want Boyhood to win. I’m expecting it will be Birdman. I wouldn’t be at all surprised, though, if American Sniper took it (it doesn’t deserve it, but then Crash didn’t deserve to beat Brokeback Mountain, and a lot of the old geezers at the Academy like old geezer Clint Eastwood).
I am only going to make predictions in a few categories, as I haven`t seen all of the documentaries or animated features, so it doesn`t seem fair to pick in those categories.
Similarly, while I can gauge a good script or performance, the intricacies of Visual Effects and Sound Mixing are out of my jurisdiction. Dancing Groot was cool in Guardians of the Galaxy. Was he better rendered than Caesar in Planet of the Apes? How the hell would I know? There’s a really cool bullet ricochet in American Sniper. is it better than the sound of drumsticks hitting a snare in Whiplash?
So here are my predictions:
BEST PICTURE – correctly predicted
What will win: Birdman
What should win: Boyhood
What absolutely shouldn’t win: American Sniper
Dark horses: American Sniper and The Theory of Everything
What should have been nominated: Under the Skin; The LEGO Movie
Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is the best film to come along in American cinema in many a year. It absolutely deserves Best Picture for the sheer chutzpah of its existence in a commercial system. Birdman, however, is the industry favourite, and although it’s quite harsh about Hollywood and acting, and although it’s bitchy, somewhat full of itself and possibly meaningless in an artsy pretentious way, the Academy tends to love projects like this, and its win at the DGA tipped the odds in its favour.
BEST DIRECTOR – I was wrong and Linklater was robbed
Who will win: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Who should win: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Who absolutely shouldn’t win: Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Dark horses: Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Who should have been nominated: Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Christopher Nolan, Interstellar
Wally Pfister, Transcendence*
Although common sense would dictate that the Best Picture winner will also take the directing prize, Iñárritu will probably lose out here to Linklater or Anderson, as I think the Academy will want to reward both of them (I think Linklater will take Best Director and Anderson Best Screenplay, or vice versa). But don’t rule out a surprise win by Morten Tyldum, if only because Harvey Weinstein has been pressing the flesh for weeks.
BEST ACTOR – as expected
Who will win: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Who should win: Michael Keaton, Birdman
Who absolutely shouldn’t win: Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Dark horse: Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Who should have been nominated: Tom Hardy, Locke
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Brendan Gleeson, Calvary
Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
David Oyelewo, Selma
I would love to see Michael Keaton take this from Redmayne. And he just might; although the young Brit has won practically every award you can win this season and is a heavy favourite, the Academy might just fall for Keaton’s comeback story.
BEST ACTRESS – as expected (she gave a nice speech)
Who will win: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Who should win: Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Who absolutely shouldn’t win: Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Dark horse: Marion Cotillard, Deux Jours, Une Nuit
Who should have been nominated: Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin
Essie Davis, The Babadook
Jennifer Aniston, Cake**
I`ve just finished watching Still Alice (review to follow). Julianne Moore more than deserves the statue. Besides, she`s owed; she`s the most fearless American actress of her generation. Rosamund Pike`s performance in Gone Girl, though, will be studied by acting students for years to come, and Marion Cotillard breaks your heart in Deux Jours, Une Nuit.
Who will win: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Who should win: J.K Simmons, Whiplash
Who absolutely shouldn’t win: Robert Duvall, The Judge
Dark horse: There isn’t one
One smart-arse critic wrote that Simmons will win if only because the Academy is too scared of him. I wish I’d written that line. Simmons has it in the bag. It would be awful – but also hysterical – if they decided to give it to sentimental favourite Duvall, and Simmons just lost it and beat up the old fucker on the way to the podium.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – as expected, and a great speech!
Who will win: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Who should win: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Dark horse: There isn’t one
Who should have been nominated: Carrie Coon, Gone Girl
Agata Kulesza, Ida
Rene Russo, Nightcrawler
I have to think long and hard about the last time I paid attention to Patricia Arquette in anything. Other than her sexy and gutsy turn in True Romance (that scene with Gandolfini still ranks as one of the best movie scenes of the 90s), I didn’t really see her all that often. I watched Medium a few times in its first season but I didn’t really enjoy it. I was shocked when I saw her in Boardwalk Empire, only because it had been so many years since I’d seen her. And all the time she’d been working away at playing Everybody’s Mother. She’s currently working on some sort of CSI show*** She will win the statue tonight and she will make a heartfelt, teary speech that will immediately make you want to call your mum to say ‘sorry’.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – I cannot believe Birdman won this
What will win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
What should win: Foxcatcher
What absolutely shouldn’t win: Birdman
Dark horse: Nightcrawler
What should have been nominated: Calvary; Locke; Ida
This will be Anderson’s consolation prize. The script for Foxcatcher, though, would more than deserve the statue, but the film seems to have been left at the pack. Along with Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler might be the creepiest nominated script, but I’d be surprised if it won.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – as expected
What will win: The Imitation Game
What should win: Inherent Vice
What absolutely shouldn’t win: American Sniper
Dark horse: Whiplash
I am boggled at how the WGA chose The Imitation Game as its script of the year. It’s a decent film but I find the screenplay rather formulaic, fitting quite neatly into the standard biopic genre. Inherent Vice is the year’s loopiest screenplay; Whiplash has some great shock moments.
WHO I’D LIKE TO SEE WIN IN OTHER CATEGORIES
Best Cinematography: Ida (DIDN’T HAPPEN, BUT IT DID WIN BEST FOREIGN FILM)
Best Costume Design: Inherent Vice
(NOPE, but the lady who won for Grand Budapest Hotel is very, very elegant)
Best Original Score: The Grand Budapest Hotel (YAY!!!!)
Best Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel (YAY!!!!)
* I’m kidding; I just wanted to make sure you were paying attention
** I never saw it, but everyone says the poor dear was robbed of a nomination
*** They still make those crappy CSI shows??!!??