In the Mix

February 22, 2015

The 87th Academy Awards

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Written for: Communicado Magazine
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Hindsight is 20/20. Last year, I decided to review the Oscars instead of predict the Oscars. That worked. I’m doing that again…

My first review item is the host. Hugh Jackman is my story and I’m sticking to it. I like Neil Patrick Harris, but, Hugh Jackman is still my choice for Oscar host. Neil Patrick Harris is really in his element as the host of the Tony awards, but, the energy of the Oscars didn’t seem to match – something was off. Let’s see who they pick for next year, but for this year, I’m sticking to my story… Hugh Jackman.

Please indicate your position by YEA or NAY…

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Nominees: Meryl Streep – Into The Woods , Laura Dern – Wild, Emma Stone – Birdman, Kiera Knightly – The Imitation Game.

NAY: While I’m a solid fan of the film Boyhood, I’ve been conflicted about the individual performances. I agree that both Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke deliver equivalent, committed performances, but, not so powerful to win an Oscar. My choice is Emma Stone for Birdman. I’ll also concede that the field for this category doesn’t have a true standout. Therefore, the quality of the project appears to have confirmed the winner…

Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
Nominees: Ethan Hawk – Boyhood, Robert Duvall – The Judge, Edward Norton – Birdman, Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

YEA: This is an example of the individual performance showing true value. J. K. Simmons makes you feel his threat. We’ve all had a leader of some sort who pushed us to be better than we were… Simmons is our reminder of that person.

Best Actress, Drama: Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Nominees: Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl, Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything, Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night, Reese Witherspoon – Wild

YEA: This was a tough category. Had anyone of these performances won, it would likely have been a YEA. I’ll settle for the academy making good on Julianne Moore’s FIFTH nomination…

Best Actor, Drama: Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Nominees: Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game, Steve Carell – Foxcatcher, Michael Keaton – Birdman, Bradley Cooper – American Sniper

YEA: To portray a character with a physical disability puts a performance on a new plane… All of these performances are Oscar-worthy, but, Eddie Redmayne takes it just one step further…

Best Director: Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu – Birdman
Nominees: Richard Linklater – Boyhood, Bennett Miller – Foxcather, Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel, Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

NAY: Boyhood. Richard Linklater. 12 years in the making. Any filmmaker who envisions a project that lasts for 12 years… gets people to commit to 12 years and they stick to it… deserves an Oscar.

Best Picture – Birdman
Nominees: Boyhood, Selma, The Grand Budapest Hotel, American Sniper, The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, Whiplash

NAY: I said if Boyhood didn’t win it would be a crime. It’s a crime. We go on the journey with them. Boyhood is the Communicado Magazine Picture of the Year for 2015.

Best Original Song – Glory from Selma
Nominees: Everything is Awesome – The Lego Movie, Grateful – Beyond The Lights, I’m Not Gonna Miss You – Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me, Lost Stars – Begin Again

YEA: John Legend and Common wrote this song for the movie Selma. They performed it at the Oscars and had people in the audience in tears. It’s a beautiful song that captures the history of the subject matter.

Best Writing/Adapted Screenplay – The Imitation Game
Nominees: American Sniper, Inherent Vice, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash

NAY: I value the statement the writer ventures to make with The Imitation Game, but, Whiplash did a dive right into the guts of music and the writers use the dialogue to make the point.

Best Writing/Original Screenplay – Birdman
Nominees: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler

NAY: The Grand Budapest Hotel really captivated me with the dialogue and humor. It was so clever and so witty… It spoke to me as a writer and that’s saying a lot.

Overall, I have to give this year’s Oscars a middle-of-the-road rating. The show itself just seemed average to me and the outcomes were mostly disappointing.

If you didn’t see the show, you didn’t miss anything. But, if you didn’t see some of these movies, I have just a few must sees:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Gone Girl

If you’re fan’s of some of the other actors and actresses nominated, definitely see their films. But, if you’re a true fan of cinema, see the above list for sure.

Let’s hope 2015 gives the Oscars enough material to motivate a better 2016 Academy Awards show…