Oscar!Watch 2015: My Predictions

21 Feb
Oscar!Watch 2015: My Predictions

You guys, someday I’ll get back into this, I promise. Maybe next Friday night, I’ll kick off Movies Alaina’s Never Seen 2: The ReDeepening. I mean, I barely cracked anything open last year, and here it is almost March. Maybe I just need to schedule it or something. Not Thursdays, though; Thursdays are gonna be real busy next month. Between Trivia Nights and The Princess Bride Quote-A-Long, I’m pretty much booked solid. Plus my birthday, which is also a Thursday.

But y’all didn’t tune into this because this blog is called Diary Entries Alaina’s Never Made. Y’all hopefully clicked whichever link brought you here because you’re curious as to whether I think Will Tippin’s gonna win an Oscar. (SPOILER ALERT: Not this year, Will.)

This is the part where I’d roll out a cute Photoshopped banner, but I don’t have Photoshop on this netbook, so here’s the MS Paint reenactment:


Heh heh heh, I’ve missed this. (Also, I’m gonna make a Tom Collins.)

Best Original Screenplay
Nominees: Birdman; Boyhood; Foxcatcher; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Nightcrawler

This will be the first match-up between Boyhood and Birdman, so let’s get some stuff out of the way regarding these two first.

Birdman was the first movie I saw during the Oscar!Watch Official Period (the day the nominees are announced through the day before the awards ceremony), and I still don’t know how I feel about it. There were parts of it I really, really liked; and then there were parts that I didn’t like as much. Being a person who identifies herself as the modern-day, female version of the great Addison De Witt (or at least a person who aspires to be the modern-day female version of Addison De Witt), I can pick a Chekov’s Whatever out at the most normal of times, but in Birdman, there was a Chekov’s Whatever that was not only gift-wrapped, but the wrapping paper had written all over it THIS WILL PLAY A MAJOR PART LATER PAY ATTENTION TO THIS SEEMINGLY MEANINGLESS PROP. And if there’s one thing I abhor, it’s lazy writing. But at the same time, the writing didn’t feel lazy; because all of the action takes place in a theatre, I start to think, “maybe Innaritu meant to make it look lazy, to make a point on how people rely on such tropes, where they could be creative and find another solution to their problem.”

Basically, Birdman has kept me thinking about it, and I saw it almost six weeks ago.

Boyhood, on the other hand … I realize the movie took twelve years to make, but was I the only one who felt the movie was twelve years too long?

So I’m going to give a slight edge to Birdman for its creativity. Of these nominees, the only film I haven’t watched is Nightcrawler, How did I enjoy Foxcatcher and/or The Grand Budapest Hotel? Well … Grand Budapest is classic Wes Anderson, and obviously the film made an impression, seeing as how it was released in February 2014. But do I think it’s better than Birdman? No. Will I be surprised if Boyhood wins? No, but I don’t think the writing was very strong.

I MEAN THERE WASN’T EVEN REALLY A PLOT although I guess that life itself doesn’t really have a plot BUT STILL

Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominees: American Sniper; The Imitation Game; Inherent Vice; The Theory of Everything; Whiplash

Of this list, I have seen only The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything. Full disclosure: I really had no interest in seeing American Sniper. As much as I love Bradley Cooper (and it’s a lot – again, I saw him as Will Tippin on Alias … oh shit, fourteen years ago?? I have got to stop counting things), I couldn’t stomach the thought of sitting through a two-plus hour movie extolling the virtues of blind jingoism. So I passed. Inherent Vice came up to one theatre in Maine, I think? And I could have seen Whiplash, and I still kind of want to, because I love J.K. Simmons, but I just never somehow made it.

So of the two movies I’ve actually watched in this category, I’m going to go with The Imitation Game, because I like how the flashforwards were woven between the main plot, and really, I just liked the story better.

But honestly, this category’s kind of a crap shoot.

Best Director
Nominees: Birdman; Boyhood; Foxcatcher; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game

Guys, Richard Linklater directed Boyhood over twelve fucking years. If you think the Oscars aren’t going to award that level of tenacity, then you clearly haven’t been watching the same self-masturbatory award show I’ve been watching for the past …. mumblemumble years.

Best Supporting Actress
Nominees: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood; Laura Dern, Wild; Keira Knightly, The Imitation Game; Emma Stone, Birdman; Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Let’s get two people out of the way first: Meryl Streep is not going to win her next Oscar for playing The Witch in Into the Woods. She was fine, but the Oscars aren’t going to give Meryl Streep a Best Supporting Actress Oscar; it’s just not done. Two: Keira Knightly is fine in The Imitation Game, but she didn’t blow me away.

I liked Emma Stone’s role in Birdman, but it’s her first nomination. While the Academy has been known to reward first-time nominees fresh out of the gate — and nowhere is that more apparent than in this category in particular — I don’t think this is the right time for her to win.

That leaves Patricia Arquette and Laura Dern. I loved Laura Dern in Wild – between the subtle direction, the writing, and Reese Witherspoon’s guiding hands, Laura Dern’s character’s presence is felt in every frame of the film, and most of that can be attributed to her portrayal. Having said that, Patricia Arquette has won nearly every award leading up to this, so I’m going to go with Patricia Arquette to win, even though I really didn’t like that movie or her character, and if I’m wrong and it goes to Laura Dern, just be aware that I will be celebrating.

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

Remember, I haven’t seen Whiplash, and I also didn’t catch The Judge. Let’s be real, Robert Duvall isn’t going to win here. Of the three films I’ve seen, I’d give an edge to Edward Norton because I really liked his character (although if Mark Ruffalo wins, I wouldn’t be mad), but let’s be real, J.K. Simmons is going to walk away with this, based on all the other awards and buzz he’s won.

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

One of the reasons I’m not as huge a fan of The Theory of Everything that I’d like to be is because I feel the movie was based on a book written by Jane Hawking, but she’s a supporting player in the life of Stephen Hawking. Fucking Hollywood, man. Anyway. If anyone thinks they’re not going to finally give Julianne Moore the award she should have won by now, then you really haven’t been watching the Oscars. And unlike Kate Winslet’s pity Oscar for The Reader, Julianne Moore will have earned it for Still Alice.

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

Hey look, a category where I’ve seen all the movies!

Let’s take this in alphabetical order. Now, I love Steve Carell; I was addicted to The Office when it was on, and while I would love nothing more than to see him win an Oscar — and I do believe he will, eventually — I don’t think he’ll win it for this film. Unfortunately, there were a couple of lines that he said as DuPont that could have almost just as easily come out of Michael Scott’s mouth, and if I noticed it, I’m sure some other people did as well. Not saying he wasn’t great; because he was. He just wasn’t good enough.

Bradley Cooper. Beautiful, amazing Bradley Cooper. Little Will Tippin, all grown up. Sure, he’s getting some buzz for Chris Kyle, but there was, unfortunately, a dark side to the real Chris Kyle, and that political-ness (meaning outside the Oscars-politics) is going to keep Bradley from winning here.

Benedict Cumberbatch will not win an Oscar for this. Sorry, fellow Cumberbitches. Maybe next time.

And that leaves Keaton and Redmayne. As much as I would love to see Michael Keaton win for Birdman — and if he manages to upset, I’ll be dancing — I have to admit that Eddie Redmayne‘s performance should win. I mean, the physicality of the role alone was astounding.

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

Honestly, I think it comes down to Birdman and Boyhood again. Between buzz and backlash, the only films that are still being talked about as having a shot at this are those two. And I think it’s going to come down to which card the Academy wants to play here: reward a film that tries to generate or answer questions about everyday life without really accomplishing it, although managing to achieve something … ineffable; or it’s going to be Boyhood.

My preference is to have Birdman win, obviously. I think it’s possible; but I also think it’s entirely possible and most likely more probable to have Boyhood win. It’s a coin toss.

I’m going to give Boyhood the edge here, because if anyone has the opportunity to give the Oscar to a movie that is deserving of it, because it engages us in actual, artful conversations about both life and art, the Academy is going to fuck that opportunity up royally and reward the bloviating, emotional claptrap option instead.

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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in Oscar!Watch!


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