Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Take On Oscar Nominations - January 15, 2015

Thursday - January 15th, 2015 

The Oscar Nominations Today:

The biggest and most noticeable oddity was the film "Foxcatcher". They nominated it's Director Bennett Miller as "Best Director", they nominate both it's actors S. Farrell and M. Ruffalo for Best Actor and Supporting Actor respectfully, they nominate their screen writers for "Best Original Screenplay" and finally they get a nomination for "Best Make Up"..............ALL of these nominations for the exact same film "FOXCATCHER" and yet no nomination for Best Picture. This is especially strange given they had 2 more available slots left of the possible 10  ............I mean what did these people Direct, Act, Write and have Make Up in .............the film "Empty Space".

While it (FXC) is a rather subdued, overly dark and muted true story, to me it still was one of the 10 best films this year.  Apparently the voters thought all these people involved in the making of the movie were simply great, except for the finish product movie itself..............Does that make any sense?  What happened here?

R. Duvall Nomination was a surprise in "The Judge" as this was a below average film. His legacy and the older HW voting members I think played a part (currently there are 6000 Oscar voters - average voter age is 63 - average age is one year older each year -  they vote for life).

The "Grand Budapest Hotel" got in (I think) because Director West Anderson is well liked and because of his previous Avant-garde work & reputation.............While it was good, a bit goofy and endearing, it was far from great as was his previous work "Moonrise Kingdom". I loved that film a lot.

Surprised a bit "Selma" did not get at least both or one of the two as Best Actor and Best Director nominations ............Still it did get a Best Picture Nomination - Well deserved. 

Not surprised at all "Unbroken" was shutout - It was a good but still a one note torture film. It did however get a deserving nomination for "Best Cinematography" which was great.

I love Indie low budget films a lot and I am especially thrilled big time for "Whiplash" as Best Picture ...............This is the sleeper film of the year in my estimation.  Thrilled for JK Simmons in Whiplash (he formerly from TNT "The Closer) and his Best Supporting Actor Nomination. He can just dust off his mantel space right now............Go to Vegas, put $1K on him - 100% lock for him to win. Also there was some really good modern jazz music in it and a truly well-deserved Best Editing nomination for it also. Everyone I know should see this at some point. A must see.

Noticeable Theme? Just one, all of the Best Actor nominees played characters who were somewhat unique solitary figures that struggled with a combination of personal anguish, demons and or emotional self-doubt or had some combination of these factors. Some of these factors were of their own making and others to no fault of their own with outside negative circumstances being thrust upon them. A therapist's dream category. See below:

Best Actor
Steve Carell, "Foxcatcher"
Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”
Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game"
Michael Keaton, "Birdman"
Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"
Toughest 3 Categories? Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography & Best Costume Design. Tough groupings for all three.
Biggest Omissions?

1. Documentary "Life Itself" (Life of Roger Ebert).

2. Best Actor David Oyelowo in "Selma" and;

3. Best Actor Jake Gyllenhaal in "Nightcrawler".  Will see B. Copper tonight in "A. Sniper" to compare.

4. Best Director Ava DuVernay "Selma".

5. Best Picture "Gone Girl". I think the film's attempt to discuss & portray a modern American marriage as something that was both funny and bleak with the worst possible bloody outcome scenarios was just way too much to comprehend or appreciate for some married voters, even if they are some of the perpetually always getting married to someone else new each week jaded HW movie industry types. Ultimately, I think the ending was a little too strange and violently graphic for some to wrap their minds around.

Not a stellar memorable year for films or any of its nominees, but overall, I think the eventual winners from today nominations (in the major categories) will pretty much mirror the same results as they were announced at Sunday's Golden Globes.

I will be seeing "American Sniper" tonight.

And finally, my annual & final 2014 movie list comes out January 31, 2015.

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