Saturday 24 January 2015

87th Academy Awards: The Favourites and the Underdogs

Oscar season is upon us and between now and the ceremony I shall be giving a run-down of the nominees, the favourites, the dark horses and those that missed out. Toady I’m looking at the main categories and choosing my top picks for the winner. If you want to hear anger directed at the movies that missed out then don’t worry, I’ve saved an entire post to do that. For now though let’s focus on what we have.
Best Picture
A number of surprises in American Sniper and The Grand Budapest Hotel are here and though I would love to see Wes Anderson’s comedy caper take the award, it appears to belong to Boyhood. The achievement alone makes it an automatic nominee, but it’s executed so well that it just looks definite. Selma (which I haven’t seen yet) and Whiplash would both be dark horses but their scale can’t quite match that of Linklater. The only other serious contender appears to be Birdman, but that would be a surprise.
Best Director
It’s down to Linklater and Inarritu. That’s the simple truth of this year and it comes down to scale or scope, Birdman is a cinematic marvel and Inarritu has lost out previously to the great Scorsese with Babel losing to the Departed. But Linklater has gone without praise from the academy for so long and the Critic’s Choice Awards favoured him. Linklater to win, but be braced for Birdman.
Best Actor
The shock here comes from Carell, though he’s good he appears to be in the wrong category. That aside, for me it looks like a two horse race, it’s Cumberbatch or Keaton and I’ll go for Riggan Thomson to take the award based on experience. But where’s Gyllenhaal?
Best Actress
Quite an even ground here, all five nominees have the capability to win a relatively early career boost. Only one really stood out for me and that would be Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl, so she’s my choice to take the gold.
Best Supporting Actor
This one goes to J.K Simmons, is anyone going to argue, no. Didn’t think so, I did like Ed Norton but he just can’t compete with the intense performance from former JJJ.
Best Supporting Actress
Once again there isn’t anyone that immediately stands out as an obvious favourite. Tey are all very good and could all be accepted as winners. Emma Stone and Kiera Knightley both appear tp be contenders but given that Patricia Arquette gave twelve years to her role in Boyhood, I think she has the edge.
Best Animated Feature
I know that not everything is awesome but there’e no escaping the fact that it is not. So we have to pick a winner out of tese and given that it would already be the most likely to win after Emmet and his pals, How to Drain Your Dragon 2 looks ideal to win a this rather disappointing selection.
Best Adapted Screenplay
This one is more difficult than it initially appears. Though the obvious choice might be Whiplash ask yourself, was it the writing that really stood out in that film or was it the direction and acting? So with that in mind my choice is the Imitation Game.
Best Original Screenplay
Some strong contenders here, whimsical or realistic, existential or thrilling, take your pick from a wide variety. I’ll pick a film that relied on its screenplay more than the others, meaning that the acting and direction only added to the film instead of carrying it, and that is Grand Budapest Hotel.
So what do you think of the nominations. Do you have a favourite or underdog amongst the mix of categories? If you have any angry comments to make about the various snubs then save them for the next Oscar post about the mistakes of the academy.  

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