Monday, 23 February 2015

87th Academy Awards: Summary

So that’s it, the Oscars are done and dusted for another year. But what were the biggest surprises, what was expected and delivered and how wrong were my predictions? The answer to one of those questions is, very.
J.K Simmons was always going to win Best Supporting Actor and did so there’s nothing to argue about here. Supporting actress went to Patricia Arquette also delivered as I predicted, though I was considering the possibility of Emma Stone taking the award, but it was not to be. Maybe another time?
Animated feature went to Big Hero 6 which is another disappointment. I have to immediately say that I loved Big Hero 6, a really charming, action packed Disney superhero entry, but I thought How to Train your Dragon 2 really did the same for Dreamworks with fantasy, but more successfully. It felt like it was produced on a bigger scale with some breath taking effects and utilised the animated technology to give a real feeling of flight, something that Big Hero 6 also did but the dragons had the edge for me. Of course the first disappointment comes from the absence of the Lego Movie, but life goes on. #everythingisstillawesome.
Original song rightfully went to Glory from Selma. The screenplay categories offered some surprises. Adapted screenplay went to The Imitation Game, rightfully in my opinion. But the surprise came from the original screenplay as Birdman finished in first place. Though it is deserving of the award you have to feel for Wes Anderson missing out on all three awards, especially given that Inarritu would win two more awards that evening. Anderson is overdue an award by now in my opinion, or at least he will be if he misses out next year, if his film is just as good as Grand Budapest.
Best actress was predictable if not what I wanted. If I had listened to reason then I would have picked Julian Moore (and I promise I am not just saying that now) but my admiration for Rosemond Pike’s transformation in Gone Girl  exceeded that logic and I willed her to win, but she didn’t. Still, well done to Moore.
Best actor really caught me by surprise, I announced that it was a two horse race and not only did my favourite fail to win, so did my supposed runner up. Looking back at it Redmayne gave a truly incredible and heart wrenching performance as Stephen Hawking did deserve an award, and he got them from the BAFTA, Golden Globes and now the academy. I will also admit that like Pike my personal preference of Batman and Sherlock influenced me. So all in all, putting experience and personal love aside, yeah, the right man won in the end. It was also worth it to see the sheer joy and surprise of Eddie as he accepted the award, as soon as he said the word Oscar it seemed to hit him and he just burst out laughing, and of course, Keaton helped contribute to a greater overall recognition…
The best director surprised me again. Though I was really torn between Linklater and Inarritu and once again found myself surprised but not disappointed by the result, it did come as a real shock. As long as Linklater continues to make ground breaking and intimate stories on the same level as Boyhood, the Before Trilogy and Dazed and Confused, then he should earn his own award eventually.
A greater surprise came later, because in my mind Birdman winning the best director gave Boyhood a better chance of winning best picture. But no, that also went to the Mexican director. I have to say that I am glad in many ways. Birdman was probably my personal favourite film of 2014, with the great view of the film industry, incredible performances, the re-watchable aspects and beautiful cinematography.
Furthermore, one of my complaints against the Oscars was their exclusion of bigger budget films, in particular those of the superhero genre. With the issues that Birdman deals with, winning best picture, screenplay and director may be the bridge that demonstrates that the academy might be more welcoming to future films of bigger budgets. Were they actually paying attention and thinking ‘we’re like those critics’, maybe? So in short, the future looks bright indeed.
What was your favourite part of the Oscars? Was it the politically charged speeches, Neil Patrick Harris in the buff having been locked out of his dressing room and provided a soundtrack by Miles Teller on the drums (no one’s ever said that before in the whole of human history), or was it John Travolta moving on from mispronunciation to weird face touching? Let me know by leaving a comment below.   

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