Now it’s time to rant. Having seen everything I need to from the other nominees (nearly) I can make a judgement over who has missed out on nominations for the golden sticker, otherwise known as an Oscar, in no particular order.
True, best director is a tough category, but the Imitation Game, though I loved it, didn’t strike me as a director’s film and though Foxcatcher expertly sucked the glamour out of sport I would be happy to substitute them for Chazelle turning what could have been a musical into a thriller. It is masterful and tense throughout and deserved to be recognised.
The historical drama is another biopic that looked to be shimmering with Oscar potential, but the less popular, critically and politically, American Sniper bagged more awards and furthermore Ava DeVernay missed out on a best director nod when the academy could have really proved that they are as politically incorrect as we think they are. As well as this David Oyelowo didn’t get best actor or Bradford Young for cinematography.
David Fincher is nearing to position where he is overdue an Oscar by now in my opinion. The problem is that he simply is not in the ‘club’ so to say. He is shut out by the academy and we’ve seen him go off trend with Benjamin Button to snag Oscar gold, but to no avail. Pike may be a contender for best actress, but that’s about it
Nightcrawler and Jake Gyllenhaal
The rising star of Gyllenhaal appeared to be guaranteed a nomination for his unsettling performance in Nightcrawler. In fact I would have placed bets on director, screenplay and picture. But no, my favourite film of 2014 has come out of this awards season rather poorly it has to be said.
At one point it was rumoured that Captain America: The Winter Soldier would be nominated for best picture and though the last minute surge of great filmmaking made it less likely (and not outrageous to exclude it), it would still be credible for the academy to finally honour a superhero film, they had the opportunity with Dark Knight and passed it up (though I love his performance I still believe that had Heath Ledger not passed away he would not have been honoured by the academy at all) and then again in 2012 with Avengers Assemble, 2014 also had Guardians that might promote the studio’s chances of getting a mention but once again the Oscars continue to promote the image that their philosophy is all films that make any money are bad. This ties into…
No Science Fiction
There have been so many unique and interesting sci-fi films this year that something should have been added to best picture or director. If Marvel is still too mainstream there’s Edge of Tomorrow, Interstellar, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Snowpiercer. All are worthy candidates, but nothing beyond technical categories. My main argument is this, are any of these films worthy of winning best picture/director, probably not. Is at least one of them among the top ten films of the year? Hell yes. So nominate them, because that’s what the academy should be, celebrating the best films of the year even if one of them is about apes on horses, a spandex wearing patriot or tiny yellow people...
The Lego Movie
A popular phrase of recent weeks has been that if one were to rename the Lego Movie the Lincoln Logs Movie then it would be up for best picture. Undoubtedly this is the biggest surprise here, whilst we imagined the other snubs were probable, not only was the Lego Movie a definite nomination for best animated film for most people, it was a definite win. A film based on a toy that’s also a satire on consumerism, genius. Mocking your basis as well as honouring it, inspired. Reducing your entire universe to fit into the basement of a father and son, amazing. Will Arnett as Batman, in his own words ‘really cool’. But no nomination, why? I don’t know, but you know what? Emmet and his pals are too good for the academy anyway. They can build their own Oscars, or anything else, they can capture what we love about childhood and growing up and they can make us laugh all the way through a great journey, so honestly Oscar or no Oscar, everything is still awesome.