Thursday, 15 January 2015

My Reactions to the 87th Academy Awards Nominations


by
Julien Faddoul

Below is the full list of nominees for the 87th Academy Awards with my written reactions.

A few of notes:

Many people dislike the word “snub” so if I end up relying on it too heavily please forgive me.

Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel receive the most nominations with 9 each, followed by The Imitation Game with 8, American Sniper and Boyhood with 6, and Foxcatcher, Interstellar, The Theory of Everything and Whiplash with 5.

Selma takes the Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close/The Blindside position of being a Best Picture nominee with only one other nomination. This is obviously going to upset a lot of people. One could argue this is because of its somewhat late arrival to campaign. It is DuVernay’s omission that feels the queasiest. Prepare for all the sexism/racism accusations your computer can show you!

Foxcatcher receiving as many nominations as it did I think proves it just missed out of the top category by a hair’s lack of number 1 votes.

Gone Girl received only 1 nomination in the end. Oh, well.

The Hobbit ends its reign of terror with only a single nomination. Take that Jackson!

The Lego Movie! Yikes!

Nothing for Big Eyes.

The only category where I scored perfectly were PICTURE, SUPPORTING ACTOR and ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY.


PICTURE

American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

8/8 correct, though I did throw the net to 10 for the sake of fortuitousness.

I have no doubt that Foxcatcher would have been the 9th.


DIRECTOR

Alejandro González Iñárritu, "Birdman"
Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"
Bennett Miller, "Foxcatcher"
Wes Anderson, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Morten Tyldum, "The Imitation Game"

4/5 correct, missing Miller for Ava DuVernay.

Bennett Miller becomes the first director since 2007 to be nominated for a film not nominated in the top category. Many were predicting Clint Eastwood (not me) but this shows that the directors have their own branch and they will do their own thing. DuVernay’s snub means the total number of female nominations stands at four.


ACTOR

Steve Carell, "Foxcatcher"
Bradley Cooper, "American Sniper"
Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game"
Michael Keaton, "Birdman"
Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"

3/5 correct, missing Carell and Cooper for Jake Gyllenhaal and David Oyelowo.

As I said in my predictions post, any five men could have landed due the competitiveness of the category, though I really thought Gyllenhaal was in.


ACTRESS

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

4/5 correct, missing Cotillard for Jennifer Aniston.

Yay Marion! One of my favourite surprises of the morning. It’s funny that someone who campaigned as hard as Aniston was bumped off by someone who is really only here due to critical praise for her and her film. Yeah, it’s certainly funny.


SUPPORTING ACTOR

Robert Duvall, "The Judge"
Ethan Hawke, "Boyhood"
Edward Norton, "Birdman"
Mark Ruffalo, "Foxcatcher"
J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"

5/5 correct.

As Duvall’s name was read out I sunk into my hole of inescapability. Ah, what’ya gonna do.


SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"
Laura Dern, "Wild"
Keira Knightley, "The Imitation Game"
Emma Stone, "Birdman"
Meryl Streep, "Into the Woods"

4/5 correct, missing Dern for Jessica Chastain.

Didn't I say this category likes to surprise us! Laura Dern receives her first nomination since 1991’s Rambling Rose.


ANIMATED FEATURE

"Big Hero 6"
"The Boxtrolls"
"How to Train Your Dragon 2"
"Song of the Sea"
"The Tale of Princess Kaguya"

4/5 correct, missing Song of the Sea for The Lego Movie.

Holy shit you guys!! By far the biggest surprise of the list. The Lego Movie was the best-reviewed and (domestically) highest-grossing animated film of the year. There are a number theories one can muster: First of all, the merchandise-oriented essence of the film might have rubbed the animation branch the wrong way. Also, despite the film’s clever ideas, it isn’t the most progressive film in terms of character animation or performativity techniques. We have seen this occur before with movies like The Adventures of Tintin (2011) or Tangled (2010) that were respected more by critics than by animators.

ONE MORE NOTE: Two of the films are HAND-DRAWN and one is STOP MOTION, so hats off to the old school!


FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

"Wild Tales" (Damián Szifrón; Argentina)
"Tangerines" (Zaza Urushadze; Estonia)
"Timbuktu" (Abderrahmane Sissako; Mauritania)
"Ida" (Pawel Pawlikowski; Poland)
"Leviathan" (Andrey Zvyagintsev; Russia)

4/5 correct, missing Tangerines for Force Majeure.

I was virtually the only person who left Tangerines off their predictions list. I’m an idiot.


ADAPATED SCREENPLAY

"American Sniper" (Jason Hall)
"The Imitation Game" (Graham Moore)
"Inherent Vice" (Paul Thomas Anderson)
"The Theory of Everything" (Anthony McCarten)
"Whiplash" (Damien Chazelle)

4/5 correct, missing PT Anderson for Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl adaptation.

As I stated above, Gone Girl fell hard.


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

"Birdman" (Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo)
"Boyhood" (Richard Linklater)
"Foxcatcher" (E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman)
"The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Wes Anderson, Hugo Guiness)
"Nightcrawler" (Dan Gilroy)

5/5 correct.

I was right about the Selma script.


CINEMATOPGRAHY

"Birdman" (Emmanuel Lubezki)
"The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Robert D. Yeoman)
"Ida" (Ryszard Lenczweski; Lukasz Zal)
"Mr. Turner" (Dick Pope)
"Unbroken" (Roger Deakins)

4/5 correct, missing the Ida guys for Interstellar.

This is one where I am kicking myself. I had a hunch there’d be an Ida surprise (many did actually) but I went safe. Foolishness!


PRODUCTION DESIGN

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Adam Stockhausen; Anna Pinnock)
"The Imitation Game" (Maria Djurkovic; Tatiana Macdonald)
"Interstellar" (Nathan Crowley; Gary Fettis, Paul Healy)
"Into the Woods" (Dennis Gassner; Anna Pinnock)
"Mr. Turner" (Suzie Davies; Charlotte Watts)

4/5 correct, missing Interstellar for Big Eyes.

I dunno, I thought they’d go for Big Eyes. Clearly, I was wrong.


COSTUME DESIGN

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Milena Canonero)
"Inherent Vice" (Mark Bridges)
"Into the Woods" (Colleen Atwood)
"Mr. Turner" (Jacqueline Durran)
"Maleficent" (Anna B. Sheppard, Jane Clive)

4/5 correct, missing Bridges for The Imitation Game.

Mark Bridges is one of the best costume designers working today and I am always happy when he’s recognized.


FILM EDITING

"American Sniper" (Joel Cox, Gary Roach)
"Boyhood" (Sandra Adair)
"The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Barney Pilling)
"The Imitation Game" (William Goldenberg)
"Whiplash" (Tom Cross)

3/5 correct, missing American Sniper and The Grand Budapest Hotel for Birdman and Gone Girl.

Birdman’s omission here is really surprising to me. The thinking here was probably that a film designed to look like one continuous take has less editing or something stupid like that.


MAKEUP

"Foxcatcher"
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
"Guardians of the Galaxy"

1/3 correct, missing Foxcatcher and Guardians for Maleficent and The Theory of Everything.

Every year this category screws me in my predictions, but I have to say this ain’t a bad lineup.


ORIGINAL SCORE

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Alexandre Desplat)
"The Imitation Game" (Alexandre Desplat)
"Interstellar" (Hans Zimmer)
"Mr. Turner" (Gary Yershon)
"The Theory of Everything" (Jóhann Jóhannsson)

3/5 correct, missing Hotel and Mr Turner for Gone Girl and The Judge.

I purposely didn’t predict Hotel because I didn’t think Desplat would be nominated twice. And as for Gary Yershon, he wasn’t even in my alternates!


ORIGINAL SONG

"Lost Stars" from "Begin Again"
"Grateful" from "Beyond the Lights"
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from "Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me"
"Everything is Awesome" from "The LEGO Movie"
"Glory" from "Selma"

3/5 correct.

Eh, whatever.


SOUND EDITING

"American Sniper"
"Birdman"
"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies"
"Interstellar"
"Unbroken"

3/5 correct, missing Birdman and The Hobbit for Guardians of the Galaxy and Transformers: Age of Extinction.

I am really unhappy Interstellar shows up in both sound categories. The mixing of that film is so poor!


SOUND MIXING

"American Sniper"
"Birdman"
"Interstellar"
"Unbroken"
"Whiplash"

3/5 correct, missing Interstellar and Whiplash for Into the Woods and The Imitation Game.

Whiplash’s nomination came out of nowhere for me.


VISUAL EFFECTS

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
"Guardians of the Galaxy"
"Interstellar"
"X-Men: Days of Future Past"

4/5 correct, missing Captain America for The Hobbit.

Good call by the academy, though Godzilla should be here.


DOCUENMTARY FEATURE

"CITIZENFOUR"
"Finding Vivian Maier"
"Last Days in Vietnam"
"The Salt of the Earth"
"Virunga"

3/5 correct, missing The Salt of the Earth and Virunga for The Overnighters and Life Itself.

Very surprised by the snub for The Overnighters.


SHORT FILM ANIMATED

"The Bigger Picture"
"The Dam Keeper"
"Feast"
"Me and My Moulton"
"A Single Life"

4/5 correct, missing A Single Life for Duet.

Feast :)
Duet :(


SHORT FILM LIVE ACTION

"Aya"
"Boogaloo and Graham"
"Butter Lamp"
"Parvaneh"
"The Phone Call"

I didn’t predict this category.


DOCUEMNTARY SHORT SUBJECT

"Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1"
"Joanna"
"Our Curse"
"The Reaper"
"White Earth"

I didn’t predict this category.



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