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February 21, 2015 6:47 pm  #1

Oscar picks?

I haven't found a thread for this exact topic so I thought I would put one up now that Oscar time is closing in on us.

I didn't get a chance to see all the nominees so I will just pick my favs from those I have seen...

I saw - The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel and American Sniper.

Best Picture for me:
The Imitation Game - I have stated in a number of threads why I think it is the best of the bunch so I won't chew my cabbage twice on that topic.
  Do I think it will win - no.  Am I rooting for it to win - absolutely! 

What other movies will I consider a fair win - TGBH or Birdman are OK with me.  Both are creative film making and worthy candidates, with many fine qualities.  I felt like I had experienced something of quality and if either one of these should win I can take their victory with grace and acceptance. 

Should TToE win I  would be disappointed for sure.  It just isn't in the class of the other three for me and I wasn't move by it the way I feel I should have been.  There were some aspects that made it an OK movie but nothing exceptional IMO.

Should American Sniper win I would consider it a gross injustice.  Poorly constructed, poorly written, not a great job of acting on the lead's part and sloppy editing are just some of my worst complaints about this one.  I really don't think it even deserved to be nominated at all.  Very little redeeming aspects about this at all to me.

Too bad I didn't get to see Selma or Whiplash - would have loved to comment on those and see where their chips would fall amongst the others that I did see.  Boyhood... I suppose I will watch this at some point in time but the subject matter isn't one that excites me at all. 

Are there any others out there that would like to discuss their Best Picture picks?

Or any other categories?

Please feel free to add your ideas.  The only stipulation is that you have to actually have seen the movies that are included in your picks.  That seems fair enough to me.



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February 21, 2015 11:01 pm  #2

Re: Oscar picks?

I managed to watch a lot of movies which are nominated for several Oscars as well: The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Grand Budapest Hotel, Boyhood, Birdman, Foxcatcher.

My assumptions/wishes as far as I can form an opinion:

Best Picture: I very much hope for The Imitation Game to win, but I suppose the Oscar will go to Boyhood.

Best Directing: I suppose Richard Linklater will win which would be ok for me.

Best Actor: This is a tough category. I do hope for Benedict of course, but I suppose Eddie Redmayne will win. It wouldn't be undeserved IMO. TToE wasn't a good movie IMO but Eddie Redmayne did an amazing performance which is why I am rather frustrated and disappointed with TToE. With such brilliant acting the movie could have been so much better if they had focused the plot on Hawking instead of his wife (I didn't like Felicity Jones' performance).

Best Actress: Can't say much here as I haven't seen most of the movies. I hope it won't be Felicity Jones, as I said, I didn't find her performance in TToE convincing.

Best Supporting Actor: From the movies I saw, I would choose Edward Norton here. But I haven't seen Whiplash and J.K. Simmons seems to be very good in it. He really scared me in the trailer.

Best Supporting Actress: I loved Emma Stone in Birdman. But I suppose this award will once again be won by Patricia Arquette though I don't really see why. Her part in Boyhood wasn't that special.

I can't make much more predictions as I haven't seen all movies of course. I very very much hope that TIG will win at least some Oscars, even if it's "just" for Adapted Screenplay or something like that.
I liked the cinematography of Birdman and would like to see TGBH to win for Best Costume Design and Guardians of the Galaxy for Best Visiual Effects.

I am really looking forward towards the show tomorrow. I hope it will be as entertaining as last year. Ellen was so brilliant  but I have faith that Neil Patrick Harris will do a good job as well.


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"221B Baker Street."

February 22, 2015 8:41 am  #3

Re: Oscar picks?

I have seen all the nominated films - must be the first time in my life - and these are my thoughts.

Best films:

Whiplash - TIG
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Selma - American Sniper
The Theory of Everything

I think Whiplash and TIG are both extraordinary movies which bring together all elements needed for a memorable film: strong script, excellent direction, outstanding performances, score, editing and powerful, moving story. May be Whiplash has even an edge on TIG, although the latter tells a more "important" tale.
The Grand Budapest Hotel is a delicious film and flawless artistically, but it somehow lack the emotional element for me.
Birdman is funny, engaging, has excellent performances and direction, but the script is not really original, the dialogue full of cliched bits and it has some structural problems, as well: Edward Norton's character is just not going anywhere, which is a shame, other characters are only sketched and in the end it's only about Keaton and his not-so-original aging man crisis.
Selma and American Sniper are very traditional movies with good performances, but lot of cliches and predictable scenes. Curiously, AS is far better in the first half of the movie, Selma just opposite.
Boyhood's pseudo-documentary formula doesn't work for me, they were very brave to be 12 years a slave of the film, but it didn't result in compelling story, good structure, interesting performances or memorable direction IMO.
And TTOE is a film that should never been even considered for a nomination, while so many better movies have been skipped.
The irony is that neither TIG nor - even more - Whiplash are considered serious favourites.

Best actor - I am rooting for Benedict because his performance was the best, hands down. Keaton was excellent, as well, even if not nearly as subtle and profound. Bradley Cooper was pretty good in AS, but he couldn't fight against the script. Carell shouldn't be in leading actor category. And Redmayne - he did a great job imitating Hawking's physical degrade, but little else, IMO. He is capable of far more, but the script was just too weak and even potentialy intense moments were reduced to some cheap telenovela emotionality. Still, he seems to be a frontrunner, which just shows that Oscars are not necessarily about quality.


February 22, 2015 10:55 am  #4

Re: Oscar picks?

I have seen only four of the nominated films, but within that selection I can definitely go with miriel's ranking:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Theory of Everything

For me TIG has it all. A wonderful, intelligent screenplay that makes the right choices; an engaging story; a wonderfully talented ensemble cast with a lead actor who achieves so much by seemingly doing so little; a very touching soundtrack... I could go on and on. In my opinion this is a film that will endure while many other movies I've seen during the last twelve months won't.
TGBH amazes me over and over again every time I see it (thankfully my significant other owns the DVD). I really hope that it will win one or two Oscars, because even though it's not telling what I would call 'an important story' I think it's almost perfect. The actors must have had a hell of a time while shooting that movie - and this translates to the finished film. And I would really love to see and hear Wes Anderson give an acceptance speech.
Birdman was entertaining and had some great acting performances. I would love Edward Norton to get an Oscar for this, although - as already has been mentioned - his character in the film didn't seem to go anywhere and then suddenly was gone altogether. But nevertheless Edward was brilliant. Lots of things in the film were abit 'too loud' for my taste, if you know what I mean. Everything seemed to be a bit in-your-face, and quite often I had the feeling that I had seen things and heard various dialogue too many times before.
And just like miriel I think TToE isn't really all that deserving of its nomination. I can't help but think that a lot of people have been blinded by Eddie's admittedly spectacular physical performance and transfered this to the whole film.

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February 22, 2015 11:11 am  #5

Re: Oscar picks?

I personally don't think TIG will win much. I WANT it to win much, but I don't think it will. Both Morten Tyldum and Ben are too new in Hollywood, and they are up against some giants and seniors this year. But being nominated is a great sign of the high quality of the cast and crew for this movie.

I think best movie will be Birdman or Boyhood and best actor might be Eddie Redmayne. Those are my guesses.

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February 22, 2015 11:58 am  #6

Re: Oscar picks?

SolarSystem wrote:

I  I would love Edward Norton to get an Oscar for this, although - as already has been mentioned - his character in the film didn't seem to go anywhere and then suddenly was gone altogether. But nevertheless Edward was brilliant. Lots of things in the film were abit 'too loud' for my taste, if you know what I mean. Everything seemed to be a bit in-your-face, and quite often I had the feeling that I had seen things and heard various dialogue too many times before.

Yes, that was exactly my reaction. I think Edward Norton was terrific in Birdman and it's a shame that his character was underwritten. I would root for him to win Oscar, nonetheless, but Simmons in Whiplash is equally outstanding and his character is better written than Norton's.

I would love Anderson to win Best Director, he definitely deserves it. Tyldum's did a great job in TIG, but his direction was far less flashy than Inarritu's or Anderson's and it's already a great thing for him to be nominated (I was truly happy about it, he doesn't get as much recognition as he should).

But of course, who I think should win and who will win are two very different stories.


February 22, 2015 5:21 pm  #7

Re: Oscar picks?

The only nominee I saw for Best supporting actor was Edward Norton and I loved his performance in Birdman.  I think he was better in this than Keaton really. 

I have been interested in Norton a long time.  Why?  Because I think Roger Ebert said it best - "The actor Edward Norton has never agreed to appear in a film he didn't believe he had reason to respect."  He has passion, dedication to his craft and does really interesting work. 

I saw 2 of the five nominees for best supporting actress Keira Knightly and Emma Stone.  Truly torn about this one as both were really wonderful in the respective roles.  The second time I watched TIG I had a chance to really focus on KK's performance and came away with a deeper respect of what she brought to the table with that part.  It was a very remarkably nuanced role and KK pulled it off in spades! 

But ES in Birdman was... luminescent.  No other word for it.  She was the heart and soul of that whole movie and she shouldered that burden wonderfully I thought.  She wasn't an easily likeable character but WOW! I felt shaken at the end of Birdman because of her. 

For best actress I saw two performances - Rosamund Pike and Felicity Jones.  I didn't really like FJ's take on her role.  Thought she was too controlled in her performance and thus it was bland to me, lacking in all passion.  I like subdued characters but not if I don't feel anything underneath the repression and for me there was nothing behind her performance.  It was all so flat. 

RP in Gone Girl... she was  all right when I was watching her, but nothing stuck afterwards.  I can't say she impressed me in a big way but at least she was entertaining when I was in the movie house.  So, if I had to choose between the two actresses I saw it would go almost by default to RP. 

For best actor - I saw 4 out of the 5  nominees.  The only one I missed was Steve Carell in Foxcatcher.
Even if I wasn't a fan of BC, just judging on the performances, I would still pick him for best actor.  Dan isn't "benedicted" like I am (he just looks at him as an actor, like he does all the rest of the actors) and he thought the same when we talked about it.  I have already written reams on his inhabiting of the role of Alan Turing and how wonderful the performance was, so suffice to say I loved what he did in the movie.

ER in TToE was fine in a physical sense depicting Hawking, but I didn't get any sense that he made me see who Hawking really was beyond the physical sense at all.  His performance didn't make me feel for Hawking.  It was too dry. 

Keaton was very fine in Birdman.  It was a difficult role to do for sure.  It really spread across a wide range and he covered all the bases. Sometimes I think there was a bit too much histrionics on view, but if Ben doesn't win then I hope MK does. 

Bradley Cooper, like the movie he starred in, doesn't deserve to be a nominee IMO.  Could have been the poor script but I have to admit, I have seen him in a number of roles now and I still don't like him as an actor at all.  Frankly, I don't think he has the chops.  Didn't like him at all in Silver Linings Playbook  - he stuck out like a wooden sore thumb in the cast as far as I am concerned.  And I saw him again in American Hustle (a movie that I actually liked a lot despite B.Coop) and thought he was even worse in that one.  American Sniper was even a bigger step down from American Hustle - never thought that was possible, but there you go... 



"The only shipping I know is shipping containers."
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