So each year, I pick who I like to win. Sometimes I’m on the money. A lot of the time, let’s just say I dance to the beat of a different drummer. If I had more time, I’d work on my own list of nominations and picks for winners. I’ll work with the existing list though and grudgingly accept that snubs happen. (Oh, did they happen!)
I don’t usually watch documentaries, foreign films, or shorts. (It’s not that I don’t want to watch them. I just don’t find many opportunities to see them.) For that reason, I will not make any picks for those awards.
That said, my choices for the awards are…
(Click here to see the full list of nominees)
1. For Achievement in Production Design, I choose Interstellar. While I was enthralled with WWII England and Alan Turing’s “Christopher,” in The Imitation Game, in the movie Interstellar [SPOILER ALERT], I think the set in the scene where he’s looking out through the bookshelf was, well, stellar.
2. Achievement in Visual Effects. Now this is a tough one to choose. They’re all excellent and convincing candidates. I am going to go with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes though. Honestly, I would be thrilled with any choice the academy makes.
3. Achievement in Cinematography. OK boys and girls. This is where the hand comes and grabs your shirt front, pulling you into the movie. Well, in my humble opinion anyway. So, who’s hand pulled me in most effectively this year? I choose Birdman...with the difference, the distance of a hair’s breadth between that and Unbroken. What pulls me toward Birdman though are Michael Keaton’s leaps. For that, I choose this movie
4. Achievement in Sound Editing. I must feel like I’m experiencing what’s happening in the movie. Sound helps that. My choice this year: American Sniper.
5. Achievement in Sound Mixing: I’m going to choose Whiplash. Those drums, man! Those drums!
6. Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling: easily goes straight to Foxcatcher. Easy choice. I did not realize that was Steve Carrell. Hands down.
7. Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures: I remember thinking to myself that I liked the music in this movie. So…there you have it. I choose The Theory of Everything.
8. Original Song: Man, this was another tough choice! It’s almost a virtual tie between Glory from Selma and Lost Stars from Begin Again. I have to go with the latter though. Adam Levine does it again. I loved that movie and definitely loved all the music from it.
9. Achievement in Film Editing: Gotta give this one to Boyhood. Continuity is tough enough in the first place, but to keep it over a 12 year period? Well that’s downright amazing!
10. Adapted Screenplay: I may actually end up in the same place with the Academy on this one. I like American Sniper. Intense, well told story.
11. Original Screenplay: Boyhood gets my vote on this one. What a great idea! I loved the premise of the movie and the actors involved were superb
12. Best Animated Feature Film: I confess I didn’t see all the movies in this category. However, my vote is for Big Hero 6. I know I’m harping on the well-told story idea here, but that’s just what this movie is. I was immediately drawn in and felt very part of this animated world as I watched it.
13. Supporting Actress: Wow, all these women are so talented! OK, so originally, I going to choose Emma Stone in Birdman. Her performance just grabbed me. However, I feel Patricia Arquette truly deserves the award. I am so not the same person I was 12 years ago. She maintains a fictional character over that amount of time, while working on other projects and is completely convincing as the mother in this movie. Well done. Brava!
14. Supporting Actor: Again, an amazing group of performances, making for a difficult choice. After much agonizing, I’m going with J.K. Simmons…because he hit it a just my tempo. <wink>
15. Lead Actress: Easy choice here, though all performances were stunning. Hands down though, Julianne Moore for Still Alice. I stand and applaud. Outstanding. Simply outstanding.
16. Lead Actor: Alright, alright, alright. Here we are. As much as I loved Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Stephen Hawking and Bradley Cooper’s convincing Chris Kyle, I just have to hand it to Steve Carell. He so well became his character. I could not recognize Steve Carell in Foxcatcher – and it wasn’t just because of the spectacular job with makeup.
17. Achievement in Directing: OK, there is a major snub in this category and that is of Ava DuVernay for Selma. I did say that I would stick with the nominees as they are, so my vote goes for Boyhood. To keep a cast in character for the average 3 month filming time of a movie is an accomplishment, but to do so for a period of 12 years, is phenomenal. I choose Richard LinkLater for Boyhood. Well done!
18. Best Motion Picture of the Year: OK, I’ll just say it. I did not like Grand Budapest Hotel. I found it long, tedious and hard to follow. That said, I am in agreement with the rest of the nominations, making this a very tough decision. However, I feel the best picture of the year is Selma. This movie was well done, powerful and yes, painful to watch. But it must be watched. I almost feel it should be required viewing for high school students. Brilliant performances and outstanding direction that should have been recognized in addition to this nomination. Please, Academy. Agree with me on this one and give the award to Selma’s producers.
So there it is. My picks for 2015. I wonder how in synch…or out of synch I am with the Academy. Enjoy the Oscars everyone! Please feel free to share your picks in the comments.