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Why Last Night’s Oscar 2015 Selections Were Important

So, normally, the morning after I crow a bit.  I jig a bit.  I get carried away a bit.  All because I knew basically what the Academy was going to do.  Last night?  Not so much.  Oh sure, I got many of the big ones right, but in my full selections list I got just as many wrong.  This year, the Academy gave out Oscars to everyone of the Best Film nominees.  Sure, Boyhood’s only Oscar was Best Actress, but I saw that coming a mile away.  Whiplash represented well.  Imitation Game did better than I thought it would do (seeing as though it was fairly formulaic).  I thought Selma got an amazing tribute with the Best Song.  And there didn’t seem to be a dry eye in the place.

But the big news for the night was the fact that there were surprises at all.  Normally in the world of Oscars Vegas can get within a 90% certainty for most picks because Hollywood is so dang easy to read.  But last night, the closest they got was 55% because of the race between Birdman and Boyhood.  So, it was good that the Academy got something of a clue and pushed the Oscars around.  It was also fantastic to see Birdman win.  It really was an amazing movie, not just the writing, but also the technique and craft of movie making, and also the amazing acting.  (How Keaton didn’t walk away with Best Actor, I’ll never know.)   The Oscars had seemed to be getting a bit formulaic in their selections, so it was good to see it switch up a bit.

Thanks to everyone that participated in the Oscar pool.  It was a lot of fun.  And we’ll see you next year!  Here’s a review of some of my picks and misses for the night.

oscars-2015

Alright – Let’s go out on a limb here and post are assumptions about the major categories being decided tonight at the Oscars.  I’ll check back tomorrow and see how poorly I did this year.  My selections are highlighted in Blue and Bold.  As an aside, if you are into screenplays, you can find over 30 of this year’s best movies screenplays here.  Over the last week I read Birdman and Boyhood and enjoyed them both immensely.  Anyway – here are my picks:

oscars-best-pictureBEST PICTURE

American Sniper
Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole

Boyhood
Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson

The Imitation Game
Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman

Selma
Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner

The Theory of Everything
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten

Whiplash
Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster

oscars-director

DIRECTING

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu

Boyhood
Richard Linklater

Foxcatcher
Bennett Miller

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson

The Imitation Game
Morten Tyldum

 

oscars-actors

ACTOR – in a Leading Role

Steve Carell
Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper
American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch
The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Eddie Redmayne
The Theory of Everything

oscars-actresses

ACTRESS – in a Leading Role

Marion Cotillard
Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones
The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore
Still Alice

Rosamund Pike
Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon
Wild

oscars-supporting-actor

ACTOR – in a Supporting Role

Robert Duvall
The Judge

Ethan Hawke
Boyhood

Edward Norton
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Mark Ruffalo
Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons
Whiplash

oscars-supporting-women

ACTRESS – in a Supporting Role

Patricia Arquette
Boyhood

Laura Dern
Wild

Keira Knightley
The Imitation Game

Emma Stone
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Meryl Streep
Into the Woods

 

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Big Hero 6
Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli

The Boxtrolls
Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight

How to Train Your Dragon 2
Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold

Song of the Sea
Tomm Moore and Paul Young

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura

 

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

CitizenFour
Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

Finding Vivian Maier
John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

Last Days in Vietnam
Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester

The Salt of the Earth
Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier

Virunga
Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

 

SHORT FILM – Live Action

Aya
Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis

Boogaloo and Graham
Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney

Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)
Hu Wei and Julien Féret

Parvaneh
Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger

The Phone Call
Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

 

VISUAL EFFECTS

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist

Guardians of the Galaxy
Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould

Interstellar
Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher

X-Men: Days of Future Past
Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

 

WRITING – Original Screenplay

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo

Boyhood
Written by Richard Linklater

Foxcatcher
Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness

Nightcrawler
Written by Dan Gilroy

 

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