I never thought I’d see the day but the Oscars did a solid job this year.
It is a testament to the (extremely) slow progress of the Academy to see movies like “Get Out” and “Ladybird” landing major nominations. Seeing Jordan Peele, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Greta Gerwig’s names in the directing category, I want to root for all of them. And still, there’s room for Academy favorites like Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg, and the kind of historical biopics (“The Darkest Hour”) that I will probably watch three days before the ceremony.
But as always, a few favorites were left in the dark. Here are the years most egregious Oscar snubs:
“Take the Oscar decorations down from the tree,” Joe said to his son Timmy, “also, why are you decorating our lawn for an awards show?”
And now that the Oscars are over, we must face the reality of February and the six more weeks of winter that moron groundhog gave us. Look, I know that in the grand scheme of things, the Oscars are pointless. But you know what else is? The Super Bowl. Yet, nobody is ever criticized for caring too much about the score of the game. The Oscars give us something to laugh at, something to yell at, but most importantly, it gives us something to bond with other people over.
Last night’s ceremony was one of the worst in recent memory. It was bloated and overlong. Yet, I can’t argue with some of the winners, and that “some” is more than most years. However, I would love to teach voters what “screenplay” and “writing” mean. Anyway, a lot of people are angry that Boyhood didn’t win Best Picture, and rightfully so. However, just keep in mind that winning an Oscar is sometimes the worst thing for a film’s legacy. But hey, in terms of films it could have lost to, Birdman isn’t half bad.
Every show will include just as many highlights as outrages. So here are the things I liked, the things I didn’t like, and the things I’m not sure about from last night’s ceremony:
Looks like Riggan’s big artistic gamble paid off. Image via Wired
If cinema is a religion, then the Oscars are its biggest holiday.
I mean this in the same way that sports are also like a religion, and the Super Bowl is its Christmas. If sports are the biggest religion, then cinema is a much smaller one, and one that you might have to be crazy to follow. Fittingly, movies are like Scientology. And it is ironic that the ceremony focuses on bowing down to a golden idol, given that the main participators are typically Jewish and idol worship is a no-no if you’re up to date with your Torah studies.
Anyway, the Oscars do what any good holiday should do: distract us from the cold, dark world that surrounds us. Without the Oscars and all of the other precursors leading up to it, all we would have is Seventh Son and The Duff.
This year’s race is wildly unpredictable, which rarely happens. This year’s supposed frontrunner, an underdog itself, has suddenly found itself eating the dust of a film that nobody knew was even in contention for underdog status. However, I love both the films in question and the only way to really judge them is time. But like I said, we all must distract ourselves from the darkness of reality with shiny statues.
My predictions are not based on exact science. They are a mix of precedent (patterns and guild award winners) and completely random speculation. I am not an Oscar voter, because I am under the age of 75. Therefore, I have no inside knowledge. Here is who I think will win at the Oscars this year:
Don’t worry everybody: we are just a few think pieces away from the end of awards season! That means that soon you will have to face the cold, bitter reality that there are some terrible movies actually in theaters right now and also the polar ice caps are melting.
Let’s pretend, for just a brief moment, that I am now and always will be an Oscar voter. The world would be a much better place. Goodfellas would have won Best Picture. Anne Hathaway would never have been in Bride Wars. Monkeys would wear ties to work. Let that soak in. Without much further adieu, here is who I think should win in this year’s top categories:
An all female Ghostbusters? What’s next, Oscar categories meant only for women? Oh, wait.
This is the same drill as my previous column dedicated to all of this year’s best actor nominees (leading and supporting). This isn’t necessarily about each actresses best performance (though in some cases, it is), but rather ones that are an important part of their careers. It could be their breakthroughs, or an instance where they played against type. In some cases, it is a TV show rather than a movie. Without further adieu, here are some other great performances from this year’s Oscar nominated actresses, with apologies to Keira Knightley and Felicity Jones:
My reaction after finding out that Jake Gyllenhaal wasn’t nominated for Nightcrawler. Image via YouTube
I had so much fun the other day exploring the films of this year’s crop of Oscar nominated directors, that I decided to keep going. The SAG Awards were last night, so I decided to look into this year’s Oscar nominated actors. By the way, there was no reason for me to include that the SAG Awards were last night, but I just want to keep this somewhat relevant.
The rules here are similar to those of my director column. This isn’t about each actors best performance, but rather about ones that define them in some interesting way. For some of them, I couldn’t completely do them justice, so I brought a friend in to help. Without much further adieu, here are some other noteworthy performances from each of this year’s Oscar nominated actors (includes those nominated both for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor):
Remember the 90s when people dressed differently than we do now haha Image via Criterion
Ever since I first started to care about film in a freakishly intense way, I have always been fascinated by directorial style. Bad directors are bad because they have no distinct style. They are fine with being derivative of their time. Good directors think ahead, follow patterns, and ultimately evolve.
This year’s batch of directors include a few pros finally getting their due, a few directors evolving their style, and one who is new to the Oscars. I have gone through the careers of this year’s Oscar nominated directors. For the most part, I didn’t necessarily chose their best works, but rather I chose the ones you might not have seen, or the one’s that exemplify each director in an interesting way. With advanced apologies to Morten Tyldum, here is my list of five other great movies from this year’s Oscar Nominated directors:
If only we could all be this happy. Image via Forbes
There is nothing Americans love more than complaining about things that they know nothing about. Thus, the Oscars are a complainer’s paradise.
Yes, the Oscars are just an awards show, and not the end of the world. But scoring a nomination is actually important. For example, if Jennifer Aninston scored a nod for Cake, maybe we would finally be able to see it. Seriously, I don’t know a single non-critic who has seen the movie. I don’t even think Jennifer Aniston has seen it. But at the end of the day, it’s a hunk of shiny medal shaped like a naked bald dude holding a sword.
There is also the disparity between what deserves an Oscar and what will actually win an Oscar. A lot of films that win Best Picture are forgotten years later. For instance, let’s look at 2004. Million Dollar Baby won that year. I would argue that the most influential and memorable film of that year is Mean Girls. That is the one that everybody still watches and quotes, but of course it wasn’t nominated for any Oscars. It is not an Oscar movie; it is the kind of movie that people dedicate Tumblr accounts to.
When deciding what I think the biggest snubs were, I took into account both what I wish was nominated, and what would actually make sense as a nomination. Yesterday, I talked about which nominations made me happy. Today, I discuss which snubs make me sad. Cue the anger!
The statement “while I do not agree with some of the nominations, I am happy about most of them” could literally be said every single year. Time is a freaking flat circle.
There have already been a lot of complaints going around, mainly about the lack of Selma (my review and thoughts on that to come). With a strong presence of films like The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything (NOTE: I haven’t seen either of these yet, so I am guessing here), this was a year made for Oscar movies rather than movies that actually deserved Oscars. However, the ambitious Boyhood and Birdman lead the pack. In order to finally get some Oscar love, Alejandro Inarritu had to finally stop making Oscar movies.
There are many deserving nominees this year. Here are a few I especially loved:
I found this on Twitter. I am really sorry I can’t provide proper accreditation but whoever did this, you freaking rock.
The cinema lover’s Christmas happened last night. And now it’s time to go back and talk about normal stuff like The Muppet and upcoming Wes Anderson films.
For a year that seemed to be incredibly unpredictable, the Oscar winners sure were predictable. As expected, 12 Years a Slave took home the top prize while Alfonso Cuaron was crowned the best director in all the land. This happened to be a really good year for film, so none of the winners were exactly infuriating. The only really upsetting thing was that I had to listen to Bono sing instead of Oscar Isaac. And there’s plenty of more Bono ranting where that came from!
This year’s Oscar ceremony was overlong, indulgent, and only funny in small portions. Which is to say it was just like any other year. Read on to find out what I liked, what I didn’t like, and what I wasn’t sure if I should love or hate, during this year’s Academy Awards: