Awards Season Feature Post

Awards Season 2015-16 Scoreboard

Carol Keeping a tally of the (wins/nominations) for this year's awards season. Scroll down way below to see which Awards are being...

Feb 23, 2015

87th Academy Awards: Talking Winners and Losers

First, lets see how I did predicting the Oscars:

Best Picture:
(Winner) Birdman
(Predicted Winner) Boyhood

Best Director:
(Winner) Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman
(Predicted Winner) Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Best Lead Actor:
(Winner) Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
(Predicted Winner) Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Best Lead Actress:
(Winner) Julianne Moore – Still Alice
(Predicted Winner) Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Best Supporting Actor:
(Winner) J. K. Simmons – Whiplash
(Predicted Winner) J. K. Simmons – Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress:
(Winner) Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
(Predicted Winner) Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Best Original Screenplay:
(Winner) Birdman
(Predicted Winner) Birdman

Best Adapted Screenplay:
(Winner) The Imitation Game
(Predicted Winner) The Imitation Game

Best Foreign Language Film:
(Winner) Ida
(Predicted Winner) Ida

Best Animated Feature:
(Winner) Big Hero 6
(Predicted Winner) How to Train Your Dragon 2

Best Documentary Feature:
(Winner) Citizenfour
(Predicted Winner) Citizenfour

Best Editing:
(Winner) Whiplash
(Predicted Winner) Boyhood

Best Cinematography:
(Winner) Birdman
(Predicted Winner) Birdman

Best Production Design:
(Winner) The Grand Budapest Hotel
(Predicted Winner) The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Costume Design:
(Winner) The Grand Budapest Hotel
(Predicted Winner) The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
(Winner) The Grand Budapest Hotel
(Predicted Winner) The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Visual Effects:
(Winner) Interstellar
(Predicted Winner) Interstellar

Best Original Score:
(Winner) The Grand Budapest Hotel
(Predicted Winner) The Theory of Everything

Best Original Song:
(Winner) "Glory" from Selma
(Predicted Winner) "Glory" from Selma

Best Sound Editing:
(Winner) American Sniper
(Predicted Winner) American Sniper

Best Sound Mixing:
(Winner) Whiplash
(Predicted Winner) Whiplash

Best Live Action Short Film:
(Winner) The Phone Call
(Predicted Winner) Parvaneh

Best Animated Short Film:
(Winner) Feast
(Predicted Winner) The Dam Keeper

Best Documentary - Short Subject:
(Winner) Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
(Predicted Winner) Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

So that means 17/24. Which is not good at all considering my previous performances.

Talking Winners

Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel won the most awards with 4 each while Whiplash went away with 3. Birdman was predicted by several people after its back to back successes at the guilds as the film to beat. It did face some tough competition from Boyhood but well, the Academy went with the film they wanted to win that presented their industry. Alejandro González Iñárritu who directed Birdman won his first Oscar as a director following another Mexican filmmaker who won last year for Gravity of course. The film won original screenplay which it had to win considering its broader appeal within the Academy. And of course, best cinematography, another back to back win for Emmanuel Lubezki. I personally loved Birdman a lot but it wasn't my choice to win the main award. The film has such gravitas, it speaks of and for the Hollywood film industry and individual actors struggling to make an impression. Its a kind of film that appeals to the majority of the Academy consisting of mostly actors. They see themselves in these characters and their struggles highlighted. The references, clever and pretty pointed dialogues with an audacious style of filmmaking. They couldn't resist. Certainly a bizarre winner, I mean when was a last time such a completely off-beat film won the Oscar? Another bit of trivia is that Birdman is the first film since Ordinary People from 1980 to win best picture without an editing nod, tenth time that has happened.

Next up, The Grand Budapest Hotel won in the three prominent tech categories it was going to and very worthy of each. Such a dazzling creation in every way, the display of production design, costumes and sets is just astounding. Wes Anderson creates a world inhabited by these quirky characters flourishing under a culture and an era that was taken away. As robust and hilarious as it is in a particular manner, it has a sad undercurrent to it all that really hits. Which is usual for Anderson but people usually either praise or deride him for his 'quirks' only. The fourth win for the film was in the original score category which was my alternate pick. The score is beautifully distinctive and quite well-used. Then there is Whiplash... winner of supporting actor - J.K. Simmons in a supremely scary and strong performance. A clear favorite for almost everyone. The film also won best sound mixing which was expected. Then a surprise that wasn't a surprise, best editing. I wouldn't put the film down by calling its editing a flashy feature because it is important to the film and one of the reasons why it all works the way it does. Fine, it wasn't my personal #1 pick but Tom Cross deserves all the praise for his brilliant work here.

Patricia Arquette was the sole winner from Boyhood, let that sink in for a moment. Such a brilliant performance, a strong character written in the kind of way that is not really seen much these days. She plays a mother, wife, a woman.... her character plays roles, makes mistakes, experiences life the way many does and comes into term with it all at a crucial moment. It is a beautiful role that Arquette really gives so much heart and soul to. One of the biggest strength of the film. Other acting winners were of course, Julianne Moore for Still Alice and Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything. The former was a clear favorite and a predicted win, the latter became so after his SAG win which really matters. Moore plays a linguistic professor with an early onset Alzheimer, how she grapples with it and struggles to maintain her sanity and resilience during this harsh phase is the subject of the film. Moore has been nominated so many times for such masterful portrayals and she won now. Grateful that she won at last. Then there is Redmayne who played Steven Hawking, a very famous figure who doesn't need any introduction. Redmayne's portrayal is certainly very good, each phase of his life played very well. The film around him isn't strong, the writing isn't, so much lacks and doesn't make enough impact. Is it a worthy win? no! Academy loves portrayals of great men who faced tough times, the underdogs, men that changed the world and in awarding the actors playing those figures, they think of honoring those men. Plus there are actors who loves other actors when they go through these transformations.

This year, every best film nominee won at least one award. The Imitation Game won best adapted screenplay. A weak category in my own opinion so well I can't give much blame to the Academy. Only that they could have awarded two other films in there. Next, Selma was given best original song award for the powerful, "Glory". Again, predictable win but highly satisfying. American Sniper won a single award (thank goodness) for sound editing, Interstellar won best visual effects and Citizenfour won best documentary. Foreign language film winner was Ida from Poland, superb film. Big Hero 6 won best animated film, definitely not a superb win. So overall, a good slate of winners that could have been much better. Academy went with what they wanted, heart wants what it wants, egos above sanity.

Talking Losers

Boyhood was the biggest loser personally, what a remarkable, one of a kind and immensely moving film. It is not just about a boy growing up, a coming of age tale but it is about the various usual struggles people have in life. A kid understanding various aspects of life around him, a single mother doing everything in her power to raise her children, work and then have a life of her own. A film about living, experiencing and coming into term with life. It is about small moments in between the various highlights of life which is where we truly grow and expand as individuals. Boyhood doesn't make it apparent what year it is showing, how old are the kids. The editing in the film is very smooth and profound. A much simpler film than Birdman but ten times more impactful, resonating and life-changing. The way it shows life lived by, moments lived and gone, its just revelatory without being too eager to distract us. Linklater maintains his vision throughout, organic, touching and a masterpiece. Academy really messed up the chance to award this modern classic.

Michael Keaton lost best actor award which is a shame because it is the kind of performance not many have the balls to give, in the phase of their careers specially. An audacious, outrageous and painfully heart-touching performance. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya lost animation to... Big Hero 6! They could have awarded How to Train Your Dragon 2, much better than Big Hero 6. Leviathan would have been a slightly better choice in foreign language category but I wont criticize Academy for awarding it to Ida. Birdman winning best cinematography meant that both Ida and Mr. Turner lost so yeah, not too bad but Academy should shake it up a little. Lastly, Hans Zimmer would have been a better choice for his original and transcending score for Interstellar. Just a better win, by a few points.

Favorite Wins:

1. Julianne Moore
2. J.K. Simmons/Patricia Arquette
3. "Glory"

Not-So-Favorite Wins:

1. Big Hero 6
2. Eddie Redmayne

Worst Loss:

1. Boyhood

So that's my brief take on the wins and loses, expect a review of the ceremony itself either tonight or tomorrow when I watch the repeat telecast because I missed a few moments.