Saturday, February 21, 2015

Oscars 2015: Predictions, Tweet Reviews and More

Courtesy: The Oscars

It’s that time of the year again! (Ah! It feels great to come out of my self-imposed hibernation after almost two years, by beginning the post with a cliché). I am very jaded, and this post will probably make you cringe. So I apologize and thank you in advance for putting up with this post.

The Oscars are around the corner, so now might be the perfect time to reflect upon some of the best movies and some of the best performances in the past year. When the nominations were announced on 15th of January, the members of the Academy received criticism because of the lack of diversity in the nominations – not a single Black actor/actress was nominated in the main acting categories. This is the third instance in the past 20 years where no Black actor has been nominated in the four main acting categories – 1995 and 2011 were the other two instances when all the nominees were White actors. Nevertheless, throughout the awards season, many favorites have emerged but there are bound to be a few surprises when the awards are announced on Sunday.

The 87th Academy Awards will take place on Feb 22, 2015 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles. Neil Patrick Harris aka Barney wait-for-it Stinson will be hosting the awards for the first time, this year. Last year’s show, hosted by the super-hilarious Ellen DeGeneres, is famous for that iconic Oscar Selfie. NPH being equally talented and funny, we can surely expect some memorable moments when he hosts the awards this year.

Except one; I have watched all the movies nominated for Best Picture, this year. After watching each nominated movie, I review them in a series of tweets that nobody bothers to read. So, I decided it was a great idea to coalesce all those mundane tweets, and post them here - where no soul has stepped foot in almost two years. Genius, I say!

I initially intended to embed the tweets to this post, but that proved to be logistically infeasible. Hence I have posted only the screenshots. Please click on the name of each movie to read the complete review.

So, along with my tweet reviews, here are my predictions for the Oscars 2015:

Movie: Boyhood

Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay.

My Prediction: 3 Wins - Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress

Although I loved Boyhood, it is not my favorite movie of the year. But it is the best-reviewed movie of the year, appears No. 1 on more critics’ annual “Best-of” lists in 2014 than any other movie, and in all probability, will go on to win Best Picture. Director Richard Linklater is tipped to win Best Director and he most probably will. The race for the Best Supporting Actress is between Patricia Arquette and Meryl Streep for Into the Woods – Patricia is tipped to win this race. In the Supporting Actor category, Ethan Hawke will probably lose out again, this time to the outstanding J.K. Simmons for Whiplash.

Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score.

My Prediction: 1 Win - Best Actor

The race for the Best Actor award is between Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton for Birdman. Redmayne has pretty much swept all the awards in that category, this season. So unless there is an upset, I expect him to take home the coveted Best Actor award for The Theory of Everything, this Sunday.

Movie: Still Alice

Nominated For: Best Actress

My Prediction: 1 Win – Best Actress

Julianne Moore has received widespread critical acclaim for her outstanding portrayal of a patient with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. She has pretty much swept all the awards this season, and she’s going to win big at the Oscars too.

Movie: Whiplash

Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay

My Prediction: 1 Win – Best Supporting Actor

Whiplash, in my opinion, is the best movie of the year. It deserves to win Best Picture, but it won’t. On the other hand, J.K. Simmons will go on to win Best Supporting Actor.

Movie: Selma

Nominated For: Best Picture and Best Original Song

My Prediction: 1 Win – Best Original Song

Selma was unfairly snubbed for Best Direction, and in the two main Acting categories. It is however a favorite to fetch an Oscar for both John Legend and Common for their song, “Glory.”

Movie: Birdman

Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing.

My Prediction: Will win the technical awards but may lose out on the main ones.

Technically, this movie is brilliant. I especially expect it to win for Best Cinematography. But the main race is for the Best Director and Actor awards. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s direction is excellent; he deserves to win Best Director, but will probably lose this race to Richard Linklater. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Iñárritu wins it though. There’s probably a much closer race for Best Actor between Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne. And here too, Redmayne will probably pip Keaton. Edward Norton was fantastic in this movie, even overshadowing Keaton for the most part, but he too will lose out on the Best Supporting Actor trophy to J.K. Simmons.

Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and other technical awards.
My Prediction: No Wins.

Benedict Cumberbatch acted his heart out in this insipid movie, but he is not tipped to win Best Actor. The movie might still win one or two awards in the technical category, but I am not expecting much.

Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and other technical awards.

My Prediction: No Wins.

Considering the track records of the legendary director Clint Eastwood and the movie’s lead actor Bradley Cooper, American Sniper was always going to be nominated big. Also, it may go on to become the highest grosser at the domestic box office for the year 2014. But I don’t see Sniper winning any major awards.

Movie: Gone Girl

Nominated For: Best Actress

My Prediction: No Wins.

Rosamund Pike was absolutely brilliant in Gone Girl, deserves her nomination. The movie should have also been nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, as it had won several awards in that category in various award functions, but it failed to get an Oscar nod.

Note: This obviously is not the most comprehensive post about the topic as I am yet to watch a couple of other nominated movies, and so my opinions are based solely on the movies I have watched so far.

Come Sunday, there will be the usual glitz and glamour associated with the Oscars with the who’s who of the entertainment industry assembled at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. There will be some amazing performances, many memorable moments, some heartbreaks, but mostly joy for the big winners of the night.

So, see you at the Oscars!