Search This Blog

Monday, February 23, 2015

10 "Quick" Reactions to the 2015 Academy Awards

1)      Birdman tied The Grand Budapest Hotel in terms of total Oscar wins with four. Birdman took home the big three (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay) and well as Best Cinematography (which any cinephile knows is also another huge accomplishment, but we’ll get to that in another bullet point). After its SAG, DGA, and PGA win, Birdman and its director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu became the favorite to win the biggies and considering how creative and unique Birdman is, it’s not hard to see how these wins aren’t well-deserved. I personally did not like Birdman, but I respected the hell out of it and I’m not terribly bummed that it won.

2)      Inarritu's (and others) win for Birdman’s screenplay will be considered an upset by many as the general notion was that Wes Anderson and The Grand Budapest Hotel was going to take the category. However, if you followed me and my advice, this Birdman win should have been expected. Since the film was projected to win Best Picture, it was the favorite (by me) to win Best Original Screenplay as it’s tough to claim a film is the very best without its screenplay also being the very best. If only people listened to me more.

3)      As mentioned earlier, The Grand Budapest Hotel also won four Oscars (Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Make Up and Hairstyling, and Best Score). While all technical awards, Wes Anderson films, especially Hotel, tend to be grand productions so it’s not surprising it won so many technical awards. Again, this is another film I didn’t care for (I actually hated it), but the sets were remarkable, the costumes really were outstanding, and they did such a great job making Tilda Swinton look like a completely different person that I didn’t know she was in the film until much later.

4)      Alexandre Desplat was nominated twice in the Best Score category (for his work on Hotel and The Imitation Game) but since voters only see the name of the movie when they vote, many people thought (including yours truly) that Johann Johannsson would win Best Score for his work on The Theory of Everything. This was one of the few upsets of the night, but an overall well-deserved win by a talented composer. 

5)      Another upset in a technical awards category was Tom Cross’ win for Whiplash in the Best Editing category. If you talk to anyone who knows even the slightest semblance about editing, they’ll tell you that Whiplash was the best edited film of 2014 and Cross’ work of cross-cutting (no pun intended) to create tension was brilliant. Many people thought Boyhood would win this award for editor Sandra Adair’s ability to weave together 12 years of work, but luckily the most deserving person won. The best film of 2014, Whiplash, won three Oscars last night as it also won Best Sound Mixing and the well-deserved JK Simmons won Best Supporting Actor.

6)      The biggest and best technical award is Best Cinematography as you can’t have a great film without a great person behind the camera. Emmanuel Lubezki won his second award this category is as many years (this year for Birdman and last year for Gravity).  Very quietly, Lubezki cemented his status as the best cinematographer ever. Not only is Gravity and Birdman freaking amazingly shot, but his work on The Tree of Life, Children of Men, and even Sleepy Hollow is nothing short of genius. If you’re making a film, especially a bold and risky one, you need to have Lubezki in your corner.

7)      What a night for speeches at the Oscars. It’s a shame the show’s producers didn’t realize what incredible acceptance speeches would be given (I mean, how could they) because it might have been an all-time great award show if the producers had just gotten out of their own way. J.K. Simmons' speech telling us to call our parents, Patricia Arquette’s speech about wage inequality (that also gave us this wonderful gif-worthy Meryl Streep), and The Imitation Game’s Graham Moore telling us all to “stay weird” and “stay different”. Great, great speeches.

8)      Some not-so-humble-bragging and some “me me me” coming up next. I went 20 for 24 on my Oscar predictions including correctly predicting all 8 major categories, Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing, and going 2 for 3 on the short films.  Bow to your master!

9)      I didn’t really get a chance to actually pay attention and watch the ceremony as I was at an Oscars party and couldn’t really hear the specifics, but it seemed to me that Neil Patrick Harris was doing a great job and was engaging throughout the entire broadcast- which is what you want out of an Oscars host. I guess he made an inappropriate joke about a winner’s dress after she just finished talking about her son’s suicide and his Edward Snowden joke was pretty tasteless as well. I still would love to have him back and do this again and just have better joke writers for him- which is an extremely easy fix.

10)   I don’t hate Eddie Redmayne for winning or campaigning, if I had a legitimate chance to win a freaking Oscar I would do the exact same thing. What I do despise is that this old, white, male organization called The Academy giving any sort of respect and power to Redmayne’s performance. I know you may think Redmayne gave a great performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, but you’re just getting trolled. I got my hopes up considering there seemed to be a large section of The Academy who loved Michael Keaton’s performance, but at the end of the day Redmayne unfortunately won



If you would like to comment on this post, please visit our Facebook page