Monday, 23 February 2015

Oscars 2015: Winners and Losers



That's a wrap! The Academy Awards are done for another year and, as usual, there are a whole host of winners and losers to chat about. Here are some of my thoughts on the 87th Oscars...

Winners


Birdman was the biggest winner from the
87th Academy Awards
First off, Birdman. A lot of people predicted a close race between Birdman and Boyhood, but in the end Richard Linklater's '12 Years A Boy' lost out (talk about letting the best man win!). Instead it was Alejandro Inarritu's Birdman that swooped in to claim four awards - Best Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and the all important Best Picture. 

It was great to see Inarritu's inventive direction get recognised, as well as Emmanuel Lubezki's cinematography. Lots of people were predicting Director/Picture to be split across both films but in the end the Academy threw their weight behind Birdman - much to my delight! Birdman deserves every award it can get its claws onto so I'm glad it came away as the biggest winner on the night. You can check out my full review of the newest Best Picture winner right here.

The acting categories didn't throw up any surprises - but that's not necessarily a bad thing. JK Simmons took home Best Supporting Actor (Whiplash), Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood (as we well as turning her acceptance speech into a feminism rallying call!) and Julianne Moore (Still Alice) completed a clean sweep of Best Actress awards with her first golden Oscar statuette. Like I said, none of these came as a surprise but that's for a good reason - they deserved to win.

Eddie Redmayne wrapped up Best Actor for
his portrayal of Stephen Hawking
Again, much like everyone predicted, Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor for The Theory of Everything. There's no denying his performance was outstanding and his glee at winning was a delight to see. I should be happier for him (I mean, I should be rooting for the Brit!) but I really wanted Michael Keaton to win.

Big Hero 6 was a shocker in the Best Animated Feature category - it beat How To Train Your Dragon 2 but the shadow of the snubbed LEGO Movie still hangs over it.

Whiplash took home three awards - JK's acting nod was rounded off with wins for Film Editing and Sound Mixing. Again, nothing much wrong with these choices! Whiplash was awesome across the board and it certainly excelled in areas like Editing and Sound Mixing. I'm glad it won a handful of awards.

Lastly, the other big winner of the night was The Grand Budapest Hotel. It won Best Production Design (makes sense), Best Costume Design (eh, Guardians of the Galaxy was better), Best Make-Up and Hair (yeah, okay) and Best Music, Original Score for Alexandre Desplat. All in all, a pretty good haul don't you think?


Losers 


As always, where there is a big winner, there's someone who missed out and arguably the biggest loser from this year's Oscars were Boyhood and The Imitation Game. For a long time it seemed as though Boyhood would romp home and win all sorts of awards. In the end, this wasn't the case - Linklater missed out on Best Director as did Ethan Hawke with Best Actor.

The film also missed out across all the technical categories it was nominated for. One win from six nominations is a disappointing return but certainly not as bad as American Hustle or The Wolf of Wall Street did last year! I think Boyhood will soon become a classic example of the hype being simply too high to sustain.

The Imitation Game was nominated for eight awards but only took home one - Best Adapted Screenplay. Like Boyhood, it suffered from being stacked alongside Birdman, Whiplash and The Grand Budapest Hotel across multiple catagories. It's a shame because I really loved The Imitation Game, but I can't pinpoint which categories it could've taken away from the eventual winners.

Another heavy loser was Foxcatcher - it had five categories to its name but won none of them. American Sniper avoided a similar fate by picking up one award from its six nominations - Best Sound Editing. Is anyone particularly upset about this? It seems kind of silly that American Sniper had that many nominations in the first place so I can't imagine too many people getting annoyed over this one (outside of Texas that is!)

As I mentioned earlier, it was a surprise to see How To Train Your Dragon 2 lose to Big Hero 6. I can't think of many people who would rate Big Hero 6 as better and it seemed procedural to give Dreamworks the award over Disney this year. I mean, don't get me wrong - I loved Big Hero 6, but How To Train Your Dragon 2 was just that little smidgen better in my opinion.

We all knew it was going to happen but still - Rosamund Pike losing Best Actress to Julianne Moore stings a little. I don't get why that category was such a whitewash - the nominees all looked really strong and it should've been a tight race! At no point did it seem remotely possible that anyone other than Moore was going to win. I'll have to watch Still Alice to see what all the fuss is about but her performance had better be pretty damn revolutionary to top Rosamund.

Anyway, those are my aimless rambling thoughts on who and what won at the Oscars this year. What did you make of it? Brimming with Birdman euphoria or bummed out over Boyhood? Let me know in the comments section below!

12 comments:

  1. Birdman!!!!

    Boyhood's last minute fumble is kind of amazing, but it goes to show that you can't rest on gimmick, and all this "12 years a movie" BS finally bit it in the butt. Next time, take 5 months and make an interesting movie.

    I'm happy for Moore. I haven't seen her yet, and I LOVED Pike, but it was time. The reason this was such a whitewash was because it was time, and the Academy (and everyone else) knew it. Winslet circa 2008 all over again. Cotillard should have slayed, but her nomination was her reward.

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    1. Yeah, Boyhood lost steam in the last few weeks huh? Like you said, the gimmick was the big selling point and the story of the film was more interesting than the story in the film.

      I supposed that's fair - five nominations and no wins would've been tough on her. But the question is, was it the best performance? Or is it hers? I haven't seen Still Alice so I don't know, all I know is Rosamund was great and awards shouldn't be given out based on past mistakes. I mean, Scorsese won for The Departed but was it his best film, or the best film that year? It's tough to assess things like that sometimes because we all root for a good story, like Moore winning after so long.

      Thanks for your thoughts mate, always a pleasure! :)

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    2. Oh, I'm totally with you on awards being based on merit. I can't stand makeup Oscars because they usually suck. I mean, I'd rather Al Pacino and Paul Newman had remained Oscarless than to win for what they won for simply because they were due...but, and now I haven't seen it so don't quote me, from what I hear it looks like Moore's is more the case of 'great performance that may not be the best of the year but still very deserving of being a winner' and so, even if something like Pike or Cotillard (seriously, Cotillard delivers a performance that towers most anything I've seen from the past decade or so) is better, I'm ok with her winning for this. At least it was a worthy performance. Like Winslet...not her best, but respectable...and she deserves to be an Oscar winner.

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    3. Wow, that's pretty high praise for Cotillard! I haven't seen Two Days, One Night so I can't comment on her performance but you may have just perked my interest by a lot! :) I'll have to check it out once it arrives on VOD.

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  2. My big picks were Whiplash and Grand Budapest, so I was happy to see them win technical awards. For the big ones, I was split on Birdman/Boyhood. I just didn't know what was going to win! I wouldn't call myself a huge fan of Birdman, but it continues to grow on me. It was a great surprise for it to win over Boyhood!

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    1. Both Grand Budapest and Whiplash were great, I'm glad they racked up some awards too! :) It would've been a shame if they'd gone home empty handed - all in all, the awards were handed out pretty evenly don't you think? :)

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  3. YAY for Birdman! I was thrilled as I really thought Boyhood will get Best Picture. I love both How To Train Your Dragon 2 & Big Hero 6 but I didn't think either would win. I have no problem that Big Hero 6 won though, it's such a fun movie!

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    1. I thought the same! It would've been good to have The Lego Movie in that category too, but I still would've given the award to How To Train Your Dragon 2. Thanks for commenting Ruth! :)

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  4. I haven't seen 'Big Hero 6' just yet, but I'll be honest, I wasn't terribly impressed with 'How to Train Your Dragon 2.' Hopefully, I'll see BH6, soon.

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    1. It's good! Not groundbreaking and I wouldn't say it was 'Oscar material' in the animation category but still a really solid Disney film - if you liked Wreck-it Ralph, it's better than that! :)

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  5. Great post. Although Birdman wasn't my favorite I still think it was one of the best films of the year.
    By the way, I just wrote about a couple of the Oscar nominated films in my blog:
    www.artbyarion.blogspot.com

    Feel free to check it out,

    Cheers!

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    1. I'll be sure to check it out Arion! Thanks for commenting :)

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