87th Academy Awards Recap
Well, that’s another year in the books. Goodbye, 2014, hello 2015.
I have no idea how many I got wrong or right. I think I was in the 18 range or so. Which is admirable. I don’t even care. Because not a single category threw me for a loop. I was right there with either the winner or runner up in every single category. That’s all I can ever ask for.
I was also extremely pleased that the majority of the Oscars went to three of my top four films of the year. And you throw in an extra win for my #6 film and another win for my #10 film. So I’m pretty pleased overall.
You can read my live blog of the events here. And now we’ll recap everything so we can get on with 2015:
Best Picture: Birdman
I can’t say I’m upset. This was my favorite film of the year. Apologies to all the Boyhood people. That film was also brilliant. Also apologies to everyone who wrote “Birdman Takes Flight at Oscars” as a headline this morning.
It’s gonna be interesting to see how this film holds up over time. I feel like Boyhood was probably the only timeless choice. I think it’ll hold up fine. It’s not a terrible winner. But it’s definitely an interesting one. I need time away from this to really gauge it. I’ve felt that way about all the recent winners. You need time to decide any of these things.
But I am happy to see my favorite movie of the year win the big one. That doesn’t happen often. I got to see The Artist do it (and Hugo was my #2, so it was a very similar situation to this year). That was the closest I’ve been in a while. The Departed is probably the next most recent. So I’m a fan.
Either way, they were gonna make the right choice here, I feel. This also continues the trend of Picture winners not sweeping everything and really only winning the core awards. 12 Years won three, Argo won three, King’s Speech won four, The Artist won five, No Country won four, The Departed won four. So this is right in line with most years. Only The Hurt Locker and Slumdog swept. It makes things somewhat more interesting. They spread the wealth and really take each category individually rather than checking off the box for the same film every time.
So, I’m pleased. I think it’s a fine decision. It was a hard one to screw up, so I’m glad they didn’t do anything dumb. I’ll need a few years to gauge this one, but for now, it’s looking good.
Perhaps it was fitting that Neil Patrick Harris turned the ceremony into a giant magic trick, since that’s kind of the theme of the year. Birdman being a giant trick and all, how it was shot, etc. That worked out nicely.
Best Director: Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman
Not a question. He earned this. He made a beautiful film. Linklater sadly doesn’t win, but that’s what happens. If the scenario were reversed, we’d be saying the same thing about Inarritu. So it’s nice to see him win. This one will hold up really well over time. Honestly more so than Linklater, in a way. At least technically. Linklater’s achievement was more about the fact that he did it than the actual direction of the film. This direction was really terrific. So I don’t think anyone can actually argue with this one or call it a bad choice.
Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Shame about Keaton, but Redmayne was the only one who could have beaten him and it would have been okay. This is your standard Best Actor winning role, and I think they got it right.
Shame about Keaton, shame about Cumberbatch. Cooper was good and Carell was fine, but they didn’t need it. Keaton was the one who would have been a nice story. But either way, they did a good job. No arguments here.
Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
She was locked all the way. She’s delivered so many worthy performances over the years. This was her time. No arguments to be had anywhere. She’s the only one that can hold up over time. Pike actually wouldn’t have held up as well as she will. Jones maybe. But it’s all Moore. This was the only choice.
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
He’s so good. One of the best supporting winners of all time. I’m calling it now. He’s so good. Completely deserved. Nothing would have held up as well as him. Norton was a good second choice. Hawke maybe could have held up because of Boyhood. Otherwise, Simmons was the only choice. Good for him. Richly deserved.
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
The category was as such that she is the only good decision and the one that will hold up over time. The performance is better than I gave it credit for all along, and she earned the award. This will hold up well. The only other performance that would have held up okay is Keira Knightley, given the role. But not as much as Arquette. These mother roles are timeless.
Best Original Screenplay: Birdman
This made me happy. Sad to see Wes Anderson lose, but it made me happy to see Birdman win. Because the script is half the movie. You write that script knowing how you’re gonna shoot it. So that’s a really tall task. They completely deserved this and I think this is a perfect winner. They wrote a stage play here. With Anderson, he wrote a great film, but that’s dependent on his direction. Birdman could be put on a stage as is and be just as good. It’s not dependent on the single shot. So I’m a fan of this decision and I think it’s a good one. Budapest also would have been a good choice.
Best Adapted Screenplay: The Imitation Game
This made me happier than Birdman. This script was terrific. And then Graham Moore gave the best acceptance speech of the night. Whiplash was a great script, but Imitation Game deserved it. Good winner.
Best Editing: Whiplash
Very happy about this. The most deserving nominee. Boyhood was good and all, but Whiplash — man that movie was crisp.
Best Cinematography: Birdman
Chivo deserved it. Nothing more to be said.
Best Original Score: The Grand Budapest Hotel
This one seemed to have been coming for a while. Kind of upset he won for this, but I love that he won. Because he’s my favorite working composer and this was his eighth nomination. He needed a win, and now he has it. Good for him. Very happy for Desplat.
Best Original Song: “Glory,” from Selma
There’s no way. If this didn’t win, I’d have been upset. Everyone would have been upset. Did you see that performance? Great choice.
Best Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Biggest lock of the night next to Julianne Moore, and perhaps the most deserved winner of the night. The production design here was gorgeous.
Best Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Also deserved. No complaints, no surprises. (Ready to Take a Chance Again?)
Best Makeup & Hairstyling: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Also no surprise. It muscled out everything else.
Best Visual Effects: Interstellar
I told you. These movies don’t lose here. That’s twice in a row with the apes. I said it all along. Don’t do it. I hope you listened.
Best Sound Mixing: Whiplash
Also completely deserved. Watch the movie again. You feel it. This was the winner.
Best Sound Editing: American Sniper
Makes sense. War movies do well here, and the minute Birdman lost for Mixing, this was winning here. (I believe I told you that would happen, as well. Either Birdman wins both or this exact pairing happens.)
Best Animated Feature: Big Hero 6
Maybe the biggest surprise of the night. And even then, not really. Because it was a coin flip. I’m glad Dragon lost. Not that I loved this movie. But it’ll do. Boring category, overall.
Best Foreign Language Film: Ida
Completely deserving. Best film in the category.
Best Documentary Feature: CitizenFour
Also best film in the category. This was a lock all along.
Best Documentary Short: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
It was one or the other. I think they made the boring choice. This cements the idea that they like issues in this category over anything else.
Best Live-Action Short: The Phone Call
Kind of surprised it won, because it’s a downer. Beautifully acted, though. You can’t take that away from it. Great short. Well deserved win.
Best Animated Short: Feast
Disney broke the streak. Really thought they’d go for The Dam Keeper here. It makes sense. History just wasn’t in its favor.
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Here’s a list of the films that won Oscars:
Birdman — 4 Oscars (Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography)
The Grand Budapest Hotel — 4 Oscars (Original Score, Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling)
Whiplash — 3 Oscars (Supporting Actor, Editing, Sound Mixing)
The Theory of Everything — 1 Oscar (Actor)
Still Alice — 1 Oscar (Actress)
Boyhood — 1 Oscar (Supporting Actress)
The Imitation Game — 1 Oscar (Adapted Screenplay)
Selma — 1 Oscar (Original Song)
Interstellar — 1 Oscar (Visual Effects)
American Sniper — 1 Oscar (Sound Editing)
Other winners were: Big Hero 6, Ida, CitizenFour, Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, The Phone Call and Feast.
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And here’s how I did on my predictions, by the way:
On my personal ballot:
I got right: Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Original Song, Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, Visual Effects, Foreign Language Film, Documentary Feature, Animated Short
I got wrong: Score, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Animated Feature, Documentary Short, Live Action Short
So that’s 18 of 24. Not bad.
On the ballot I told you to take:
I got right: Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Original Score, Original Song, Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, Visual Effects, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Foreign Language Film, Documentary Feature
I got wrong: Original Screenplay, Editing, Animated Feature, Documentary Short, Live Action Short, Animated Short
Also 18 of 24. That’s an average year.
Now, what I’m really curious about is how I did, rankings wise.
Best Picture: +1
Best Director: +1
Best Actor: +1
Best Actress: +1
Best Supporting Actor: +1
Best Supporting Actress: +1
Best Original Screenplay: +2
Best Adapted Screenplay: +1
Best Editing: +2
Best Cinematography: +1
Best Original Score: +2
Best Original Song: +1
Best Production Design: +1
Best Costume Design: +1
Best Makeup & Hairstyling: +1
Best Visual Effects: +1
Best Sound Mixing: +2
Best Sound Editing: +1
Best Animated Feature: +2
Best Foreign Language Film: +1
Best Documentary Feature: +1
Best Documentary Short: +2
Best Live-Action Shot: +2
Best Animated Short: +2
Notice how all of my choices were in the top two. That’s how you pick, people. That’s why I’m satisfied with how I did overall, because everything I told you about either won or was the second choice.
So, to tally that up… how did I do?
Out of a low of 24, I got… 33.
Not great, not awful. I’ll take it. 9 over par.
Par being a perfect score. I aim high.
I feel like I did fine.
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And that’ll do it for 2014.