So now for the British Academy Film Awards (excluding the short films, which I am unfortunately likely to never see)... These guys have a slightly different taste than other awards groups and, since they're a whole other country, it seems some other films are eligible that perhaps made an appearance in last years Oscars... so bare with me on that. Anyway, I am appreciative of more than of few of their more surprising nominations.
Adapted Screenplay in 2015
The Theory of Everything - Anthony Mccarten
The Imitation Game - Graham Moore
American Sniper - Jason Hall
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
Paddington - Paul King
My Pick: The Imitation Game... Graham Moore did an excellent job of relaying the science to his audience. And for that I've gotta commend him in spite of some formulaic BS here and there. Truth be told, my likely picks definitely did not make this category... but I'll come to that later.
Animated Film in 2015
The Boxtrolls - Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable
The LEGO Movie - Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Big Hero 6 - Don Hall, Chris Williams
My Pick: The LEGO Movie... This was the first film I saw of the 2014 season. And it's been pencilled in for this award ever since. I do still find it confusing that there were apparently not enough space for How to Train Your Dragon 2... not that it would change my decision.
Cinematography in 2015
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Robert Yeoman
Ida - Lukasz Zal, Ryzsard Lenczewski
Interstellar - Hoyte Van Hoytema
Mr. Turner - Dick Pope
Birdman - Emmanuel Lubezki
My Pick: Ugh this is tough... Birdman for its originality and creativity. But a very close second to Mr. Turner.
Costume Design in 2015
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Milena Canonero
The Imitation Game - Sammy Sheldon Differ
The Theory of Everything - Steven Noble
Mr. Turner - Jacqueline Durran
Into The Woods - Colleen Atwood
My Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel... because FUN!!
Director in 2015
Alejandro G. Iñárritu - Birdman
Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel
James Marsh - The Theory of Everything
Richard Linklater - Boyhood
Damien Chazelle - Whiplash
My Pick: Alejandro G. Iñárritu... his vision made it to screen. And it may have been a bizarre vision, but it was bizarre in the best kind of way. Birdman was too cool and all because of Iñárritu!
Documentary in 2015
20 Feet From Stardom - Morgan Neville, Caitrin Rogers, Gil Friesen
20,000 Days On Earth - Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard
Finding Vivian Maier - John Maloof, Charlie Siskel
Virunga - Orlando Von Einsiedel, Joanna Natasegara
Citizenfour - Laura Poitras
My Pick: Virunga... this film was both beautiful and horrifying. It was simply put, an amazing achievement. That and 20 Feet From Stardom is a 2013 flick and even won the Oscar last year. It was alright, but not Oscar worthy... and it's had its day. Virunga all the way!
EE Rising Star in 2015
My Pick: Gugu Mbatha-Raw... Firstly, I already knew the others aside from Jack O'Connell and held them in some esteem. Secondly, because Mbatha-Raw gave an incredible performance in the little noted but wonderful Belle. I didn't catch Beyond the Lights, but I can only imagine she continues her ascension there.
Editing in 2015
Birdman - Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Barney Pilling
The Theory of Everything - Jinx Godfrey
The Imitation Game - William Goldenberg
Nightcrawler - John Gilroy
Whiplash - Tom Cross
My Pick: Birdman... once again for originality. When an editor can make you believe a film never cuts away... that takes ability.
Film in 2015
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson
The Theory of Everything - Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony Mccarten
Birdman - Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole
The Imitation Game - Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman
Boyhood - Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland
My Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel... mostly because I'm just so glad it got a nomination somewhere. But Wes Anderson's latest flick is seriously legit and should be recognized for its own wonderful existence. Out of these, it was between that and Birdman for me.
Film not in English Language in 2015
Ida - Pawel Pawlikowski, Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzieciol, Ewa Puszczyska
The Lunchbox - Ritesh Batra, Arun Rangachari, Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga
Two Days, One Night - Jean-Pierre Darenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd
Leviathan - Andrey Zvyagintsev, Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov
Trash - Stephen Daldry, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Kris Thykier
My Pick: The Lunchbox... which beautifully captured the mundane day to day lives of ordinary people, but managed to make them interesting and completely compelling.
Leading Actor in 2015
Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything
Ralph Fiennes - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton - Birdman
My Pick: Jake Gyllenhaal... It's not gonna change! Gyllenhaal's performance was perfect. He surprised me and for that alone he deserves this award.
Leading Actress in 2015
Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore - Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon - Wild
Amy Adams - Big Eyes
Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl
My Pick: I said Reese Witherspoon... She ruled in Wild. So much so that I could actually go back and watch a movie about somebody walking for three months again... But now I've seen Still Alice and Julianne Moore rocked that film.
Make-Up And Hair in 2015
Guardians of the Galaxy - Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White
Into The Woods - Peter Swords King, J. Roy Helland
Mr. Turner - Christine Blundell, Lesa Warrener
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Frances Hannon
The Theory of Everything - Jan Sewell
My Pick: Guardians of the Galaxy... I can't believe Foxcatcher didn't get a nod. So the most colorful flick gets my vote.
Original Music in 2015
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Alexandre Desalt
Interstellar - Hans Zimmer
Birdman - Antonio Sanches
The Theory of Everything - Jóhann Jóhannsson
Under The Skin - Mica Levi
My Pick: Under The Skin... I'm just so relieved that someone recognized the real best score of the season. Mica Levi killed it!
Original Screenplay in 2015
Birdman - Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wes Anderson
Boyhood - Richard Linklater
Whiplash - Damien Chazelle
Nightcrawler - Dan Gilroy
My Pick: Whiplash... Okay, this was tough, but as I said earlier, my choice for adapted screenplay wasn't in that category... it was The Grand Budapest Hotel which is in fact adapted for your information British Academy! Unfortunately I was just more impressed by Whiplash's surprising anger and emotion.
Outstanding British Film in 2015
'71 - Yann Demange, Angus Lamont, Robin Gutch, Gregory Burke
The Theory of Everything - James Marsh, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony Mccarten
Under The Skin - Jonathan Glazer, James Wilson, Nick Wechsler, Walter Campbell
Pride - Matthew Warchus, David Livingstone, Stephen Beresford
The Imitation Game - Morten Tyldum, Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman, Graham Moore
Paddington - Paul King, David Heyman
My Pick: Under The Skin... Because I'm a sci-fi fanboy and Under The Skin was something I hadn't experienced before.
Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director or Producer in 2015
Stephen Beresford, David Livingstone - Pride
Gregory Burke, Yann Demange - '71
Elaine Constantine - Northern Soul
Hong Khaou - Lilting
Paul Katis, Andrew De Lotbiniere - Kajaki: The True Story
My Pick: N/A... I didn't like Pride enough to give it the go ahead, and I haven't seen the others yet.
Production Design in 2015
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock
The Imitation Game - Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald
Mr. Turner - Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts
Interstellar - Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
Big Eyes - Rick Heinrichs, Shane Vieau
My Pick: Mr. Turner... Because they so completely managed to capture this odd and awkward but often beautiful past.
Sound in 2015
Birdman - Thomas Varga, Martin Hernández, Aaron Glascock, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño
American Sniper - Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman
The Imitation Game - John Midgley, Lee Walpole, Stuart Hilliker, Martin Jensen
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wayne Lemmer, Christopher Scarabosio, Pawel Wdowczak
Whiplash - Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann
My Pick: Whiplash... Though I'm told by my good drummer friend that the drum hits were inaccurate, I still can't deny how perfectly the sound managed to move the emotion of the film. Damn fine work in my opinion.
Special Visual Effects in 2015
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - Joe Letteri, Eric Swindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White
Guardians of the Galaxy - Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner, Nicolas Aithadi
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Erik Winquist, Daniel Barrett
X-Men: Days of Future Past - Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer
Interstellar - Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley
My Pick: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes... If this doesn't win I will be baffled to all hell. This was far and away the best effects work of the season. And while Interstellar comes a close second, the difference is in scope. While it's awesome effects are of worlds that could've just been pictures we can't compare, Apes had the difficult task of once again bringing creatures into perfect life-like reality.
Supporting Actor in 2015
J.K. Simmons - Whiplash
Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher
Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
Edward Norton - Birdman
Ethan Hawke - Boyhood
My Pick: J.K. Simmons... I'm impressed that the British Academy was willing to recognize Steve Carell's performance in its correct category. There was no leading actor in Foxcatcher. And Mark Ruffalo would get my vote before him anyway. Edward Norton was also damn good and really would've claimed this award in another year. However, J.K. Simmons gave the best performance of his career. And he really should win.
Supporting Actress in 2015
Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game
Imelda Staunton - Pride
Emma Stone - Birdman
Patricia Arquette - Boyhood
Rene Russo - Nightcrawler
My Pick: Patricia Arquette... I feel like she's the only one from this list that really should be on here anyway. But that's because of the role she got to play and the way she got to play it. I really loved what she brought to the dynamic of Boyhood. And her performance won't soon be forgotten.
See what I mean? The BAFTAs are kind of weird. But mostly in a fun way. What's the deal with all of those nominations for Paddington?? I mean really? Then again I haven't seen it... but I can't exactly say it feels like award material. Anyway, this has been a weird year for movies, and that trend seems to be continuing into award season. I have to wonder how these nominees will compare to those of the Oscars. There'll definitely be a few very serious shakeups.