Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
My Pick: Birdman deserves it... if only to show that a film with that much integrity and ingenuity can win. This year's been odd, and these nominations may be odder, so I think we could use a film like Birdman winning just for sanity's sake.
Actor in a Leading Role:
Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper - American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton - Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything
My Pick: Jake Gyllen... wait... he wasn't even nominated?? Ugh. Okay, I guess my second choice is Michael Keaton. Yay, Birdman gets another one (inflection not consistently serious). Did you also notice how Selma's David Oyelowo didn't get recognized here either. This category is amongst the most disappointing evidence of the Academy's poor decision making this year.
Actress in a Leading Role:
Marion Cotillard - Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore - Still Alice
Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon - Wild
My Pick: Julianne Moore... though I'd still be down for a Reese Witherspoon win.
Actor in a Supporting Role:
Robert Duvall - The Judge
Ethan Hawke - Boyhood
Edward Norton - Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons - Whiplash
My Pick: J.K. Simmons! At least this one hasn't changed... though the addition of any performance from The Judge is questionable at best on the Academy's part.
Actress in a Supporting Role:
Patricia Arquette - Boyhood
Laura Dern - Wild
Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game
Emma Stone - Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Meryl Streep - Into the Woods
My Pick: Patricia Arquette... because her performance still blows my mind!
Animated Feature Film:
Big Hero 6
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
My Pick: The LEG... wait... this one too? Dammit Academy! Stop ruining my day... Well, How to Train Your Dragon 2... but with a very very heavy asterisk. The best movie doesn't even make the list.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) - Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Robert Yeoman
Ida - Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski
Mr. Turner - Dick Pope
Unbroken - Roger Deakins
My Pick: Birdman... Though once again I've gotta say, Mr. Turner could nab this one.
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Milena Canonero
Inherent Vice - Mike Bridges
Into the Woods - Colleen Atwood
Maleficent - Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive
Mr. Turner - Jacqueline Durran
My Pick: The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) - Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Boyhood - Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher - Bennett Miller
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Wes Anderson
The Imitation Game - Morten Tyldum
My Pick: Alejandro G. Iñárritu... but isn't it funny how a film that didn't even reach the Best Picture category managed to get its director in here while several other flicks considered to be of that quality didn't... I'm okay with a separation between the two awards because there is a difference, but at some point the two do become one and that's when you pull the one from the other.
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
My Pick: Virunga. It's one of the best films of the year.
American Sniper - Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
Boyhood - Sandra Adair
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game - William Goldenberg
Whiplash - Tom Cross
My Pick: Whiplash. I know I've got at least one friend who'd disagree, but Whiplash captured so much emotion and gave just the right beats at just the right moments... through cutting and coloring.
Foreign Language Film:
My Pick: Ida. Though I can't speak for any of the other candidates. A little surprised some of the other foreign flicks I saw this year didn't make it.
Makeup and Hairstyling:
Foxcatcher - Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier
Guardians of the Galaxy - Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White
My Pick: Foxcatcher... I expect this to be the only award Foxcatcher gets, but damn does it deserve it.
Music (Original Score):
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Alexandre Desplat
The Imitation Game - Alexandre Desplat
Interstellar - Hans Zimmer
Mr. Turner - Gary Yershon
The Theory of Everything - Jóhann Jóhannsson
My Pick: Since my pick was never gonna make this list I can give the Academy a little bit of a break here. At least my second choice got in... Mr. Turner.
Music (Original Song):
"Everything Is Awesome" from The LEGO Movie - Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
"Glory" from Selma - Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn
"Grateful" from Beyond the Lights - Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from Glenn Campbell... I'll Be Me - Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
"Lost Stars" from Begin Again - Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois
My Pick: Oh, you guys did know The LEGO Movie existed??? Everything Is Awesome!!
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
The Imitation Game - Maria Djurkovic (Production Design); Tatiana MacDonald (Set Decoration)
Interstellar - Nathan Crowley (Production Design); Gary Fettis (Set Decoration)
Into the Woods - Dennis Gassner (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
Mr. Turner - Suzie Davies (Production Design); Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration)
My Pick: Mr. Turner... though I would really like to see The Grand Budapest Hotel win as well.
American Sniper - Alan Robert Murray and Bob Asman
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) - Martin Hernández and Aaron Glascock
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
Interstellar - Richard King
Unbroken - Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro
My Pick: Birdman... That's what I say anyway.
American Sniper - John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) - Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
Interstellar - Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
Unbroken - Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
Whiplash - Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley
My Pick: Whiplash!! Glad it got nominated... and I don't know how anyone in their right mind could nominate Interstellar here... that flick was utterly impossible on the ears.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy - Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
Interstellar - Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
X-Men: Days of Future Past - Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer
My Pick: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes!! Because it deserves it. Serious props to these guys for bringing those apes to life in such an amazing way.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay):
American Sniper - Written by Jason Hall
The Imitation Game - Written by Graham Moore
Inherent Vice - Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything - Screenplay by Anthony McCarten
Whiplash - Written by Damien Chazelle
My Pick: Inherent Vice. Paul Thomas Anderson's script is a perfect adaptation of that book... and it actually manages to enlighten some of the more confusing passages believe it or not.
Writing (Original Screenplay):
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) - Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
Boyhood - Written by Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher - Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel - Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler - Written by Dan Gilroy
My Pick: Birdman. Once again. Here's the thing, I would nominate Grand Budapest, but it's adapted and these awards shows keep moving it into original... which is just wrong. Not to mention Whiplash is in the wrong category. These two should be swapped.
Damnit! Every year the Academy finds a new way to piss me off. I'd yell more about Ava DuVernay not getting nominated, but I sincerely don't think she was the best director this year. Regardless, I don't understand how Selma gets nominated for Best Feature but doesn't get a director nod while Foxcatcher rightly misses out on the Best Feature category but somehow Bennett Miller gets in for directing. But as I said, that's the least of my gripes... The Lego Movie and Jake Gyllenhaal both got shanked and those were the two categories I was most looking forward to. I just hope they get it right with the stuff they did choose to nominate come award day.