Best Picture Nominees 2015

I have officially completed a goal that I've never completed before. I SAW ALL OF THE BEST PICTURE NOMINEES BEFORE THE OSCARS!!!!! I feel incredibly accomplished about this and here's a few lines about each film about how I felt about them.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

i have no grand illusions that this film will win best picture but in my perfect world, it would. By far my favourite film of the year, GBH is Wes Anderson's finest work to date. Everything about this movie just tickles me, from the acting styles to the set design to Wes Anderson's patented centred shots, this movie entertains from start to finish. I'm thrilled that it even got up on the roster, as sadly that's probably all the satisfaction I'll get for it. 

The Imitation Game

I'm definitely in the minority here but I really wasn't moved by this film. Yes the acting was good and the story compelling but I wished we had learned more about Alan Turing's machine and how it worked, exactly how their cryptography was done and Enigma itself. And more Keira Knightley cuz girl was fab in this. Other than that, I was left wanting. The best part was the ending, honestly, which isn't saying much.

Whiplash

Fuck this movie was upsetting but in the best way possible. The chemistry between Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons was beyond electric and more intense than anything I could have imagined. I knew that this movie would be stressful but I didn't guess just how stressful it would be. I'd be happy with this as the winner but again, this is highly unlikely. In my mind, it hit all the marks of a quality dramatic film and I can definitely see it standing the test of time.  

American Sniper

Fuck, this was upsetting in the worst possible way. From start to finish I felt like I was being slapped in the face with overly-zealous American patriotism and propaganda. I actually found this movie hard to watch and had to do other things during the viewing. There's not really much more to say about it other than don't watch it, and what the hell with the fake baby?

Birdman

i know that this film is the front-runner for Best Picture but I was honestly underwhelmed. I thought the acting was fantastic and the long takes were very impressive but all in all I found the movie self-indulgent and a bit pretentious. The magical realism aspect was decent but I really wasn't blown away.  

Selma

This movie was really well done but very difficult to watch as well, but in a different way. Selma's plot is still just as relevant today as it was during the time of Martin Luther King Jr.  Daniel Oyelowo was completely robbed of a Best Actor nomination as his portray of MLK was poignant, powerful and piercing. This film moved me to tears and it's unfortunate it didn't get the recognition from the Academy it deserved. It does suffer a bit by being supposedly historically inaccurate (Lyndon Johnson was apparently a great supporter of Civil Rights) but if American Sniper can take liberties with the past, then Selma sure can. 

The Theory of Everything

I liked this movie much more than I thought I would. It was sweet and heartfelt and not at all deserving a Best Picture nod but I liked it all the same. Eddie Redmayne was truly phenomenal in this and I won't be surprised if he takes home gold tonight. This movie was nice and easy and not too fraught with heightened emotion. All in all, good film, but not great. 

Boyhood

I had really been looking forward to Boyhood as I'm a huge Richard Linklater fan. Sadly... I was bored (sorry, sorry, I know!). I get that this was an incredible feat of cinema, and the lengths that the cast and crew went to to make this film possible is very impressive. That being said, as much as I like moments-in-a-life movies (like Linklater's far superior Before Sunrise trilogy or the Coen Brothers Inside Llewyn Davis ) this movie fell a bit flat for me. I found the acting and screenplay to be incredibly sub-par and I found myself detaching from the film completely. I did start to gain a bit more interest near the end and I appreciate the use of music and technology to indicate how much time has passed but I was expecting more, especially from a 3 hour movie. I found this film incredibly demanding and I kept checking the time to see how much more of the film I had left. Not a good sign.  

And now we wait! I'll be streaming the Oscars for the first time this year as I no longer have cable (award shows would be the only reason I'd want cable, to be totally honest) so I'll be watching live and very well might be live tweeting throughout. May the odds be ever in these insanely rich people's favour in an ultimately meaningless display of what we view as success. Good times.

Later days!