Oscar Nominations – Right and Wrong.

Posted: January 22, 2015 in Uncategorized
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Its been a week since 2014’s Oscar nominations were rolled out. This was a surprising year for most of us Oscarologists, with some significant surprises. Still, I predicted 73% of the nominees correctly (and that includes the short films, which NOBODY gets right). Before we get into category by category, lets look at the main films I got correct, and the main picks I totally missed.

Where I Was Right

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1) The Grand Budapest Hotel

With nine nominations, this film was one of the nights big winners. Its hard to imagine that just two or three months ago, experts were bemoaning the fact that this film “came out too early” to be considered for a Best Picture nomination. I wasn’t one of them, although its doing better than I expected in November. I got all nine of its nominations correct. Perhaps people should remember that as long as the film is good enough, it doesn’t matter when it was released.

2) Ida

Everyone knew Ida was getting nominated for Best Foreign Film. I went with my gut and picked it to garner a Best Cinematography nom as well, which made me a perfect five out of five in that category.

3) Unbroken

This was listed by many “experts” as a front runner for a Best Picture Oscar at the start of the year. I never bought the hype. I prefect facts. And while I was hoping the film would be better than it actually was, some people seemed to be picking this to win awards based on the fact that it used to be considered a favorite, a consideration made entirely on hype. It did get nominations for cinematography and sound editing and mixing, which it deserved, and yes, I picked all three.

Where I Was Wrong

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1) American Sniper

I really don’t understand the love this film got. I can see Bradley Cooper, but not ahead of David Owelowo, who was snubbed. We’re talking a decent film that got nominated here, and worse things have happened, but I feel its Best Picture nomination was a little bit based on luck. This year we had seven solid contenders: BoyhoodBirdmanGrand Budapest HotelThe Imitation GameSelmaThe Imitation Game, and Whiplash. With potentially three more nominations to give out, voters were met with a bunch of films all very close in quality: NightcrawlerAmerican SniperGone GirlFoxcatcher, and A Most Violent Year. Best Picture voting is always a little crazy and hard to follow, but American Sniper probably had the most “viewer friendly” source material of the bunch. Four crime dramas, which aren’t everyone’s cup of tea in the first place, may have canceled each other out, while most people love hearing patriotic stories about real life heroes. The fact that only eight films were nominated indicates that the other films didn’t have appeal across the board, which is too bad for them.

2) Gone Girl

I picked this one to get a Best Picture nomination, and while I wouldn’t consider the lack of one to be a snub. I’m very surprised that it was left out of Best Adapted Screenplay. The film translated well to the big screen, and there were no points where I felt lost without the book. Only one nomination for this film; it went to Rosamund Pike for her chilling performance.

3) A Marvel Trifecta

Augh. I let myself be talked into something, and that something was that the voters wouldn’t be willing to nominate more than one Marvel Comics film for any given category. Based on last year’s snub of Pacific Rim, which seemed to have been canceled out, I thought this was a reasonable assumption. But again, basing an prediction on something completely arbitrary will only get you in trouble (or a wrong answer), as not two, but three Marvel films were nominated for Best Special Effects: Guardians of the Galaxy (which I did predict), Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and X-Men: Days of Future Past (which I did not predict).

And now, onward to the nominations. Let’s see how accurate my picks were. Accurate predictions are in bold, while wrong predictions are crossed out and replaced by the correct nomination. I also list snubs. You’ll notice there are not very many. Snubs, in reality, don’t happen that often. The Oscars are for the Best of the Best, not just “good” films.

Best Picture 

  1. Boyhood (Mark it down now, Boyhood will win Best Picture)
  2. Birdman
  3. Selma
  4. The Imitation Game
  5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  6. The Theory of Everything
  7. Whiplash
  8. Gone Girl American Sniper

With only eight films nominated this year, my 9th and 10th picks are left out (Nightcrawler and Foxcatcher)

Best Director

  1. Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
  2. Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
  3. Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  4. Ava DuVernay (Selma) Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)
  5. Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

Best Actor

  1. Michael Keaton (Birdman)
  2. Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
  3. David Oyelowo (Selma) Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
  4. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
  5. Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler) Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)

Snubs: David Oyelowo (Selma)

Best Actress

  1. Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
  2. Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
  3. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
  4. Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
  5. Jennifer Aniston (Cake) Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)

Best Supporting Actor

  1. J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
  2. Edward Norton (Birdman)
  3. Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
  4. Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
  5. Robert Duvall (The Judge)

All correct! Yay!

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
  2. Emma Stone (Birdman)
  3. Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
  4. Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
  5. Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year) Laura Dern (Wild)

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Boyhood
  2. Birdman
  3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  4. Selma Foxcatcher
  5. Nightcrawler

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. The Imitation Game
  2. The Theory of Everything
  3. Gone Girl Inherent Vice
  4. Whiplash
  5. Wild American Sniper

Snubs: Gone Girl

Best Animated Feature Film

  1. The Lego Movie The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
  2. Big Hero 6
  3. The Boxtrolls
  4. How to Train Your Dragon 2
  5. The Book of Life Song of the Sea

Snubs: The Lego Movie. Seriously…how the heck does this NOT get nominated?!?

Best Documentary Film

  1. Citizenfour
  2. Life Itself Last Days in Vietnam
  3. The Overnighters The Salt of the Earth
  4. Virunga
  5. Finding Vivian Maier

Snubs: Life Itself

Best Foreign Film

  1. Ida
  2. Force Majeure Timbuktu
  3. Leviathan
  4. Wild Tales
  5. Tangerines

Best Cinematography

  1. Birdman
  2. Mr. Turner
  3. Unbroken
  4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  5. Ida

All correct! Yay!

Best Costume Design

  1. Into the Woods
  2. Maleficent
  3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  4. Mr. Turner
  5. The Imitation Game Inherent Vice

Best Make-up and Hair

  1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  2. Guardians of the Galaxy
  3. The Theory of Everything Foxcatcher

Best Production Design

  1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  2. Into the Woods
  3. The Imitation Game
  4. Birdman Mr. Turner
  5. Inherent Vice Interstellar

Best Film Editing

  1. Birdman American Sniper
  2. Boyhood
  3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
  4. The Imitation Game
  5. Whiplash

Best Visual Effects

  1. Interstellar
  2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  3. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  4. Guardians of the Galaxy
  5. Godzilla X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Original Score

  1. Interstellar
  2. Gone Girl Mr. Turner
  3. The Theory of Everything
  4. The Imitation Game
  5. The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Original Song

  1. “Glory” (Selma)
  2. “Everything is Awesome” (The Lego Movie)
  3. “Lost Stars” (Begin Again)
  4. “I’m Not Gonna Miss You (Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me)
  5. “Mercy Is” (Noah) “Grateful” (Beyond the Lights)

Best Sound Editing

  1. Interstellar
  2. Birdman
  3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
  4. Unbroken
  5. American Sniper 

Best Sound Mixing

  1. Into the Woods Birdman
  2. Interstellar
  3. Unbroken
  4. Whiplash
  5. American Sniper

Best Live Action Short

  1. Carry On Butter Lamp
  2. The Phone Call
  3. Aya 
  4. Boogaloo and Graham
  5. My Father’s Truck Parvaneh

Best Animated Short

  1. Feast
  2. Duet The Dam Keeper
  3. Coda A Single Life
  4. The Bigger Picture
  5. Footprints Me and My Moulton

Best Documentary Short

  1. Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press One
  2. The Lion’s Mouth Opens The Reaper
  3. Joanna
  4. Our Curse
  5. One Child White Earth
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