After all, it's just a ride….

Oscar Winners 2015

2015Yes it’s Oscar time again, and I frivolously wonder what will be the new addition to this list. One thing’s for sure, I bet we wont get as memorable an acceptance speech as this. As usual I made some herculean efforts to see as much of the material as possible, with the exception of Mr. Tuner I think I’ve covered the majority of stuff, as I want to see that properly on the Blu-Ray to appropriately wallow in Dick Pope’s cinematography rather than watch the damn thing on my computer. I managed to track down Unbroken (run of the mill three star bio-pic), Still Alice, (strong but thoroughly predictable Alzheimer tear-jerker) The Judge, (tediously average moral transformation tedium) Selma, (moving and graceful historical picture, and yes it’s a deep disgrace that Oyelowo wasn’t nominated) Into The Woods (a musical ergo not my thing and Streep’s automatic nomination is absurd) and a cluster of the animated pictures – whew. So that’s almost all the high-profile and technical awards covered, shame I couldn’t find any of the animated live action or documentary shorts on-line but to be honest I didn’t try very hard this year. Here is a great article on the some of the most absurd upsets of the ceremony since its 1927 inception, from one of the best movie sites on the web – if American Sniper wins anything then I’m going postal. I’ve got a Hungarian and Argentinian TV feed running as insurance should one drop out, isn’t the future of telecommunications grand?

oscarAnd as usual the Menagerie standard disclaimer, I don’t treat these awards as anything other than a fun exercise, an adjunct to serious cinephilia, just like the BAFTA’s where Under The Skin was nominated and lost in precisely one category. Exactly which film will still be debated, dissected, admired and crucially inspire upcoming filmmakers in visual culture a decade from now? The Imitation Game? The Theory Of Everything? I won’t insult you with the answer to that puzzle. Industry observer wise though the awards are important, as potential winners will find themselves elevated to a new strata of importance with greater funding dexterity, and that is essentially interesting – just consider the A list dreck that superb actress Helen Mirren has been mired in since her 2006 win, and that’s just one example of multitudes. No, I’m not having a go at her specifically, it’s just an observation considering her pre and post win material, for example should Linklater win director or film will he be on the industry list for an adjunct  Star Wars picture? Yes, and that’s food for thought. If he’s interested. Anyway, you know the drill by now, right? I’ll be darting around with a few scattered thoughts on each nominee section I’ve listed below, apologies in advance for potentially incoherent and bdaly spelld reportage but we are eight hours behind here in the UK so the ceremony doesn’t even start until 1:30am.  Those I’ve seen are in bold, those I predicted would win are in italics, and those that did win are in gold, naturally. FINAL TALLY – I have no idea and at this point I don’t care, but I’m fairly sure that Boyhood was fucked…..

Best Film

bm2

DID I GET IT RIGHT? NO

I’m wasted yet first instincts are this – for the past three years we’ve had three films celebrating cinema and performance – The Artist, Argo and now Birdman. Solid films in their own way, but as a nest this is insular and uncomfortable. Not good, not healthy;

American Sniper – Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole

Boyhood – Richard and Cathleen Sutherland

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson

The Imitation Game – Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman

Selma – Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner

The Theory of Everything – Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten

Whiplash – Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster

Best Actor

toe1

DID I GET IT RIGHT? NO

Really? A great start, don’t get me wrong, a first act convincing physical performance but I can’t think that it didn’t quite continue for the rest of the film as this movie was more about other characters, especially when compared to the scope of the other nominees.

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Michael Keaton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Actress

alice

DID I GET IT RIGHT? NO

I’m a fan of Moore so great, good for her as its a reasonable film but it still smacks of the old yet appropriate cliché – illness equals Oscar. , ;

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Best Director

bm2

DID I GET IT RIGHT? NO

Yeah, he did well with a great panoply of material directing a play, but this film was all in the actors and cinematographer.  If that equals best assembly of material then fine, but I still can’t feel that Linklater was cruelly robbed,,,?

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

Best Supporting Actor

whiplash

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES

Well that ceremony opening from NPH didn’t particularly grab me but here we are – yet we are off with a first win, with a succinct speech from J.Jonah Jameson – a good start;

Robert Duvall – The Judge

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood

Edward Norton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

 Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

 J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress

by3

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES

Brilliant and utterly deserved, maintaining that performance was quite a thing over that breath of time, and a great, appropriate politically aligned speech – that one line she delivers in Boyhood was something else. Also immortal in Lost Highway of course;

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

Visual Effects

interstellar

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES

Well of course. There has been some queries on the accuracy of the black hole realism to which I say this – erm, what? I’m running behind now but really, the accuracy of how we imagine black holes?…..

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

Original Screenplay

night

DID I GET IT RIGHT? NO

Maybe a late surge for the other awards? We shall see…..Nightcrawller deserved some attention though, but here we are…..in a modern world. Have I missed the….oh….

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

 

Adapted Screenplay

imi2

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES

Writers love the historical guess, a obvious choice.

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

 

Animated Feature

bhs1

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES

Yes, at this stage I’m doing well I think, losing count of my…..count. I’ve lost the Argentinean feed but the European  insurance is still going. Other options are being pursued. Can’t wait to see again Blackhat tomorrow either. Heh ;

Big Hero 6 – Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli

The Boxtrolls – Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight

How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold

Song of the Sea – Tomm Moore and Paul Youn

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya – Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura

Cinematography

bm3

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES

OK, things are getting little out of control, it’s late and the bourbon is bruising. But yes another win, for one of the greatest cinematographers drawing breath. Maybe one day Deakins will win but this is another appropriate award….

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Emmanuel Lubezski

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman

Ida – Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski

Mr. Turner – Dick Pope

Unbroken – Roger Deakins

Costume Design

costume

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES

He’s a great stylist and can certainly muster a brilliant crew but hey Wes, where is the human dimension to your fantastic, yet cold films?;

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero

Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges

Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood

Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive

Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran

 Documentary Feature

citizwn

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES

For UK viewers its on TV on a couple of days. As I said before it is essential, brilliant, and terrifying in equal measure, and the craft, considering the pressure is impeccable;

CitizenFour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

Finding Vivian Maier – John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

Last Days in Vietnam – Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester

The Salt of the Earth – Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier

Virunga – Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Editing

whiplash

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES

Yes, and utterly deserved. That film lives and breathes on that scattered arrangement, and the whole jazz thing works wonders in this combination of the visual and sonic. That final scene is sublime, and simply would not work without a perfectionist. A perfect win.

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

Foreign Language Film

ida2

DID I GET IT RIGHT? NO

Ah well that’s fair enough, my early streak is broken. I must see Ida again as although I enjoyed the film I did find it slightly unengaging, the fantastic B&W cinematography aside. I’ve heard great things about Wild Tales though, looking forward to that….

Ida – Poland; Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski

Leviathan – Russia; Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev

Tangerines – Estonia; Directed by Zaza Urushadze

Timbuktu – Mauritania; Directed by Abderrahmane Sissako

Wild Tales – Argentina; Directed by Damián Szifron

Musical Score

gbh3

DID I GET IT RIGHT? NO

Ah well, I’ll fight this one on until the end of time, no I won’t as that’s unfair with what I’m doing now. Interstellar was great. It’s half four and eh? What. OK. Sorry…….(cries)…..

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat

The Imitation Game – Alexandre Desplat

Interstellar – Hans Zimmer

Mr. Turner – Gary Yershon

The Theory of Everything – Jóhann Jóhannsson

Documentary Short Subject

DID I GET IT RIGHT? NO

Sounds like a worthy winner, I’ll hunt it down.

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry

Joanna – Aneta Kopacz

Our Curse – Tomasz Śliwiński and Maciej Ślesicki

The Reaper (La Parka) – Gabriel Serra Arguello

White Earth – J. Christian Jensen

Make Up & Hairstyling

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES – So now we are three for three, this is a strong start….

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

Original Song

DID I GET IT RIGHT? NO

Maybe should have been awesome, but nice to see Glory get some kudos. Good film, give it a watch.

“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 GLEN 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

Production Design

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES

And no surprise, one thing you can’t fault Wes is on the texture, but where’s the wider emotion?

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 –  Susie Davies & Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration)

Animated Short Film

DID I GET IT RIGHT? NO

So I did manage to see Feast as it played ahead of Big Hero 6,but I didn’t elect to win. Stupid me.

The Bigger Picture – Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees

The Dam Keeper – Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi

Feast – Patrick and Kristina Reed

Me and My Moulton – Torill Kove

A Single Life – Joris Oprins

Live Action Short 

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES

Wow, total luck here, I guess I should give it a bell now….

Aya – Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis

Boogaloo and Graham – Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney

Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak) – Hu Wei and Julien Féret

Parvaneh – Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger

The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

Sound Editing

DID I GET IT RIGHT? NO

Ah well these usually come in twos, but not this year. I have sourced a great piece on how instrumental this craft is for movies, gimme a few moments to track it down. Hopefully this is the only nod for Sniper.

American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray and Bub 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

Sound Mixing

DID I GET IT RIGHT? YES

Yup, another one in the bag. Cool.

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s