2015 was another crazy year in film with cries of historial innacuracies for American Sniper, Selma and The Immitation Game, as well as cries of outrage for Oscar snubs to Selma and The Lego Movie. Both deserved to be recognized.
Here are my choices for the 87th Academy Awards.
- American Sniper – Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan
- Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole
- Boyhood – Richard Linklater 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
My Pick: Birdman
I just loved this off beat and wildly creative production with Michael Keaton playing a character close to his heart since he was Batman in the early days and didn't make a third picture. It wouldn't surprise me to see "Boyhood" taking this statue and Iñárritu getting the Best Director.
- Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
- Richard Linklater – Boyhood
- Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
- Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game
My Pick: Boyhood
A movie that takes twelve years to make, using the same actors and featuring Richard Linklater's unique vision is a no brainer. I can see this movie flipping with "Birdman" and winning Best Picture instead of direction too.
- Steve Carell – Foxcatcher as John Eleuthère du Pont
- Bradley Cooper – American Sniper as Chris Kyle
- Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game as Alan Turing
- Michael Keaton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as Riggan Thomson / Birdman
- Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything as Stephen Hawking
My Pick: Eddie Remayne
Redmayne did an incredible job with this role. His only real challenger is Michael Keaton, but I don't see the Oscar going his way.
- Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night as Sandra Bya
- Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything as Jane Wilde Hawking
- Julianne Moore – Still Alice as Dr. Alice Howland
- Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl as Amy Elliott-Dunne
- Reese Witherspoon – Wild as Cheryl Strayed
My Pick: Julianne Moore
Is there any role Julianne Moore can't play? This movie broke my heart throughout and it was due to her wonderfully nuanced performance.
- Robert Duvall – The Judge as Judge Joseph Palmer
- Ethan Hawke – Boyhood as Mason Evans, Sr.
- Edward Norton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as Mike Shiner
- Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher as Dave Schultz
- J. K. Simmons – Whiplash as Terence Fletcher
My Pick: J.K. Simmons
He's been one of my favorite actors since I saw him in an episode on Homicide, Life On The Streets as Colonel Alexander Rausch. My favorite performance in this category goes to Edward Norton in "Birdman," because he was so much fun, but J.K. stole his movie.
- Patricia Arquette – Boyhood as Olivia Evans
- Laura Dern – Wild as Barbara "Bobbi" Grey
- Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game as Joan Clarke
- Emma Stone – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as Sam Thomson
- Meryl Streep – Into the Woods as The Witch
My Pick: Patricia Arquette
This was an easy choice and I'm not saying that because the other nominees weren't up to the task.
- Citizenfour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutsky
- Finding Vivian Maier – John Maloof and Charlie Siskel
- Last Days in Vietnam – Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester
- The Salt of the Earth – Wim Wenders, Lélia Wanick Salgado and David Rosier
- Virunga – Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara
My Pick: Citizenfour
Watching the saga of Edward Snowden in real time during the days when he leaked secret NSA documents was as thrilling as it was sobering. Laura Poitras did an amazing job.
- Ida (Poland) in Polish – Paweł Pawlikowski
- Leviathan (Russia) in Russian – Andrey Zvyagintsev
- Tangerines (Estonia) in Estonian and Russian – Zaza Urushadze
- Timbuktu (Mauritania) in French – Abderrahmane Sissako
- Wild Tales (Argentina) in Spanish – Damián Szifrón
My Pick: Ida
I was taken in by the stark simplicity and sharp black and white images Paweł Pawlikowski captured in this tale of an orphaned woman trying to find out what happened to her parents in WWII before taking her vows for the church.
Please chat about your favorite film, performance, score, etc.
Also, if you're into the red carpet pageantry; comment about that too.