I barely made it, but I did it! I watched all the best picture movies before the Oscars. Although I cut it close because Boyhood was almost 3 hours long.
Bradley Cooper’s performance in this movie definitely deserved the nomination, and he could possibly win it. The movie was powerful, very well shot, very well directed (Clint Eastwood is the man). There were very heartbreaking moments, like when he’s got the kid in his sights that picked up the RPG, and after killing people for so long for the first time he hesitated. It was a great moment showing the humanity of the character and that he wasn’t just a killing machine. After watching the movie I read up on Chris and his story. It even made me buy the book, which I suggest everyone checks out as well. If you don’t look too far into the whole “this is patriot propaganda”, it’s a good movie regardless. One of the best war movies I’ve ever seen. Right up there with Saving Private Ryan and Fury.
Emma Stone. Michael Keaton. Zach Galifianakis. Naomi Watts. Edward Norton. Pretty damn good lineup. Loved Ed Norton’s character, and if it wasn’t for J.K. Simmons destroying his role I’d consider Norton for Best Supporting Actor. Really liked Emma Stone in this movie and she could maybe beat Patricia Arquette for Best Supporting Actress. The big monologue when she’s yelling at her dad was perfect. The close up shot the whole time. No cuts. Great scene. She plays a good druggy. I really liked the soundtrack. When they were just walking around and it was just a bunch of drums playing, reminded me of Whiplash. The first scene with Emma and Norton on top of the theater was a really great scene. I liked how close the shot was, and how the camera moved throughout. Pretty nifty cinematography. They shot it as much as they could to make it seem like a pretty continuous shot. This really showed the actor’s prowess, long takes are hard to do since you don’t get fed lines and there’s a lot of dialogue so it’s pretty impressive. It worked really well because then at the end when it does start making abrupt cuts, it makes the viewer really wonder what actually happened.
It’s crazy that the voice-over is actually still Michael Keaton. It almost doesn’t even sound like him. The fight scene between Keaton and Norton was awesome. Norton is basically naked and tries the “Look over here at this hand” trick. Which made me laugh. I like how they are dropping real actor names like Ryan Gosling and stuff. I really hated that critic bitch in the bar. Glad he yelled at her. The voice reminded me of the voice from Bastion. Which by the way, if you haven’t played. Is a great game and worth the time, it’s fairly short.
Keaton was fantastic in this movie and in my eyes it’s between him and Cooper for Best Actor. Riggan is a really cool name. That last 15 minutes was stressful as fuck and absolutely beautiful on Keaton’s part. I was at the edge of my seat. It think I actually gasped. I don’t think I’ve ever actually gasped at a movie before. Keaton throughout was just such a spot on performance. He really brought everyone together. It was an all-star cast, but without him at the lead it wouldn’t have come together quite like it did.
It was cool to see Zach G in a serious role. The ending leaves a lot up for interpretation. Which I both like and hate. I really dislike not knowing exactly what happened but I do respect movies that do this because it lets everyone take from the ending what they want. I think Birdman is a clear winner for Best Picture this year, I’d be pretty surprised if it doesn’t win.
This type of story has been told countless times. The hard hitting dick of a teacher pushing his students to another level. That doesn’t mean I didn’t love the movie though. It was probably the movie I enjoyed the most out of the list. Miles Teller did a great job (and most of the drumming was actually him too, impressive). All I need to really say about this is that if J.K. Simmons doesn’t win Best Supporting Actor for this absolutely incredible performance it will be a travesty.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Adrien Brody. Willem Dafoe. Jeff Goldblum. Jude Law. Bill Murray. Edward Norton. Owen Wilson. Great cast. Although a lot of them were short cameos and were only on screen for a few scenes. I liked the movie. It wasn’t best picture quality. The way they told the story was really unique. Comedies usually don’t win best picture. It could possibly get the nod for best director though, if it can beat out the Boyhood and American Sniper (CLINT EASTWOOD, MAN).
The Theory of Everything
There’s a moment when he’s watching TV. He’s in the same position that he will inevitably spend the rest of his life in. It’s just good foreshadowing and I really liked that shot. It seemed like his condition vamped up really quickly. It went from just his hand to a limp and stuff really fast. I guess there’s really no telling how much time actually passed, I guess you could assume it took awhile for her to think something was up when he ignored her, and for his friends to talk to her. That’s not really a “next day” kind of thing. So maybe a couple months went by, or something. He can barely move by himself but he still gets his wife pregnant twice. What a bro. It kinda ended in a weird spot. There wasn’t much emphasis on his relationship with his wife and his nurse and stuff. Which is probably the most interesting part of his life, at least the most dramatic. They kinda castrated that part. It was a good movie. I don’t think it has a prayer for best picture. It did entice me to purchase A Brief History of Time so it did succeed in that endeavour. Eddie Redmayne played a fantastic Stephen Hawking. I’m not really sure how I feel about actors who are playing a real person, as opposed to coming up with a character completely. Which is more talent? I know the Academy has recognized the latter before (Lincoln for example), but I really don’t think which is better. There were some really emotional moments, especially when he was at the dinner table watching everyone eat while he was struggling. 🙁
The Imitation Game
As a computer science guy, Alan Turing is a bit of a hero of mine. He’s possibly one of the most incredible minds that has ever graced our field. The story of breaking the Enigma machine’s code is a fascinating one and if you haven’t before, check out the below video about it. Check out all the Numberphile videos on the Enigma machine, it’s really fascinating. That being said, Cumberbatch did a fantastic job portraying this man’s beautiful mind. It’s a shame that he was taken from us so early (41), the things that this man could have done for science would have been remarkable. He did poison himself with cyanide though, which is pretty gangster. I was so excited for everyone when they were running out of the party after they had their epiphany and ended up breaking the code. The characters were great, the interactions were wonderful, the conflict was real and it really had me engaged in the movie throughout. I don’t think it’s got a chance to win best picture though, as much as I would want them all to get the recognition for it.
If you don’t know anything about this movie. You should know that it was shot over a 12 year timeframe. So you are actually watching these characters age over time, which is unprecedented. There is never a real transition for when the characters age, it’s usually conversation cues or a hairstyle. It really is fantastic to watch. As I stated earlier, Patricia Arquette will probably win Best Supporting Actress. Emma might come close. But aging as a mother on screen, dealing with an abusive relationship and other shitty guys and things, it was a helluva performance.
Ellar Coltrane (Mason) also had an amazing performance. Going from a little boy to basically an adult on screen is just such a cool thing to see. Every time the time jumped ahead he looked so much different. I liked how soft spoken his character was. Watching him go through life: Dealing with mom and dad breaking up. Moving. Bullies. Girls. Drinking. Dealing with his mom being in an abusive relationship. Shooting guns. Breakups. College. I think I liked 15 year old Mason when he comes home late the best haha. The dorm room scene was hilarious. It was all really well done. I liked how they introduced a guy and then in the next scene he’s dating the mom. Too bad they always turned out to be douchebags, she should have stayed with Ethan Hawke. Who by the way, without J.K., would be in the running with Ed Norton for Best Supporting. Ethan had a great performance as the father. Best Director should definitely go here. 100% I’m glad that this movie got so much recognition because it’s definitely a good one and a lot of people should see it.
This movie deserved the nod from the Academy with the nomination. The story it tells. The struggles of the people involved, how brave they all were. The travesty it shows, the absolutely horrible things that were done to people in that times. It was a great depiction of the times. I think it’s a movie every American should watch. However, the movie itself wasn’t anything incredible. If you haven’t heard the John Legend and Common original song (Won a Golden Globe), it’s below, and it’s pretty great.
If Birdman doesn’t win Best Picture, then American Sniper will. If it’s anything else I think everyone will be surprised.
Best Actor should go to Keaton, but Bradley Cooper is a definite possibility.
J.K. Simmons for supporting. No questions.
Emma or Patricia for supporting actress.
Best actress I only saw 2 performances. But Rosamund Pike was pretty awesome in Gone Girl. I really have no opinion on this one.
Big Hero 6 (in light of The Lego Movie snub) better win Best Animated Film.
Cinematography should go to Birdman for the way they tried to make it seem like continuous shots the entire movie.
Costume to Malificent probably. The Grand Budapest Hotel runner-up.
Director should go to Boyhood. Possibly The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Well that’s it! The Oscar’s are in less than an hour. Let’s see how I do! I’ll probably write up a response to the Oscar’s when it’s over. Now let’s go watch some NPH. 😀