Reactions to the Oscar Nominations

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Well Oscar season is now in full swing and yet again I find my favourite film of the year doesn’t even feature in the Best Film category. Last year I was exceedingly disappointed that “Rush” wasn’t even nominated, and this year it’s the case for my favourite film of 2014, Nightcrawler.

So now that the nominations are out, I’m going to run through the main categories, give general comments and who I think will win.

BEST PICTURE

Nominees : American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything and Whiplash.

Glaring Omissions : Nightcrawler and Gone Girl

For me there is only one worthy winner and that is “The Theory Of Everything”. It is the only film of the eight that I actually feel passionate about having seen six of the other seven. The only one that I haven’t seen is Whiplash due to not being released in the UK yet (although it does look well made).

I saw “Birdman” fairly recently and I’ll be honest, I was bored. It’s a well made film and Ed Norton in particular is fantastic, but for me it was just frightfully dull and although it definitely looks unique due to it’s editing making it appear to be one continuous shot, but that isn’t enough for me.

As I mentioned above, “The Theory of Everything” is for me easily the best film of the eight. It is exceptionally well made, is heart-warming and life-affirming. It makes you realise just how great Stephen Hawking’s achievements are and out of the ones that I have seen, it’s the only one I would consider watching again.

Prediction : The Theory of Everything

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BEST ACTOR

Nominees : Steve Carrell, Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne.

Glaring Omission : Jake Gyllenhaal

Right away I’m going to rule out Cooper or Cumberbatch as for me the other three stand out.

Redmayne was absolutely incredible as Stephen Hawking. Although he spends the majority of the film not really doing a lot, he has that presence which you would expect from an actor double his age and he commands the screen. The scenes early on are well played by Redmayne as well and he is a very strong candidate in this category.

Despite Birdman being dull, Keaton is actually quite good as the titular character. I haven’t seen anything of Keaton since the mid-90s comedy Multiplicity, and he has aged considerably since then, and he played the character very well. Infact, I’ll go as far as saying that there isn’t actually any member of the cast that did a bad job on Birdman, they all did very well, but it was just the story that I found hard to get into.

I’m not going to lie, I was a bit disappointed with Foxcatcher, it just wasn’t very engaging and I still don’t find Channing Tatum entertaining in the slightest, especially not enough to lead a film, so I am glad that he was ignored for this film and Carrell was given the best actor in his role as John Du Pont. It says it all about an actor that you wouldn’t know it was them unless you’re told. Usually you can see past the make up and still see that person, but I didn’t get that with Steve Carrell at all.

I’ve never been sure on Steve Carrell, he was awesome as Brick in the Anchorman films but other than that I’ve been largely “meh” about him, but for me this shows that he has a broad spectrum and that for me is a great thing. It’s similar to Jim Carrey, I didn’t really like him at all until I saw “The Truman Show” because it shows that he isn’t one-dimensional.

Prediction : Steve Carrell

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BEST ACTRESS

Nominees : Marion Cotillard, Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike and Reese Witherspoon

Pike, all the way. Not a question about it at all.

She is incredible in Gone Girl and although I’ve liked her for quite some time, this performance stands out as the best in her career and she is the only one here who is worthy of the Oscar.

Prediction : Rosamund Pike

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BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Nominees : Birdman, Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Nightcrawler

For me there is only one winner in this category, my film of 2014, Nightcrawler, however, I know the Oscars don’t work like that. The Oscars tend not to give an award to a film that is only nominated in one category when the other films in that category have been nominated for best picture.

I would love Nightcrawler to win this as it was an incredible story, however, with the unlikely event that the Academy won’t against their long term form, I reckon it will go the most enjoyable film of the other four, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Whilst it dragged at point, TGBH was enjoyable in parts and had an excellent all-round cast, including Ed Norton, the only person who appears in more than one of the films in the Best Picture Categories, and it’s the case with this category as well.

Prediction : The Grand Budapest Hotel

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