Couple of days have past since the Oscars ceremony was held, so I decided to take a glance at this year’s bests. Some of the winners deserved the prize, whilst some losers should really feel snubbed off – as usual we may say. The key topic in the last ceremony was the deteriorating variety of films, which directly influenced the nominees as well – I completely back this up. I’ve seen a lot of cool movies in 2014, but the ones picked up for the Oscar prizes were just way too “Oscardized”. Nevertheless, let’s proceed to the analysis of my favorite categories.
BEST PICTURE – “BIRDMAN”
I reckon that the winner was picked up not from several movies, but only two of them – the belligerents were Inarritu’s “Birdman” and Linklater’s “Boyhood”. And I really have to admit, that I felt relieved, when the Mexican director was announced the winner – although “Boyhood” seemed an interesting experiment, all in all it was a rather clumsy-directed soap bubble, hence the best picture of 2014 had to be “Birdman”. Summing things up, I feel satisfied with the Academy’s choice and according to Alejandro Inarritu, who said that, if ‘Birdman” gets the prize, the Mexican cinema might finally reach more international level – there is a green light for such creativity.
BEST MALE LEADING ROLE – EDDIE REDMAYNE “THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING”
The debate was astonishingly heated over this category before the ceremony, but I dare to say that afterwards – it’s even more interesting. It seemed that Michael Keaton’s auto-cynical performance in “Birdman” is a fair bet, as well as Benedict Cumberbatch, whose riveting portrayal of Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game” looked quite solid in this race, but who would say, that Eddie Redmayne will gather all the splendor? Although I feel that the nominees lack two amazing performances – Jake Gyllenhaal’s darksome role in “Nightcrawler” and Matthew McConaughey for “Interstellar” ( I know, I know…) – Eddie Redmayne is also a surprising, but quite congruous choice. Can’t be too confident, Mr. Keaton!
BEST ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK – ALEXANDRE DESPLAT “GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL”
It’s always striking for me, how many good composers are snubbed off. When I first heard of two nominations for Desplat, that became too obvious. Although Johan Johansson’s soundtrack is a brilliant masterpiece on its own, not to mention probably the best piece of soundtrack by Zimmer since “Gladiator” for ‘Interstellar” – the award for Desplat is a poke in the eye. The winning soundtrack is not a memorable art and the announcement was an immense anticlimax for me. Am I alone with this one…?
BEST FEMALE LEADING ROLE – JULIANNE MOORE “STILL ALICE”
I must admit, that this year’s nominees did not meet my expectations at all, but the problem is rooted in the entire 2014 cinematography – that definitely was not a feminine year. Although I am a fan of Felicity Jones, she completely gave the ground to Redmayne and the winner Julianne Moore knows how to attract the attention of prize-givers. My first bet was Rosamund Pike, but well… Moore’s Oscar doesn’t bother me at all.
BEST FEMALE SUPPORTING ROLE – PATRICIA ARQUETTE “BOYHOOD”
Well… Patricia Arquette’s nomination was her top – at least that is what I was hoping for. My faith was divided between Keira Knightley, who always surprises me in every new feature and Emma Stone, whose surprisingly mature performance in ‘Birdman” grasped my attention. Even though “Boyhood” was the loser of the night, I feel that this is just another mistake. Maybe someone should check the envelope again and what was written in there?
BEST MALE SUPPORTING ROLE – J.K. SIMMONS “WHIPLASH
What does Edward Norton have to do to finally get the Oscar? I have completely no idea, but it is the third time he was close enough. It was also the third role, which deserved an Oscar as well. Nevertheless, Simmon’s performance was outstanding – no doubt about that. His maniac character practically “made” the movie, so yes – the Oscar in this category was a very good choice.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE PICTURE – “IDA”
I will never forget this moment – what a heartwarming experience, when such a masterpiece gets a nomination, being placed among four other amazing features. I must admit I felt, that “Leviathan” was by far the Academy’s favorite, which was well heated by the politics as well – many claimed, that if the Russian movie scores the prize, it would be a decision purely based on politics. And what a feeling it was, when Pawlikowski’s “Ida” was announced the best foreign film of the year! “Tangerines” by Urushadze, which I strongly recommend as well was my first pick after the nominations were announced, but my Polish heart was all the time with “Ida”.
Well, these categories were from the beginning my main interests – that’s why I decided to comment upon them. From the beginning I felt, that “Citizenfour” is the strongest bet for documentaries, whilst “The Big Six” was favored in the Best Animated Picture. I was quite dissapointed how “Interstellar” got completely snubbed off and one of the best ones this year – “Nightcrawler“. Although those movies were never meant to reach the Oscars, they deserve honorable mentions as well (you can treat as a sort of my suggestions”what to see from 2014”): “The Rover” by David Michod, “Starred Up” by David Mackenzie, “Blue Ruin” by Jeremy Saulnier”, “The Enemy” by Denis Villeneuve, “I Origins” by Mike Cahill, “Predestination” by The Spierig Brothers, “The Homesman” by Tommy Lee Jones, “Snowpiercer” by Joon-ho Bong, “Uroki Garmonii” by Emir Baigazin, “Frank” by Leonard Abrahamson, “Big Bad Wolves” by duo Keshales& Papushado, “Devil’s Knot” by Atom Egoyan.
Let me know what you think about the winners of Oscar prizes in the comments!