Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Awards Season

UPDATE: Winners in bold
ACCURACY (will win):  9/16

 February is upon us, when the Baftas and the Oscars dish out another year's worth of accolades, meaning an end to the constant stream of top-drawer cinema releases - out with the fodder! (Hello Wild Card!). Over the past few months we've seen Mr Turner, Gone Girl, Nightcrawler, The Imitation Game, Interstellar, Whiplash, Foxcatcher, Boyhood, Paddington, Birdman, Wild, The Theory of Everything, Inherent Vice, American Sniper and A Most Violent Year all get a cinematic release; the big hitters slugging it out for awards nominations. The Grand Budapest Hotel is the only other film to receive notable recognition outside of this pre/post Christmas cinematic feast. 
For sheer tenacity and dedication, Richard Linklater surely deserves some recognition for the twelve years he spent making Boyhood, whilst Alejandor G. Inarritu is also a strong contender with his radical direction of Birdman - a single shot which seamlessly flows between scenes for almost the entire running time of the film. Birdman and Boyhood are both strong entries, as are all their competitors.

It's very hard to predict which way the voters will go; American Sniper has likely made itself redundant from the race due to the bad press coverage it has garnered as a result of its graphic depictions of anti-muslim violence, otherwise it'd be a sure shoe-in for the Oscar - remember the awards for The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty. It's a real shame not to see Gone Girl and Nightcrawler gain more nods in some of the main categories, whilst it's a disgrace that The Lego Movie didn't get a Best Animated nod from Oscar, and Phil Lord and Chris Miller deserve to be in the Director category. 

And the burning question: where the hell is Timothy Spall, Mike Leigh and Mr Turner? An outstanding film with world-class performances from all involved, it's lack of recognition feels almost insulting, so glaring is its omission. Bafta is however awarding Mike Leigh with a fellowship this year, which seems bizarre given Mr Turner is one of his best films, and arguably the finest Leigh-Spall collaboration yet.  

If this writer had his way, Leigh, Spall and Mr Turner would be up for the top awards, along with Fincher and Gone Girl (the perfect adaptation!), The Lego Movie for everything that is awesome, Oscar Isaac for his chilling portrayal in A Most Violent Year, and Lenny Abrahamson's much-loved off-the-wall musical drama, Frank. But alas, I do not get to cast the nominations, so looking at what is generally considered to be the eight main categories, here are the nominations, and some unfounded guessing as to which nominations will take away the awards...

BEST FILM

OSCARS: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash
will win...Birdman
should win...Whiplash

BAFTAS: Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything
will win...The Imitation Game
should win...Boyhood

BEST DIRECTOR

OSCARS: Alejandro G. Inarritu (Birdman), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
will win...Alejandro G. Inarritu
should win...Richard Linklater 

BAFTAS: Alejandro G. Inarritu (Birdman), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), James Marsh (The Theory of Everything), Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)
will win...Richard Linklater 
should win...Richard Linklater 

BEST ACTOR

OSCARS: Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Steve Carrell (Foxcatcher), Michael Keaton (Birdman), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) 
will win...Eddie Redmayne 
should win...Eddie Redmayne  

BAFTAS: Michael Keaton (Birdman), Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)  
will win...Eddie Redmayne 
should win...Eddie Redmayne 

BEST ACTRESS

OSCARS: Marion Cotillard (One Day Two Nights), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
will win...Julianne Moore 
should win...Rosamund Pike

BAFTAS: Amy Adams (Big Eyes), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Reese Witherspoon (Wild) 
will win...Felicity Jones
should win...Rosamund Pike

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

OSCARS: Robert Duvall (The Judge), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Edward Norton (Birdman), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) 
will win...Mark Ruffalo
should win... J.K. Simmons 

BAFTAS: Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Edward Norton (Birdman), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), Steve Carrell (Foxcatcher), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) 
will win...Ethan Hawke
should win... J.K. Simmons 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

OSCARS: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Laura Dern (Wild), Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game), Emma Stone (Birdman), Meryl Streep (Into the Woods) 
will win...Patricia Arquette
should win...Patricia Arquette

BAFTASPatricia Arquette (Boyhood), Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game), Emma Stone (Birdman), Imelda Staunton (Pride), Rene Russo (Nightcrawler)
will win...Imelda Staunton
should win...Patricia Arquette

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

OSCARS: Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler
will win...Birdman
should win...Nightcrawler

BAFTAS: Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Nightcrawler, Whiplash
will win...Birdman
should win...Whiplash

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

OSCARS: American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Inherent Vice, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash
will win...The Theory of Everything
should win...Inherent Vice

BAFTAS: American Sniper, The Imitation Game, Paddington, Gone Girl, The Theory of Everything
will win...The Theory of Everything
should win... Gone Girl

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