Thursday, January 15, 2015

Oscars 2015 - Let's Get This Party Started!

Welcome back to the blog!

Last year, I began taking my crazy Oscars obsession to a new level by writing this blog.  I reviewed all of the films nominated (Every. Single. One.), and I had a blast doing it.  You all read, shared, and went on the journey with me.  Was I excited to get going again?  Well, I woke up at 3 a.m., well before the nominations were announced, so, yes, excited is the right word.

This year, the nominee landscape is very different.  There are only two films with 9 nominations each (Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel), and the nomination love is spread around much more than in the past.  Most of the Best Picture nominees have only 5 or 6 nominations total.  This means that I have many many more films to review and not quite enough days to do it in, so I hope you'll forgive me for a handful of days with multiple posts.

The Complete List of Nominees

Let's start with some overall observations, disappointments and controversies from this year's list, and then we'll get into the meat with the film reviews.

First, Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher) was robbed.  The Best Actor field was a tough field, and I've been reading about this tight race for the last two months.  I was hoping that the Academy would pull a Geena Davis (The Accidental Tourist) and nominate him in the Supporting Actor category, even though he was a lead.  (If you recall, Davis won Best Supporting Actress, even though her role was functionally a lead role.)  This fine actor changed the shape of his body and his jaw, altered his walk, and even his voice sounded materially different.  His performance deserves recognition far more than Mark Ruffalo's does (even though he was also superb.)

Second, I'm extremely disappointed for The Lego Movie.  It was a highly original, totally entertaining movie, and absolutely deserving of a nomination.  Everything is NOT awesome when a movie of this caliber gets overlooked.

Third, I can't help but comment on the placement of Whiplash in the Best Adapted Screenplay category.  As you may know, the difference between adapted screenplay and original screenplay is that the former comes from another piece - a poem, a short story, a documentary, a novel and the latter is written purely for the screen.  In this case, in order to raise money to make the movie, the filmmakers produced a short piece from the script as a teaser, and a way to interest investors.  This, says the academy, makes the full length feature an adaptation.  This, in my mind, doesn't really make sense.  But, until they appoint me honorary academy branch executive committee member (my phone has been oddly silent), I'll have to live with their thinking.

So, those are some initial thoughts, now let's spend the next 38 days celebrating the art of storytelling!  I'll see you at the Oscars!

P.S.  I know you'll not want to miss a single review, so be sure to subscribe by google+, yahoo, or by entering your email in the subscribe box.  It's easy, and you won't be sorry!

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