After weeks of being a couch potato and committing wholeheartedly to watching a very long list of films – OSCAR NIGHT HAS ARRRRRRIVED! It’s always been a fun ritual of mine that I most likely take too seriously. As a young, blossoming cinephile I would stay up well past my bedtime to watch as the shiny gold statues were doled out to glamorous celebrities that I probably didn’t recognize. Now, I carefully plan the categories I’m interested in, learn as much as I can about the films and their actors, and form my own *humble* opinions about who deserves the mighty Academy nod of approval.
I have fairly particular tastes when it comes to movies. I don’t care if everyone I know loves a certain movie – I’m not swayed by popular opinion (Boyhood – not for me). Unfortunately, however, this means my opinions very often differ from the Academy…this year in particular. As I looked over my list to decide who I wanted to win in each category, I realized I wasn’t very passionate about that many of the films or performances that I saw.
A good movie to me is one that shows me a different perspective, moves me in unexpected ways or forces me to think beyond just the plot line. Getting from point a to point b isn’t quite enough to make it to my favourite list. However, there were a handful of outstanding films from the above highlighted list.
In the Best Picture category my two favourite standouts were Birdman and Whiplash. I watched Whiplash 3 times in 24 hours, and could happily spend another handful of hours enjoying that movie in disbelief due to a combination of the amazing drumming, Miles Tellers’ performance/swoon-worthiness, and J.K. Simmons unbelievably powerful performance (he definitely has the Andrea Pace nod of approval in the Best Supporting Actor category).
For Best Actor and Best Director I’d like the Birdmen to walk away with top prize. Creating an eccentric underdog story, with underlying psychological layers, and also attempting to make the film appear as though it was shot in one take? That takes expert direction to not only conceive the idea, but execute it so brilliantly. Hats off to Alejandro G. Iñárritu – the genius behind it all. I also think a standing O should be given to Michael Keaton for delivering such a nuanced performance of his character, Riggan, a movie actor attempting to create a name/place for himself in the world of Broadway.
I’m not particularly adamant about who ‘should’ win the prizes for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress. I was incredibly moved by and truly loved the movie Wild. Reese Witherspoon’s inspiring performance was most definitely Oscar-worthy . If anything, it marks her return to significant roles where she can flex her talented acting muscle – Yay! Four Christmases can be put behind us! I also thought Rosamund Pike’s barbed portrayal of Gillian Flynn’s Amy in Gone Girl was a very striking performance worthy of a gold statue.
And of course, as I’m a total magpie, I can’t wait to see what gorgeous gowns are donned on the red carpet, and if Jared Leto’s man-braid will make another appearance (one can only hope). However, I’m also keen to see if the #AskHerMore movement will will catch fire on the red carpet, and we’ll be given more insight into the actresses’ performances and craft, rather than who they’re wearing.
Though all the movies I watched were definitely worth watching, the ones I would highly recommend are:
- Grand Budapest Hotel
- The Imitation Game
- Two Days One Night
- Gone Girl
- Night Crawler
I hope your bubbly’s on ice, and your avocados ready to be guaced – cuz it’s party time! Happy Oscar Night!