The Oscars are over! Tears were shed, fun was had, embarrassing moments happened, and it’s time to bitch at the Academy one last time until next year. You go, Buns.
Best Picture: Birdman
Anais: I… am actually really happy that Birdman won Best Picture. Yes, my favourite was -and still very much is- The Grand Budapest Hotel, and I know there’s a lot of people out there who were actually really disappointed, but goddamnit, the film deserved the award. When was the last time that a comedy, and a brilliantly written and executed one at that, won Best Picture at the Oscars? This is the kind of movie that made me want to study film. I can’t wait to watch it half a dozen more times and find the meaning of every second of its impeccably filmed single shot.
Nadin: Ah, man, where do I even start? Let’s just say, I’m both surprised and not surprised at all by the fact that Birdman won Best Picture. Not surprised because no other nominee was as awesome, not even close. It was breathtaking – just the right combination of realistic and crazy to blow your mind away. It HAD to be either Birdman or Selma – any other pick wouldn’t make much sense. Surprised because every non-film person I talked to about it didn’t quite get it. Everyone found it fascinating, but they didn’t really FEEL it, and it’s not like the Academy to go for something the majority of the audience couldn’t comprehend to the full extent. Oh, well, yay Birdman!
Roz: I loved Birdman and I totally support this win. But, for me, my runaway favourite film was Whiplash. How did such a simple movie keep my on the edge of my seat for two hours? I adore The Grand Budapest Hotel, of course, and I’m so impressed with the whole group of best picture nominees. I think everyone wins when the films are this good.
Rachel: Was I the only person on the planet that thought this movie was incredibly meh? As a writer and a film-lover I want to love this movie so bad, because it really does push the boundaries of ‘normal’ filmmaking and is a brilliantly crafted, beautiful work of art. But I found it incredibly boring and inconsequential. I didn’t care for Michael Keaton’s character. In fact, I didn’t care for any of the characters. Boring, whiny drunkards. All of them. Maybe I’m just prejudiced against theatre freaks, because they thought they were the hottest shit in high school. Pretentious fucks.
I’m glad it won Best Picture, because hopefully that’ll give filmmakers the incentive to be more creative and to think outside the box. However, it doesn’t really change the fact that it nearly bored me to tears.
Actor in a Leading Role: Eddie Redmayne
Anais: Eddie Redmayne! Yay! I mean, I kinda wanted Michal Keaton to win because he might not get another chance, but I can’t be mad about Eddie Redmayne winning the award. It’s funny because a few weeks after seeing The Theory of Everything, the movie for which he won the Oscar, I saw him play Balem Abraxas in Jupiter Ascending, where his performance was a riot. Man, despite the movie turning out to be an absolute disaster, I would have loved to be on set with those guys. They must have had a hell of a time.
Nadin: Very well-deserved! Frankly, this category was the hardest for me to make my pick – the nominees were all worthy and spectacular, but at the end of the day I’m glad it was Eddie Redmayne who took the award. His performance was beyond brilliant, and I think it’s a great start on his way to more of them in the future.
Roz: Yep. Happy about this. There’s an interesting online debate about how we should cast more people with disabilities to play these roles. In an ideal world, we would cast the person who can deliver the best performance. In reality, there’s also a concern for who’s going to sell the most tickets. Just like straight people in gay roles. I don’t know. That’s a lot to think about in the morning. I need more coffee.
Rachel: Yes. Thank you. This was perfect.
Actress in a Leading Role: Julianne Moore
Anais: Julianne Moore is the redheaded queen of everything.
Nadin: She HAD to win and she did, and her performance in Still Alice was everything I ever wanted, and more, and this award is so well-deserved!
Roz: Agree. 100%. As much as I know I’m dumb for going to this movie without a suitcase of tissue boxes, because what did I think was going to happen, Moore kept me mesmerized through the whole film. She’s lovely and deserves to enjoy this recognition.
Rachel: ABOUT DAMN TIME.
Actor in a Supporting Role: J. K. Simmons
Nadin: I neither agree nor disagree with this one. On the one hand, I think J. K. Simmons was great in Whiplash, but on the other – the film itself was quite hard to watch, so my heart wasn’t in it at all. I was hoping it’d be Edward Norton BECAUSE BIRDMAN! Yet, congrats, J.K Simmons!
Roz: YES. More love for Whiplash. Simmons gave me PTSD flashbacks to performing in music competitions, and no one yelled at me like that. Because we both knew I wasn’t good enough for a berating. Single tear. I’m so happy he won for this performance.
Actress in a Supporting Role: Patricia Arquette
Nadin: I’m sorry to say that, despite the fact that there was a lot of time and effort put into Boyhood, it was the most boring film I saw in God knows how long. Related: I’m happy it didn’t win Best Picture because it’d just turn my whole world upside down. That said, Arquette was spectacular in her role. She was quite possibly the best thing about the entire movie, and I’m happy it was recognized and appreciated accordingly.
Roz: She was good but I kinda agree with Nadin about Boyhood. Her speech was awesome, though, right ladies? Up top!
Animated Feature Film: Big Hero 6
Anais: For the second year in a row, there was a survey asking the Academy voters what their picks were and why. Some of them did not, once again, see the animated movies. Some of them did see the movies and decided to pick Big hero 6 because “the kids watched it three times in a row, so that gotta make it Oscar-worthy, right?” And then, one of them called Song of the Sea and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya “two fucking Chinese things nobody even saw.” *sigh* I don’t even know where to begin.
Nadin: I would honestly flip if any other film won Best Animated Feature Film – partly because the only other worthy opponent to Big Hero 6 wasn’t even nominated (we all know it’s The LEGO Movie, and I’ll never be okay with that), and partly because it wouldn’t make much sense. Although, quite frankly, the only other film that could have won was How To Train Your Dragon 2, but after the stunt they pulled with negating everything about the first film, I’m happy it was Big Hero 6 after all.
Roz: Big Hero 6 was only OK for me. This seems tragic.
Rachel: I loved Big Hero 6, but I don’t know if it’s Best Animated Feature worthy. If The Lego Movie was nominated, I would’ve gone with that one instead.
Anais: A little bit sad that The Grand Budapest Hotel did not get the award, but again, Birdman deserved it.
Nadin: Well, duh?! Have you seen Birdman? I do agree with Anais that The Grand Budapest Hotel could have taken this win, and easily so, but I’m not at all disappointed.
Roz: Um, yes. Obviously.
Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Anais: One of the four Oscars that The Grand Budapest Hotel did win. Well, Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori did look fabulous in those costumes.
Nadin: Although The Grand Budapest Hotel had such worthy opponents as Maleficent and Into The Woods, I’d be surprised if it didn’t win Costume Design, because come on! This film should have just split all the awards with Birdman, and everyone would be happy.
Roz: Right? Loved the romantic, old Europe look and posh hotel glamour. Also, each character had a unique design and distinguishing touches that made the film feel like a delicate cupcake to be savoured.
Anais: Can’t argue on that one. Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu did a fantastic job.
Nadin: No comment, really. I mean, this film won Best Picture for a reason, said reason being that it’s EVERYTHING!
Roz: Another win I was totally happy with. I thought the outrage following Sean Penn’s apparently racist comment that “ruined the Oscars” was dumb. He knows Iñarritu, it was more like an inside joke between friends. So, inapprops for the Oscars? Sure. The end of the world? Not even.
Documentary Feature: CitizenFour
Roz: I’m quite happy with this win. I saw the director talk about the project on The Daily Show and she was fascinating. It’s an amazing concept to attempt and since Person of Interest is one of my favourite shows, the issues of surveillance fascinate me.
Documentary Short Subject: Crisis Hotline: Veteran Press1
Roz: Interesting with the nomination and love for the box office sensation American Sniper. I hope more projects about veterans in the US will get attention.
Film Editing: Whiplash
Roz: Right!?! Right?!!? The entire third act of the film is MAGIC. Like, those reversals in the climax while the most amazing effing drum solo is blowing our minds!?!? Keeping that intensity and the movie moving forward is such an accomplishment. Wow.
Foreign Language Film: Ida
Roz: Did any of us see this? How embarrassing. Shame on us, Buns. Shame.
Makeup and Hairstyling: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Anais: Nope. Still think Guardians of the Galaxy should have won. How could they ignore the amount of work put into those amazing-looking aliens? Are you shunning sci-fi again, Academy? Are you being genrist? Don’t be genrist. Even the word sounds bad.
Nadin: Ouchie! As much as I LOVED The Grand Budapest Hotel, Guardians Of The Galaxy should have gotten this one. Costumes – yes, maybe. Makeup? Have they even seen Gamora, and Drax, and Nebula, and Thanos? And A MILLION supporting characters that were basically masterpieces?! Nope, nope, nope.
Roz: Yeah, not sure here. My heart wanted Guardians to win so bad.
Music – Original Score: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Anais: Alexandre Desplat was going to win anyway. Might as well be for this movie.
Nadin: Tough one. It’s not that The Grand Budapest Hotel didn’t deserve it, but, as a film, it didn’t feel as music-driven as The Theory Of Everything or Interstellar. Yes, it still had a good score, but was it really Oscar-worthy?
Music – Original Song: Selma
Nadin; YES!! A million times YES! “Glory” is one of the most beautiful original songs I’ve heard in quite a while, and since Selma wasn’t recognized enough for that it was, it makes me happy that it took this particular award.
Roz: Haha, the Lego movie team heard the win for “Glory” after that heart wrenching performance, and were all, “Oh, thank God.” Because really, of course that song deserved to win.
Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Anais: WELL DUH.
Nadin: I honesty don’t know why they even bothered nominating other films in this category. It’s not like they had any chance at winning, or anything.
Roz: Happy campers, all around. I love that everyone who got up to accept an award for The Grand Budapest Hotel thanked Wes Anderson for his creativity and vision. It seems like those wins were for the whole team and you can feel how much respect and love they have for their fearless, quirky leader.
Animated Short Film: Feast
Anais: Look, Academy… Just come out and say that Disney owns your souls. I mean, we know it does, but hearing it out loud would somewhat ease that feeling of betrayal we get every time Disney wins in front of better-written, more inspired, artful animated productions.
Live Action Short Film: The Phone Call
Anais: We should get better at watching short films, Buns.
Sound Editing: American Sniper
Nadin: Agh, this is a tricky category! And not being an expect is not helping at all. Personally, I liked Sound Editing in Birdman and The Hobbit more, but knowing next to nothing about the process and techniques and the whole science of sound editing makes me sound kinda lame. Moving on…
Roz: We should get an article with an expert to help us discuss the sound categories. I don’t hate this win though. War zones can not be easy to create sound for.
Anais: I know next to nothing about sound editing and sound mixing. I’ll go fetch my university books.
Sound Mixing: Whiplash
Nadin: For once, yes. Totally! This is exactly what Whiplash did best.
Roz: I am crying happy tears.
Visual Effects: Interstellar
Anais: Guardians of the Galaxy should have walked away with that one, but I guess that’s the way of the Academy to apologize to Chris Nolan for not giving his movie more love. I only have one thing to say about that: Chris, please don’t ever talk about love again.
Nadin: Are you kidding me?! Against Guardians Of The Galaxy and Captain America: The Winter Soldier? I mean, okay, Interstellar did have good VFX, but we’ve seen the space stuff in Gravity, which, by the way, was far more impressive, so, all things considered, Interstellar didn’t really stand out that much, unlike the other nominees. My only guess here is that IT’S NOT COOL TO GIVE VFX AWARDS TO THE SUPERHERO FILMS. Rethink it, Academy. Seriously.
Roz: Space. It’s always gonna win. Unless it has superheroes in it.
Rachel: I agree with Nadin, but I guess that black hole looked pretty cool. And that whole space-time-continuum library isn’t exactly as mind blowing if you think about the context in which it existed.
Writing – Adapted Screenplay: The Imitation Game by Graham Moore
Nadin: Rant alert! WHY THE HELL WASN’T WILD NOMINATED?! Yes, The Imitation Game was a fair pick, but Wild should have been nominated and it should have won! Or Gone Girl? Hello? Gone Girl was a masterpiece! I am not saying The Imitation Game didn’t deserve it, but this whole category didn’t have the ‘best of the best’.
Roz: Ok, this guy is really young and I hate/love him. It’s such an important story to tell, but I didn’t think it held up the whole way through. And the ending felt weird. But I haven’t read the original script so I dunno what changed for production. Regardless, great speech. Stay weird. Stay different.
Writing – Original Screenplay: Birdman by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo
Anais: Ugh. Again, I can’t really argue. Birdman is a really well-written comedy and I’m glad that witty, fast-paced dialogue is being recognized as Oscar-worthy. Still… The Grand Budapest Hotel, man. This story owns my heart. We’re making progress though. I think that a couple of years ago, this would never have happened.
Nadin: Yes, absolutely. I think the only other nominee Birdman could have lost to is The Grand Budapest Hotel, but there was something about Birdman that made it work just a bit better. Yes, The Grand Budapest Hotel was amazing in terms of visuals, but I can see why the writing in Birdman stood out more.
Roz: I have no regrets every time Birdman won. But, was I rooting for Wes here, absolutely. I think I might have to watch these movies back to back to really know what I like best. Still, with two amazing comedies nominated in this category, it’s a good sign. These unique films were inspiring and got a lot of appreciation for the artistry and hard work involved. The audience really wins.
Rachel: As much as I thought Inherent Vice was a wet sock of discomfort, I thought the writing was marginally better.