' Cinema Romantico: Countdown to the Oscars: Totally Unreasonable, Completely Legitimate Oscar Predictions

Monday, February 16, 2015

Countdown to the Oscars: Totally Unreasonable, Completely Legitimate Oscar Predictions

As always, these are my no b.s., for realsies Oscar predictions. I pick with my heart, though sometimes with the satirical devil on my shoulder, and to paraphrase the wise sage Frankie Dunn, show me an Oscar prognosticator who’s all heart, and I’ll show you an Oscar prognosticator waiting for a beating.

Totally Unreasonable, Completely Legitimate Oscar Predictions

Best Picture: “The Imitation Game.” Because Alan Turing was a goddam hero. And if YOU vote for some idiot teenage boy who breaks up with probably-not-the-girl-of-his-dreams like the cocksure yet unsure little teenager (aspiring adult) he is or for an egocentric, mentally deranged actor for Best Picture INSTEAD of a goddam hero then you are no better than the endless scum walking the earth because these are THE OSCARS and THE OSCARS are a celestial beacon on Mt. Hollywood illustrative of the movies’ unique ability to CHANGE THE WORLD and TRANSFORM HUMANITY and BE ALL THAT WE CAN BE and if you DOUBT OUR POWER we will PROVE YOU WRONG by rewarding something VERY, VERY IMPORTANT.

Best Director: I’m sitting this category out in protest of Kelly Reichardt not being nominated for “Night Moves.” #Principles

It's time. I'm not, however, sure that it's "time".
Best Actor: Michael Keaton, “Birdman.” What can I say? I’m a sentimental dude. My whole summer of 1989 revolved around Keaton as Bruce Wayne, and I want Mr. Mom to win the Oscar. Wait your damn turn, Redmayne.

Best Actress: Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night.” I will cheer like a madman when Julianne Moore ascends the stage, for it is rightfully her “time”, yet I will stand in formation with Ms. Cotillard until the final curtain drops.

Best Supporting Actor: Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood.” Even though all of the major Academy Award prognosticating outlets are already calling it for J.K. Simmons, I am nonetheless planning to attend Mr. Hawke’s Oscar Night Rally to applaud his concession speech.

Best Supporting Actress: Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game.” Cuz Keira’s my girl.

Best Original Screenplay: Richard Linklater, “Boyhood.” Because screenplays are structure and anyone who thinks The Linklater Players just invented the whole three hours out of thin air or that the whole thing was a “gimmick” is either unaware or uncaring of the film's carefully rendered blueprints on the page.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson, “Inherent Vice.” Because I think P.T. does a nifty job of finding a subtle emotional through line in something so intentionally leisurely and meandering.

Best Animated Feature: “The Boxtrolls.” Because my friend’s son had to turn it off midway through because it was too scary. I don’t know what this has to do with anything but I have nothing to go on with any of these because I haven’t seen them. I also assume this movie is about trolls who live in moving boxes. (This seems like as good a time as any to remind you not to copy my Oscar picks, for God's sake, whatever you do.)

Best Foreign Language Film: “Ida.” Because of my five favorite films of the year, this is the only one nominated in any of the Best Picture categories.

Best Documentary Feature: “Virunga.” Because while I very much respect the fight of Edward Snowden, I also respect the fight of Congo’s Virunga National Park, and that fight wasn’t already chronicled by Glenn Greenwald.

Best Documentary Short: “Our Curse”. I didn’t get a chance to pen reviews of the best short documentaries but a strong category was topped, for me, by “Our Curse”, chronicling a couple whose unborn child will require the use of a mechanical respirator for the rest of his/her life. It is unsparing, not just after the baby is born, but in the lead-up, of the to-be parents’ reactions and behavior, which will likely lead many to accuse them of self-pity while frighteningly wondering in those places they don’t talk about parties how, in the face of the same ordeal, THEY would REALLY react.


Best Cinematography: Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski, “Ida.” Oh heaven help me, those hauntingly placid frames of invisible angels and unspeakable sorrow, of still skies threatening to swallow its adrift characters whole, frames of hazy regret, frightening wonder, and the beautiful, terrifying unknown. The understated audacity in this era of waning attention spans to compose a frame and let it be, to trust it, to bring it home. This truly was my favorite cinematography of the year.

Best Film Editing: Sandra Adair, “Boyhood.” I’m not as big on “Whiplash” as some but I think the reason that movie works is less about J.K. Simmons than the snap, crackle, pop editing. Nevertheless…..I want to see Ms. Adair win. So we'll go with her.

Best Visual Effects: “Interstellar.” It’s the only one of the nominees I’ve seen and, heck, it took me to Saturn and I’ve always wanted to go to Saturn.

Best Costume Design: Mark Bridges, “Inherent Vice.” It manages to pop your eyes with its seventies style while still playing it completely cool.



Best Production Design: Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
I'm a registered Andersonian.

Best Sound Editing: Martin Hern├índez and Aaron Glascock, “Birdman.” The sound - the sound in the main character's head, behind the stage, on the stage, on the street - contributes so much to the experience.

Best Sound Mixing: Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten, “Interstellar.” There have been a myriad of complaints involving this film’s sound mix, particularly that the sound effects and the musical score's cacophony drowns out the dialogue. Which is exactly what I love so much about it. The sound effects and the musical score ARE more important than the dialogue, and Christopher Nolan knows it. And because he knows it I have no idea why he continues to be so obsessed with interminable exposition.


Best Makeup & Hairstyling: Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard, “Foxcatcher.” But NOT for turning Steve Carrell into John DuPont. No, I choose Mr. Corso and Mr. Liddiard for turning Sienna Miller into a Soccer Mom, which is like turning Helen of Troy into The Church Lady. THAT’S impressive, yo.

Best Original Score: Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar.” Because the film was about the EXPERIENCE, first, second and third, and that experience was rounded into shape by Mr. Zimmer's requisite colossal score. He was Mr. Nolan's most crucial collaborator on said film.

Best Original Song: “The Big House” from “Muppets Most Wanted.” Wait, that wasn’t nominated? That wasn’t even one of the seventy-nine short-listed as POTENTIAL nominees? Seriously, who the hell is running this bulls--- “category”? Fine, I pick “Lost Stars” from “Begin Again (Music and Lyrics by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois) because I loved “Begin Again” and I want all the snot-nosed automatons to hawk metaphorical loogies of disgust when confronted with the words “Oscar-winning ‘Begin Again’”.

Best Live Action Short: Even though I liked “Butter Lamp” a little more, I’ll go with “The Phone Call”, because maybe if it wins they’ll get Sally Hawkins take the stage with them.

Best Animated Short: “A Single Life.” “A poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more.”

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