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Calling Sunday’s Oscars – sometimes almost right

Paul Peterson

Paul Peterson

S0 – to the people who noticed I have been an infrequent contributor of late. A variety of things ranging from some serious health stuff to just needing to catch my breath, away from this column, resulted in my absence.

I am excited to write again and feel there are some good films to talk about. So, all apologies and now for my annual shambles of picking the Oscars. Sometimes I’m almost right.

And the nominees are…
Best Actor:
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch – Imitation Game
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Michael Keaton – Birdman

So there’s what I think and what I think will happen. Sometimes they are the same performance. I really enjoyed Michael Keaton in Birdman.  I actually like him in most things. He was the best Batman. His comedy chops are amazing but he also stretches in a lot of different roles. In this art-imitates-art-life he plays a former blockbuster actor whose star has faded trying to conquer new fame on Broadway.
It’s moody and self indulged and a great watch in a weird film. Forget that I have no sense of what that movie is about.
Keatons good. Not Oscar good. But good.
So are Bradley Cooper in American Sniper and that Cumberbatch guy in Imitation Game. I really think the second best in the category is Steve Carell who makes me uncomfortable in Foxcatcher. It’s a tough watch. Now that’s good acting.
But the winner is Eddie Redmayne for his depiction of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.
It’s everything you want in an Oscar-winning performance. In some ways it isn’t fair because he has so much to sink his teeth into.
The brilliance. The slow descent into the physical collapse of his entire being. And then the fight to not disappear.
Redmayne is convincing, understated and unflinching. This is a nolo contendere. He’s the guy.
Best Actress
Marion Cotillard  – Two days One Night
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice  
Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Roasamund Pike – Gone Girl

I haven’t seen Marion Cotillard’s performance but I don’t think she was going to win anyway.
I can’t support Rosamund Pike winning because she is the worst human being in the history of ever. She pulls it off so maybe I’m not being fair but the fair is something you go to once a year. Learn to deal.
Felicity Jones is close in The Theory of Everything but I can’t see them giving both Oscars to the same film and it’s not as compelling a role. It’s a ho hum role in a nobody cares movie.
So the real finalists are Reese Witherspoon for Wild and Julianne  Moore for Still Alice. I really like Reese Witherspoon in everything and this is an indie hit book that gives her a lot to sink her teeth into, however this is the year of the predicament Oscar.
Not unlike Redmayne’s role,  in Still Alice, Julianne Moore’s character has to deal with a devastating diagnosis.
See my comments about his role because the challenge is the same and so are the results. I love her anyway.
If you look at her body of work it’s brilliant, fun, smart, and sometimes quirky.
I think she wins.
Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Keira Knightley – Imitation Game
Laura dern – Wild
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into The Woods
I like Emma Stone in Birdman but it’s not much of a role. Keira Knightley – never.  Meryl Streep is fine in a nobody cares and no one watched film. I thought Laura dern was better as the mom in Fault In Our Stars so the winner almost in absentia is Patricia Arquette for Boyhood.

Supporting Actor
Robert Duval-The Judge
Ethan Hawke-Boyhood
Mark Ruffalo-Foxcathcher
JK Simmons-Whiplash
Edward Norton-Birdman
Norton. Nothing to talk about. He is absolutely brilliant in Birdman, Next category please,

Best director
Richard Linklater Boyhood
Alejandro G Innarritu Birdman
Bennett Miller Foxcatcher
Wes Anerdson-Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tylum Imitation Game
Again, it really isn’t going to be close in my opinion. Richar Linklater’s visionary project spans 12 years and tells a story unique to his vision. For me that is the absolute essence of directing. It’s great storytelling.
Best Picture
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Grand Budapest Hotel
I think this is another stacked deck. Hollywood likes when they look smart and they flock to anything new or different. There’s a lot to like in that Boyhood did take 12 years although honestly with make up an what not isn’t that a bit like filming in black and white?
These are all good films. Some dance of the edge of great. I really liked Theory and Birdman was the best film I’ll never understand. But Boyhood will win. And everyone in Hollywood will pat themselves on the back.
So will I if I’m right.
I love being right.
I think it happened once.
Oh, best animated film – Big Hero 6

Best song
I liked Everything Is Awesome but Glen Campbell wins for I’m Not Gonna Miss You.

And just to keep my roll going, cinematography is going to Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman.
Bet the farm on that one, Martha.

As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong.
That’s it for this week.
The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here.

The 87th Academy Awards  is Sunday, Feb. 22 beginning at 7 p.m. eastern time. Click here to make your Oscar predictions and share on Facebook


Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson


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