Eight films are going to be battling for the title of Best Picture on Sunday and I managed to see them all at the cinema before the end of January, which must be a record for a UK-based person. We usually end up with one or two films that don’t come out until March. That has still happened this year but not for any of these nominated films. I wasn’t as bothered by the Oscars last year as missed quite a few of the films. But back on track for the 2015 awards, I am going to offer some thoughts and try to pick which is my favourite but what I think will win . . . If that turns out to be different. Here it goes . . .
American Sniper – Review
A Clint Eastwood film always has be interested before hand and this one was no different. Bradley Cooper’s career has grown pretty strong over the past few years as well, so the reasons were building up for wanting to see this film. Especially with how on edge the trailer gets you. You want to know if he takes that shot! Very clever in terms of building up the suspense before even seeing the full film. The story moves at a good pace and has some very good use of flashbacks to help tell the whole story. While I enjoyed it and thought it was Eastwood’s best since Million Dollar Baby, I don’t truly understand why it is getting as much praise as it has done. Maybe that is coming more from America than anywhere else? This is the highest grossing from its cinema release of all the nominations!
Birdman – Review
Michael Keaton. Mentions of a comic book character. Yes I am sold on those two, but Birdman is so much different to how I ever imagined it. That is by no means a bad thing at all, it is unique and off the wall. Totally different and does something very special. It looks like it is all in one shot and real-time events happening. Keaton’s now famous dash through Times Square was just filmed without closing the area due to costs. Add in a fantastic support cast especially Edward Norton and Emma Stone and you certainly have a film worthy of picking up Best Picture. Did I mention Michael Keaton giving a career best performance in what could be argued as playing a version of his own life?
Boyhood – Review
This came out very early in terms of Oscar films, I watched it back in July! I had heard so much about it being filmed over a 12 year period and that it was ground breaking film making. It certainly is that and they really did manage to put together something extremely special by doing that. But does it actually deserve a Best Picture Oscar? It certainly deserves the nomination but I am unsure about actually winning. It is groundbreaking and has good performances but the flow of the story is not fantastic as it is more snippets from a boy’s life as he is shown growing up and the challenges this brings.
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Review
I have to admit that I did not like this film at all. I was actually quite surprised to see it pick up so many nominations come awards season. I just did not follow the film and even the performance from Ralph Fiennes couldn’t save it for me. I have thought about giving it another chance and watching the film again, but it just felt so painful and confusing the first time that I haven’t managed to convince myself to watch it again. Maybe someone can let me know what exactly I was missing with this one?
The Imitation Game – Review
A film about the part of the war no-one really knew about. Cumberbatch makes this film so engaging and the story will pull at your heart-strings as well. Another plus and good thing about this is that it seems Keira Knightley has started to win me over and I thought she was very good in a supporting role. The film flows well and another which has flashbacks used to help fill in the gaps and this happens from start to finish. It paints a full picture of the man we are learning about Alan Turing.
Selma – Review
An extremely powerful film from start to finish. I will admit that I did not have the biggest amount of knowledge on Martin Luther King before this film other than this “I had a dream” speech so this helped to show another very important moment in US history which happened with Luther King at the helm. It is inspiring and does not feel as long as the running time is, if that makes sense. I didn’t feel like I was sat in the cinema watching for that long.
The Theory of Everything – Review
Probably the most talked about film over the awards build up and season. Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Stephen Hawking has pretty much won him every award going. The film shows his early life and how he faced the battle of Motor Neurone Disease but also the great love story which we may not have actually known about. It shows how he managed to keep his humour and that he defied all medical odds to still be alive to this day. Another truly inspiring film and good to watch and see how a person can really do the impossible. It does feel a little long at times which is probably the only negative I can really give about this film.
Whiplash – Review
A truly hidden gem. While J. K. Simmons has been getting all of the plaudits, I think more should be said for the film. It creates such tension and shows how much determination is needed if you want to succeed in something you’re so passionate about. I think out of all of the films this will be one of them that will still be talked about in years to come, or even appreciated more in years to come. It has a very original and unique feel to it and the drumming will be in your head for hours after. I have to admit that I wasn’t actually expecting to like this film as much as I did, it didn’t last very long at cinemas but I think this has a sneaky outside chance of picking up the Oscar!
What I want to win – Birdman
Basically because I thought it was the most unique, thought-provoking and interesting film I have seen in a very long time!
What I think will win – Boyhood
Outside chance – Whiplash
What do you think will win?