Let’s Predict the Oscars

Hey guys, only 24 more hours until we get to judge gorgeous celebrities on their questionable red carpet fashion choices at the 87th Academy Awards! I don’t know about you, but I love the whole Oscars shebang with my whole heart. Yes, it’s political and often predictable and it’s super annoying how white and male the nominees are this year, but it’s also the one time that everyone seems to care about film and pop culture as much as I do. It’s my Super Bowl. I’m also really great at predicting the winners. I don’t want to brag, but the only one I missed in last year’s ballot was Best Documentary Short.

So, to help you out, I’ve taken the liberty of listing out my predictions of who’s coming away with the gold tomorrow, and I’ve enlisted a few fellow Wannabes to give their opinions as well. Only trust them if they agree with me. You’re welcome. – Chelsey

Best Picture

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Maricela: Blargh. I have no idea. I’m so done with the world if it’s American Sniper because it was good but it was no J. Edgar. (J. EDGAR WAS REALLY GOOD, GUYS!) I’m gonna just put it out there into the universe and say Selma because yeah, it really is that good. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Boyhood because “film history” and what not.

Amanda: Birdman. In a sea of biopics, all of which I absolutely loved and enjoyed, this film was daring, different and delightful. It was inspiring while being despondent, naughty while sweet … it just felt like a perfect storm of human emotion. And the music! And the camera work! Birdman was the breath of original filmmaking that I was dying for during this awards season.

Kate: I think Birdman has it. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if Boyhood won. I’d be thrilled for either to win.

Chelsey: Boyhood was the most critically revered film of 2014 until Selma came along at the very end. However, the Academy voters this year have proven to be kinda racist so slim chance Selma is taking this one. Based on its technical achievement alone, Boyhood is winning.

Best Director

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Maricela: Oh Ava DuVernay for sure…oh wait, am I living in a better, alternate universe? Oh okay, back to this one, I see this going to Richard Linklater. What he accomplished is unprecedented and I think will have a very profound effect on filmmaking/visual storytelling for years to come. That being said, Alejandro González Iñárritu kicked ASS in Birdman, and I would want him to win even if we didn’t have similar names. But so did Wes Anderson…ah! This is a toughie, but I still think it goes to Linklater.

Amanda: Alejandro González Iñárritu. See above.

Kate: Alejandro González Iñárritu will most likely take and Birdman was a work of art. But it’s well deserved by Richard Linklater for taking on a project like Boyhood.

Chelsey: Birdman, while innovative, is an extremely divisive film. Those who loved it LOVED it, while there are some very vocal haters out there. (Me, I’m indifferent.) Not too many haters of Boyhood, and even those who say it doesn’t have the strongest story still laud Richard Linklater for his incredible 12-year achievement. He’s winning this.

Best Actor

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Maricela: Michael Keaton. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t win. He’s pretty brilliant in Birdman, and while I haven’t seen The Theory of Everything yet, I have a feeling Redmayne won’t win for the main fact that he’s still “young” and Keaton “deserves” it. Hollywood is weird.

Amanda: Indifferent. Eddie is my top crush. Michael blew my mind. Either way I come out a winner.

Kate: I can only hope my beloved Eddie wins, but I have a constant fear that Keaton might win. Not that it is undeserved by Keaton, but that Eddie’s performance was phenomenal and I wish nothing but the best for him.

Chelsey: No way Eddie Redmayne doesn’t win this. He won the BAFTA, Golden Globe, and the SAG. And in the 20-year history of the SAG Awards, 16 of the Best Actors also won the Oscar, including the last eight in a row. (Even though I’m curious to see if any of the voters have seen Jupiter Ascending yet. Might sway their minds the other way…)

Best Actress

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Maricela: Julianne Moore. Exact same reasons for winning as Keaton. I’ll also be shocked if she doesn’t win. I know the Academy loves their ingenues (and Meryl Streep), but Julianne Moore “deserves” it this year. And no, I still haven’t seen Still Alice.

Kate: Is this even a competition anymore? Just give it to Julianne Moore already.

Chelsey: Yep. Julianne Moore. (Although in my heart of hearts I really want Marion Cotillard to have this. Everyone go see Two Days One Night right now and bask in her glory.)

Best Supporting Actor

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Maricela: JK Simmons. Let’s be real, has anyone else who awards in this category awarded anyone BUT JK Simmons for Whiplash? No, I don’t think so.

Kate: JK Simmons will hands down get it and it is so well deserved.

Chelsey: Guys, I really think Edward Norton has a chance. JK. JK Simmons winning is more assured than even a Neil Patrick Harris song-and-dance number.

Best Supporting Actress

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Maricela: Patricia Arquette. Unless they give the ingenue award to Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything. C’mon, Academy, don’t you want CSI: Cyber to announce that the show stars Oscar winner Patricia Arquette? For that alone, I think she’s 80/20 a lock for the award.

Amanda: Emma Stone. Is this based on undying devotion? Partially. But also, her delivery of the big “relevance” speech was so spot on and absolutely perfect. She is incredibly talented and multifaceted and she deserves this credit. It was a breakout/breakAWAY role for her.

Kate: Patricia Arquette. Again, who else is even in the running at this point?

Chelsey: Patricia “I thought there’d be more” Arquette.

Best Original Screenplay

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Maricela: The Grand Budapest Hotel! I’m far from the biggest Wes Anderson fanatic, but I adore The Grand Budapest Hotel. I think it’s funny, sad, and powerful in all the right ways. It hits me right in the feels, and I hope it hits the Academy in the same way.

Amanda: The Grand Budapest Hotel! OF COURSE! Have you heard the dialogue in that thing? It is so brilliant.

KateBirdman, Boyhood or The Grand Budapest hotel. I don’t even know which one I would vote for if I could.

Chelsey: I see a slim chance Birdman takes this, but I think The Academy wants to give Wes Anderson his due in some way. He’ll take this one for The Grand Budapest Hotel. 

Best Adapted Screenplay

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Maricela: It’s going to be American Sniper, isn’t it? I have a feeling Paul Thomas Anderson did 10 times the work for Inherent Vice than Jason Hall for American Sniper but whatever the Academy doesn’t care about psychedelic movies.

Kate: It will probably be American Sniper, but I’d be thrilled if Whiplash won.

Chelsey: American Sniper would be predictable, but The Imitation Game would be even more predictable. I’m going with that one.

Best Animated Feature

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Maricela: The Lego Movie…just kidding! My money’s on How to Train Your Dragon 2 because the Academy has been rather jingoistic in terms of their reluctance to grant this award to foreign films ever since Miyazaki’s Spirited Away won in 2002. As such, The Song of the Sea (I LOVED The Secret of the Kells) or The Tale of Princess Kaguya (the trailer alone had me mesmerized) should probably win.

Chelsey: The Lego Movie 😦 😦 😦 Idk. Probs Big Hero 6, because it’s the Disney choice.

Amanda: Stop it. The Lego Movie. I hate The Academy.

Other Categories

Best Documentary Feature: It’s a close call between Citizenfour and Finding Vivian Maier. – Chelsey

Best Visual Effects is a really strong category this year with Interstellar and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes as my personal top favorites. – Maricela

Best Cinematography: I mean, I inherently knew that Birdman wasn’t shot all in one take, but it had me second guessing the whole time. Super impressive camerawork and if it doesn’t win then I don’t know anything anymore. – Chelsey

Original Music Score: IF HANS ZIMMER DOESN’T WIN FOR HIS MONUMENTAL AND LOUD SCORE FOR INTERSTELLAR I’M GOING TO BLAST IT FROM MY SPEAKERS THROUGHOUT THE REST OF THE OSCARS. No, I won’t, but I’ll be pissed. – Maricela

The Grand Budapest Hotel better win for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design. Because, duh. – Chelsey

Best Original Song: Duh, “Glory.” Although, I’ll laugh my ass off if it loses because the Academy just doesn’t give two shits about anyone. – Maricela

Best Foreign Language Film: I’m still so baffled by the exclusion of Two Days One Night, but Ida was also an incredible film and will definitely take the top prize.  – Chelsey

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Let’s Predict the Oscars

Forget the Reviews, Go See ‘Jupiter Ascending’

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I’m unaccustomed to recommending movies I find bad or, in this case, mediocre. I suppose you could say this is the equivalent of knowingly cooking bland food for house guests, so this is a bit of a new experience for me. So here it goes: I need all of you to take your hard-earned money and go see Jupiter Ascending.

Yes, the movie has a 22% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  Yes, the script is filled with more clichés and bad dialogue than any Keanu Reeves movie is capable of. And yes, this movie isn’t exactly what we’d call the reemergence of Star Wars. Regardless, go to the theatre. Pay money. Get a ticket. Buy a delicious blue-raspberry Icee. Why? Because this movie had a giant budget and is an original property. You know what that means? It means it’s not a sequel, reboot, remake or based on any novel or comic book.

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You see, Hollywood has increasingly become adverse to funding original properties with big budgets. Typically you’ll see maybe one a year if you’re lucky. And who can blame them? Last summer I asked, nay, I begged people to go see Edge of Tomorrow, because it was incredible and yet practically no one saw it in theaters. Before that it was Pacific Rim, which seemed to interest no one (What about giant robots punching giant monsters do people not understand?). Now granted, one of these two is based on a preexisting property, albeit a relatively unknown one. But you can see why producers are wary to risk giving a film big funding if movie-goers won’t go see the ones they do give big budgets to.

Last year I can think of one movie, Interstellar, that fit in the category of a new property that made a lot of money, and I suspect the only reason it got the budget it did was the name recognition of Christopher Nolan.

This brings us back to my original plea: go see Jupiter Ascending. I know you’ve complained, either secretly or out loud, that there seem to be way to many comic book movies out there, or that both Batman and Spider-Man are being rebooted way too soon, or that all we seem to get these days are mediocre sequels and adaptations of terrible books (Can we all pretend 50 Shades of Grey isn’t actually happening?). Well guess what, the universe has seen fit to give us all another chance to show Hollywood that we are ready to reward their financial risks.

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Having said all that, let me allay some of your fears about going to see what you could presume to be a humongous pile of crap, because there were some genuinely cool things in this movie. For starters, Jupiter Ascending does some phenomenal world building with dozens of unique alien species, colorful planets and a rich history only briefly hinted at. Action sequences are intense, especially a dog fight over downtown Chicago, and will keep you entertained. You’ll love to see Eddie Redmayne play an incredibly weird and creepy villain who likes to speak through his teeth. And, oh yeah, crazy hover skates. Seriously, I hope those things will be invented by the time the hover skateboard from Back to the Future Part II makes it to the market.

I pray this has been enough to convince you, because I’m telling you true that if this movie makes the big bucks you can expect that another original film will be released in the near future and it will have the budget it deserves and will hopefully be much higher quality.

Forget the Reviews, Go See ‘Jupiter Ascending’

Are you loyal to your favorite actors like I am? 

Do you follow specific actors and see their movies out of loyalty, even if you probably wouldn’t have seen it otherwise? Do you ever love a movie merely because an actor you love was in it and you just wanted it to be great?  Do you root for actors to make it big because you yourself see their talent and potential?

I do.

I’ve always been this way. When it comes to sports, my loyalty lies not with a specific team, but with specific players, and I’ll move on to their next team just as quickly as they are traded. Similarly, I attach myself to an actor and from then on I’ll follow them from movie to movie and root for their success. And if they’re on a TV show and leave that show or their character *dies*, it’s possible I leave the show as well. Such is the life of a loyal fan.

I love many actors. But there are a select few in which I have placed this investment in. Some actors I will follow where ever the lead. Generally, it’s the ones that I feel like I “discovered” before they caught their big break, or ones I’m waiting for the rest of pop culture to catch up on what I’ve discovered, or simply because I consistently respect their work and they never fail me.

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I view this as a good and bad way of life. Good in that it at times allows me to see films I might not have otherwise. Potentially bad in that I want so badly for them to do well in their careers it might influence my take on their work. I’ve written before about my obsession adoration for Dylan O’Brien. I think he’s immensely talented, and given time and the right roles that talent will shine. I want nothing but the best for him, but it’s possible that want blinds me a little. His film, The First Time–I honestly have no idea if this was a good movie, okay movie, or terrible movie. I was just excited O’Brien did well in his role. I may have lost all objective ability when it comes to him.

 

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Eddie Redmayne is one example where I found him before he was anything (back in Like Minds with Tom Sturridge, anyone, anyone?) I’ve followed him endlessly since through his steady climb and I’ll follow him anywhere he goes (even to Jupiter Ascending, whose trailer I can barely make it through, and the delay in release only strengthens my wariness of this film. But I’ll follow.). Yet, the anticipation and praise for his upcoming film Theory of Everything and his Oscar-buzz-role fills me with pride and joy for him.

Everyone follows their favorite actors to some extent, but does anyone else have their own actors that are nearly blindingly beloved? Is this just me?  Is this a horribly bad thing? If nothing else, at least I’m aware of it.

Are you loyal to your favorite actors like I am?