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

How Much I Loved Boyhood

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Even though Adam recently posted some of the best review lines from Boyhood, a film this unique and good deserves a second post. (And is still at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, so there’s that too. I keep checking, waiting for that one smug little review who thinks he’s too good for it.)

For those who haven’t heard of this film, brief synopsis: It was filmed over 12 years, filming once a year, to show the actors aging in real time. The film follows a 6 year old boy, Mason, as he grows up to 18.

Full disclosure: I love the idea behind this film and have been obsessing over it all year and had very high expectations, and it was better than I thought it could have been. From the opening scene with Coldplay’s Yellow playing showing young Mason laying on the grass looking up at the clouds – I was all in.

The theater (one of only five that screened it this weekend) was crowded and sold out. We had to wait in line to get in, and the line zig zagged around the entrance, carefully separating two lines for the different showings. Such lines make me nervous because I want a great seat, but made me thrilled for such a turnout for the film. Nothing gets you more excited for something you’re already excited for than being surrounded by people equally excited. (ie, midnight anything.)

The film for me drives home a beautiful message – the best parts of life are the non important parts. The parts where seemingly nothing is happening, just life’s ordinary moments. Yet, those can be the most meaningful. And most relatable. There’s a lack of a “typical” plot we’re so accustomed to, but still a lot happens. (Some people might be bored by this setup, and I get that. But I was completely enthralled.)

I’m not gonna lie, I felt anxious the entire movie. As if I was constantly waiting for some tragedy to happen. We’re so trained for dramatic moments in film, to have a big event happen, or a twist. I thought these feelings were from expecting a big moment. But I’ve realized my anxiety might have been because I related to all these moments shown in the film. I understood how Mason was feeling, when he felt misunderstand, hurt, alone, lost. I’m not a boy, but I have been a six year old child, and a teenager and everything between. I had have my own childhood hair woes, my sibling fights, I have been through Jr High.

Whether it was recognizing these emotions, or from witness him literally grow up before my eyes, I feel particularly protective over both the character he played, and Ellar Coltrane, the person. As the audience you become in invested in him, but more than that–you become familiar with him. He’s like a little brother, or nephew, or cousin, watching him grow up from afar. You’re there for moments of his life, but not everything. But just enough to follow along and feel apart of it.

Towards the finale of the film, the question I asked was not, “When will this end?”, but rather, “How will this end?” I could have watched it go on further into his life, although the stopping point was logical. The final line was laugh out loud brilliant in its concept, such a typical college moment of discovering little life truths no matter how simple they are. For an amazing film concept, some nostalgia, and appreciation of basic life moments the film is a must see. I read an interview with Patricia Arquette (who plays the mom) talking about how this or that could have been added, more milestones in Mason’s life could have been show, but in the end, life was enough. Just life was enough. 

How Much I Loved Boyhood