Oscar Picks for the 2014 Season!

I thought long and hard about this over the weekend while finalizing my Oscar ballot. On the surface I immediately gave director to Birdman director Alejandro G. Iñárritu because of the DGA award, other awards matriculated this season, and primarily because in my book what he did is more what one awards directing for. I then came across a lot of my fellow industry kinsman who said otherwise in that "How do you counter a movie that brilliantly accomplishes its scenes in 'one shot' [Birdman]? ... Why, a movie that successfully pulls off a production schedule of 12 years [Boyhood]!"

I thought long and hard about this. Will picture and director split again this year? Will The Academy feel like they owe Boyhood something if they give Birdman the big prize? Simply because in my book it's HANDS DOWN EXTREMELY CLEAR at this point, Birdman for Best Picture!! Making it to the finish line as it has, hitting each correct stop on the way there, Best Picture is clear in my book, Birdman. However, the DGA Award should've solidified both Picture & Director for Birdman, but with all the talk of Boyhood director Richard Linklater's accomplishments for pulling off a 12 year epic, and feeling like The Academy would give Boyhood something big to make up for not giving them the biggest ...

... I was at a crossroads.


I then came across a critic over at Slate who made a great point that she thought The Academy would lean more towards Iñárritu as he's more the choice they've gone with in recent years (Life of Pi & Gravity).

I came across some publications that interviewed anonymous Academy members about their ballots this season.  A seasoned member of the actor’s branch who’s voting for Boyhood for Best Picture tonight had this to say: 

"... I went with the Birdman director over the Boyhood director because I think he took a bigger leap and I think he largely succeeded in getting it done in his way. He had to solve a lot of things. Linklater had a more controlled situation."

This got me thinking.

I came to the conclusion that a few other fellow film critics, bloggers, and journalists made in that directing should be awarded for what Iñárritu did and not so much what Linklater did. If one wants to argue Boyhood for Best Picture, then I feel one has an argument here. As a 12 year process (which came off more as a gimmick than, 'this is the one!' in my critique of the film), is more of a producing effort with scheduling, budgeting, and keeping emotional Hollywood actors and not to mention a 13 year old kid going through puberty still interested in the same project over a long period of time; and not so much a directing one, hence the picture argument for Boyhood and not the directing one.

To clarify the Best Picture race in my book as I’ve heard arguments that Birdman is also a gimmick due to its cinematography, I respectfully disagree.  Boyhood is Birdman is not, why?  STORY!  I could relate completely to the characters and the world of Birdman and not so much with that of Boyhood.  Even though on the surface it seems like Boyhood is the more relatable story. 


If Linklater shockingly takes it tonight, I'll still feel happy for him because I know in my heart, what makes sense to me is that Iñárritu is this season's Best Director as what he's accomplished with his project is what directing should be awarded for (and I’m glad the directors of Hollywood agree with me on that one). Whereas Linklater's accomplishments are for directing as well but are also HEAVILY shared with producing efforts just as much.

I believe this is what’s the most gossiped about the ceremony this season and I’m on pins and needles to unveil the shocking truth!  One thing's for sure; it will most definitely be a nail bitter tonight! And I can't wait!

Iñárritu for Best Director! Birdman for Best Picture!


Here's my full list of picks!

BEST PICTURE

SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN:  Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

BEST DIRECTOR

SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN:  Alejandro G. Iñárritu

BEST ACTOR

SHOULD WIN:  Michael Keaton
WILL WIN:  Eddie Redmayne

BEST ACTRESS

SHOULD WIN:  Reese Witherspoon/Rosamund Pike
WILL WIN:  Julianne Moore
SHOULD’VE BEEN HERE:  Jennifer Aniston (in lieu of Julianne Moore)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN:  J.K. Simmons

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN:  Patricia Arquette
*Though no one really stands out to begin with, yet Emma Stone thoroughly supports the best picture of the year, Birdman. 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

WILL WIN:  How To Train Your Dragon 2
SHOULD’VE BEEN HERE:  The Lego Movie (and should’ve won!)



ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

WILL WIN:  The Grand Budapest Hotel

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

SHOULD WIN:  The Imitation Game
WILL WIN:  Whiplash

CINEMATOGRAPHY

SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN:  Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

COSTUME DESIGN

WILL WIN:  The Grand Budapest Hotel

EDITING

WILL WIN:  Boyhood

HAIR & MAKEUP

WILL WIN:  The Grand Budapest Hotel

PRODUCTION DESIGN

WILL WIN:  The Grand Budapest Hotel



SOUND EDITING

WILL WIN:  American Sniper

SOUND MIXING

WILL WIN:  American Sniper

VISUAL EFFECTS

SHOULD WIN/WILL WIN:  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

ORIGINAL SCORE (MUSIC)

WILL WIN:  The Theory of Everything (Jóhann Jóhannsson)

ORIGINAL SONG (MUSIC)

SHOULD WIN: Begin Again
WILL WIN:  Selma

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

WILL WIN:  Citizenfour

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

WILL WIN:  Ida (Should’ve been nominated for Best Picture as well)


DOCUMENTARY SHORT

WILL WIN:  Joanna

ANIMATED SHORT

WILL WIN:  Feast

LIVE ACTION SHORT

WILL WIN:  Boogaloo & Graham 

As always, thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading!

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