Guess what time it is, boys and girls! Its awards season! Gather ‘round as we kick off the months long conversation about what’s more impressive: a 12 year chronicle of adolescence or Micheal Keaton in his tighty whities. We ask the tough questions here at A Couple of Critics.
Joining me in my opinionating is the oft mentioned, but seldom heard from other half of A Couple of Critics and resident movie buff, Kyle Owen. Give him a warm welcome, but not too loud or we may scare him away again.
Note: As always, when I say “Will Win” I am basing it on the current odds and buzz and when I say “Should Win” I am basing it on my own personal and deeply biased opinion.
Best Film Drama
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Who Should Win: Boyhood
Who Will Win: Boyhood
On paper, an almost three hour long movie chronically one boy’s childhood with little in the way of plot sounds endlessly tedious, but the reality is that Boyhood is one of the most moving, poignant films I’ve ever seen. Its gimmick paid off in the best way and that originality has it gaining momentum by the second as awards season gets underway.
Kyle: Couldn’t agree more. Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is a crowning achievement and to no surprise will continue to take home top prizes. The only surprise here is that The Theory of Everything shares the same category with this film.
Best Actor in a Drama
David Oyelowo, Selma
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Who Should Win: Jake Gyllenhall
Who Will Win: Eddie Redmayne
If this award were for who underwent the most physical torture for a role, Eddie would have my vote along with the number of a great chiropractor. But, since this award is actually for who gave the best performance of the year, it seems silly to even consider anyone besides Jake Gyllenhaal.
This is a tough category and a real imitation game game of sorts. Four out of the five performances are based on fascinating individuals in their own right, but I have to give it to Gyllenhaal as well who has been delivering strong performances consistently of late, and none better than his role in Nightcrawler.
Best Actress in a Drama
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Jennifer Aniston, Cake
Who Should Win: Rosamund Pike
Who Will Win: Reese Witherspoon
Ok, confession time, I’ve only seen two of these movies so far, so my opinion is hardly fully formed. But, as Rosamund Pike has successfully given every cheating husband a moment of pause, she should get some sort of award. Though, judging only from the previews, giving it to Reese seems fair.
I’m with Devin here and have only seen two of the five, but not due to a lack of trying. I will ignore her Witherspoon judgment and say Rosamund Pike for the win here. Although there is a lot of buzz around Julianne Moore, I don’t believe it is enough to let Gone Girl go home without a trophy.
Best Comedy or Musical
Into the Woods
The Grand Budapest Hotel
What Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
What Will Win: Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel was out there in a wacky, funny, charming way. Birdman was out there in a, “Oh, there’s still an hour left in this movie? Great” kind of way…
That made me laugh. Well said! Birdman is certainly the most overrated film of the year.
Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Bill Murray, St. Vincent
Cristoph Waltz, Big Eyes
Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice
Who Should Win: Michael Keaton
Who Will Win: Michael Keaton
…Of course that doesn’t mean Michael Keaton wasn’t at his best.
Right again. I won’t exclude Joaquin Phoenix quite yet, who has been at the top of his game since he entered said game, but especially of late. And being paired once again with one of today’s greatest filmmakers sure won’t hurt his chances. But yeah, it’s probably Keaton and deservingly so.
Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical
Emily Blunt, Into the Woods
Helen Mirren, The Hundred-Foot Journey
Amy Adams, Big Eyes
Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars
Quvenzhane Wallis, Annie
Who Should Win: Amy Adams
Who Will Win: Emily Blunt
The Golden Globes are such a weird little award show. I’m on a never-ending campaign for Amy Adams to win all the awards. I like Emily Blunt too, but her performance in Into the Woods hardly seems like the role to honor her for. Then again, looking at the rest of the nominees… well, maybe its time people wrote some better film roles for women.
Julianne Moore wins here. Even if it’s only to back-up my pick of Rosamund Pike.
Best Supporting Actor in a Film
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Who Should Win: J.K. Simmons
Who Will Win: J.K. Simmons
J.K. Simmons owns this category from here until the Oscars. End. Of. Story.
Couldn’t. Agree. More.
Best Supporting Actress in a Film
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Emma Stone, Birdman
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightly, The Imitation Game
Who Should Win: Emma Stone
Who Will Win: Patricia Arquette
This is actually a much more interesting race than either leading actress category, which should also tell you something about the state of female roles in Hollywood, but I digress. Although the HFPA does love Meryl, the Boyhood love will likely shine on Patricia. But, considering they nominated her for Easy A, its pretty clear their Emma love runs pretty deep, too.
This is more of a dual than a five person race. But I’m certain Patricia Arquette will aim true and get her shot off first over Jessica Chastain for A Most Violent Year.
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Ava DuVernay, Selma
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
David Fincher, Gone Girl
Who Should Win: Richard Linklater
Who Will Win: Richard Linklater
Oh, hello, did any of you other directors spend 12 years filming your movie? No, you didn’t? Great, please have a seat.
It’s certainly Linklater here. This category is full of some of today’s best directors (even a newcomer in DuVernay), but Richard Linklater brought something special to the table that will not be ignored. The other four shouldn’t even bother with writing a speech.
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, Birdman
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Who Should Win: Gone Girl
What Will Win: Birdman
If I learned one thing as student of the arts, it’s that the more names attached the script, the more problematic it likely is. Gone Girl, on the other hand, was a pitch perfect representation of the book, likely because they had the actual author adapt it. And that kind of behavior should be encouraged.
Grand Budapest needs something, and this may as well be it. Even though I agree it should take home best Comedy/Musical, Birdman will likely snatch it among other awards. But Wes Anderson is no stranger to praise for his writing and should be recognized here for one of his best films.
Check back later when we attempt to ignore the Mad Men was shut out and make some TV predictions anyway.
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