Here are the eight nominees: (Winner in Bold)
My Overall Thoughts:
Once again, this was a year where despite most of the nominees being quite good, it was a boxing match between two films that dominated all o the awards shows.
- 8. – The Theory of Everything – Excellent acting by the two leads elevates a good story to something even better. Very informative and eye opening biopic.
- 7. – The Grand Budapest Hotel – Anderson likes to use rapid-fire techniques to try and keep things going, not my style, but the film is entertaining nevertheless with a great ensemble cast. Cleverly planned tale that is interestingly constructed but ultimately feels like a ploy to endlessly showcase cameo after cameo.
- 6. – Whiplash – Excellent performances by Simmons and Teller make this movie such a disturbing pleasure to watch. Perfect example of a movie with a simple plot that is launched into the stratosphere by outstanding lead characters and the actors who portray them.
- 5. – The Imitation Game – Excellent telling of this important story that most of us (probably) knew nothing about. Cumberbatch does a great job as the “spacey” professor whose mind works on a different wavelength than everyone else. I understand why it was done, but the social issues brought up seemed a bit too politicized instead of helping with the story.
- 4. – Boyhood – Very interesting and innovative kind of filmmaking but it’s still missing a real point in the end that keeps it from being spectacular. Linklater should be commended on his vision, but it feels too much like a documentary than a life changing story.
- 3. – Birdman – Not your normal, mainstream kind of Best Picture nominee, but it has a strong case for being the best both in term of technical film making and giving us an interesting story and character that we want to know more about and understand him.
- 2. – American Sniper – Very patriotic message that also shows the difficulties veterans face once they return home. Cooper is great and definitely deserved his Oscar nomination for Best Actor for the third consecutive year. Very moving movie!
- 1. – Selma – I still love the tone and pacing of this film and it really shows the difficult plight of MLK and his followers who continued to try and fight injustice on numerous levels in local, state and national government. Oyelowo is amazing as MLK and was definitely snubbed by not at least receiving an Oscar nomination for this role. The Best picture nomination and Best Original song win are nice consolations but not nearly enough for such an amazing and emotional story.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not at all! Birdman is a great movie, but Selma is so much more powerful a story and it was a shame that it got snubbed in so many categories.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!