Ava DuVernay – Selma
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a strange year for nominations because three of them aren’t even in the same league as the other two when looking at the techniques used in the films they were nominated for. It basically was a duel between two veteran directors who each made interesting films in very unique and innovative ways.
5. Bennett Miller
4. Morten Tyldum
3. Wes Anderson
2. Richard Linklater
1. Alejandro G. Iñárritu
5. 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.
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. Foxcatcher – A great sports biopic that is also disturbing to watch, but invites us deep inside a very complex and interesting true story. Not gonna be on my rewatch list so soon despite it being such a great story. Carell really loses himself in the character and it is so easy to forget who the actor is, which is essentially what we want.
2. 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.
1. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – 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.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes! I still believe that AI did something more unique that RL that helped champion himself to the win. The idea of making a film seem like one long shot is rarely done and here it works so well.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!