the envelope please: k-mac’s fifth annual oscar movie marathon wrap-up & predictions™!

0305_oscarTo start, let me run down this year’s Best Picture nominees, from my least favorite to my most favorite. Here’s one truth: they are all GREAT films. Calling one my “least favorite” is rather trite and misleading. Nevertheless, here goes:

The Grand Budapest Hotel—N/A. I haven’t watched it yet. I’ll watch it ahead of the awards, but I’m pretty confident in my Best Picture picks (sorry, Wes). But I’ll defer to my friend Mark H. who said this of The Grand Budapest Hotel: “If you’re into unique cinematography techniques, you’ll love Grand Budapest Hotel. Every shot is perfectly balanced. Almost eerie.”

EDIT: I just watched this film. Wow. Brilliant. It may move into my Top 3.

7. The Theory of Everything—Lovely to look at, wonderfully acted. Eddie Redmayne is a serious contender for Best Actor.
6. The Imitation Game—Yet another Weinstein nominee. Pretty strong film, but something is slightly formulaic about it.
5. Selma—Probably the most emotional film in this year’s field. Well constructed, but doesn’t take many chances in the hands of a novice director.
4. Boyhood—A truly epic film. Not sure it’s necessarily Oscar-worthy, though. I still liked it a lot, I should say.
3. American Sniper—Remove all the bullshit politics from the right and left and this is still a powerful film with a definite statement about war and its human toll on those who fight it and those who wait for them to come home. Very strong film.
2. Whiplash—If J.K. Simmons doesn’t win, it will be a travesty. I loved everything about this film. Everything.
1. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)—Without question, the best of the field. Unique, risk taking, heavy performances, fascinating cinematography. This film is ahead of the rest in every way.

Yes, I also saw Foxcatcher, but it isn’t up for Best Picture. Is it stronger than any of these films? No. It was good, but could’ve been so much better.

Now then, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…

K-Mac’s Fifth Annual Oscar Movie Marathon Predictions!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laure Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Who I Want to Win
Of the nominees I saw, I think I want Patricia Arquette to win.

Who I Think Will Win
Emma Stone was great. I’d give it to her, although I have a fear the Academy will just throw one at Meryl.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Who I Want to Win
I’ve been a huge fan of J.K. Simmons for years. His performance in Whiplash was the superlative.

Who I Think Will Win
J.K. Simmons…although there’s a little part of me thinking the Academy will trump performance with sentimentality and hand it to Bobby Duvall. Yes, I called him Bobby. Deal with it.

BEST ACTRESS
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Who I Want to Win
I am completely out of my depth here. I only saw one of the nominees. But I’d like to see Julianne Moore win. I’ve always liked her.

Who I Think Will Win
Julianne Moore. The Academy loves people who portray characters with afflictions.

BEST ACTOR
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Who I Want to Win
All the nominees were great, but Michael Keaton did so much more than the rest, if you ask me. Unlike his fellow nominees, he had no source material with which to work. For my money, that made his job of convincing me he was on the brink that much more challenging. And he nailed it. In every way.

Who I Think Will Win
Michael Keaton. Although Eddie Redmayne wouldn’t surprise me for the same reason I think Moore will win. To those who think it Cooper not winning would be based on politics or whatever, save it. He was great, truly great. But in my view, Keaton is this year’s best actor.

BEST DIRECTOR
* Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Who I Want to Win
Alejandro G. Iñárritu. He crafted as close to perfect a film as you can get. EDIT: However…Wes Anderson’s work on The Grand Budapest Hotel really caught my attention. I’ll stick with Iñárritu.

Who I Think Will Win
Alejandro G. Iñárritu. I think the Academy will agree with me.

BEST PICTURE
American Sniper
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

What I Want to Win
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). So many great films, but I keep coming back to this one. Selma was emotional. American Sniper was gripping. Whiplash was intense. But Birdman simply soared (ha!) head and shoulders above the rest.

What I Think Will Win
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Past results indicate the voters like inside jokes about the industry, which, on top of everything else, Birdman includes. Then again, don’t be surprised if we get a Shakespeare in Love moment and The Imitation Game wins.

That’s a wrap.

Enjoy tonight’s show!
16-reasons-new-year-s-eve-is-overrated-and-we-d-rather-stay-555442_w1000

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