The Oscar’s 2015 are fast approaching and we’re full of anticipation as to who will win and who will be snubbed. Speculation is rife, so we asked best friends Elliott Boekhoff and Alex Reid to give their predictions. Here’s what they said:
Best Actor in a Leading Role
EB: Michael Keaton, Birdman
For a long time Michael Keaton was the original Batman for me, after growing up on the wacky, yet dark, Tim Burton films. Fittingly, Birdman presents his character as a washed up star, who was famed for playing a silver screen superhero in his heyday, and is now going through a mid-life crisis. Whether he’s channelling something from his own experiences or he’s just a damn good actor, Keaton does a tremendous job at conveying the depression and narcissism of his complex, but nevertheless loveable, antihero.
AR: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
It’s hard to choose from the nominees in this category and the Academy Awards are known for surprise winners, but I’d personally put this one to either Michael Keaton or Eddie Redmayne. Keaton’s performance in Birdman was outstanding, but the technical ability of Redmayne to portray Stephen Hawking through the progression of his ALS was, for me, the best part of The Theory of Everything. Plus, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Redmayne has won at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, and the SAG Award.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
EB: Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Wow. I mean that one scene…. You know the one… if you’ve seen it. Never has a woman evoked such fear into my soul, since my ex – girlfriend that is… and somehow the anxiety felt even more real. And she’s a Brit! Biases aside, Pike delivers a chilling performance and single-handedly sustains the epic suspense throughout; perpetually keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.
AR: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Julianne Moore, like Pike, plays the role of someone struggling with health problems, in this case, Alzheimer’s. Moore’s performance is quite frankly, just downright depressing, but as that’s what she’s trying to portray, it makes her the best contender for this one. Oh, and like Redmayne, she’s already swept up awards at the Globes, BAFTAs, and SAG Awards.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
EB: JK Simmons, Whiplash
Anyone who has seen the TV show Oz knows how evil this man can be. In Whiplash JK Simmons portrays the intense, abrasive teacher of the young drummer Andrew Neimann, and does so with enough vitriol and passion to make even Dave Grohl quiver in terror. However, rather than just being an complete dickhead/neo-nazi like in Oz, again we have a somewhat comedic antihero (like Keaton in Birdman) in Terrence Fletcher. He’s someone who genuinely cares about his students, he just has fairly unorthodox methods in getting the best out of them. Has Oscar material written all over it!
AR: Edward Norton, Birdman
I love Edward Norton and, although the award is probably going to JK Simmons (for crushing his role in Whiplash), Norton’s portrayal of a self-absorbed Broadway actor in Birdman was awesome. Although it is a little frightening to see how far his character will go to make a sex scene seem real on stage.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
EB: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Okay… so Alex and I watched Boyhood together and I must say we were underwhelmed. But let’s face it, it’s going to clear up at the Oscars, just because of the nature and scope of the project. But, us being the edgy guys that we are, we’re not giving it any awards…. Except for this one. Arquette, for us, carried the film, and was the most (if not the only) believable character in the film.
AR: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Eli and I agree. We both came out thinking the same thing, the concept was better than the execution. However, whilst remaining generally unmoved by Boyhood, I thought it would have been way better if it focused on Patricia Arquette’s character. Her performance made the film relatable; she reminded me of my mum keeping a track of my every movement when I’m not in the house… Parent’s, right?
EB: The Grand Budapest Hotel
I’m a bit biased here, being a huge Wes Anderson fan. Quite simply, it is a beautiful film to watch, with an evocative, humorous, and captivating storyline to suit. With an all-star cast and killer script, this is definitely not one to miss, especially if you’re a quirky, edgy soul like me!
Everyone is on the Boyhood bandwagon at the moment so in all honesty, it’s probably going to win, and there’s nothing we can do about it. I saw Birdman on opening weekend and loved it. Keaton and Norton were awesome in it, the soundtrack was great, and the whole thing just worked. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but something about the atmosphere created in the cinema just worked for me.
EB: Wes Anderson
Following on from above, a lot of credit goes to the director. Anderson is a genius at translating his vision onto the screen and is borderline OCD in perfecting his shots. If you watch, there aren’t many scenes that aren’t purposely symmetrical. It is a film that has been tended to ever so closely. And as the writer too, you can understand why he takes so much care over his filmmaking.
AR: Richard Linklater or Alejandro González Iñárritu
Like Eli, I’m a big Wes Anderson fan. And I also loved The Grand Budapest Hotel, just not quite as much as Birdman. That said, Wes did a fantastic job bringing his writing to the screen, the use of symmetry, sound, set, costume design and acting showed how well managed and pieced together this film is. But as much as I’d love him to win, I think the award is going to go to either Boyhood’s Richard Linklater or Birdman’s Alejandro González Iñárritu (I don’t know how to pronounce it either).
Best Original Screenplay
Now this may come as a surprise. If you haven’t guessed, Alex is a bit of a fan boy for Birdman and I tend to root for Grand Budapest, but we actually disagree on this one. I guess because I’ve seen so many of Anderson’s films, I am somewhat numb to the style and pace to the quirky story of Grand Budapest. That’s not to say I don’t love it, but I feel Birdman’s script was more original and more integral factor in the films success. One of the great things about Birdman is the way each scene follows the other flawlessly, almost like it’s just one shot. This along with the weird stuff happening in the scenes (like Ed Norton trying to bang his wife on stage or Keaton hovering in mid-air like some sort of genie) makes it a complex, yet ever entertaining, script.
AR: The Grand Budapest Hotel
I think it’s fitting that the precursor awards have been given to Wes Anderson for this one. It’s original, quirky, and has an eccentric sense of humour.
EB: The Grand Budapest Hotel
So we don’t really know who has more influence over it, the Director or the Cinematographer. In this case, I can imagine Wes had a lot to do with it. As mentioned before, the film is abundant with beautiful shots and dynamic camerawork, which make it a joy to watch. Birdman is a very close runner up, I’m sure Alex will talk about my excessive love for Grand Budapest and its Kubrick-esque shots, but it’s just sensationalist bollocks, quite frankly.
I’m torn between Birdman and Grand Budapest, but I’ll leave the latter to Eli’s infatuation with the latter. The two are completely opposite in their style. Grand Budapest is almost always symmetrical and full of either sharp cuts or quick 90-degree pans to the right, whilst only ever showing faces head on or as a profile. Birdman, however, had me desperately searching the opening 30 minutes for a cut in the shot. The continuous shots and scenes of long empty corridors was just visually appealing to watch, and the fact the camera rarely stops almost makes you feel as though you’re constantly walking through the action.
Best Original Music Score
Hans Zimmer strikes yet again. An absolutely gorgeous OST, all of which was recorded on an organ in a church. The result is an eerie but optimistic sound, which goes hand in hand with the epic adventure on screen. Both Alex and I recommend this as a calming revision album, to accompany Zimmer’s other revision LP’s (Inception, Last Samurai etc.)
Hans Zimmer is once again responsible for the music of a Chris Nolan film. He apparently created the original concept for the score without being told it was a Sci-Fi epic. Instead he worked on with the idea of a story about a distant relationship between father and son (not even daughter), and recorded on a church organ. I’m probably biased to this because I use Hans Zimmer soundtracks to revise to (don’t act like you haven’t). However, it may lose out to either The Theory of Everything or Grand Budapest.
Best Visual Effect
This is a lock for us as well. Potentially Dawn of the Planet of the Apes could challenge (those apes look damn good), but we feel that this is the key selling point to Interstellar’s atmosphere. Watching it in the cinema was extremely satisfying, and it’s definitely one to pick up on Blu-ray… #wouldntstealahandbag.
Interstellar’s effects were stunning, with some individual frames of that massive black hole taking over 100 hours to produce. Although it faces strong competition from the likes of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and its use of Andy Serkis in a latex suit, I’d still peg Interstellar to win this one.
The winners will be announced on 22 February 2015.bookmark me