Friday 16 January 2015

Oscar nominations 2015: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

1. Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel receiving nine nominations each is thoroughly well deserved, as are the six for Boyhood. Any one of them would be a worthy best picture winner.
2. Ida (Poland) and Two Days, One Night (Belgium) both escaping the shackles of the foreign language category to land noms for best cinematography and best actress (Marion Cotillard) respectively.

3. The Boxtrolls – one of the most eccentric and grotesque kids’ films I’ve ever seen – making it into the best animated feature category.
4. Emma Stone’s reaction to her supporting actress nod for Birdman. “I am so fucking excited,” she said in a statement. Are you allowed to say fuck when you're making a statement for the Oscars? I’m just really fucking excited.” It makes a nice change from all that “honoured and humbled” nonsense.
5. Meryl Streep receiving a 19th career Oscar nomination (best supporting actress for Into the Woods) is an extraordinary achievement. My money’s firmly on Patricia Arquette (for Boyhood) though.

1. The nomination of American Sniper as best picture. Clint Eastwood’s film has its moments and Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller turn in career-best performances, but it is in no way one of the best eight pictures of the past year. Foxcatcher, for instance, pisses on it from a great height.
2. The shocking absence of The Lego Movie in the animated category has to be one of the most egregious snubs in years. At least the film’s director has a sense of humour about it.
3. Only one nom for the extraordinary and caustic Nightcrawler (best original screenplay). At the very least, Jake Gyllenhaal should have copped a best actor nod.
4. Not a single mention in any category for Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin – even Mica Levi’s head-spinning soundtrack was snubbed.
5. The fact so many of the nominated films still haven't opened in the UK. We’re yet to see the likes of Selma, Wild, and Still Alice, while Whiplash only opened today. And the movie industry wonders why piracy is still so prevalent…

1. A frightening lack of ethnic and gender diversity in the acting, writing and directing categories. Apparently, it's the first time since 1998 that all the nominees in each of the four main acting categories is white. But what do you expect when Oscar voters are 94 per cent white, 77 per cent male and only 14 per cent are under the age of 50? Perhaps the Academy thinks it filled its “quota” last year by rewarding 12 Years a Slave and Lupita Nyong’o.

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