Wednesday 4 February 2015

Having a bash at the BAFTAs (Part 2)

Animated Film
The Boxtrolls
The Lego Movie
Big Hero 6

Big Hero 6 is good fun and I loved the grubby anarchy of The Boxtrolls but surely there’s only one winner here. I saw the Lego Movie again a few weeks ago and immediately regretted not putting it in my top 25 films of 2014. Not only does it look fantastic (Fritz Lang on magic mushrooms), it’s also laugh-out-loud funny and slyly subversive. Winning a BAFTA probably won’t make up for the Oscars snub but will certainly ensure the omission looks even sillier.
Should win: The Lego Movie
Will win: The Lego Movie

Original Music
The Grand Budapest Hotel: Alexandre Desplat
Interstellar: Hans Zimmer
Birdman: Antonio Sanchez
Under The Skin: Mica Levi
The Theory Of Everything: Jóhann Jóhannsson

I’m pretty much obsessed with Mica Levi’s mesmerising music for Under the Skin. I have her soundtrack to the film on my iPod and even bought the vinyl version too. It sounds like nothing else and fits Jonathan Glazer’s disquieting fever dream of a movie perfectly. But I’m worried it might be a bit too “out there” to win, in which case I’d settle for Birdman’s driving, drum-heavy score taking the prize as not only is it innovative and powerful, but it’s another one unfairly omitted from the Oscars. Believe me, though, stuff will be thrown at the telly if they award it to Hans Zimmer or Jóhann Jóhannsson.
Should win: Under The Skin: Mica Levi
Will win: Under The Skin: Mica Levi

The Grand Budapest Hotel: Robert Yeoman
Interstellar: Hoyte Van Hoytema
Mr. Turner: Dick Pope
Birdman: Emmanuel Lubezki
Ida: Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski

I shall be rooting for black and white Polish film Ida in this category. Not in an attempt to be a contrary hipster but because it is genuinely one of the most beautiful-looking movies I’ve seen in years. You could take almost every frame and hang it on a wall in a gallery – it’s a very “still” piece of work so this would probably work quite well actually. I also loved the way a great many of the shots are framed with the actors occupying the bottom half or third of the frame – as if they are just small components in a much bigger story going on around them. That said I have a strong suspicion Ida will be overlooked in favour of Interstellar. Because outer space!
Should win: Ida: Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski
Will win: Interstellar: Hoyte Van Hoytema

Supporting actor
JK Simmons: Whiplash
Mark Ruffalo: Foxcatcher
Steve Carell: Foxcatcher
Edward Norton: Birdman
Ethan Hawke: Boyhood

This may well be the strongest of all the categories this year and everyone nominated would be a very worthy winner. JK Simmons as monstrous music teacher Terence Fletcher in Whiplash would get my vote, though. Some have said his performance is a bit one note (boom-tish!) but, if that’s the case, it’s one hell of a note. It’s a bravura display, the former J Jonah Jameson demanding your entire focus in every scene he dominates. Fletcher is a horrible bullying arsehole but Simmons makes him such a force of nature that it becomes impossible not to have at least a little sympathy with his world view. He even manages to imbue the seemingly innocuous phrase “Not quite my tempo” with the same level of menace as “Heeere's Johnny!” or “Say hello to my little friend!” The Oscar's his, too.
Should win: J.K. Simmons: Whiplash
Will win: J.K. Simmons (below): Whiplash

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