2014 in Review: Jordan’s Take on the Oscars
And just like that, 2014 is in the books. Sure, the year came to a close almost two full months ago; however, the film year isn’t really over until the Oscars (nor does the next year start until then, right, The LEGO Movie?).
Going into Sunday’s show, I made a series of predictions in the hope that I’d improve on the year before. As you can tell, I didn’t quite succeed in my goal but it was a good try nonetheless.
Of the 24 categories, I correctly picked 16. However, it was a particularly disappointing end when Birdman took the top two prizes (Best Director and Best Picture). That’s not to say it Birdman is a terrible choice but I just like being right.
After a day of reflection, I thought I’d write a couple quick notes about my observations of last year, and more specifically, Sunday night.
Here’s what stuck out:
I’m not going to spend too much time on this because Birdman was the obvious winner of Sunday night. Going into it, forecasters were pretty split on what would happen, especially when it came to Best Director and Best Picture. I wrongly predicted them but based my opinion on the idea that Best Director and Best Picture would go to the same movie (it’s rare, despite the last two years, for a movie to only win one of these). In some ways, my prediction was right…just for the wrong movie. Now, does Birdman deserve it? According to my Best Films of the Year post, not necessarily. I am happy, though, that it took the Best Cinematography award. Very deserving!
I never got a chance to really highlight my love for Whiplash. At the end of the year, I crammed the movie in between these two posts and had a feeling it’d be a movie that’d grow on me. Two months removed from my viewing, I can already see this movie creeping up my list of favorite movies of the year. It wasn’t surprising J.K. Simmons took home Best Supporting Actor; however, it was tougher to predict Whiplash would win Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing (and, yes, they were deserving wins). Everyone involved in this project has to be floored with three Academy Awards.
Year in and year out, the Best Actor category is one of the best races. This year was no different and, although it ended up being a two-man race, it had people guessing up until the winner was finally announced. I buoyed back and forth between who would win: the strapping Eddie Redmayne or the affable Michael Keaton. Keaton has a body of work (though he has no other nominations) and the Academy tends to reward that. However, Redmayne (deservingly) ended up taking home the prize and I found myself smiling from ear-to-ear. The Theory of Everything, according to this year’s winners, didn’t have the best night (I’m peeved it lost Best Original Score). However, this win helped tremendously.
There’s no way for every movie to come out of the Academy Awards unscathed. However, this year seemed to leave some movies by the wayside. Boyhood was a favorite all year but ran out of gas near the end. It ended up with just one award. So did the aforementioned The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game followed closely with just two wins. Personally, I’d take these three movies over bigger winners like Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel but maybe that’s why I’m not an Oscar voter.
Not all the surprises were a bad thing. I liked seeing Whiplash get rewarded (even if it meant I was wrong) and I genuinely smiled hearing The Imitation Game called for Best Adapted Screenplay. In the animated category, I thought I was in trouble when I fell into the Feast trap (that looked as tempting as last year’s Get a Horse!) but was happy to hear its name called. Big Hero 6 also surprised to make two years in a row for Disney. I wasn’t over-the-moon about this but that’s mostly because I’ll be bitter about The LEGO Movie until the day I die. Big Hero 6 did at least notch a win for the anti-blockbuster crowd.
There was plenty more to talk about – with Neil Patrick Harris being among almost all other topics – but those five things stood out most from a movie-lovers perspective. What else did you notice? Sound off below!
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