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Recapping the 2015 Oscar Winners

Birdman won four Oscars this year: Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, and Cinematography

Chris Olszewski, Opinion Editor

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The 2015 Oscars featured featured some notable surprises (Birdman gags!) and somewhat predictable award winners (Moore, Arquette, Simmons), and acceptance speeches that weren’t boring.

The Academy Awards are the most prestigious award in film. Even from Cannes in February there is speculation as to who will take home an Oscar. There are six categories in the so-called “Big Five”: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and the two screenplay awards, Adapted and Original.

The winners of the awards are in bold.

Best Picture

Nominees:

American Sniper

Birdman (Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

Who Will Win: Birdman. The film is not only very good, but it also strikes the same sweet spot that previous Best Picture winners Argo and The Artist struck: it is about Hollywood, by Hollywood. Its pickup of the Producers’ Guild of America’s top prize (among others, such as the film’s more widely-expected SAG win) was still surprising, and it could be a harbinger that the film may have edged long-time favorite Boyhood.

Who Should Win: Boyhood. The 12-year production resulted in what is quite possibly the best film of the millennium, and the film is very close to perfect.

 

Best Director

Nominees:

Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman (Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher

Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

Who Will Win: Linklater. If the Academy doesn’t see fit to reward Boyhood with Best Picture, they will give it the next best thing.

Who Should Win: Iñárritu.  The Academy is probably going to split the Picture and Director prizes for the fourth time in a row. Between Boyhood and Birdman, one gets Picture, the other gets Director.

 

Best Actor

Nominees:

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 Will Win: Redmayne. The SAG Award sealed it up for the 33-year old Brit, and he absolutely nails the deterioration of Hawking’s motor skills. His performance was at turns stunning and uncomfortable to watch.

Who Should Win: Keaton. The best performance in a movie filled to the brim with amazing performances. In most other years Keaton would’ve locked it up the moment of Birdman’s release.

 

Best Actress

Nominees:

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Who Will Win: Moore. She’s been nominated multiple times before, and she has been sweeping the major indicator awards (SAG, Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, BAFTA). Her performance as an Alzheimer’s-stricken professor may be a rare case of being both a sort of “career achievement” Oscar and being the role an actress deserves to win one for.

Who Should Win: Moore.

 

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees:

Birdman (Or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Nightcrawler

Who Will Win: Birdman. The script is well-written, and the Academy will yet again reward the Best Picture winner with a screenplay award.

Who Should Win: Birdman.

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees:

American Sniper

The Imitation Game

Inherent Vice

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

Who Will Win: American Sniper. The screenplay awards (other than the category involving the Best Picture winner) have become something of a consolation prize lately, and the Academy will throw a bone to the January blockbuster with an Adapted Screenplay award.

Who Should Win: Whiplash. Despite grumbles about which Screenplay category Whiplash should be in, that doesn’t take away from the fact that the film’s screenplay is really, really good. If the Academy elects to give out a consolation prize to a Best Picture nominee, it should be given to Whiplash.

 

 

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Free of Bull, Full of Bulldogs
Recapping the 2015 Oscar Winners