Monday, February 23, 2015

OSCARS 2015

Well, well, the celebrated Award show for movies just ended.  I've seen some of the comments in the Academy Award Facebook page, and boy, do people have their own opinions.  I think that is good, because film-making is art, and art is subjective, just because the movie won an Oscars, doesn't mean I have to agree that the film is great.  Same thing the other way round, and same thing to everyone else, don't be afraid to disagree with the result.  Neil Patrick Harris hosted the Oscars this year, I like him coz he is funny, but, I think no one beats the amazing Billy Crystal as the host of the Academy Awards.  As for the music performances, I must say, I have to highlight Lady Gaga's performance on the music from Sound of Music.  I was not much of a fan of Lady Gaga before, but seeing her on that stage, I was impressed, and she looked really nice.  Also, it was so heartwarming when Julie Andrews went out and hugged her, I don't know why, felt like that part was so special.  Anyway, getting back to the awards...I will not say anything about these categories:  Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film, Documentary, Documentary (short subject), and Foreign Language Film.  Mainly because I haven't seen any of the films listed in those categories.  So, I will say something about the more "mainstream" categories.

Visual Effects
Interstellar

Other films that were nominated: Captain America 2, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardian of the Galaxy, and X-Men: Days of Future Past.  I don't really have much say for this category, because out of all these films, I've only seen X-Men and Captain America 2, but from what I can see from those two Marvel/action films, I never really think those two are Oscars worthy for visual effects.  I watched the trailer for Interstellar...and I really wanted to watched the movie when it was in the cinema last year, but I had so many things to do at the time and I couldn't find any free time to spare :(  But, even without watching the film, I know this movie deserves to win this category.  So, congratulations!

Make up & Hair Styling
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Other films that were nominated:  Foxcatcher, and Guardians of the Galaxy.  Again, I probably don't have much say in this because make up and hair styles are not a subject that I am good at.  But from what I can see, I do think The Grand Budapest Hotel deserves the award.  Foxcatcher looks pretty okay...nothing out of the ordinary about the makeup and hairstyle.  Guardians of the Galaxy on the other hand, it is interesting, no doubt about that.  However, part of the end product of Make up and Hair Styling got a help from CGI, well, at least for some of the characters.  The Grand Budapest Hotel on the other hand, even if you just see the cast on set, you will be amazed by their and make up and hairstyle.  I must emphasize on how much the make up and hair styling had helped to make Adrian Brody looked absolutely evil in that film.  So yes, I am with The Grand Budapest Hotel.  Congrats!!

Film Editing
Whiplash

Other films that were nominated:  American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and The Imitation Game.  Now...this, is interesting.  Because I've seen comments in Facebook of people really rooting for American Sniper and Boyhood.  I haven't seen American Sniper, and I don't think that movie was released here in Malaysia.  Boyhood, I know GSC played this movie here in this country, and I know this movie took 12 years to shoot...which, I feel, is amazing.  Then again, should that be the only reason for the film to win an Oscars?  Because it took 12 years?  I don't think so.  Again, I was rooting for The Grand Budapest Hotel, even though I love The Imitation Game, but I feel like The Grand Budapest Hotel was better edited.  I can't say much about Whiplash because I haven't seen it, for some reason I'm just not intrigue by the movie even though I'm a musician myself.   But from the look of it, I don't know why it won, to be honest.  I definitely need to see the movie to see why.  Maybe I will change my mind after that, but as of now, I still wished The Grand Budapest Hotel won that award.

Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Other films that were nominated:  Inherent Vice, Into the Woods, Maleficent, and Mr. Turner.  I have to admit, this is a tough category, because I think all of the costumes are amazing.  I haven't seen Inherent Vice and Mr. Turner, even though I am very much interested to watch those two films.  But I did get a glimpse of the costumes from the trailers.  Honestly, I think costumes works very well, with a good make-up and hairstyles.  So, it is only logical for The Grand Budapest Hotel to win this category after winning the make-up and hairstyling category.  I think what makes the costumes of this film so great has something to do with the colours.  If you look at the design of the clothes, all of them are pretty standard with other period films.  But the choices of colours kind of help the type of character that each of the cast were playing, and really compliment the type of film The Grand Budapest Hotel represents.

Original Song
"Glory" from Selma

Other original songs that were nominated:  Everything is Awesome (Lego Movie), Grateful (Beyond the Lights), I'm Not Gonna Miss You (Glen Campbell...I'll Be Me), Lost Stars (Begin Again).  I've never seen Selma, but after watching the live performance of this song at the Oscars, I knew that this song deserves the award.  It's meaningful, the lyric is powerful.  The music itself is great.  It represents what a lot of people are fighting for in their own battle in life.  It gives hope.  It gives us the strength to keep fighting.  It's a really good song.  So, congratulations :)

Original Score
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Other films that were nominated:  The Imitation Game, Interstellar, Mr. Turner, and The Theory of Everything.  No matter how much I love the music from The Theory of Everything, the moment I saw The Grand Budapest Hotel in the nomination list, I know, 100%, that The Grand Budapest Hotel will take away this award.  Other movies don't come close to the genius of Alexandre Desplat in scoring for this movie.  Believe me, The Grand Budapest Hotel will not be as great as it is, if it wasn't for the original score.  The timbre of the music in that film was unique and one of a kind.  Just like the movie, it is very artistic and original :)  The fact that Alexandre Desplat scored for both The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game is definitely something that he can be very proud of.  That just proves how much of a genius he really is in scoring for films.

Sound Editing
American Sniper

Other films that were nominated:  Birdman, The Hobbit 3, Interstellar, and Unbroken.  Well, as fan of The Hobbit, I definitely wished for that film to win.  However, deep down, I know that wasn't going to happen.  The Hobbit trilogy is great, but not as great as The Lord of the Rings.  That is the one thing I can admit.  Again, this is not really a place for me to say much because I don't know much about the technique of sound editing.  Plus, I haven't watch American Sniper.  But, I was actually predicting Interstellar to win this category.  Well, I was predicting The Hobbit to win this category, and at the same time thinking Interstellar has a good shot at winning too.  I mean, come one...even though The Hobbit was not as great as LOTR doesn't mean that the sound editing was not good.  I watched the film and I think it's amazing!  Then again, I might change my mind after (if I ever) watch American Sniper.  But, as of now, I was rooting for The Hobbit, but at the same time thought Interstellar could've won.

Sound Mixing
Whiplash

Other films that were nominated:  American Sniper, Birdman, Interstellar, and Unbroken.  Well, any movie relating to music should definitely win the sound mixing category, otherwise it will just mean the movie failed.  However, I was surprised that American Sniper didn't take this home as well after winning the sound editing category.  I still feel like Interstellar could've won.  Then again, I haven't watch both Whiplash and Interstellar, what I'm saying is basically an opinion based on some of the clips that I've seen of the respective movies.  But I guess it is only fair for Whiplash to win this award.  Congratulations to the team!

Cinematography
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Other films that were nominated:  The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ida, Mr. Turner, and Unbroken.  In terms of the technique used in the cinematography, I guess Birdman deserves the award.  I was predicting between Birdman or again, The Grand Budapest Hotel.  I guess cinematography is more in the technical aspects, and since Birdman shows more technique in that area, and well mastered technique as well, I guess it is only fair for Birdman to win.  The Grand Budapest Hotel is more artistic rather than technical.  

Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Other films that were nominated:  The Imitation Game, Interstellar, Into the Woods, and Mr. Turner.  Definitely the most deserving film to win this award, hands down.  It is different, unique, original, and much more.  I knew this movie will take this award the moment I see the list.  In terms of the realistic aspect, The Imitation Game probably the closest to that.  But nothing beats the creativity in the production design of The Grand Budapest Hotel.  The two movie that I mentioned, The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Imitation Game were definitely the two movies that I was rooting for, but of course, the winning movie was the one I really rooted for :)

Animated Feature Film
Big Hero 6

Other films that were nominated:  The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya.  Now...this is a category that I can predict Big Hero 6 will win...but I hate that my prediction was right.  Because I was rooting for How to Train Your Dragon 2.  First of all, I enjoyed watching Big Hero 6, I really did, but the movie was way too predictable.  The moment Hero's brother died...I can already guess who's the villain, and halfway through the movie, I can guess what is the reason behind the villain's actions.  It's too....ordinary.  It's fun, and funny...but that's it...nothing more.  How to Train Your Dragon 2 was definitely my preference because it is funny, it is fun, it has some plot twist, it has greater value, it has more emotional depth, and it is a better animation film than Big Hero 6!!  One more thing, I'm surprised that Lego Movie was not nominated because I think that movie is awesome as well.  Also, I've never seen The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, but the title sounds interesting, and probably a much better film than Big Hero 6 too.  I don't know, I just don't agree with this at all.  Sorry, but this is my opinion.

Original Screenplay
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Other films that were nominated:  Boyhood, Foxcatcher, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Nightcrawler.  NO!!! The Grand Budapest Hotel is way more original than Birdman!!!  Come on, we've seen movies like Birdman before, they might not be as great as Birdman, but we've seen something like it before, someone great who falls and need to find his way back to the world, and so on.  It might be different from other movies with similar plot, but it is not THAT different.  The Grand Budapest Hotel is definitely something special!  I cannot believe it didn't get the award that best describes the film: originality.  I mean, yes, we've seen movies about people being framed before, but not like in The Grand Budapest Hotel.  So, yeah, I might get a lot of hate for this, but The Grand Budapest Hotel deserves to win Original Screenplay way more than Birdman.  Way way more!  I predicted and rooted for The Grand Budapest Hotel, because for me, that movie is the most original out of the whole nominated films.  The way Birdman was filmed might be "original" and special, but the originality of the screenplay definitely belongs to The Grand Budapest Hotel.  That is all that I need to say.  Not a good win in this category, not at all.  Sorry to those who rooted for Birdman, but I really don't think that movie is as original as The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Adapted Screenplay
The Imitation Game

Other films that were nominated:  American Sniper, Inherent Vice, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash.  My predictions were between The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything.  I'm sure glad that one of my predicted films won this award.  At least it makes me feel better after the original screenplay category.  Not to forget, Graham Moore gave an inspiring speech at the Oscars when he took the award.  I have to admit, if I need to choose between The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything, I would probably choose The Theory of Everything, but I really don't mind that The Imitation Game won this category.  A well-deserved win indeed.

Directing
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Other directors that were nominated:  Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), and Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game).  Okay, given the fact that Birdman is a film with lots of techniques...I guess you can say a "well-deserved" win.  Then again, it really depends on what makes a "well-deserved" win.  If you are looking for techniques, I guess you can say either Birdman or The Grand Budapest Hotel.  If you are looking for commitment, I guess you can say Boyhood, I mean, that film did take 12 years to make.  If you are looking for how the director creates intensity and emotional depth through the films, then it it will be Foxcatcher, The Imitation Game, and Birdman.  This is very subjective.  I personally prefer The Grand Budapest Hotel because I feel like Wes Anderson did an amazing job at being creative, and original.  Also, the fact that he made the quality of the film seems to appear "theatrical" with the great music to compliments that aspects also makes him a great director.  I also love The Imitation Game because I feel like Morten Tyldum brings out the best in all the cast of that movie, not to forget about the other aspects that make the movie so good.  Then again, I guess it is also a "well-deserved" win for Birdman as it is a complex film and Alejandro did a great job at it.

Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Other actresses that were nominated:  Laura Dern (Wild), Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game), Emma Stone (Birdman), and Meryl Streep (Into the Woods).  I haven't watch Boyhood and Wild, so it is hard for me to say about who has the best performance.  But lets just say that I am waiting for the moment for Keira Knightley and Emma Stone to win an Oscar.  I love Meryl Streep, she is probably the most versatile living actress, and she has tons of awards to show to other people.  So, I was hoping for either Keira Knightley or Emma Stone to win the award, because I personally think both of them are very talented actress and deserve an Oscar.  I will not say anything about Patricia Arquette, because like I said earlier, I haven't watch the movie.  She might really deserves the award, but still, I was really hoping either Keira Knightley or Emma Stone to win that award.

Supporting Actor
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Other actors that were nominated:  Robert Duvall (The Judge), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Edward Norton (Birdman), and Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher).  I haven't seen Whiplash, but from the clips that I saw, I can tell that J.K. Simmons did an amazing job in Whiplash.  Definitely.  I know they are people who rooted for Edward Norton, but I think for this category, it is a well-deserved win, even though I haven't watch the movie.  I can't say much about other actors as well because they are all talented actors, just in terms of the performance out of all the actors nominated, I think J.K. Simmons gave a good performance.  Congratulations!

Actress
Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Other actresses that were nominated:  Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), and Reese Whiterspoon (Wild).  A big YES from me.  The moment I watched Still Alice, I wished for Julianne Moore to win an Oscar for that role.  I really did.  It's not easy to play that part convincingly, and she did it really, really convincingly.  Still Alice became a very emotional movie because of her.  I'm sure all of the other actresses did an amazing job in their respective roles to actually get nominated, but I have to agree with Julianne Moore.  She really deserves the award.  It is about time she wins an Oscar.  Congratulations!

Actor
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Other actors nominated:  Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Michael Keaton (Birdman).  Another very big YES from me.  From the moment  I watch The Theory of Everything, I know with all my heart that Eddie Redmayne deserves to win every award for Best Actor, ESPECIALLY the Oscar.  So, when they announced his name, I cheered a big "hurrayy" for him.  Look, I know, Bradley Cooper and Michael Keaton both did a great job playing their parts.  And Benedict Cumberbatch and Steve Carell did an amazing job portraying their roles.  But you have to understand, there's a very big pressure when you play someone who exists in real life...and it is an even bigger pressure when you are playing someone who is still alive.  We all know Stephen Hawking, everyone might not know his contribution, but everyone knows how he looks like and how he is.  That limits Eddie's choice of exploring into this role.  When you play a character that doesn't exist in human history, which is a character from an original screenplay, or a character created by an author somewhere in novels, it gives you more room of creativity, it gives you more options to discuss with the director on how exactly you want the character to be like.  When you are playing a character that exist in human history, but already passed away, like Alan Turing (which played by Benedict Cumberbatch), it limits your choices a little bit because you need to study that particular character.  But, at the same time, it is less pressuring when the person you are playing will not be watching your performance of playing them.  Eddie Redmayne, on the other hand, is playing someone who is very well known in human history, and he is still alive, and he can watch Eddie's performance in portraying Stephen Hawking.  That is a big responsibility, as well as a really big pressure for Eddie Redmayne.  So, the fact that he nailed the role...perfectly...just gives him the rights to win any Best Actor category there is.  He is probably the the only actor, that I prayed for to win.  Hahahaha.  I am really glad he took the award.  A VERY well-deserved win indeed.

Best Picture
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Other films that were nominated:  American Sniper, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest HotelThe Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash.  Now.........this is another category that I don't agree with, and it probably the most important category of all =_= Again, this is very subjective, because you can look from many different angle on what makes a film "Best Picture" and for me, it is basically includes everything.  The performance of the cast, the creativity, the originality of the story, set, costumes, make-up, scoring, and all of the things that makes a movie great.  Even though I haven't watch American Sniper, Boyhood, Selma and Whiplash...but I've seen enough movies in this list to know that Birdman is NOT the Best Picture of the bunch!  Are you kidding me?  No other movie deserves to win Best Picture other than The Grand Budapest Hotel, it is original, it is unique, different, high in artistic value, great performance of the cast, amazing music, amazing costumes, amazing set, amazing everything!!  Personally, I love The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game more than Birdman.  I think The Theory of Everything, even though an adaptation, is very original.  Powerful performance from the cast, superbly written music, great costume that fits historically to the period, great editing, and so much more.  I can say the same thing about The Imitation Game.  For me, Birdman is great in displaying the technical aspects of everyone involved in the making of that films, but it is not the "Best Picture" for me.  It's just not.  I'm sorry, but that is just how I feel.  I'm not happy with this category.


Finally, I'm done writing for all the categories that I want to talk about.  Again, I must remind you that everything that I wrote here is my opinion.  If you disagree with me, it doesn't mean either of us is right or wrong, it just means that we have different preference and opinions.  I respect your opinions, and I will appreciate it very much if you will respect mine.  So, what do you think of Oscars 2015?  Are you happy with the result?

*image taken from Google Image

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