Following tradition, on the day before the Oscars I share with you my predictions, so that tomorrow I can have the pleasure of saying "I told you so!" and so that you have the pleasure of seeing me make a fool of myself when my predictions turn out to be absolute fiction!
Jokes aside though, this year it seems that pretty much everything is pretty much expected.... No (major) surprises....
On the Best Actor in a Leading role category, after the Golden Globes, BAFTA, SAGs and many other awards, it is certain that no one is going to get in the way of Eddie Redmayne and his Oscar! His amazing performance in The Theory of Everything made him instant Hollywood royalty. If anyone is going to steal the Oscar, it will have to be the original Batman, Michael Keaton for Birdman, the role of his career. Poor Michael! If it was any other year, he would have locked the Oscar, but I guess this year he will have to stick to his Golden Globe.... On the other nominations, let me just state for the record that it is clear that Bradley Cooper has the Academy under some short of spell! Because only magic could explain his nomination....
The ladies nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role, can spare themselves the trouble of writing a speech. Except you Julianne - we need to hear something when you receive your first (finally) Academy Award! No one can threaten Julianne Moore in this category: not the lovely Marion Cotillard for her surprising yet justified nomination for Two Days, One Night, not the newcomer Felicity Jones for her exquisite performance in The Theory of Everything, not Rosamund Pike for her psyco role in Gone Girl, not even the "Hollywood sweetheart" Reese Witherspoon for Wild...
This year, in the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category, as harsh as the competition is this year, with veteran Robert Duvall for The Judge, Ethan Hawke for Boyhood, Edward Norton for Birdman and Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, it is almost a fact that J. K. Simmons will be the winner for his out of this world performance in Whiplash.
With many great performances in the Best Actress in a Supporting role category, including the Oscar veteran Meryl Streep for Into The Woods (which is a perfect example that even if Meryl simpy reads a restaurant menu, she is Oscar material!), Patricia Arquette seems to be the frontrunner. Her unique 12 year performance in Boyhood is what will give her her first Oscar.
Which brings us to the Best Picture and Best Directing. My gut feeling says that Richard Linklater and his masterpiece Boyhood, are going to be the big winners. The originality and uniqueness of this project, has made it an Academy favorite and will probably be awarded for both these categories. Although we might see surprises as we have in the past when the Best Picture and Best Directing awards go to different films (with a recent example Ang Lee in 2013 with The Life of Pi winning Best Direction and Argo winning Best Picture). So another possibility is that one of the two awards will go to Birdman. If it wasn't for Boyhood, Alejandro G. Iñárritu would be the big winner tonight, but like Micheal Keaton, unfortunatelly Boyhood gets in the way...
The Best Writing categories, are not that clear - my guesses are that The Theory of Everything will win Best Writing for Adapted Screenplay, with The Imitation Game being a threat, although my personal second choice would be Whiplash
In the Best Writing Original Screenplay category, Birdman needs to win this award! To my point of view Boyhood should not be a threat in this category, but you never know with the Academy... Another threat is The Grand Budapest Hotel, although I think they will settle the score with Best Makeup & Hairstyling and/or Best Costume Design...
In other categories, the Academy will try to make amends with... well the whole world, by awarding the amazing song from Selma, Glory. This way they will try to make us overpass the epic Oscar snub towards Selma.... In the Best Foreign Language film category, the battle is on between Ida from Poland and Leviathan from Russia: my guess is that Ida is going to be the winner. In the Best Animated Feature Film category, with Lego out of the picture, How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the film with the best chances in winning.
So, in a year when we know pretty much what to expect and following Ellen's epic Oscar selfie, what will Neil Patrick Harris do, to keep us on our toes? Well, he has proven to be an excellent performer when he presented the Tony Awards in 2013 and with him we know that that the night is going to be... legen-wait for it-dary!
Happy Oscar night everybody! Don't forget to like and follow my Facebook page www.facebook.com/herdudenessblog for regular updates!
After watching Whiplash, you know instantly who's going to take home the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Whiplash though, is far more than the mind blowing performance of J. K. Simmons.
The film narrates beautifully the struggle towards excellence and the obstacles that one needs to overcome in order to excel in the arts. Miles Teller plays a young jazz drummer, who is challenged by the harsh teaching methods of his mentor, played by Simmons. The film is mainly focused on the "battle" between the two characters and raises serious questions on the thin line between bullying and pushing towards perfection.
Damien Chazelle's direction creates a claustrophobic atmosphere that makes us focus on the music, the feelings and the strong performances.
Interesting facts about this film is the bizzare way that it is autobiographical for actor Miles Teller, as he as well was once a drummer and he has also suffered a car crash that almost cost him his life.
The film might leave us with questions about whether the choices of the characters were wise and whether perfection overcomes love or family but regardless these ethical issues about bullying versus pushing yourself towrads excellence, Whiplash is a powerful film about the world of (jazz) music that I bet will inspire a whole new generation of drummers!
So, until J.K.Simmons is awarded tonight (oh, it's certain) let's see the reason why Hollywood and the whole world bowed to his talent...
That's a wrap! The 87th Academy Awards just ended with Birdman the big winner with 4 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director for Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The Grand Budapest Hotel won also 4 awards in Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling, Original Music & Production Design. As expected Eddie Redmayne and J.K. Simmons won Best Actor in a Leading Role and Best Supporting Actor, while Julianne Moore and Patricia Arquette again as expected won Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Supporting Actress.
The ceremony itself was rather dull, with Neil Patrick Harris trying too hard and failing, with only exception his musical number. A couple of great moments though, were Patricia Arquette, Graham Moore and John Legend and Common's acceptance speeches, Lady Gaga and Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music tribute and Sean Penn's announcement of the Best Picture winner.
Below you may see the full list of winners. For the record I got 8 out of 13 in my predictions, but I couldn't be happier that Birdman managed to beat Boyhood!
Oscar Winners 2015
Best Picture: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Best Achievement in Directing: Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Best Original Screenplay: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Graham Moore for The Imitation Game
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Julianne Moore - Still Alice
Best Actor in a Supporting Role: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
Best Costume Design: Milena Canonero for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Makeup & Hairstyling: Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Foreign Language Film: Ida (Poland) Directed by Pawel Pawlikowski
Best Live Action Short Film: The Phone Call (Mat Kirkby and James Lucas)
Best Documentary Short: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 (Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry)
Best Sound Mixing: Whiplash (Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley)
Best Sound Editing: American Sniper (Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman)
Best Achievement in Visual Effects: Interstellar (Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher)
Best Animated Short: Feast (Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed)
Best Animated Feature Film: Big Hero 6
Best Achievement in Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
Best Cinematography: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Emmanuel Lubezki
Best Film Editing: Whiplash (Tom Cross)
Best Documentary Feature: CitizenFour (Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky)
Best Original Song: "Glory" from SELMA
Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ever since I first set foot on a cinema theatre, I knew that something magical was happening there....