15 January 2015

Reactions: The 87th Academy Awards Nominations

Every year, I wait for this day. I literally get excited like it's Christmas Eve. This year, my first what I'm calling "real year" of running this blog, I have been lucky to have found some intense Award Season junkies with amazingly comprehensive breakdowns of all the movie award stuff leading up to Oscar.

So, this post is dedicated to you, Fisti aka Andrew at A Fistful of Films. You're Final Predictions post that I read last night was the icing on a cake that's been baking for months now.

To start, a brief history of my love for the Academy Awards.

In 1994, I was 10 years old. Forrest Gump came out. It was my first taste of Oscar movie. My Mom and Sister and I went to see it like three times. It pretty much swept the Oscars that year, and I was hooked. A movie I saw and really loved won the big prize.

The following year, I got this book at Books-A-Million, sort of an almanac of all the nominees and winners since the first Oscars in 1929. I became a walking Oscar history machine. I used to impress the masses with my ability to rattle off Best Picture Winners by year.

I love the ceremony. It is without a doubt the Grandaddy-of-All-Awards-Shows. The only one I can really stand, though the Golden Globes are okay. It is just so well-produced, and this year, with host Neil Patrick Harris, I think we'll get a really classy, fun show.

My initial thoughts on just a few of the Nominations:

What Has Me Excited

The Grand Budapest Hotel

When I saw this movie way back in like April, I never thought it would make it to Oscar. I don't know why I didn't notice all the posts out here in Movie Blog Land, recaps of other Award Show nominations and Critics' Associations in which Wes Anderson's most assured work to date really landed.

I love that this movie is leading the pack with 9 nominations (tied with Birdman for the most).

I have a hard time believing that it will win anything, but Wes Anderson is getting some real Awards love for the first time and that's just as well.

Laura Dern in Wild

Never saw this coming. Love it. Wild is a movie that I find especially special, and, to be honest, I think it's the most well-crafted movie of the year as far as story editing is concerned.

Dern's performance in this movie is short but powerful. Her best work in a career filled with incredible roles. This is a much welcomed surprise.


Great call for a Best Picture nod! If only the Academy would've sacked up and snubbed Bennett Miller to make way for this film's genius of a young filmmaker in Damien Chazelle.

This movie is a no-holds-barred spar of a movie between the locked-in Supporting Actor, the great J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller, who continues to amaze me with each new role.

What Doesn't

Bennett Miller for Best Director

I just don't agree. He's been there before for much better movies. I know I'm in the minority, but, despite his ability to get that performance from an unlikely dramatic lead in comedian Steve Carell (well-deserved Best Actor nomination, by the way), I found Foxcatcher to be pretty much ridiculous and dead-in-the-water. 

The Life Itself Snub

This is personal. I love Roger Ebert. He is the man. And the man who got me wanting to write about movies, like many of us most likely. This was a beautiful documentary, and, while I haven't seen any of the nominees, I feel this is a major miss. 

What's Left

I still have to see Selma (which I'm stoked about/going tomorrow night), American Sniper (which picked up major steam late as Eastwood seems to do sometimes), and The Theory of Everything (which I'm just not sure I'll enjoy). 

The Oscars will air on ABC on Sunday, February 22nd. Check back for all my predictions as the date gets closer. 



  1. Awww, thanks for dedicating your post to me, buddy! Yeah, I love me some Oscar. My hookage came a little later, when Gladiator swept and I realized that cool movies win awards too :-P

    And Grand Budapest is winning at least one award (Art Direction), but I have a feeling it's count could be higher, since Costumes and Makeup are ripe for the taking.

    1. You're welcome, man. I guess I meant the big ones like Picture, Directing, Screenplay. I watched for the second time last night, and I came to two conclusions. It's the best thing he's written, and Ralph Fiennes got robbed. That may be my favorite performance of the year. Anyway, I think it could easily take Costumes, Makeup, and Art Direction. In a long shot, I'm even thinking slight chances for Film Editing and Cinematography, though Chivo probably has the latter locked up for Birdman.

    2. I have a feeling that Wes could very well win Screenplay. Grand Budapest is rising...and by Oscars it could even be #2.

    3. I think a screenplay win would be well-deserved.

  2. Life Itself not being in there bothers me so much. You suck, Academy!

    1. It really does bother me, too. It's the only doc I've seen this year, but I though for sure it would get notice just for being about such an iconic figure in the movie industry.

  3. We're the same age!!!! Although I got into the Oscars earlier than you - Beauty & The Beast was the first film I ever saw that went on to be nominated for Best Picture and from then on I was hooked (and pissed as hell when it didn't win - I still haven't watched Silence of the Lambs in protest)! I feel you on the love for Grand Budapest and Dern but by far the nomination I'm most thrilled about is Marion Cotillard. Stunning, stunning work.

    1. Yeah. I'm glad Cotillard picked that up as well. Two Days, One Night isn't playing here until Feb. 6th, so I haven't seen it yet. But it looks great, and her work in The Immigrant was worth a nod as well, so all is well. It's cool we're the same age. It makes the conversation so much richer when you talk movies with someone who hit certain movie milestones at exactly the same time. I have to say, though, don't hold out on Silence of the Lambs forever. It's a masterpiece, and dare I say, a better movie than Beauty and the Beast, although they ain't in the same ballpark.

  4. I agree with you on all of your points here. Another snub for me is Adapted Screenplay Gone Girl. I'll admit I haven't read any of this year's adapted screenplays, but it was such a unique story and told so well in the movie.

    On another note, I wish I had known you thought Silence of the Lambs was a better movie than Beauty and the Beast BEFORE we got married.


    1. I hope that's not hidden deal breaker for you.