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87th Academy Awards

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87th Academy Awards

Post by Nos » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:37 pm

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Date: February 22, 2015
Site: Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Host: Neil Patrick Harris
Network: ABC


Use this thread to talk about the films, the nominations, ceremony, track your viewings leading up to the ceremony, make predictions, etc. These are the nominees for the 87th Academy Awards.

Best Picture

American Sniper – Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole
Boyhood – Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven M. Rales and Jeremy Dawson
The Imitation Game – Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman
Selma – Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner
The Theory of Everything – Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten
Whiplash – Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster


Best Director

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


Best Actor

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher as John du Pont
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper as Chris Kyle
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game as Alan Turing
Michael Keaton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as Riggan Thomson
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything as Stephen Hawking


Best Actress

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night as Sandra Bya
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything as Jane Hawking
Julianne Moore – Still Alice as Dr. Alice Howland
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl as Amy Elliott-Dunne
Reese Witherspoon – Wild as Cheryl Strayed


Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall – The Judge as Judge Joseph Palmer
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood as Mason Evans, Sr.
Edward Norton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as Mike Shiner
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher as Dave Schultz
J. K. Simmons – Whiplash as Terence Fletcher


Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood as Olivia Evans
Laura Dern – Wild as Barbara "Bobbi" Grey
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game as Joan Clarke
Emma Stone – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as Sam Thomson
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods as The Witch


Best Original Screenplay

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo
Boyhood – Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher – E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy


Best Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper – Jason Hall from American Sniper by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
The Imitation Game – Graham Moore from Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges
Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson from Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten from Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Wilde Hawking
Whiplash – Damien Chazelle from his short film of the same name


Best Animated Feature Film

Big Hero 6 – Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli
The Boxtrolls – Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight
How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold
Song of the Sea – Tomm Moore and Paul Young
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya – Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura


Best Foreign Language Film

Ida (Poland) in Polish – Paweł Pawlikowski
Leviathan (Russia) in Russian – Andrey Zvyagintsev
Tangerines (Estonia) in Estonian – Zaza Urushadze
Timbuktu (Mauritania) in French – Abderrahmane Sissako
Wild Tales (Argentina) in Spanish – Damián Szifrón


Best Documentary – Feature

Citizenfour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutsky
Finding Vivian Maier – John Maloof and Charlie Siskel
Last Days in Vietnam – Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester
The Salt of the Earth – Wim Wenders, Lélia Wanick Salgado and David Rosier
Virunga – Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara


Best Documentary – Short Subject

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry
Joanna – Aneta Kopacz
Our Curse – Tomasz Śliwiński and Maciej Ślesicki
The Reaper (La Parka) – Gabriel Serra Arguello
White Earth – J. Christian Jensen


Best Live Action Short Film

Aya – Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
Boogaloo and Graham – Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
Butter Lamp (La Lampe au beurre de yak) – Hu Wei and Julien Féret
Parvaneh – Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby and James Lucas


Best Animated Short Film

The Bigger Picture – Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
The Dam Keeper – Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
Feast – Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
Me and My Moulton – Torill Kove
A Single Life – Joris Oprins


Best Original Score

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat
The Imitation Game – Alexandre Desplat
Interstellar – Hans Zimmer
Mr. Turner – Gary Yershon
The Theory of Everything – Jóhann Jóhannsson


Best Original Song

"Everything Is Awesome" from The Lego Movie – Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
"Glory" from Selma – Music and Lyric by John Legend and Common
"Grateful" from Beyond the Lights – Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me – Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
"Lost Stars" from Begin Again – Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois


Best Sound Editing

American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Martin Hernández and Aaron Glascock
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
Interstellar – Richard King
Unbroken – Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro


Best Sound Mixing

American Sniper – John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
Interstellar – Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
Unbroken – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley


Best Production Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
The Imitation Game – Maria Djurkovic (Production Design); Tatiana Macdonald (Set Decoration)
Interstellar – Nathan Crowley (Production Design); Gary Fettis (Set Decoration)
Into the Woods – Dennis Gassner (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
Mr. Turner – Suzie Davies (Production Design); Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration)


Best Cinematography

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman
Ida – Łukasz Żal and Ryszard Lenczewski
Mr. Turner – Dick Pope
Unbroken – Roger Deakins


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Foxcatcher – Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier
Guardians of the Galaxy – Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White


Best Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges
Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive
Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran


Best Film Editing

American Sniper – Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
Boyhood – Sandra Adair
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game – William Goldenberg
Whiplash – Tom Cross


Best Visual Effects

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy – Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
Interstellar – Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
X-Men: Days of Future Past – Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer
I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.


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Re: 87th Academy Awards

Post by SharkWeek » Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:55 am

I've become more obsessed with the Oscars over the years, which I hate because I fully recognize how much bullshit it is. But I like watching everything nominated so I can make my own picks. I still have to see Theory of Everything and American Sniper, most of the Best Actress noms, and unfortunately The Judge and Into the Woods. If all goes well, I will also see the docs, animated and foreign features, and the shorts but I am afraid I am running out of time.

Snubs: The most egregious for me are The Lego Movie for best Animated Feature and Jaky Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler. Before the nominations, I had both of those as not only lock nominations, but my picks to win (Gyllenhaal was probably a second place to Keaton realistically). The fact that neither got nominated is totally bonkers to me.

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Re: 87th Academy Awards

Post by Nos » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:41 pm

Yeah weird, The Lego Movie is a strange on purpose kind of snub, I've heard some really good things about both, I haven't seen either yet but plan to. I haven't seen much from this past year, like I've mentioned before I kind of use awards season to catch up on the year in review and have some clue. :P I'm always looking for stuff that was overlooked as well. I watched these over the past couple days...

01/28: The Grand Budapest Hotel (Anderson, 2014) ***1/2

I enjoyed this immensely and can understand its hype, Ralph Fiennes did an excellent job and I'm kind of surprised he didn't get nominated because I thought his performance was stronger than Bradley Cooper's, more on American Sniper below. :) Anderson's chivalrous direction punctuated by a rather adventurous and entertaining screenplay makes this must see. I feel like anybody can enjoy it, even if you're not on Wes Anderson's wavelength, I know he's not for everybody. Beautiful production design, I had an idea in my head about what this film could be like and it turned out to be nothing like I expected. It had some heart, an emotional core, and by the end some truth to offer and I could feel myself getting all choked up. :oops:

01/29: Birdman (Iñárritu, 2014) ****

Loved this, Keaton's performance is one for the ages, Iñárritu's fluid direction was super impressive, it's shot to look like one continuous take, there are very few cuts and knowing this going into it made me focus maybe too much on it early on but it's done so well that I had forgotten about it soon after it began. Doing it in this way gave it such an intimate feeling, I was worried it would look very staged, like theater, but it's actually magnificently cinematic. Emma Stone was stunning, is she the top hottie in Hollywood or what? Edward Norton gave another strong performance, the whole cast was terrific and would have to be for this to work. Highly recommended, can't wait for the Blu-ray and any special feature insights. As of now this is my top film of 2014.

01/29: American Sniper (Eastwood, 2014) ***

Another well done film by Clint Eastwood, Chris Kyle's story is one worth experiencing, Bradley Cooper was good and it was interesting not just for the insane veracious combat sequences but for it's portrayal of shell shocked veterans and perhaps the strain and danger some can carry home. What always gets to me is when somebody who has done so much regrets not being able to do more. I feel like everybody can relate to that. These guys really do pay the price for protecting their comrades, friends, family and homeland. Well worth checking out, Eastwood doesn't disappoint.

01/30: Gone Girl (Fincher, 2014) ***

This was, perhaps, the most surprisingly good film of the bunch, I wasn't expecting a lot but probably should have given it more immediate credit being a Fincher flick. Solid entertainment throughout, kind of absurdist, satiric, and for this reason often funny despite being about events with a cold, hard, shocking reality. I like Ben Affleck, the person, the actor not so much, which may be why my expectations were a little cold, but he did really well in this role. Fincher did a good job selecting him. The star, and best thing about the film, is Rosamund Pike, superb performance that carried the film. I'm sure we'll see a lot more of her down the road and I'm excited to see what she tackles next. A whirlwind story, satiric look at marriage and the media, check it out.
I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.


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Re: 87th Academy Awards

Post by Nos » Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:55 am

Anybody watch the show last week? I thought it was relatively entertaining. NPH did a pretty good job. Here are the winners, in green, my predictions in bold. I got 13 correct.

13/24

Best Picture

American Sniper – Clint Eastwood, Robert Lorenz, Andrew Lazar, Bradley Cooper and Peter Morgan
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Alejandro González Iñárritu, John Lesher and James W. Skotchdopole
Boyhood – Richard Linklater and Cathleen Sutherland
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven M. Rales and Jeremy Dawson
The Imitation Game – Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky and Teddy Schwarzman
Selma – Christian Colson, Oprah Winfrey, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner
The Theory of Everything – Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce and Anthony McCarten
Whiplash – Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook and David Lancaster


Best Director

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


Best Actor

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher as John du Pont
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper as Chris Kyle
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game as Alan Turing
Michael Keaton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as Riggan Thomson
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything as Stephen Hawking


Best Actress

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night as Sandra Bya
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything as Jane Hawking
Julianne Moore – Still Alice as Dr. Alice Howland
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl as Amy Elliott-Dunne
Reese Witherspoon – Wild as Cheryl Strayed


Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall – The Judge as Judge Joseph Palmer
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood as Mason Evans, Sr.
Edward Norton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as Mike Shiner
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher as Dave Schultz
J. K. Simmons – Whiplash as Terence Fletcher


Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood as Olivia Evans
Laura Dern – Wild as Barbara "Bobbi" Grey
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game as Joan Clarke
Emma Stone – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as Sam Thomson
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods as The Witch


Best Original Screenplay

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo
Boyhood – Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher – E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy


Best Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper – Jason Hall from American Sniper by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice
The Imitation Game – Graham Moore from Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges
Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson from Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten from Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Wilde Hawking
Whiplash – Damien Chazelle from his short film of the same name


Best Animated Feature Film

Big Hero 6 – Don Hall, Chris Williams and Roy Conli
The Boxtrolls – Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable and Travis Knight
How to Train Your Dragon 2 – Dean DeBlois and Bonnie Arnold
Song of the Sea – Tomm Moore and Paul Young
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya – Isao Takahata and Yoshiaki Nishimura


Best Foreign Language Film

Ida (Poland) in Polish – Paweł Pawlikowski
Leviathan (Russia) in Russian – Andrey Zvyagintsev
Tangerines (Estonia) in Estonian – Zaza Urushadze
Timbuktu (Mauritania) in French – Abderrahmane Sissako
Wild Tales (Argentina) in Spanish – Damián Szifrón


Best Documentary – Feature

Citizenfour – Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutsky
Finding Vivian Maier – John Maloof and Charlie Siskel
Last Days in Vietnam – Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester
The Salt of the Earth – Wim Wenders, Lélia Wanick Salgado and David Rosier
Virunga – Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara


Best Documentary – Short Subject

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 – Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry
Joanna – Aneta Kopacz
Our Curse – Tomasz Śliwiński and Maciej Ślesicki
The Reaper (La Parka) – Gabriel Serra Arguello
White Earth – J. Christian Jensen


Best Live Action Short Film

Aya – Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
Boogaloo and Graham – Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
Butter Lamp (La Lampe au beurre de yak) – Hu Wei and Julien Féret
Parvaneh – Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
The Phone Call – Mat Kirkby and James Lucas


Best Animated Short Film

The Bigger Picture – Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
The Dam Keeper – Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
Feast – Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
Me and My Moulton – Torill Kove
A Single Life – Joris Oprins


Best Original Score

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat
The Imitation Game – Alexandre Desplat
Interstellar – Hans Zimmer
Mr. Turner – Gary Yershon
The Theory of Everything – Jóhann Jóhannsson


Best Original Song

"Everything Is Awesome" from The Lego Movie – Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson
"Glory" from Selma – Music and Lyric by John Legend and Common
"Grateful" from Beyond the Lights – Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me – Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond
"Lost Stars" from Begin Again – Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois


Best Sound Editing

American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Martin Hernández and Aaron Glascock
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
Interstellar – Richard King
Unbroken – Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro


Best Sound Mixing

American Sniper – John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
Interstellar – Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
Unbroken – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley


Best Production Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
The Imitation Game – Maria Djurkovic (Production Design); Tatiana Macdonald (Set Decoration)
Interstellar – Nathan Crowley (Production Design); Gary Fettis (Set Decoration)
Into the Woods – Dennis Gassner (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
Mr. Turner – Suzie Davies (Production Design); Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration)


Best Cinematography

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman
Ida – Łukasz Żal and Ryszard Lenczewski
Mr. Turner – Dick Pope
Unbroken – Roger Deakins


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Foxcatcher – Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier
Guardians of the Galaxy – Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White


Best Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges
Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive
Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran


Best Film Editing

American Sniper – Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach
Boyhood – Sandra Adair
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Barney Pilling
The Imitation Game – William Goldenberg
Whiplash – Tom Cross


Best Visual Effects

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy – Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
Interstellar – Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
X-Men: Days of Future Past – Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer




I watched a bunch of the movies leading up to the show but didn't have the time to write about them unfortunately. I'm still looking forward to watching a few more of the movies I missed, most notably The Theory of Everything, Selma & Big Hero 6 from the bigger nominations. Interstellar as well, I need to get caught up with the Marvel Universe films too, like Guardians of the Galaxy & the new Captain America film. Here are the movies I watched...

02/10: Foxcatcher (Miller, 2014) **

I found this to be okay, it wasn't a terribly captivating story in my opinion. It had some interesting segments but overall it didn't quite reach me with anything truly worthwhile. The performances by Steve Carell and Channing Tatum were pretty good, however these were performances so out of their wheelhouse, historically speaking, that they may have shined brighter because of that.

02/10: Whiplash (Chazelle, 2014) ***

Solid and entertaining movie with a superb performance by J.K. Simmons. Its themes and message are well explored, lots of quality music and the desire to strive for more than you're capable of is universal and I feel should be felt by everybody in the world.

02/14: The Imitation Game (Tyldum, 2014) ***

Interesting historical story about the cracking of the German Enigma code and the life of the brilliant Alan Turing, this could have been unbelievably dull but was given such beautiful life by an impressive script and competent direction but it's Benedict Cumberbatch's strong performance that elevates it into something that can't be missed, really the performance is a lot better than the film itself, which is how I've kind of felt with most of the movies this year.

02/19: Still Alice (Glatzer & Westmoreland, 2014) ***

This is something I probably wouldn't have searched out to watch if it weren't nominated but I'm glad I took the opportunity to see it. Super depressing though, fantastic performance by Julianne Moore, a tough performance, she gave real life and complexity to this character. It kind of reminded me of Haneke's Amour, thematically, Amour was a better film but it was also about somebody much older, so this adds an extra layer of despair and even brings it closer to home. Kristen Stewart's character was pretty cool too, I love those black sheep artistic types with hearts of gold. :)

02/19: Wild (Vallée, 2014) **

This was okay, not my kind of thing, its purpose is murky and by the end the 'truth' it has to offer is simplistic. Again, capable performance by Reese Witherspoon, I felt Laura Dern was the acting stand out though.

02/20: Nightcrawler (Gilroy, 2014) ***1/2

Really fun movie with a great performance by Jake Gyllenhaal. That character is so interesting to me, where he went, how he adapted, from nothing. Gritty direction, always exhilarating, I'll buy this and watch it a bunch more I'm sure. It's basically about somebody at the bottom trying to improve his standing in life and find something he's really good at, where he can make a difference and leave a certain legacy, he gets into the world of L.A. crime journalism and gets involved in ways he shouldn't.

02/21: Inherent Vice (Anderson, 2014) ***1/2

Loved this! People will probably be split on this one, it's certainly not for everybody and takes a chance with its narrative, but I found it to be superb. The script richly captures Thomas Pynchon's writing, the direction is fantastic, always intriguing, you never know where it's going. Fascinating throughout, great performances, Joaquin Phoenix is sublime and has become one of my favorite working actors. The look of the film is top notch. Really just about everything was on point for me, I'll buy this as well and would be interested in any behind the scenes type stuff available.

02/21: The Judge (Dobkin, 2014) **1/2

Pretty good flick, again, the performances by Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall were the best thing about it. Especially Duvall though. It's about a murder investigation involving Downey Jr.'s character's father, played by Duvall, who is also the town's Judge, Downey Jr. plays a suave big city lawyer that his father 'can't afford', but more than that it's about Downey Jr.'s character returning home to a place he left behind long ago and re-assimilating with the people he was once close with, or not so close with.

02/22: Boyhood (Linklater, 2014) ****

Great film! Loved it, Linklater's obsession with the passage of time is at its peak here. The passage of time, one of the most affecting cinematic, and storytelling, tropes. Ellar Coltrane's character is even downplayed while he's growing up, kind of one note, but despite this his life remains fascinating. The characters around him are what gives life to his character, his character is the clay, it's what he's experiencing here that will shape him for the rest of his life, but at the same time it's not everything, it's a small portion of time in relation to life itself. Change is quite drastic during these formative years, pronounced. It also has a whole depressing kind of sheen over his life, it's harsh and cold for a lot of these poignant memories, but in the end it's all worth it. There are other days to live, there's more to see, a lot more. The foundation he receives will always be sentimental, a fondness for these nostalgic situations and interactions will remain for all time and by the end he finally 'finds his pack' and starts to shape his own life and have his own adventures. Beautiful film.
I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.


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