Here comes my favorite time of the year, Oscars night. While we have gotten to enjoy various awards shows, we finally arrive at the end of awards season. Someone is going to be taking home that little guy we know as Oscar, and I will be home watching it all and enjoying a nice glass of wine. So before we get busy with the 6:00 p.m. (central time) fashion show, lets go over who is going to win it all.
Best Supporting Actor
J.K. Simmons is owning this awards season. Although Edward Norton delivered an amazing performance, there is no way he is going to be able to crawl up and best Simmons for the grand prize. Simmons deserves this prize; Whiplash was a lackluster film that was boosted by Simmons’ presence. There should be no doubt who is walking home the winner tonight.
Best Supporting Actress
This one just hurts to write. I never really understood the hype behind Boyhood. Sure, the concept of making a film over 12 years is amazing, but the story and acting itself were just okay. While I think Arquette winning highlights the strengths of motherhood and aging actress in Hollywood, I don’t know how I necessarily feel about her performance. Ultimately, there is no doubt on who will win, and if it allows for more strong roles for older actresses then I am okay with it.
I think this will be the closest nominee race, in the acting category at least. Keaton had currently swept all of the awards, so it will be of little surprise if he takes home the Oscar tonight, but Redmayne delivered a groundbreaking performance as well. Although Redmayne is telling the story of one of the most influential beings alive, I believe Keaton gives a performance that hits close to home.
Cotillard might have shocked a lot of people with her nomination, but I think she is the only other nominee giving Moore a run for her money. Moore will win the award tonight, but it is nice to see an unexpected player in the game. Speaking to Moore’s performance, her acting was powerful and moving. I have always been a big fan of hers and I am so glad she is getting the recognition she deserves.
Both of these projects are of great complexity and the directing behind them is nothing short of brilliance. Although I am not a fan of Boyhood, I can appreciate the time and effort it took to create the film, but I believe Birdman delivered something that was more potent in both storytelling and directing.
Who will win: Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Who is falling short: Boyhood
Boyhood was the front runner since the beginning of awards season, but Birdman kept defying odds and snagging awards no one thought it would. Best picture is an award that honors excellence in all categories: acting, directing, script, editing, etc. On these levels alone, Birdman is something of a masterpiece. I think Boyhood was a great accomplishment, but I don’t think the story or acting are on the same level as a lot of the movies nominated. Boyhood has an old hollywood feel to it, which I think voters will be attracted to, but I think Birdman shows a new form of filmmaking that should be embraced. For me, this is reminiscent of The King’s Speech versus Black Swan/Social Network race, but I hope not because I didn’t like the outcome the first time around.