Cinemaniac: And the Oscar goes to…

In 2014, Richard Linklater brought his 12-year passion project, Boyhood, to the big screen.
In 2014, Richard Linklater brought his 12-year passion project, Boyhood, to the big screen.

Desirae Martinez is a senior mass communications major. She has seen many movies and enjoys commenting about them. Martinez especially enjoys the storyline of films.


By Desirae Martinez

2014 was an ambitious year for movies. Richard Linklater brought his 12-year passion project, Boyhood, to the big screen while Birdman told a backstage Broadway story in a two-hour-long take. Iconic scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Alan Turing were finally brought to the big screen. And Selma and American Sniper covered hot topics such as civil rights and soldiers dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. The Academy Awards will honor the best in film on February 22 on ABC at 7:30 p.m. Until then, here are my predictions on the winners.


Best Picture

Nominees:

Selma

American Sniper

Boyhood

The Theory of Everything

Birdman

The Imitation Game

Whiplash

The Grand Budapest Hotel

My Prediction: Boyhood

Twelve years ago, Richard Linklater started an ambitious project with a simple premise about a boy growing up. By using the same actors, we as viewers got to see Mason (Ellar Coltrane) grow up right before our eyes. Given the simple premise, there isn’t much to explain but this isn’t a movie that you have to see to understand. You have to see it to truly feel it.

Best Director

Nominees:

Wes Anderson The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum The Imitation Game

Alejandro G. Inarritu Birdman

Richard Linklater Boyhood

Bennett Miller Foxcatcher

My Prediction: Richard Linklater

Given that Richard Linklater dedicated 12 years to Boyhood it will be no surprise to see him take home Best Director. The fact that he could come back every year and continue Mason’s journey in a logical manner shows his skill as a storyteller. Giving him a run for his money would be Inarritu who shot Birdman to appear as one continuous take (another storytelling achievement for a director).

Best Actor

Nominees:

Eddie Redmayne The Theory of Everything

Benedict Cumberbatch The Imitation Game

Bradley Cooper American Sniper

Michael Keaton Birdman

Steve Carell Foxcatcher

My Prediction: Michael Keaton

The former Batman made a big comeback this year playing a character that hits close to home. Riggan Thompson (Keaton) is a washed up actor famous for playing a superhero named Birdman who’s trying to reboot his career by putting on a Broadway play. Keaton brings raw emotion to the character and handles Inarritu’s tricky dialogue and pacing like a pro.

Best Actress

Nominees:

Marion Cotillard Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones The Theory of Everthing

Rosamund Pike Gone Girl

Julianne Moore Still Alice

Reese Witherspoon Wild

My Prediction: Julianne Moore

It was a weak year for strong female roles but there’s no denying that Julianne Moore deserves an Oscar for playing Dr. Alice Howland, a linguistics professor suffering from the early onset of Alzheimer’s. Moore’s brave performance not only gets viewers to sympathize for her character but also raises awareness about Alzheimer’s in general.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees:

J.K. Simmons Whiplash

Edward Norton Birdman

Ethan Hawke Boyhood

Mark Ruffalo Foxcatcher

Robert Duvall The Judge

My Prediction: J.K. Simmons

Whiplash has been called Full Metal Jacket meets Julliard because of Simmons drill sergeant antics as music teacher, Terence Fletcher. It’s hard to believe the soft-spoken, wise dad from Juno could pull off being a sadistic tyrant, but he does. Simmons fills every scene with tension for the viewers, almost as if we were the students he’s ready to hurl a chair at.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees:

Keira Knightley The Imitation Game

Patricia Arquette Boyhood

Laura Dern Wild

Emma Stone Birdman

Meryl Streep Into the Woods

My Prediction: Patricia Arquette

The title Boyhood could have been changed to Motherhood and would have still have worked given Arquette’s subtle yet emotional portrayal of a single mother struggling to raise her two children. She goes back to school, marries, divorces, marries again, divorces again, and even inspires a contractor to better his life. All the while she’s always acting in the best interest of her children.

Here are the other 18 categories no one really cares about:

Best Original Screenplay                                    Birdman

Best Adapted Screenplay                                  The Imitation Game

Best Film Editing                                                Boyhood

Best Cinematography                                        Birdman

Best Production Design                                     The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Animated Feature                                       How to Train Your Dragon 2

Best Animated Short Film                                  Feast

Best Documentary Feature                                Citizenfour

Best Documentary Short                                   Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Best Live Action Short Film                               The Phone Call

Best Foreign Language Film                              Ida

Best Costume Design                                        The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Makeup and Hairstyling                             The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Visual Effects                                              Interstellar

Best Sound Mixing                                             American Sniper

Best Sound Editing                                             American Sniper

Best Original Score                                            The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Original Song                                             “Glory” from Selma

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