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Now that I've seen all the Oscar nominated movies for, *I guess it is really 2014 instead of 2015, I have my vote and reasons for it ready.

But first, I want to look at the way the Academy might be voting on Sunday night. The Hollywood Reporter has four anonymous ballets from four members of the Academy and the reason for their votes. I'll give those a look to see if I can spot any trends to make my predictions for which one the Academy will award the Best Picture of 2014 to.

  • Voter One: is Female and a longtime (old?) member of the public relations branch of the Academy. She thinks that Selma has no art in it and then goes off on a long and racist ramble about black people who wear T shirts and Deliverance people in the academy (and she is one of them so she should know) who squeal like pigs. This woman is in Public Relations, maybe she is working for Rudy Giuliani right now. They both have the same viewpoints on race in the US. She liked American Sniper because an old 84 year old man made it. She hated Boyhood because Patricia Arquette let the filmmakers age her over 11 years and Miss Arquette didn't have any work done on her face. I was going to say that this woman isn't ageist even if she is racist, but she proved me wrong there. Birdman didn't make money, Whiplash is cinema verité about Hollywood, and The Theory of Everything is just a Redmayne vehicle. She voted for The Imitation Game because it made money and it is a "prestige" film. This woman knows nothing about the art of film.

  • Voter Two: is probably male and does something with short and animated films. He found Whiplash offensive and abusive and if the drummer were his kid, he would have had that teacher fired. Did he see the film? That is what happened in the film, the tyrant teacher was fired. Well, I don't know why I should pay attention to his opinions now, he doesn't pay attention to the films. He didn't think Selma was a good film with the usual "I am not a racist because I have a black president" excuse. Selma does bring out the racists, doesn't it? He liked The Grand Budapest Hotel (TGBH), but not that much. Birdman, he didn't get even though it had animations in it. And American Sniper (AM) had no feelings in it. I guess all those war-wrecked soldiers were too manly for him. The Imitation Game (TIG) didn't deal with homosexuality too well. Secrets was what TIG was all about. He didn't pick up on that? This is another film that he didn't watch. And Boyhood didn't work for him either. He voted for The Theory of Everything (TTOE) because it was a well made film which must mean that he actually watched it.

  • Voter Three: is a screenwriter. He had perceptive things to say about all the films, I've got no quarrel with his opinions. They were intelligent. I did notice that Selma didn't even make his top five movies. And his top movie was the very pedestrianly filmed TIG. The screenplay was good, but I've seen the Derek Jacobi version of Alan Turing's story and the two screenplays are very similar, so TIG's screenplay broke no new ground. The screenplay was the only reason that I could deduce that would make him vote the way that he did.

  • Voter Four: a male actor from the seventies. He wanted Foxcatcher to be nominated but it wasn't. Digression Book Report: I'm reading the book, and I am going to have to see the movie, because the book is a long slog of wrestling matches and esoteric wrestling holds and moves. The brother narrating it has petulant personality problems and continually pouts. So far, John DuPont is a rich asshole with very heavy dandruff. Back to the film nominees, he liked Selma and had the thought that Kyle in American Sniper probably didn't like his wife very much. That might be one of the reasons that he did four tours in Iraq. He loved Michael Keaton but didn't like Birdman. He liked Boyhood for the logistics of its movie-making. All those actors were out making other movies while making it. Don't they make movies that way in Bollywood? I wonder what he thinks of Bollywood movies. TIG and TTOE were okay, but unmemorable for him. Whiplash was the acting for him. He liked TGBH because it was bizarre. He voted for Boyhood because of the working actors.

According to these voters, The Imitation Game has a good chance of winning the Best Picture Oscar.

Now for my vote...

Boyhood and Birdman were the gimmick films for me. Boyhood was filmed over 11 years with the same actors, but other than that, it had nothing to distinguish it. Birdman was supposedly one long take of a movie. It did have the performances and the script (dialog and visual puns galore) that made it a step or two above Boyhood. I am partial to Michael Keaton, he has done good work throughout his career. Did you know that he worked with Mr. Rogers in Pittsburgh PBS TV? Yes, Girls and Boys, he did.

The Imitation Game was strong on performances and the script was good though not original. The film making was TV worthy.

The Grand Budapest Hotel was a re-make of MGM's Grand Hotel. It was amusing but not great. I suppose that it was the comedy film of these Oscars.

American Sniper was another re-make film, this time of Eastwood's Heartbreak Ridge. It was a better film than the original. It showed the creation of a soldier and the destruction of that soldier through war and took a look at some of the other casualities of war. The film-making was serviceable with some good action sequences, and it had a good central performance by Bradley Cooper.

Whiplash may have been the portrait of the artist as a young man, but it had enough twists that I didn't know if the artist or the young man was going to survive the process of becoming a young man or an artist. Beautifully acted, well-written, well conceived as a film, it played rifts on jazz films of the 1950s and 60s, and the price and exercise of power reflected in those films (and in the power of the US after WWII that those films obliquely explored).

The Theory of Everything was a story about the expanding universe and the contracting debilitated physical body of a man with the mind to explore the universe and its meaning. Acting, directing, cinematography, script, all combined and meshed beautifully to create the film's universe. Very well done movie about the loss of movement but the unlimited freedom of the imagination.

Selma was an American version of a Shakespearean History Play. It had the blank verse dialog, it had the periperal but meaningful characters who surround the great men (and women) of history and inform their actions. It had the grandeur of the crowds and masses of history and intimacy of men and women making their own decisions and compromises that would affect their lives and the lives of others not only around them but future generations. It had the imagery and the themes. It is the grand Hollywood History Epic done very well indeed. It is Art.

My picks for Best Picture: Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 24th, 2015 03:42 am (UTC)
anonymous voters
Wow. Those Anonymous academy voters. It's sobering to think of the percentage of voters they each represent. Their like minded friends. I fell out with the Oscars after Russell Crowe won for Gladiator and Judy Dench won for Shakespeare in Love.

Enjoyed your predictions and your assessments even though I've already heard about the winners. I didn't watch though I heard the host wore his underwear out on stage and that Lady Gaga sang a tribute to Julie Andrews. I was watching zombies and people talking in the woods while running and/or driving to get away from zombies.

I wish there was a way to fangirl your way into the Academy. I wish you had a vote. I know people who know Academy people. The good thing is they get to watch all the Oscar contenders for free because Academy members get copies of all the movies. The bad thing is that most of the Academy members do not watch all of the films.
Feb. 24th, 2015 02:21 pm (UTC)
Re: anonymous voters
I didn't watch though I heard the host wore his underwear out on stage and that Lady Gaga sang a tribute to Julie Andrews.

I don't start watching the show until 11 PM EST. That's when they get to the interesting stuff and they start picking up the pace. Actually, I could have just watched the last 15 minutes of the show and picked up the big nominations and wins.

I see that you are a The Walking Dead fan. ;-)

It is a shame that some members of the Academy don't watch the free films that they are sent. But I am grateful that some members donate those films to the streaming sites for others to watch. I'd love to be a member of the Academy if they seat me next to Idris Elba on one side and any of the Chrises (Pratt, Pine, Evans) on the other at the next show. :-D
Mar. 11th, 2015 01:39 am (UTC)
anonymous me
That was me! How did my post come out anonymous? Weird. LOL!

That's a good tip. If I ever watch the Academy Awards again I'll start at 10 PM CST.

Hare you going to do a fashion write up? Did anything catch your eye?

Edited at 2015-03-11 01:39 am (UTC)
Mar. 11th, 2015 06:21 pm (UTC)
Re: anonymous me
Don't Hide Yourself Away!

You might not have been signed in? Or LJ was acting up.

I left the fashion discussion to dawnybee on her journal. Everyone was So Boring! Where the hell is Bjork? Or Amber Rose in a G string?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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