And the Oscar goes to…..

The Oscars are upon us! Film buffs and casual movie goers alike can rest assured on the night of Feb 22, awards will be distributed to good looking people wearing overly expensive clothes. All in all, the Oscars are a fun night for hardcore movie lovers or people just interested in seeing the latest fashion.

I love film and a show that celebrates the art is enough for me to be hooked. Film itself has such a huge tie in with my childhood and the Oscars always played a significant role. As a child, I loved to make predictions and see what came to be realized. Who would win and more importantly who should win. 2014 has been such a fantastic year for film. The following our my picks:

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

WHO SHOULD WIN?
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
WHO WILL WIN?
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Robert Duval, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

WHO SHOULD WIN?
Edward Norton, Birdman
WHO WILL WIN?
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

BEST ACTRESS
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

WHO SHOULD WIN?
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
WHO WILL WIN?
Julianne Moore, Still Alice

BEST ACTOR
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

WHO SHOULD WIN?
Michael Keaton, Birdman
WHO WILL WIN?
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

BEST DIRECTOR
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

WHO SHOULD WIN?
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
WHO WILL WIN?
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman

and the big one…..

BEST PICTURE

American Sniper
American Sniper does a superb job of shining a light on a soldier’s real battle. About the war every soldier fights, first to stay alive, then to reconcile their beliefs and illusions about their duty with the realities of war. But eventually, the soldiers fight to leave the war behind and live life again. The film continuously follows Kyle as he struggles mentally to keep himself sharp. Fellow soldiers chime in more than one occasion to voice their mental instability also, it’s a balancing beam that no regular civilian can understand yet hopefully American Sniper helps you appreciate and gain awareness of.

Birdman
A fading actor (Michael Keaton) best known for his portrayal of a popular superhero attempts to mount a comeback by appearing in a Broadway play. As opening night approaches, his attempts to become more altruistic, rebuild his career, and reconnect with friends and family prove more difficult than expected. Lindsay Duncan, Zach Galifianakis, and Edward Norton co-star in this black comedy from Biutiful director Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Boyhood
Richard Linklater’s Boyhood is a coming-of-age drama that the director spent twelve years making. He cast a young boy, Ellar Coltrane, and shot the film a few days at a time for over a decade so that he could capture how his leading actor, and the rest of his cast, aged. The film’s story simply follows a boy named Mason (Coltrane) as he progresses from age 6 to 18 and deals with the typical travails of childhood like his parents’ divorce, bad stepparents, falling in love, finding his artistic voice. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette co-star as Mason’s parents. Boyhood should be celebrated not only in regards to it’s great filmmaking but also it’s theatrical experience is a monumental, first time achievement in cinematic history.

Imitation Game
At its core, Imitation Game isn’t great because it portrays a genius and makes us envious of his wit and intelligence. Instead, Imitation Game wisely highlights a man struggling with his identity and communicating himself to the rest of the world. His achievements are nothing short of brilliant, but his issues are as ordinary as the anyone else’s. If nothing more, Imitation Game displays no matter how smart someone is, or how different somebody seems, he or she is not perfect. At the end of the day, Imitation Game is a deep character study that deserves to be watched not only for historical value but the inner struggles of self identity and self worth.

Selma
David Oyelowo stars as Martin Luther King Jr. in this historical drama set during the height of the American civil-rights movement, and depicting the marches from Selma, AL, to the state capital of Montgomery to secure voting rights for black people. Selma focuses purely on MLK’s doubt, and in that moment you start to realize how much of history is made up on the fly, even by its great men — how close to ordinary a great man can be and thus how close to greatness ordinary people always are. “Selma” knows we want the story of the icon, but it’s the crowd, and King’s place in it, that surges history forward and gives this movie it’s lasting power.

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wes Anderson heads to Europe for the first time with this Indian Paintbrush production starring Saoirse Ronan, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, and Jude Law. Gustav H., the famous concierge at a legendary hotel situated in the Alps during the 1930’s becomes the center of a farcical whirlwind of suspicion when one of his institution’s oldest and richest patrons turns up dead, and she suspiciously leaves him her most priceless work of art — a Renaissance painting of a boy with an apple. Infuriated that she left anything of value to anyone else, the woman’s greedy and nefarious heir uses all manner of underhanded and illegal tactics to pin her death on Gustav and to silence anyone who questions his objective of inheriting every penny of her estate, leaving Gustav’s trusted lobby boy Zero to clear Gustav’s name and prove that the grand lady’s killer is none other than her own son.

The Theory of Everything
James Marsh’s biopic of the scientist Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything, stars Eddie Redmayne as the famous figure. Enrolled as a graduate student at Cambridge, Hawking establishes himself as one of the leading minds of his generation, and begins to win the heart of Jane (Felicity Jones). After one of his earliest breakthroughs, Hawking is diagnosed with ALS, and he becomes less and less able to control his own body. With the loyal Jane at his side, he continues his work. However, as the years progress, Jane starts to feel more like a nurse than a wife, and Hawking begins to have feelings for a woman who is hired to care for him.

Whiplash
A talented young jazz drummer experiences a trial by fire when he’s recruited by a ferocious instructor whose unyielding search for perfection may lead to his undoing. For as far back as Andrew Neyman can remember, he’s been watching his father fail. Determined to make a name for himself no matter what it takes, Andrew enrolls in a prestigious east coast music conservatory where his talent quickly catches the attention of Terence Fletcher a esteemed music teacher who’s notorious for his caustic approach in the classroom. The leader of the school’s top jazz ensemble, Fletcher promptly transfers Neyman into his band, giving the ambitious young drummer a shot at true greatness. He may achieve it, too, if Neyman’s methods don’t drive him to madness first.

WHO SHOULD WIN?

Boyhood

WHO WILL WIN?

Boyhood

2014 was a fantastic year for film. We sang “everything is awesome” in The Lego movie and cried with compassion in The Fault in our Stars. We were shaken with shock in American Sniper and in awe of the reach of Interstellar. We were surprised by the heart Guardians of the Galaxy displayed and were amazed at the story telling achievements of Boyhood. We can only hope 2015 is equipped with half the art, craft and talent that 2014 has left us with.

Enjoy the Oscars!

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