Ok, this is not a review neither it is a pre-Oscar selection of films… It is just a list and a short one. So Oscar, here we go:
- Boyhood – What a great story and a technically difficult one to do. A coming of age movie that runs almost three hours (166 min) long without feeling repetitive or dull. You engage with the film and with the story. Although there are some rough edges in a movie that took 12 years to direct the photography is gorgeous and the acting is good. Maybe the exception being Lorelei Linklater that gets lost in growing up and isn’t that talented for acting.
- The Theory of Everything – There’s nothing in this movie that would make me want to watch it again. Well, except the performance of the Eddie Redmayne. Many make him a candidate to the Oscars but let any actor with this part would be sitting in the same spot (no pun intended). This being the biography of Stephen Hawking makes it politically incorrect for anyone to bash it. In any case, I believe that you give prizes while people are alive and you write biographies and build statues after they’re dead. Well, moving on.
- The Grand Budapest Hotel – This is one of the must-see films of 2014. You cannot forget this film even if for Oscar matters it was released too early in 2014 and no one remembers it. I was even surprised when it was nominated – ‘WHAT? released in 2014?’. I doubt that it can win an Oscar, but I’m pleased to have seen it almost as soon as it was released in the cinema.
Still to see before the Oscar’s night: Birdman and Whiplash – don’t know if I’ll have time for many more. I’ll edit this note as soon as I have seen them.
- Birdman – This is an odd film as it feels a bit claustrophobic. It is this long single continuous cut that wonders around, all seeing and all being, travelling in the guts of those small spaces in the theatre. Sometimes it takes the point of view of a character. Sometimes it takes the point of view of a bird. Sometimes it takes the point of view of an external narrator or of the blue pale audience in the theatre. All clapping (not applauding) to the absurdity of all this. All this without blinking, in a continuous motion that reveals a deep neurotic disorder (like the main character – Hm, aren’t they all neurotic at some level?). The film is nice but feels over-produced, over-designed and over-staged, for such a basic and predictable plot. The cast is irreproachable and I liked both Michael Keaton and Zach Galifianakis the most. Oscar material? Maybe, but I’m not 100% convinced.
- Whiplash – This is a simple movie that uses that old (and successful) premise of storytelling “Perseverance triumphs”. The movie is all about this, in the opposition of the two main characters (the Sergeant teacher and the Dedicated pupil). I don’t understand how this movie could be nominated as it is basic and even somehow pathetic in trying to push musical achievement just to a matter of execution speed. But… five Oscar nominations might prove me wrong.
So what are your favourites to win the Oscar this year? Have you seen all the movies? Have you realised that Meryl Streep’s nomination is her nineteenth nomination? 19? (But it is only her fourth time in the Best Supporting Actress category). What are you expecting from this year Oscar ceremony?
update 3: small rewrite of the text for legibility.