This post is late, I know--it's the busiest time of year at work. Oscar nominations came out Thursday morning, and it's an interesting crop. As an aside, I should probably rename this LJ the Oscar Blog, since that seems to be the only time I post about movies anymore.
There are eight Best Picture nominees this year--and they're quirky! It feels like a sea change that the two most-nominated films (tied at 9 nominations apiece) are THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL by Wed Anderson and BIRDMAN by Alexandro Iñárritu. The reputed favorite in the category is BOYHOOD by Richard Linklater, of all people! I love these directors' work, but these are not the kind of films that the Academy usually nominates at this level. In fact, it's the first Best Picture or Best Director nomination for Linklater and Anderson, who directed their first features in 1991 and 1996, respectively.
My first reaction to reading the slate of Best Actor nominees (Michael Keaton, Steve Carrell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bradley Cooper, and Eddie Redmayne) was, "What year is this?" Keaton and Carrell are both comedians, and Cumberbatch and Cooper, at least, have great comic chops, so scratch that--my reaction should be "What dimension is this?" Cumberbatch and Cooper's nominations are not for their 2014 roles as Smaug the Dragon and Rocket Racoon, but for their portrayals of Alan Turing and sniper Chris Kyle.
As usual, I'm behind on my movie watching, but I will try to catch up before the Oscar ceremony on February 22. Neil Patrick Harris is hosting. Of the films on the nomination list, here are the ones I have seen:The Grand Budapest Hotel
- Fun, but I liked Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom
(2012) better. The Imitation Game
- A solidly made piece of entertainment, about fascinating historical circumstances.Gone Girl
- Very powerful thriller! I was surprised to see it receive only one nomination; failure to recognize the screenplay seems like a particularly egregious oversight. Recommended, although it's a tough film.Interstellar
- Decent. I am surprised, but not overly disappointed, to see this film overlooked in the top categories. It still received five nominations.Guardians of the Galaxy
- Basically Looney Tunes
on steroids in space, NTTAWWT.The Lego Movie
- Full of cleverness, but instantly forgettable.How to Train Your Dragon 2
- This is a great franchise. The sequel doesn't equal the original, but doesn't disappoint either.The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
- Snubbed with only a single nomination for sound editing, this was my most-watched film of 2014.Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
- This film didn't thrill me. I just wasn't drawn in by the characters or the story.
The films on the list I am most excited about seeing are Wild
, Inherent Vice
, The Boxtrolls
, Captain America: The Winter Soldier
, and X-Men: Days of Future Past
This complete list of nominees was filched from EW
, and the nomination tallies below that from Vox
:( Full list of nominees, and nomination talliesCollapse )