Tuesday, February 17, 2015

T's Annual Oscar Picks - The Main Awards

Let’s see…  This year we have no less than four Best Picture films about historical men, two films in Fantasyland, and a couple more about a kid dealing with life’s obstacle course.  Which is your favorite?  It’s a tough call for me, but I’m leaning towards…

Let’s take a look at the nominees first:


American Sniper:  It’s confirmed; I wasn’t a Seth Rogan fan before the recent controversy regarding his kinderflick—a movie I won’t see: The Interview—but I now know his comparison of Sniper to the Nazi propaganda film in Inglorious Basterds is just more infantile, snarky click-bait from the same style publicists who must work for the Kardashians, Kanye, Andy Dick, Michael Moore, and Lindsay Lohan.  You know…morons…suckering morons.  The fact that I even typed their names in a paragraph regarding American Sniper makes me puke.  So, let’s get on with the movie and the reported controversies surrounding it.

The film itself, previous rants aside, is yet another Eastwood achievement in succinct movie making.  I know a few will draw some comparisons with Enemy at the Gates, and they would be correct.  It’s a movie about a sniper and it gets personal yadda yadda, but that’s about it.  American Sniper is the modern version with different intention.  It’s well-shot (pun aside) and perfectly edited.  Bradley Cooper captures Chris Kyle’s essence in exacting detail and personal care.  In fact, all of the acting, not surprisingly, is superb.  I’d expect no less from a Clint Eastwood movie.  And yet, it had its share of technical miscues.  For example, I don’t believe a commander would openly point in the direction of his covering sniper to solicit gratitude from his squad.  Perhaps some of the military folks would pick up on the other misfires.  There are always a few.  Nonetheless, Sniper manages to do precisely what it intends, IF (and that’s a huge capital IF) one approaches the film without a political slant.  Clint wanted to show us the effects of prolonged warfare—the ensuing hell for all sides.  If there is even the slightest Liberal-leaning shortfall in that regard, it’s that Sniper could have done a slightly better job of unshrouding the reasonable and cooperative citizens of Iraq, not just the one tragic family.  Perhaps Eastwood was underlining the evil that still exists over there?  I can’t blame him if that’s the case (sparing further geopolitical commentary here).  I also felt like Eastwood, at times, devolved the movie into brief emotional sketches, eschewing lengthier character development for crowd-play.  But then, that’s Eastwood isn’t it?

So, there are reported controversies surrounding the story, but I wouldn’t let it taint a glorious service record, or Kyle’s family, or this film.  It is, after all, a film and not a documentary.  Don’t forget that, and don’t forget that war sucks.  It just does.

Birdman:  “No movie made like this before…”  What—you mean with cameras, actors, production crews, and endless management?  Oh, that one-take, one camera thing.  You mean like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope, or Blair Witch Project, Cloverfield….or Russian Ark?  “Russian what?  NO, you idiot!” 

This is what I said to myself during the ending credits:  “Man, that’s a lotta acting.”  Hollywood is apparently enamored with Birdman and I see why:  A movie about actors acting on the edge.  The Dark Producers.  Easy enough.  It was, and they most certainly did!  Birdman felt like an Off-Broadway play because it is…sort of.  So many great moments in the film, but I wonder when I would take this ride again, if ever.  Will it stand as one of the all-time greats?  I loved it, but it’s just…well…  Okay, it immediately snared me by having a meandering jazz drum solo for the score.  Awesome.  (bias, of course!)  We’ll see.

Boyhood:  Gimmick flick.  The only unique aspect to this film was the 12 years in making it; otherwise, it’s complete rubbish deserving absolutely no awards whatsoever.  They should have titled it “Melancholywood”.  It bored me completely from front to back, and the only reason I watched it all the way through was in hope of a nominatable moment.  A 12-year exercise does not an Oscar make, Mr. Linklater.  Not even close, and the fact it was nominated for anything at all further serves to fuel public speculations of insider politics as a prime mover within the Academy.

The Grand Budapest Hotel:  I loved this movie!  Nice rhythm, gorgeously shot and edited, humorous wardrobe and, well, it’s my kind of cinema.  I was entertained!  And that’s the point, isn’t it?  The problem?  The release date was so long ago.  Does anyone remember enough of it?

The Imitation Game:  Enter the tragic story of X who did Y for humanity and we damn well need to know about it.  Lovingly acted by Cumberbatch and Knightly, and definitely deserving of the Best Picture nod.  It’s a solid film, but I’m not sure it’s best at anything.

Selma: I went into this one with knowledge that the 12 Years a Slave crew were involved, and I didn’t think 12 Years deserved what it won.  Good movie, but unpolished.  Political win, probably…token nomination on the guilt angle?  I’m putting it aside for The Selma Redemption.  It’s a solid film in every respect, worthy of its nomination, save one huge problem—and it’s fatal:  The whole combative relationship with President Lyndon B. Johnson thing?  Turns out it was a complete fabrication.  I’m no LBJ fan either but come on, man! 

The Theory of Everything:  Another heartstring puller.  With the current run of Oscar-winning historical impersonations, TTOE might have been misinterpreted as yet another on that bandwagon.  Maybe the formula (sorry for the context pun) works for a reason?  It’s a solid biography that hits all the salient points for Professor Hawking—an intimate look inside his beautiful mind<cough>—and the acting was simply brilliant.  I don’t believe it has enough of everything for this year’s Best Picture, but it certainly deserved the nod the same as Selma and The Imitation Game.

Whiplash:  I’ve experienced my share of over-the-top band directors, but the one in this picture would have been arrested within 15 minutes.  I know it’s loosely based as homage to Buddy Rich’s infamous rants, and (Spoiler Alert!) you can get away with screaming and throwing things, but never purposely at a student—much less actually striking them repeatedly in front of other classmates.  The story lost me at that point.  Saving graces?  The drumming itself was brilliantly acted and edited for believability among the most scrutinizing audience: other pro drummers.  And of course, anything that keeps Buddy Rich’s (and several other players mentioned) jazz legacy alive is all right with me. 

Okay, I’m going to do this two ways.  The first pick is my winner.  The second is the one I believe the Academy will choose.

WINNERS?  For me it’s a fantasyland tie between Grand Budapest and Birdman.  Both were superb.
For the Academy, it’s a close race between Boyhood (grr!) and Birdman, but I think the triumph belongs to Birdman, clearly. 

Snubbed:  Interstellar.  Are we tired of Matthew McConaughey already?  Interstellar too soon after Gravity?  And their telling us Boyhood is a better film?  I have to wonder if Matthew McConaughey would not have also been nominated if not for questionable editing, or even perhaps lax direction (allowing a take because it was just good enough, but could have been better if time allowed better takes).  It was so terribly close of a performance.  The same could be said for Jessica Chastain.  It could also be said that the obviated homage to Kubrick’s 2001, Alien and several other films kept Interstellar from being a true original.  I liked it.  A lot.  I also liked Contact a lot.  Oh well…


Alejandro G. Iñárritu Birdman:  While the one-take perspective isn’t unique, the way it was achieved, the innovative camerawork, etc.  Tough to say anyone was better than Iñárritu this year.

Richard Linklater Boyhood:  Absolutely no nomination warranted here.  The amateurish acting by all with a couple exceptions—allowing those takes a free pass to final cut—just…no!  I don’t care if this movie did take 12 years of very part-time hobby-making to complete, there are just too many slips (cast members inadvertently glancing at the camera or crew, sloppy steadicam work, etc.) to say “Yeah, this should be Oscar nominated because, geez, it took 12 years to make.”  No it didn’t.  It took a few months to make, just spread out over that time to age the kids.  1 point for originality in filmmaking; -50 for everything else.

Bennett Miller Foxcatcher:  Miller brings us another historical portrayal, and the film achieves its goals.  A winner?  Not likely. 

Wes Anderson The Grand Budapest Hotel:  Crisp, clean and everything shines.  Wes Anderson, anyone?

Morten Tyldum The Imitation Game:  Strong contender as a solid film with zero complaints.  Morten Tyldum will contend!

WINNERS?  I’m thinking Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman all the way.  I’ll take “fresh” over “solid” and/or clean, methinks.

Snubbed?  Clint Eastwood for American Sniper.  Come on, Hollywood—it’s CLINT!  Oh, he’s a Republican...


Steve Carell – Foxcatcher:  I disagree with this nomination on the principal that I don’t believe Carell was the lead.  To me it was clearly Channing Tatum.  Regardless, I checked a couple videos of John du Pont and Carell missed it.  The speech patterns were off, he carried himself unnaturally slower, and his head tilted so far back peering over that exaggerated proboscis, it made him look like a short, old Paul Simon unable to see over the wheel of his 1984 LaSabre.

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper:  The second of four historical male portrayals in this category and Bradley didn’t disappoint. 

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game:  I couldn’t help feel as though Cumberbatch maintained the same feel from Sherlock.  Brilliant as everything he does, but not exactly a unique performance.

Michael Keaton – Birdman:  Whew!  That’s all I can say, really.  Well, besides “damn!” 

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything:  Okay, so it’s yet another one of those impersonation flicks, but don’t let that take away from Redmayne’s phenomenal performance.  Tough to say anyone was better this year.

WINNERS?  For me, it is Eddie Redmayne.  His Stephen Hawking was just incredibly accurate.  Thing is, there were four of these role types nominated this year, and that seems to be a winning formula for Best Actor lately.  It’s why the award might go to Michael Keaton, and, in that case, I’m completely okay with it.  He was electrifyingly good! 

Snubs: Bill Murray, St. Vincent.  Why not?  Hard to say, but Murray has that Hollywood outsider’s reputation, and perhaps that the movie was somewhat of a comedy which are typically impotent to the Academy.  I would have nominated him, regardless.

Some say Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler?  Umm…no.
Ralph Fiennes – Grand Budapest:  I agree!

Joaquin Pheonix:  Inherent Vice certainly had its snoozable moments, and maybe the film itself is a bit of an insistence of a culture, but Joaquin’s performance was engaging and notable.  I liked it.

David Oyelowo’s portrayal of Marting Luther King, Jr. deserved a nod, definitely.  He was good!

Timothy Spall—Mr Turner:  Okay, at times the movie was more akin a play, but his character felt quite authentic to Victorian era Kent.  Honorable Mention?  I guess the Academy’s small bus for historical portrayals was full.

BEST ACTRESS (So, the Academy returned to this title?  Politically correct now?  Someone get my male secretary to tell my waitress!)

Marion Cotillard – Two Day, One Night:  Didn’t see this one.  D’OH!

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything:  I’m onboard with this nomination, but it’s simply not enough
lead material to capture that shiny little gold man on a plinth.

Julianne Moore – Still Alice:  Missed this one too.  More calendar, please!  Another historical character portrayal?  Hmmm…  Academy might be tired of these if they don’t pick Redmayne for Best Actor.

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl:  I saw the movie, but for the life of me can’t remember much about it, let alone Rosamund’s performance.

Reese Witherspoon – Wild:  I thought this might be a flick for the female persuasion only before watching.  Situational drama.  “Can we just get on with it, then?”  And then I noticed the sheer body of work involved; not just the trail shots but the endless cutaways.  Sure, there were chick flick moments, but the story and especially Witherspoon’s performance gripped me.

WINNERS?  It’s Reese and Reese alone.  They were all excellent, but nobody came close to Reese.  Unless it was Cotillard?  Anyone?

Snubbed:  No Jennifer Anniston for Cake? <smack>


Robert Duvall  - The Judge:  He certainly deserved the nod for his portrayal of a bereaved elderly judge, but I suspect he’s in as a compassionate release.  You see, although his acting was indeed superb and heartfelt, director David Dobkin never let a take roll on him long enough to truly merit the win.  Frankly, The Judge should have been nominated for editing, but that would have been the snarky choice and a slap to Duvall’s fine work. 

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood:  Not even close to an Oscar performance.  I suspect being surrounded with mediocrity makes one shine, but compared to pretty much everything else in 2014?  I’d send Willem Dafoe up for John Wick before this one.

Edward Norton – Birdman:  Oh man, really?  I loved this performance—Norton is the definitive Norton here—but…  someone make it go away!!

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher:  A big brother never played it better.  I wouldn’t mind seeing Mark get the win, but I’m not sure it outshined Duvall.

J.K. Simons – Whiplash:  What will lose this for J.K. is the role itself.  He performed quite well, but it just won’t pass as a realistic band director at America’s top music school.  Not without a few lawsuits and social network shaming.

WINNERS?  I’m rooting for Robert Duvall, but I suspect the Academy will pick Ethan Hawke or Edward Norton.  If I picked a 2nd Place, it’s Mark Ruffalo.

Snubbed: Tom Wilkinson as LBJ in Selma.  Nailed it!  Except, it wasn’t historically accurate.  That’s not Tom’s fault!


Patricia Arquette – Boyhood:  Didn’t she look just sumptuous at the beginning?  Not a horrible performance, mind you, but Oscar nom deserved?  “12 years making this…”  I waited, and waited, and waited, and two hours and thirty minutes later, still waited…um..no; for me, an Oscar moment never materialized.  

Laura Dern – Wild:  Wasn’t enough time in front of the camera for me.  It was good, but it was too fragmented in editing. 

Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game:  I’ve used the term “solid” already with this film, and it came up again with Knightley’s performance.  What’s not to like about it?

Emma Stone – Birdman:  Snarky, dangerous, demure, sleazy, athletic.  41-A!  (anyone get this?)

Meryl Streep – Into the Woods:  So, again, Meryl…the World’s Greatest.  Scintillating witch, that one.  How do you not choose her?  Out of fair gamesmanship for the others?  The problem is the movie itself, which probably works best on a stage at Disney World’s Hollywood Studio in Orlando.

WINNERS?  I’d find it impossible not to give Meryl another award too, but I’m smitten with Emma Stone today.  The Academy?  Emma.

Snubbed:  Marion Bailey’s emotional performance in Mr Turner was nothing short of exceptional.  She was the only one that made their scenes appear less of a West End stage production.

ANIMATED FILM Haven’t watched ANY of these but secretly wanted to screen the Lego Movie just from the buzz.  It wasn’t nominated?  Never mind.


Emmanuel Lubezki Birdman:  Amazing camerawork, no doubt.  I’d love to see the full making of this—innovative.

Robert Yeoman – The Grand Budapest Hotel:  Easy choice for me until Birdman came along.  TGBH is rich and warm, very crisp.  Loved it. 

Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski – Ida:  I’da seen it if I had time. 

Dick Pope – Mr Turner:  Immediately, the compositions grab you.  It is an art movie, after all.  For me, however, cinematography is about the moving pictures and not just gorgeously-shot landscapes in the south of England.  Unfortunately, most of Turner’s production was entirely old-school tripod-n-dolly.  I definitely appreciate that, but it won’t win the Oscar these days.  At least, I think not.

Roger Deakins – Unbroken:  Wonderfully shot, but the look of WWII films homogenizes further with that washed-out Technicolor familiarity brought about by the digital version of a bleach bypass.  Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, etc.; not to mention the super hot overhead lighting Spielberg (over)used during the mid-2000s.  Certainly, Unbroken deserved the nomination, but not a win.  (SPOILER ALERT) Best part?  The shark scene, Jaws homage, et al, was just brilliant.

WINNER?  Tough for me to make a choice while missing one of the nominees.  That said, it’s still difficult.  I’m wavering between Grand Budapest and Birdman.  Ugh!  The Academy?  I think they will continue the Birdman bandwagon, further solidifying the need for late releasing.  

Snubbed:  Interstellar. 


The Grand Budapest Hotel:  Definitely, but it sort of pokes fun at itself for wardrobe, doesn’t it?  LOBBY BOY.  Will the academy shunt it because of that?  Hmmmm…

Inherent Vice:  Huh?  Subtlety, perhaps.  Nothing about the wardrobe made me think about the wardrobe, and maybe that’s the point.  Nah.

Into the Woods:  Obvious choice, isn’t it?

Maleficent: Another obviated. 

Mr Turner:  And yet another period flick with excellent wardrobe. 

WINNERS?  Oh dear, I just don’t know.  It’s between Into the Woods and Budapest Hotel for me.  Budapest, please?  The Academy might go for the least obvious in Vice or possibly Mr Turner, and I would settle for Turner if that be the case.

Snubbed: Unbroken deserved a nod, methinks.  … unless there’s just a glut of recycled WWII wardrobe out there.  And it was used.  Then, no, obviously.



American Sniper:  There was nothing about this movie that called attention to its editing.  Just that it was tight and proper.  Clint wouldn’t release it otherwise.

Boyhood:  Here’s 12 years worth of clips.  Make it into something resembling a movie.”  I imagine that’s how the conversation went.  Faced with an impossible task, Sandra Adair, went about it the best she knew how.  I can also imagine her head shaking and multiple facepalms during that process.  If one deserves an award for assembling pieces of poo into something that somehow stinks less than the amalgamate, then yes, YES, by all means put her at the podium!  Seriously though, keeping consistency in processing over that length of time is indeed exceptional.
The Grand Budapest Hotel:  Timing is everything in the cutting room.  Budapest has it.

The Imitation Game:  Same line as American Sniper. 

Whiplash:  You know, making sound match the picture when a musician is involved, especially a drummer, is a monumental task.  I would almost give Tim Cross the Oscar just for that. 

WINNERS?  I’m going to go with Boyhood even though I disliked the film.  A close second for Whiplash.  The Academy might choose the same.

Snubs:  You gotta be kidding me—no Birdman?  The entire exercise of that movie was the editing!
I’d throw in The Judge, but that would be impolite to Robert Duvall. 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE —saw none.  Shizakoff!  I hear Ida is the one to see.


Foxcatcher:  Steve Carell’s transformation was interesting, but not exactly accurate.  Ruffalo and Tatum on the other hand were quite stunning. 

The Grand Budapest Hotel:  Fantastic job all the way around here, but is it enough?

Guardians of the Galaxy:  Why, exactly?

WINNERS?  I’m going with Grand Budapest, but the Academy might award Foxcatcher’s humongous nose. 

Snubbed:  Into the Woods and Mr Turner

MUSIC – Original Score

The Grand Budapest Hotel:  The eclectic, eastern feel and richly textured. 

The Imitation Game:  So, the pianist has precisely four fingers on their right hand and arpeggiated them ad nauseum.  Nah.

Interstellar:  Hard to ignore Interstellar’s score when it nearly overrides the dialog.  Regardless, and although well-orchestrated, I’ve already forgotten its theme.  To me, great scores are as memorable as they are written, conducted and performed (or otherwise executed, since it might be computer-generated these days.  Sampling software has become ridiculously good…unfortunately).

Mr Turner:  As depressing as the single-note piano from Eyes Wide Shut, without the temple pounding.  Got my fill of dissonant strings and woodwinds in short order. 

The Theory of Everything:  Delightful, but innocuous?  Quick, can anyone hum the theme? No? There you have it.

WINNERS?  I’m going with The Grand Budapest Hotel here, although it reminds of the Sherlock score.

Snubbed:  I can’t think of anyone.  You?

MUSIC – Original Song

Boyhood:  Sorry, already forgot pretty much everything about this movie.

Selma:  Why is it I can’t remember these original songs later?  Did it play over the ending credits?  D’oh!

Lego Movie:  Animated films dominate this category.  But this song?

Beyond the Lights:  Anyone see it?

Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me:  Or this one?

Begin Again:  What about this one? 

WINNER?  Selma, and I suspect the same from the Academy.

Snubbed:  Everyone without a Hollywood pass.


The Grand Budapest Hotel:  What’s not to love here?

The Imitation Game:  Certainly felt like Bletchley Park and the WWII-era England.

Interstellar:  Love all the homage in this film!  But…  if I just hadn’t visited NASA at Cape Canaveral a few years back, and if I hadn’t taken flight training and received a pilot’s license, and if I was paying more attention to the dialog and not the sets themselves because, well, I saw the movie after this nomination, I might not have noticed the oddly manufactured and inconsistent control panels, and other curiously dated props.  Tube televisions in post-apocalypse schools, WWII-era-looking bomber throttles, an older joystick for docking, mishmash of old and new aspect ratio screens.  Oh well.  Interstellar is an excellent sci-fi film that might have run away with everything in every category if only a little more thought and detail given. 

Into the Woods:  It’s a Disney product, so one could expect excellence in this category. 

Mr. Turner:  Hard to say about this one.  My impression is that the scenes were shot in the preserved parts of England with occasional Victorian enhancements, i.e. steamer and sailing ships, and that old steam train.  The conservative use of those props made it work.  I loved all the sets, especially the candelabraed ballroom that reminded me of Placido Domingo’s opera, “La Traviata”.

WINNERS?  The Grand Budapest Hotel, methinks.  The Academy might go for Interstellar as a consolation, but that would be a technical mistake.  Mr. Turner for a close second.

Snubbed:  Unbroken.


American Sniper:  While Sniper was certainly well-executed in sound, I heard nothing new or ostentatious.  Battle soundtrack homogenization?

Birdman:  Oh, that drum kit…

The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies: Hard to argue against a Peter Jackson film on the tehnicals. 

Interstellar:  A real treat in sonic nuance and placement.

Unbroken: Nicely executed, but I believe WWII battle scenes have so much practice, It’s hard to get it wrong.  RE: American Sniper.

WINNERS?  Birdman for me.  The Academy should pick Birdman on the same merits.  Its sound was delicious.

Snubbed:  Whiplash, perhaps. 


American Sniper:  Maybe it was the theater, but as George Lucas put it, “sound is half the picture.”  American Sniper’s mix failed to envelope me, sonically. 

Birdman:  On the other hand, totally enveloped me in a rich, vibrant mix that felt authentic to its space. 

Interstellar:  Except for the score/dialog mix on two very short moments.

Unbroken:  Zero complaints, and yet, nothing made me think of this film for mixing.  Is that a good thing?

Whiplash:  The one category this movie has the slightest chance of winning. 

WINNERS?  Birdman for me again.  Great sound, great mix.  Felt like a Tom Waits vinyl.

Snubbed: Pretty much all the superhero movies that are perfectly mixed.

VFX  The Academy should create a new category for CGI since VFX is so broad now.  Too much CGI and something might necessitate the Animated award!  Nonetheless, I’ve seen all the films in this category and frankly, I’m not one to judge.  Many of these use the same people and they are all brilliant at it.  I just can’t say one crew did a better job than the other in the VFX Department.  For me, it usually comes down to an innovation, much akin the way Gravity was produced.  Between the films below, I just can’t think of anything off the top of my head.  Help!

Captain American:  The Winter Soldier:  More of the same.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes:  Nothing new

Guardians of the Galaxy:  Same to same, but better.

Interstellar:  Oh, Mr. Nolan did you really have to go with the vertical landscapes again?  “Yes, dear; he’s the same guy that did Inception.  Yes, it looks a lot like Inception.  Yes, dear, I know…”  Not to take away from the FX crew.  Flawless.

X-Men: Days of Future Past: Again, nothing new.

WINNERS?  For me, Interstellar.  The Academy will find that choosing a superhero movie will just be a hydra.  They were all good.

Snubbed:  Internet moans decreed Snowpiercer deserving a nod in this category.  What, for the Avalanche scene?  No, sorry.  It looked like a video game from 2004.  And—no Hobbits?

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY.  I never read the books, so…. 

Okay, if Inherent Vice is anything resembling the book, I would have put it down during the first chapter.  It’s not a gripping frame flipper.

The Theory of Everything?   Well, it certainly followed the Wikipedia article ;)  (yeah, I’ll emoticon.  Get over it! :P )

American Sniper:  Too many complaints of artistic license and embellishment.  Face it, not everyone will endear an interpretation of Chris Kyle’s book, least of all Hollywood.

The Imitation Game:  This certainly felt like a faithful dramatization of a documentary.  But was it?  I hope so.

Whiplash:  Doubtful.

WINNERS?  It’s between The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything, and I loved Stephen Hawking’s story.  The Academy might go with Sniper just to show that it’s nuts—disagreeing with itself for publicity.

Snubbed:  Mr. Turner?


Birdman:  God, what a screenplay!  With emphasis on play. 

Boyhood:  There was a screenplay?  You mean the one they all read moments before the cameras rolled?

Foxcatcher:  Original, but based on the true story, so…whatever?

The Grand Budapest Hotel:  How interestingly delicious and captivating. 

Nightcrawler:  No, no NO!  If originality means combining FALLING DOWN (without the funny) and ONE HOUR PHOTO, then…no; it’s still a bore.  Honestly, how did this get a nomination?

WINNERS?  Hmm… STORY  I’m going for Budapest, but I suspect the Academy loves a good play as it does a movie.  Birdman for them.  I’m okay with either.

Snubbed:  I Origins – overlooked movie asking aged-old questions using a unique premise.  Original screenplay?  Perhaps if director Cahill didn’t already have this eye fetish everyone keeps going on about.


I will return with an edit next week to see how it went. 

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