The Oscar’s have now come and gone and have celebrated the best in this year’s films. The show was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, who at times was pretty damn funny and at other times making some jokes of poor taste. Overall he did a really solid performance for what is one of the toughest gigs around. It isn’t easy to entertain over forty million people in the US alone. Some of Harris’ best bits were the reenactment of the Birdman scene where Michael Keaton loses his robe and has to walk around in his underwear. A nice extra level of meta-ness came from the fact that Birdman had a drum score and the drummer appeared on screen periodically, whom for Harris’ bit did Miles Teller, who starred as the drummer in Whiplash, portray. Most of Harris’ other best moments were one off puns like “Coming up next is the awards for Best Animated Short, Best Live Action Short and Best Bermuda Short”. Some of his jokes seemed in poor taste like how Edward Snowden couldn’t be at the ceremony “for some treason”. Overall the show was funny, the musical performances were enjoyable and some of the winners were surprising.
If you had been following along with my Oscar Primer’s I outlined what it would take for film’s to win their respective nominations. At the time when I first wrote about Birdman, it was not really taken seriously as a contender. It was seen as a very weird film that might challenge for 3rd place. Over time it was seemingly racking up awards like Best Comedy or Musical Picture at the Golden Globes and by the time the Oscar’s rolled around last night it was a two horse race between Birdman and Boyhood.
Speaking of Boyhood, outside of Patricia Arquette’s win for Best Supporting Actress the film was completely shut out. No awards for Best Editing or Best Original Screenplay were a bit surprising, but considering that Birdman won Best Picture it wasn’t surprising that Boyhood did so poorly.
While Birdman won four awards, The Grand Budapest Hotel also won four, all in the technical side of things. With wins in Best Production Design, Best Hair and Makeup, Best Original Score and Best Costume the film was rewarded for what was considered the strongest parts of it, the aesthetics. The film looked great, something no one could deny as there were some people mixed on Ralph Finnes performance of Wes Anderson’s screenplay.
Weirdly enough this year there were only three films that took home more than one award, the above mentioned Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel with four apiece and Whiplash with three wins. It was wholly expected that Whiplash would win Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons, a powerhouse performance by an actor who seemed to be in the lead the entire awards season. Since the film was unable to receive a nomination for Best Original Score (stupid Academy rules) with the great drumming it was figured that the film would win Best Sound Mixing as a consolation. What was surprisingly pleasant was seeing Whiplash win for Best Editing, as Boyhood’s twelve-year miracle film seemed like the frontrunner and the intense Imitation Game as a potential threat to steal.
Looking at how our own writers fared with predicting is another animal. Myself who last year went 23/24 did a lot worse this year as it seemed several categories I wavered on ended up going to my alternate picks.
I ended up only correctly guessing 15 out of the 24 categories I was eligible to vote on. When I say eligible to vote on, it is because the rule was you had to watch at least 51% of the nominees in a category in order to properly be able to judge it. While I scored a 62.5% on correctly picking it is a far cry from my career high 96% of last year.
I had also asked out Film Editor Andreas Babiolakis, our Chief Editor Sean Chin and guest contributor Adriana Floridia owner of Fresh From the Theatre to submit their picks for categories they were eligible to weigh in on so lets take a look at how they fared.
Andreas was able to participate in 17 categories and correctly picked 11 of the winners. That translates to a 65%, just slightly edging me out on percentages alone. The feather in his cap goes to selecting Whiplash for Best Editing, something no one else did.
Sean was eligible to vote on 10 categories and managed to get 3 right for a 30% rate. Sean being more of a music and photography expert gets a passing grade here for trying to see as many films as possible and use this as a challenge to expand his film knowledge something that is harder that it appears to be, we commend him for participating in this exercise.
Adriana was able to vote on 22 of the categories missing out only on Best Animated Feature and Best Documentary Feature. She scored an impressive 15 correct with the top percentage score of 68%. Adriana who probably watches more films than all of us combined is the true Oscar Expert this year.
For fun I decided to include a consensus pick as an aggregate choice if there was any seemingly frontrunners based on our four picks. The LiL bot scored an impressive 14/24 coming in one slot behind myself. All four of us thought Boyhood would win Best Picture, something we all ended up being wrong on but made up for the fact that we all picked the same (and correct) winner’s for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.
That’s all the Oscar talk for this year, but stay tuned for what should be another fun and great year in movies.