Scott Feinberg has been doing a series in the Hollywood Reporter over the last couple of days in which he has been interviewing Oscar voters about what they voted for. It really shines a light on the ignorance of some members of the Academy and that Oscarologists should be given the vote instead of these guys who can’t be bothered to complete the ballot. Anyway, I’m going to give it a go if I was filling in a ballot.
Best Picture: Boyhood is the obvious winner here, it’s by far the best film here, so that’s my number 1 pick. My second vote is going to The Theory of Everything, which is really growing on me, especially due to the fabulous performances, especially from Redmayne and Jones. I’m going for Birdman in 3rd as I really liked Edward Norton’s performance and the marriage together of independent and blockbuster cinema to create something incredibly original. Selma comes in 4th as it is an interesting film that makes you think more than any other of the nominees and portrays feelings in a really inteligent way, and The Imitation Game slots into 5th as it manages to make an important story available to a mainstream audience. The Grand Budapest and Whiplash just miss out in a strong year, and I haven’t seen American Sniper. My Picks: 1. Boyhood, 2. The Theory of Everything, 3. Birdman, 4. Selma, 5. The Imitation Game.
Best Director: This is an easy pick, Richard Linklater is by far the most deserving in this category. The heart of soul he put into Boyhood is awe-inspiring, and what is created is a masterpiece, Linklater’s Citizen Kane. Bennett Miller would be my 2nd choice, showing how robbed Foxcatcher is for a Best Picture nod. Inarritu comes in 3rd for his showy Birdman, Anderson in 4th for the incredibly stylish and precise The Grand Budapest Hotel and Morten Tyldum in 5th for the interestingly paced The Imitation Game. My Pick: Richard Linklater (Boyhood).
Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne gets the vote, despite my love for Steve Carell, as Carell has no chance while Redmayne has still a massive chance. Also, Redmayne gives by far the best performance of the nominees, his transformation is so convincing that you genuinely believe that he is disabled. It really is a performance for the ages. Steve Carell is my number 2 pick for his extraordinary turn in Foxcatcher, in which he is the only one of the nominees in any category where you honestly see no sign of the actor, just the creepy du Pont. Keaton is number 3 due to his multi-roling which worked very well and Cumberbatch coming in 4th for his interesting turn in The Imitation Game in which he plays the scripted character to perfection, but just falls shy of portraying the real Turing. I haven’t seen American Sniper so I can’t judge on Bradley Cooper. My Pick: Eddie Redmayne.
Best Actress: To be honest, I’ve only seen Felicity Jones’ performance, but from what I’ve seen of the other nominees, Pike looks the strongest. I’m pleased that Reese Witherspoon is taking on roles like the one in Wild as she is really talented and I’m not sure about Cotillard, she feels too Hollywood for the role she plays in Two Days, One Night. Julianne Moore will obviously win but I haven’t yet seen Still Alice as it’s not been released yet, but she’s great in everything and is a lovely person who deserves an Oscar for all her great work. Felicity Jones is so great in The Theory of Everything and seems really nice as a person, so she gets my vote. My Pick: Felicity Jones.
Best Supporting Actor: This, in my opinion, is the most interesting category as the wrong contender is winning everything. My vote would go to Ethan Hawke, who manages to change the way that single fathers are portrayed on film, that they can be nice people despite not being involved in their children as they are expected to. It is the real definition of supporting. My 2nd choice is Ed Norton who is really terrific in Birdman and totally steals the show from Michael Keaton. My 3rd choice is Mark Ruffalo because I really love Foxcatcher, and he portrays the only sane person in an insane film to quiet perfection. J.K. Simmons, the eventual winner, is 4th as I feel the character is better than the performance and I get the impression that any top actor would be able to portray the character with equal success. It’s fine, but it’s overrated, not even the best performance in Whiplash (Miles Teller is far superior). Duvall comes in at a sorry 5th.
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette is pretty much everyone’s pick in this category and rightfully so, she’s really terrific in Boyhood. My 2nd pick is Laura Dern, who is really making a comeback this year, which is a great thing. My 3rd pick is Emma Stone, she gives one of the best performance of her career in Birdman, but she is one of the worst things about Birdman, but it’s great that she’s doing more films like this. My number 4 is Keira Knightley. I like her but she wasn’t great in The Imitation Game, she’s far too glamorous and at times feels like she’s playing the posh girl stereotype. Also, she’s far better in Begin Again, check that out instead. Meryl Streep is 5th, please stop nominating her, give someone else a turn. My pick: Patricia Arquette.