My 2014 Oscar Predictions

Many tiny, tiny men were forced to give up their lives after being randomly selected for being made to stand in an uncomfortable upright position and having liquid gold poured on them. Their sacrifice will not go forgotten.

Ah, the Oscars! The award show where the old, rich, out-of-touch white men of Hollywood engage in the biggest circle jerk of the year and hand out golden, vaguely phallic trophies in order to congratulate each other for making pretentious, artsy films that the average moviegoer didn’t even think about before the eve of the ceremony!

God, do I love the Oscars. It’s right up there with my birthday, Christmas, Blue Jays Opening Day, Game 7 of the World Series and Edmonton Comic Expo Weekend in my rankings of my favourite days of the year. For somebody who loves movies as much as I do, it’s so great to see these movies that I’ve grown so attached to in the last few months that I’ve been scrambling to watch them. It’s nice to see them all gathered together where all of them can be celebrated for the joy they’ve brought to people.

And by “all of them”, I, of course mean “Boyhood“.

So, without further ado, let’s get my official predictions out of the way!!!

(Keep in mind that I haven’t seen 100% of the movies. Merely a lot of them. Don’t blame me, blame school.”

That, and the fact that I’m not allowed out of my house anymore after the unfortunate incident at a nearby Dairy Queen.

Visual Effects

Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees! And people say we monkey around…”

Winner: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

If I were in charge: Interstellar

Interstellar didn’t impress me as much as it did others in terms of story or plot coherence, but I can’t deny the visual majesty that Nolan’s space epic had. That said, when Dawn wins, I will not complain at all, because Apes On Horses.

Film Editing

TWELVE YEARS!!!! THIS TOOK TWELVE YEARS!!!! ITSOAMAAAAAAAAZZIIIINGGG!!!!!!!”

Will win: Boyhood

If I was in charge: Boyhood

Yeah, as burnt out as I am on hearing people call Boyhood the Citizen Kane of our era or some bullshit, I can’t deny the wonderful editing job done in the film.

Costume Design

Dear lord.

Will win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

If I was in charge: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Makeup and Hairstyling

And this is what happens when you party with Benecio del Toro.

Will win: Guardians of the Galaxy

If I was in charge: Guardians of the Galaxy

Cinematography

Gravity‘s got nothing on this.

Will win: Birdman

If I was in charge: Birdman

Emmanuel Lubezki. That is all.

Production Design

The symmetry alone, Jesus Christ.

Will win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

If I was in charge: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Sound Mixing

Theeeeenn, he swore profusely at me, Pa rum pa pum pum….

Will win: Whiplash

If I was in charge: Whiplash

Man, I’m not exactly being much of a contrarian, am I?

Sound Editing

Oh, there we go.

Will win: American Sniper

If I was in charge: Birdman

Original Song

Will win: “Glory” (Selma)

If I was in charge: “Glory”

Original Score

Just for the record, I would have given the prize to either John Powell or Joe Hisaishi for How to Train Your Dragon 2 and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, respectively.

Will win: Jóhann Jóhannsson, The Theory of Everything

If I was in charge: Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game

Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Documentary- Short Subject, Documentary- Feature

I didn’t watch any of these. Why? I’m really, really lazy, in case you guys haven’t noticed.

Foreign Language Film

Are her eyes following anybody else? Just me? Okay then…

Will win: Ida

If I was in charge: Leviathan

Animated Feature Film

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Will win: How to Train Your Dragon 2

If I was in charge: How to Train Your Dragon 2

While I still think that Dragon is the best animated movie of the year (Yes, even better than The LEGO Movie), I highly suggest any fan of animation to check out The Tale of the Princess Kaguya. You’ll thank me later, trust me.

Adapted Screenplay

Will win: The Imitation Game

If I was in charge: The Imitation Game

Original Screenplay

Will win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should win: Birdman

Supporting Actress

Yeesh, now that kids’ eyes are following me.

Will win: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

If I was in charge: Patricia Arquette

Again, I’m not a huge Boyhood fan. That said, I think I would’ve liked it more if it focused more on Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke.

Supporting Actor

Will win: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

If I was in charge: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Actress

“What the fuck am I watching?!?!”                    -Julianne Moore, seen here puzzling over Inherent Vice.

Will win: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

If I was in charge: Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Admittedly, I haven’t seen Still Alice yet, but with all do respect to Julianne Moore, I don’t see how her performance could be better than Rosamund Pike in the movie that is the biggest Best Picture snub of the year.

Actor

Yeah, no way I’m joking about this photo. I’m not a total asshole.

Will win: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

If I was in charge: Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

The sentimental part of my brain wants Michael Keaton to win, as Redmayne’s still young, and we don’t know if Keaton will ever be nominated again, but I know in my heart of hearts that Redmayne was probably better.

Director

Meh.

Will win: Richard Linklater, Boyhood

If I was in charge: Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman

I LIKED BOYHOOD, ALRIGHT!?!? I JUST THINK IT’S KIND OF OVERRATED!!! AM I REALLY SO WRONG IN THINKING THAT?!?!

Picture

You know you want it.

Will win: Birdman

If I was in charge: Birdman

My gut actually says that Boyhood is gonna take it, but winning all the Guild Awards is pretty promising, so maybe Birdman has a realistic shot at winning the big prize?

American Sniper is going to sweep the awards now, just because I said that.

Gone Girl (Movie Review)

That cat has seen some shit.

So, who else  is getting tired of me writing about baseball? I sure as hell am! Let’s just sit back, relax and settle down to watch a nice popcorn flick. Let’s see what’s in theatre right now…

Oh…. This is gonna be weird as fuck, isn’t it?

 Gone Girl

 Directed by: David Fincher

 Produced by: Leslie Dixon, Bruna Papandrea, Reese Witherspoon, Ceán Chaffin

 Screenplay by: Gillian Flynn

 Based on: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

 Genres: Thriller, Mystery

 Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick  Fugit, Casey Wilson, Missi Pyle

 Music by: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

 Plot: In a sleepy town in Missouri known as North Carthage live former writer and current barkeep Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his wife, Amy Elliott-Dunne (Rosamund Pike), another former writer and, weirdly enough, the inspiration for a series of children’s books known as “Amazing Amy”, written by her parents. They are celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary, but unfortunately, it isn’t quite being celebrated under the best of circumstances, as they have grown distant from one another, ruining what used to be quite a lovely marriage. On the morning of, Nick returns from the bar he co-owns with his sister, Margo (Carrie Coon), to find that his wife is missing from his house with no prior warning, and there are signs of a struggle in the living room. Understandably, he freaks the fuck out and calls the cops, and the whole community rallies behind him.

However, things are shaken up a bit when Nick’s facade of being the perfect, worried husband starts to slip and what was once perceived as being a shy, awkward, kind person starts to look more and more like an angry, remorseless sociopath. It doesn’t help his case much when evidence gathered by the police starts to shift the blame in his direction, and even less so when the media jumps all over his case, all but screaming for the governor’s office to fry this man for murder. Did Nick Dunne kidnap, or even murder his wife? Or is there another explanation?

Weirdly enough, the first people that I want to praise for this movie are not the actors, director or writer, but the marketing team. Whoever green-lighted the decision to only use scenes from the first third of the movie or so in the trailers for the film. I was completely oblivious to the whopper of a twist that was to come, and for that, I thank them.

Before I get into some of the numerous stuff I really loved from this movie, I’ve gotta get the one thing I didn’t like in the movie out of the way, so here goes: I thought some of the dialogue from when Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike’s characters were meeting for the first time was kind of annoyingly pretentious.

Well, now that that’s out of the way, it’s time for me to voraciously kiss this movie’s ass.

Holy crap, was this movie ever the definition of perfectly cast. I heard that some people, mostly fans of the novel that the movie is based on, were bitching about Ben Affleck being cast in the main role. I, personally, have been a huge Affleck supporter ever since he came back onto he scene in a big way with The Town, and I was one of what seemed to be the few people who weren’t losing their minds over him being cast as you-know-who.

“What, are you dense? Are you retarded or something? Who the hell do you think I am?”

Well, it puts my ever-worrying mind somewhat at ease to know that Ben Affleck absolutely brings it to this movie. His character is not always shown doing the nicest things on-screen. In fact, I probably should have hated him at one point, but throughout the whole movie, he displays a type of charm that makes Nick Dunne irresistibly likable. He’s a nice guy (Or he seems to be), but he also most certainly is not a perfect person., rather a very complicated human being who’s dealing with a lot of crap, some of it it brought on by himself.

Affleck’s co-star, Rosamund Pike is…Well…..I don’t know if I can say too much about her or her character without spoiling the movie, but I will say that she is fantastic. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that she delivers one of the best performances I’ve ever seen. No joke.

The supporting cast is perfect as well. Carrie Coon (From The Leftovers) is funny at times and has some good lines. Neil Patrick Harris is very good as a slightly unhinged ex-boyfriend of Rosamund Pike’s. Tyler Perry is also in this movie, in his second appearance in a movie not directed by him since his cameo in the 2009 Star Trek movie (His first was 2012’s Alex Cross, and the less said about that, the better). I’ve never been a Tyler Perry fan, not because I don’t like the guy, because he seems nice enough. I just find Madea unfunny,  the Madea character insufferable, and religious movies in general to be incredibly preachy, bad pun intended. Eh, different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

But hey, Tyler Perry was excellent as well as Nick’s somewhat morally ambiguous defense attorney.  The dude can act! Now, Hollywood just needs to get him into some better movies and the world may soon forget…Well, anything that wasn’t Precious, Star Trek and Gone Girl.

We have a lot of forgiving to do, folks. A lot of it.

Much praise is deserved by the director as well. David Fincher, director of such masterpieces as Se7en, Zodiac, Fight Club, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network (As well as the hunk of shit that was Alien 3)  and probably one of the best directors working in Hollywood today, really, creates a very dark, unsettling nature in direct contrast to the idyllic suburban setting of the story. It also helps that he brought his frequent collaborators, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (Who had previously done the soundtracks to The Social Network and Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), along to do the music, which is, in a word, eerie. Eerie, eerie eerie. Electronic buzzes and drones aren’t that much fun to listen to on their own, but holy shit, did they ever provide the perfect atmosphere in this movie. If this movie isn’t at least nominated for a “Best Original Score” prize at the Oscars, I will be very, very angry.

Kudos to writer Gillian Flynn as well. It’s not very often you see the author of the source material write the screenplay for the script. The only author I can think of who really makes a point to write the movie adaptations of his work is Frank Miller, and everything he’s done that isn’t 300 or Sin City is utter shit. Flynn, on the other hand, writes a pretty fantastic script, aside from the minor gripes I mentioned in the beginning. She also does a really good job of incorporating elements of black comedy into the movie, which was a pleasing surprise.

Overall: Sure, it’s a long movie, clocking in at over 140 minutes, but it’s such a wild ride that you don’t care. If you don’t have a weak stomach, this is a must-see movie. I sure as hell loved it.

Rating: 9.5/10

“Oh, shit, it was the cat who did it, wasn’t it?!?!”- A thought that I’m ashamed to admit crossed my mind multiple times during the movie.

Ugh…

Well, the geniuses who decide film ratings in Canada decide to give Gone Girl an 18A rating, meaning that I’m unlikely to see it unless I can convince my parents to take me. If I can’t see what looks like the best movie of the year so far, I’ll probably end up seeing The Equalizer. It’s not like I can complain, as I wanted to watch that anyways, but still….Ugh.