Tomorrow evening will play host to one of the most talked about events on the annual film calendar and mark an end to what seems to have been a very long awards season. This year the Academy chose to nominate 8 films for best picture out of a possible ten. Here I attempt to rank the 7 I have seen. (I am yet to see American Sniper)
1. Boyhood (Dir Richard Linklater)
In my mind there is no argument Boyhood is the greatest film on the list. In the film Linklater perfectly encapsulates the spirit of life and he makes a film that speaks to us about basic values of family and love. This may sound like an easy film to make when compared to other films in the race like Birdman or the delicacy that is The Grand Budapest Hotel but in fact the film should be rewarded for the way it keeps its sense of tone and tell a gripping story over its 12 year filming. There is no doubt Boyhood should win best picture.
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Dir Wes Anderson)
I’ll admit I was surprised when The Grand Budapest Hotel started to get the Oscar love that it did. I love the film and placed it at #8 on my top ten last year but I was totally surprised that so many people on the necessary boards liked it so much. If Boyhood wasn’t going to win my next choice would be for The Grand Budapest Hotel its not my favourite Wes Anderson but it is by far his most rich and thoughtful film and it tells a beautiful and sad story about the past and it also reflects on escapism and the escapism of Andersons own movies.
(If you enjoyed the film you may want to check out Matt Zoller Seitz recent book on the film http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wes-Anderson-Collection-Grand-Budapest/dp/1419715712/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424542977&sr=8-1&keywords=the+wes+anderson+collection+the+grand+budapest+hotel)
3. Whiplash (Dir Damien Chazelle)
Whiplash is utterly brilliant Chazelles direction of the film is simply magnificent it seems strange to believe it’s the work of the first time director but it makes totally sense as the film has so much energy and passion running through it could only have been made by someone just turned 30. The film also features two stunning lead performances from Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons.
4. Selma (Dir Ava DuVernay)
Selma is wholly deserving of its best picture nomination. Whilst occasionally the direction of the film it’s a bit stilted it is upheld by a electric performance by David Oyelowo and the film is smart in the way it explores compex ideas about what the best way to lead a campaing is. It is also an important film which deserves to be remembered and a best picture win would help this.
5. The Theory Of Everything (Dir James Marsh)
I didn’t go into The Theory Of Everything expecting very much and whilst the film still has flaws. It is not the dull lifeless biopic that it could have been and it shows promises of brilliance when it decides to focus on Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). Redmayne is utterly deserving of the leading actor award (when considering the nominees, if Ralph Fiennes had been nominated then I would suggest a tie but as he isn’t Redmayne should win) . I think Felicity Jones is also incredible in the film but I can’s suggest her for best leading actress as sadly I haven’t seen any of the other films in that category.
6. Birdman (Dir Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Recently its seemed that Birdman might scoop Best Picture after cleaning up at the guild awards. I can’t lie I think it would be a very disappointing victory the film may be enjoyable whilst watching but ultimately it doesn’t leave much to think about after the film and ultimately leaves a pretentious taste in the mouth. Maybe it will win though the majority of the Academy are actors and this is a film about actors and what it means to be an actor so who knows.
7. The Imitation Game (Dir Morten Tyldum)
The Imitation Game is what The Theory Of Everything could have been. It’s a dull lifeless biopic, it has no cinematic quality to it (honestly it might as well be a play). Cumberbatch is simply repeating his Sherlock role. Yet worst of all it tacks the fact the Turing killed himself onto a title card on the end credits and even then its placed in white text on the bottom of a positive image of Turing and his friends in happier times.
Please leave your comments below as to which film you'd like to win or which film you think should have been nominated.
*The picture in the article comes from designer Olly Gibbs you can buy the poster here http://www.ollygibbs.com