With great pleasure, I’d like to share my ranking of the Best Picture nominees for the 87th Academy Awards. I’m told this is how the real voters do it! They rank the films 1-8 and then “they” do some funky math to find out the winner. Apparently this ends up with some wacky decisions because the film with the most first place votes doesn’t necessarily win. (Remember, it’s always better for something to be average! Then people can’t hate it too much.)
So, this is obvious, but I’ll say it anyways: These are my opinions! The Oscars is just an awards show! I thoroughly enjoyed all these movies (except Boyhood). That being said, here’s what I thought…
8) Boyhood – I’m sorry to say this to anyone who enjoyed this movie but it’s the only nominee that I found to be a struggle to watch. I just wasn’t into it and the gimmick of having people age in real-time didn’t do anything for me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
7) Whiplash – I’ll say this, it’s an impressive feat to keep me engaged in a movie about a jazz drummer for two hours. JK Simmons was as excellent, as I had heard, in a Full Metal Jacket kind of way.
6) The Theory of Everything – The acting was great, especially for such a difficult role, and it made me way more emotional than I thought it would. Though maybe the main character just lived too long for me (see: the next few movies on my list).
5) Selma – Martin Luther King Jr. is an idol of mine. I find a lot of the things he’s said to be so inspirational. I remember writing a paper on him when I was younger and being so amazed at how young he was when he was killed and how I thought he could do so much more if he had lived a full life (maybe the most obvious thing I’ve ever said). The movie does an excellent job showing one of his most admirable aspects, his views on non-violence, which I feel is so important to any cause.
4) American Sniper – A film that was so much better than I had expected. I went in with a few liberal biases going against it. I had heard it was glorifying war. That it was war propaganda. I found these claims to be unwarranted. At times it even seemed critical of war. To me, this was a movie about PTSD and the suffering it causes. I’m a complete pacifist. I hate the idea of war but I know it exists and I’m glad I’m not personally fighting in them. There were some moments that I thought were a little too corny for my tastes but overall a very compelling movie.
3) The Imitation Game – This movie made me cry. It was, like American Sniper, another movie I wasn’t totally looking forward to. I thought the trailers told the whole story and it wasn’t a story I really cared about. Then I actually saw it and I was so impressed. There was so much more to the movie than I thought there would be. Additionally, Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Alan Turing is my choice for acting performance of the year (though that’s not what this post is about).
2) Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – This could easily have been tied for my favorite film of the year—and the difference between 1 and 2 was my hardest—but I didn’t want to cop-out with my rankings. This movie kept me wondering what was happening in the most magical way. I was engaged in every moment. I think if there was a camera on me as I watched it, I’d be wide-eyed the entire time occasionally mouthing the word “woah.” I can understand why a lot of people didn’t like it. The movie was strange but that’s what made it so interesting. It also, despite some unreal scenes, felt so real to me and had such an honest sense of art. As I was watching this movie, I said to myself, “This is one of the coolest movies I’ve ever seen.” Also, the music, the directing, the acting, and the cinematography, all were amazing.
1) The Grand Budapest Hotel – The most enjoyable of all the movies nominated, which is really why I go to the movies. I’m admittedly biased towards both comedies and Wes Anderson but that’s the way it is. I love the acting, the writing, the scenery, how it was filmed, how it was edited, the use of models, everything. There were so many little details put into the movie, which I expect from directors like Wes Anderson. This is also, amazingly, the first Best Picture nomination for Wes Anderson, which is unbelievable to me. Bonus points from me for coming out as a wide release well before “Oscar season.”
It’s been a little while since I’ve put up a new blog post (or a video) but, hey, I just got married and went to Aruba for a week! I