Mendels

A funny thing happened on the way to The Oscars. Seemingly out-of-nowhere, various awards bodies suddenly remembered that there are films released before July. Now really, that’s not very fair of me, because the fact that they were even remembering July – and the cinematic bounty that is BOYHOOD – is progress. Considering the way the game has been rigged to highlight movies that premiere after the start of hockey season, it’s a wonder that award groups can recall what they saw in the summer…let alone the spring.

But then comes the unexpected resurgence of THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.

Over the last seven days, The AFI has unveiled their year-end list, The Screen Actors Guild have nominated their peers, and The Broadcast Critics have unveiled their nominations. As these Oscar precursors spoke-up, the latest opus by ultra-twee director Wes Anderson was mentioned early and mentioned often. Not just in the technical categories as expected (if anything ultimately beats that movie for production design, I’ll eat my hat), but also for picture, actor, and director.

Might this mean that Oscar is ready to invite Anderson to the grown-ups table? His films have previously made noise in the acting categories and screenplay, but even in the age of a wider Best Picture slate, he has never managed to get called-up to the show. Can this momentum continue? Or is it just a blip in an otherwise bland race?

Some other thoughts on the state of the race…

  • Two of the hardest-hit contenders at this stage of the race are the chances for FOXCATCHER and INTERSTELLAR. With both films being somewhat divisive amongst audiences and critics, they really needed a boost from the various awards bodies in the weeks leading up to Christmas. It hasn’t come to pass. So at this stage, both films look like they will be lower-tier contenders in the Best Picture category, if they make the category at all. Both will need a huge boost from the remaining guilds.
  • Also taking a minor hit is GONE GIRL, which missed the cut with two of these three groups. Now I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s in the same infirmary ward as FOXCATCHER and INTERSTELLAR, and as a finished product it was much better received by critics and audiences. However, it’s campaign is in the wrong gear at the wrong time. A nomination for Rosamund Pike is all but cemented…but what else?
  • As for a film that might be trending up at precisely the right time, we have a growing swell of support for Ava DuVernay’s SELMA. This is a film that was finished so late, that it didn’t play or send screeners to awards bodies until mid-November. By that point, it was too late for SAG, and most of the groups that have previously announced their nominees. However, as it has rolled out, it seems to be striking a nerve with those who bear witness. Did it wait too long to make its move? Or will a full-court-press in the dying seconds of the game bring enough momentum to make some noise?

 

This time last week I said that BIRDMAN, BOYHOOD, and IMITATION game seemed to poised to make it to the big dance. At this stage, I’d go so far as to say that those three missing out on Best Picture nominations could only come by way of a monumental collapse in momentum over the next few weeks. At this stage, I’d say it’s quite likely that THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL and THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING might well be joining them. For those two films especially, the next few weeks will be key.

Here’s a gathering of what’s gone down this week. Feel free to make your guesses in the comments section.

 

Screen Actors’ Guild Award Nominees

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
BIRDMAN
BOYHOOD
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
THE IMITATION GAME
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
STEVE CARELL / John du Pont – “FOXCATCHER”
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH / Alan Turing – “THE IMITATION GAME”
JAKE GYLLENHAAL / Louis Bloom – “NIGHTCRAWLER”
MICHAEL KEATON / Riggan – “BIRDMAN”
EDDIE REDMAYNE / Stephen Hawking – “THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
JENNIFER ANISTON / Claire Bennett – “CAKE”
FELICITY JONES / Jane Hawking – “THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING”
JULIANNE MOORE / Alice Howland-Jones – “STILL ALICE”
ROSAMUND PIKE / Amy Dunne – “GONE GIRL”
REESE WITHERSPOON / Cheryl Strayed – “WILD”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
ROBERT DUVALL / Joseph Palmer – “THE JUDGE”
ETHAN HAWKE / Mason, Sr. – “BOYHOOD”
EDWARD NORTON / Mike – “BIRDMAN”
MARK RUFFALO / Dave Schultz – “FOXCATCHER”
J.K. SIMMONS / Fletcher – “WHIPLASH”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
PATRICIA ARQUETTE / Olivia – “BOYHOOD”
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY / Joan Clarke – “THE IMITATION GAME”
EMMA STONE / Sam – “BIRDMAN”
MERYL STREEP / The Witch – “INTO THE WOODS”
NAOMI WATTS / Daka – “ST. VINCENT”

 

AFI Top Ten Eleven

American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
Foxcatcher
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Nightcrawler
Selma
Unbroken
Whiplash

 

The Critics’ Choice Awards Nominees

BEST PICTURE
Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Nightcrawler
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Unbroken
Whiplash

BEST ACTOR
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton – Birdman
David Oyelowo – Selma
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTRESS
Jennifer Aniston – Cake
Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin – Inherent Vice
Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Ellar Coltrane – Boyhood
Ansel Elgort – The Fault in Our Stars
Mackenzie Foy – Interstellar
Jaeden Lieberher – St. Vincent
Tony Revolori – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Quvenzhane Wallis – Annie
Noah Wiseman – The Babadook

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Selma

BEST DIRECTOR
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ava DuVernay – Selma
David Fincher – Gone Girl
Alejandro G. Inarritu – Birdman
Angelina Jolie – Unbroken
Richard Linklater – Boyhood

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Birdman – Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo
Boyhood – Richard Linklater
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy
Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn
The Imitation Game – Graham Moore
Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten
Unbroken – Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson
Wild – Nick Hornby

BEST CINEMATOGRAPY
Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman
Interstellar – Hoyte Van Hoytema
Mr. Turner – Dick Pope
Unbroken – Roger Deakins

BEST ART DIRECTION
Birdman – Kevin Thompson/Production Designer, George DeTitta Jr./Set Decorator
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator
Inherent Vice – David Crank/Production Designer, Amy Wells/Set Decorator
Interstellar – Nathan Crowley/Production Designer, Gary Fettis/Set Decorator
Into the Woods – Dennis Gassner/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator
Snowpiercer – Ondrej Nekvasil/Production Designer, Beatrice Brentnerova/Set Decorator

BEST EDITING
Birdman – Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione
Boyhood – Sandra Adair
Gone Girl – Kirk Baxter
Interstellar – Lee Smith
Whiplash – Tom Cross

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero
Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges
Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood
Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard
Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran

BEST HAIR & MAKEUP
Foxcatcher
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Into the Woods
Maleficent

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Edge of Tomorrow
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Interstellar

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie

BEST ACTION MOVIE
American Sniper
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Edge of Tomorrow
Fury
Guardians of the Galaxy

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Tom Cruise – Edge of Tomorrow
Chris Evans – Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Brad Pitt – Fury
Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Emily Blunt – Edge of Tomorrow
Scarlett Johansson – Lucy
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Zoe Saldana – Guardians of the Galaxy
Shailene Woodley – Divergent

BEST COMEDY
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
St. Vincent
Top Five
22 Jump Street

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Jon Favreau – Chef
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Bill Murray – St. Vincent
Chris Rock – Top Five
Channing Tatum – 22 Jump Street

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Rose Byrne – Neighbors
Rosario Dawson – Top Five
Melissa McCarthy – St. Vincent
Jenny Slate – Obvious Child
Kristen Wiig – The Skeleton Twins

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE
The Babadook
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Interstellar
Snowpiercer
Under the Skin

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Force Majeure
Ida
Leviathan
Two Days, One Night
Wild Tales

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Citizenfour
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Last Days in Vietnam
Life Itself
The Overnighters

BEST SONG
“Big Eyes” – Lana Del Rey – Big Eyes
“Everything Is Awesome” – Jo Li and the Lonely Island – The Lego Movie
“Glory” – Common/John Legend – Selma
“Lost Stars” – Keira Knightley – Begin Again
“Yellow Flicker Beat” – Lorde – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

BEST SCORE
Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game
Johann Johannsson – The Theory of Everything
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Gone Girl
Antonio Sanchez – Birdman
Hans Zimmer – Interstellar