3rd Annual Oscars According to Tyler
Don’t worry folks, I’m here again for another year of my very own Academy Awards. Now, I know you all were getting worried because the actual awards are THIS weekend and you may have thought I wasn’t going to have one this year. Well despite what you may have thought, I’m back again for a third time around. It seems like it was a weak year as far as the nominated movies go. There were some surprises and some obvious snubs. Let’s see who wins the award, according to me!
Here’s the first interesting one. A lot of people thought the only reason this got a nomination was simply because it has the word “American” in it and it’s about the military. I would have to agree this time around, because there was nothing about this movie that felt “worthy” of an Oscar. There was a specific scene involving slow motion that really felt like a low budget movie from the 90’s. Also the scene before his death was very cheesy. Another one of the controversies was around how Kyle was portrayed as a person. Apparently people thought the film made him seem too likeable, and that the real Kyle was nothing short of a jerk. I must disagree with this is critique. Kyle is portrayed multiple times as nothing short of someone who is selfish and even delusional. Overall, this film was not bad at all. It was a very interesting look into the life of a soldier who died from odd circumstances, and Bradley Cooper does a great job subtly moving that fake babies arm.
Wow. I wanted to say this film was exhausting, but that would make it sound bad. As a friend put it, it’s just relentless. It is filmed and edited as if the entire movie is one shot. Not once do you really get a break to let your mind rest, because the camera is always moving and going to another scene without a cut. Alejandro González Iñárritu was very ambitious with this project, and Michael Keaton pulls off an amazing performance. In fact, the whole cast delivers top-notch performances and works together very well. From start to finish, you never get bored and never lose interest. It may not have actually been one shot, but it still is an amazing technical achievement.
Speaking of technical achievements, Boyhood is really the best example. Richard Linklater brought us into the life of a family, specifically a young boy, and we were treated to a week of his life for the next 12 years. Yeah, the story isn’t really enticing or action packed. In fact, there really isn’t much of a story at all. That’s what the point is; this is someone’s life. Even though I didn’t go through a lot of the things the character Mason went through, on a certain level, you relate as a person. We get to see him grow up as well as his family. There really isn’t a whole lot to say about this film other than it is a beautiful piece of art that should be watched by everyone, especially if you think of yourself as a film watcher. Ethan Hawke really shines (as always) as Mason’s stepfather, and not once does any of the dialogue feel awkward or something an old man thinks kids talk about.
What a fantastic story. This is the Martin Luther King Jr. film we deserve, and David Oyelowo does a great job honoring the man in his role. You go from feeling moved to feeling disgusted throughout the runtime of the movie. It’s still hard for me to believe that not that long ago this is how things were. With that being said, there was nothing notable about the directing. Ava DuVernay doesn’t take many chances with the way she shot the film, and sometimes it’s simply shots of the characters talking back and forth. One of the interesting aspects of the film would be the FBI logs being how the story was told. People need to watch this film so they can be reminded of the past, so we don’t make the same mistakes in the future.
The Grand Budapest Hotel:
Wes Anderson really is a visionary. Come on, the man pretty much created his own format for making films. His style is so recognizable that people can parody it so well it’ll seem like something Anderson would really do (see the SNL spoof of the director). Whether you like his style or not, you would have to agree this is one of his better films. The story is great fun and highlights the best of Anderson’s style, as well as highlighting the performances of Ralph Fiennes and Tony Revolori. His style of directing and writing is combined perfectly in this outing, and it shows in every frame.
The Imitation Game:
Again with another amazing true story this year. Alan Turing was a major reason we won World War 2 and also came up with theories we still use today and that were used in creating the first computer. It’s insane that he never received the credit he deserved, due to the secrecy of the project by the British military. Of course they had to hide this from the Germans in case they went to war again, so that part is somewhat understandable. The worst part of it all is that he was put on trial for being a homosexual and was forced to take medication, which eventually drove him to kill himself. It’s a fantastic story about an unbelievable man, and Benedict Cumberbatch pulls all the shots out for this performance. I’ve never been so moved and amazed by an actor’s performance in quite some time, but Cumberbatch delivered.
The Theory of Everything:
Just like American Sniper, this movie wasn’t bad. However, I don’t see why it was nominated for best picture. There was nothing about it that really stood out to me. The performances were good, the story was fine, and the directing was okay. It was overall a well-crafted film, just nothing outstanding. As far as the story of Stephen Hawking goes, it’s a crazy one. Doing what he can to try and overcome the disease he was plagued with and still bring forth amazing scientific discoveries throughout his life is astounding. However, the package all together doesn’t make for a very intriguing 123 minutes.
I think it might be a requirement by the Academy to nominate one independent film a year. Yeah, Boyhood was independent, but it had a lot of buzz behind it. This is a film from writer/director Damien Chazelle who can apparently only write about musicians when he writes something by himself. Based off a short film that was most likely better because it didn’t have Miles Teller in it, this film is about two hours of drumming mixed with J.K. Simmons yelling and Miles Teller crying/complaining. The direction of the film was very well executed, and the performance from J.K. Simmons was hilarious. I just don’t see why people are raving about it so much and thinking he deserves the best actor award. It’s J.K. Simmons yelling and being a total deceiving jerk. Sound familiar? Yeah that’s right, it’s pretty much a more vulgar reprisal of J. Jonah Jameson from the Raimi Spider-Man films. Don’t get me wrong, Simmons was great, and he really knows how to be a self centered character yelling at everyone until he achieves his goal. I simply don’t see the hype behind this specific performance when we’ve already seen it done by him at least 3 other times (even if we try to forget that third movie all together).
And now for the moment of truth, who will win my pick for best picture? What film do I think deserves the honor of “best of the year” from the ones listed? To no surprise, my choice is….
As far as being an “outstanding achievement in filmmaking”, Boyhood is the only one that can fit the description to a tee. Spending twelve years to create a film following the same group of people was ambitious none the less and I can only imagine how many people laughed at Linklater while pitching it. To no surprise, like the “Before” trilogy, he was able to deliver on a concept beautifully. In my opinion, he deserves this award the most, as well as the producers who believed in him and gave him their time and money to bring forth this accomplishment in the history film.