Best Picture: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Whiplash
Will Win: Boyhood. Maybe I’m being overly optimistic that the Academy will choose this over the stale, one-note satire that is Birdman, but I have a feeling Boyhood’s marketing campaign (“It was 12 years in the making,” and “Nostalgia”) will be irresistible to voters. It also helps that the movie is pretty great too.
Should Win:Boyhood or Selma. The only winners that would make me visibly upset are Birdman and The Theory of Everything, though.
Left out: My personal favorite movie of last year, Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language, would never, ever be nominated for Best Picture. Neither would many of my other favorites, like Only Lovers Left Alive, Abuse of Weakness, Thou Wast Mild and Lovely or John Wick. However, many of my others could have reasonably been nominated here, including Inherent Vice, Gone Girl and The Immigrant.
Boyhood Directed by: Richard Linklater Written by: Richard Linklater Starring: Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater and Ethan Hawke
The last shot of Richard Linklater’s 1993 film Dazed and Confused is the open road from the point of view of a high school senior-to-be. He’s one of the dozens of characters weaving in and out of that sprawling recreation of a single Texas day in 1976, maybe even the closest the movie has to a main character. And like so many other characters in the movie, I remember things about him, and not his name (I had to look up that it was Randall).
I remember how he slings his arm around an incoming freshman and treats him like a little brother, and how that freshman’s wide eyes take everything in as he tries to figure out how to act cool around the big kids. Then there’s the moment where Randall “Pink” Floyd hangs out on a football field drunk and stoned with his friends, enveloped by the stars in the sky. His journey in the movie is deciding whether or not to embrace being labeled a slacker.