Indianapolis’ cultural environment suffers a black eye when nominees like “Still Alice” and “Two Days, One Night” have not been released in our area by early February. How can we even pretend to be a cultural center and allow this to happen?
Regardless, let me again venture out on a limb and make my Academy Awards picks. Of course, I will likely be wrong, but never in my cinematic heart.
Though I strongly believe that “The Imitation Game” is the best picture of the year, the choice will likely come down to either “Birdman” or “Boyhood.” Alejandro Gozález Iñárritu’s “Birdman” is my pick.
I remain profoundly disappointed that Ava DuVernay failed to be recognized for her superlative effort in “Selma.” Though my personal choice remains Morten Tyldum for “The Imitation Game,” this is a likely three-horse race between Wes Anderson for “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Iñárritu for “Birdman” or Richard Linklater for “Boyhood.” However, Linklater’s classic film covering 12 years of a young actor’s life has to be both honored and recognized, and this is the spot.
Winner: Richard Linklater
This award is an easier pick, as I sense that Rosamund Pike and Reese Witherspoon can be excluded. Marion Cotillard (“Two Days, One Night”) will challenge, but she won before for “La Vie en Rose.” Felicity Jones is deserving for her fabulous role in “The Theory of Everything,” but I believe Julianne Moore will win for “Still Alice.” Though I admit I that I have yet to see it, her portrayal of a woman with the early onset of Alzheimer’s places her in an all but unbeatable position.
Winner: Julianne Moore
Again, this is an award that should go to Benedict Cumberbatch for his unforgettable performance in “The Imitation Game,” but it won’t. Like Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne was magnificent in “The Theory of Everything,” but I think this award will go to Michael Keaton for “Birdman.” After all, a character recognizing that he is on the downside of life’s bell curve deserves one more shot at the top.
Winner: Michael Keaton
Best Supporting Actress
Can’t we just give Meryl Streep a Lifetime Achievement Award so that others have a chance? She would be deserving here as the witch in “Into the Woods,” though Patricia Arquette remains the popular choice for her role as a multi-divorced mother in “Boyhood.” However, there was no performance to compare to Emma Stone for “Birdman.”
Winner: Emma Stone
Best Supporting Actor
This is one of the few certainties in this year’s contest, so let’s just recognize J.K. Simmons for his performance in “Whiplash” that will go down in history.
Winner: J.K. Simmons
It is appalling that “The LEGO Movie” didn’t get a nomination, but pick between “Big Hero 6” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” I loved both, but “Big Hero 6” came up the winner when I flipped a coin.
Winner: “Big Hero 6”
Foreign Language Film
Even though the other four films have yet to hit Indianapolis, I’m picking the one that I saw, “Ida” (Poland). It was marvelous, meaningful and depressing beyond description. Who else stands a chance?
It has to be “Birdman.” It was that inventive, and I think it stays on top.
This is likely the last chance for “The Imitation Game,” and Graham Moore is deserving. On the other hand, there was no better adapted script than Damien Chazelle for “Whiplash.”
Winner: Damien Chazelle
This award usually is a reflection of the Best Picture winner, but “Birdman” wasn’t nominated. Since I pick “Boyhood,” am I missing something?
Among the few films that I really loved this year was “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and this would be a perfect award to make sure it gets some recognition.
Winner: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
It has to come down to either “Interstellar” or “Into the Woods,” but this is where “Interstellar” hit all the right buttons.
“Citizenfour” is a knockout that continues to resonate throughout our country. Give it the Oscar.
It’s either “The Grand Budapest Hotel” or “Into the Woods,” as the costumes were fabulous in both. I think a well-dressed witch will win.
Winner: “Into the Woods”
Makeup and Hairstyling
One of the great movies of the year was “Guardians of the Galaxy,” and the makeup was extraordinary. It shouldn’t be denied.
Winner: “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Ironically, all five nominees have a legitimate chance, as all of them had the nerve to be profoundly entertaining. The only one that came up a bit short was “Interstellar,” yet this is the category where it staked its claim.
For all the wrong reasons, I’m going out on a big limb and go with “Whiplash.” The music along with the dialogue carried the entire film, and I think it should edge out both “Interstellar” and “Birdman.”
I really want Peter Jackson to win for “The Hobbit,” but my feeling is that “Interstellar” will mop up in these categories.
Hans Zimmer’s music defined this film.
I loved “Lost Stars” in the overlooked “Begin Again,” but I think this award has to go to “Glory” from “Selma.”
Animated Short Film
Who would have thought that the Disney studios had talent in this area? Only rivaled by “The Dam Keeper,” “Feast” may be the best six-minute film ever made. If you saw “Big Hero 6,” this was the lead-in film that already captured your attention.
Live Action Short Film
This should be a tie between “The Phone Call” (England) and “Boogaloo and Graham” (Northern Ireland). The first is as emotional as the second is hysterically funny, but with apologies I pick the one starring Sally Hawkins and Jim Broadbent.
Winner: “The Phone Call”•
Robert Hammerle practices criminal law in Indianapolis. When he is not in the courtroom or working diligently in his Pennsylvania Street office, Bob can likely be found at one of his favorite movie theaters watching and preparing to review the latest films. To read more of his reviews, visit www.bigmouthbobs.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.