Oscar voting for nominees ends on Thursday January 8th at 5pm Pacific Time. I know, you’re still sifting through your stack of DVDs, thinking about it, getting ready to push the final button.
My ten Best Picture nominees, if that helps: Boyhood, Selma, Imitation Game, Foxcatcher, American Sniper, Into the Woods, Birdman, Whiplash, Budapest Hotel, Unbroken.
Best Actor— this is tough, tough, tough because Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne are in. David Oyelowo has to be third. Then what? I go for Bradley Cooper and Steve Carell. This locks out Michael Keaton from my list. He’s my sixth. So be it.
Best Actress— Still Alice- Julianne Moore, it’s her year. Marion Cotillard for Three Days, and Two Nights. I also say Emily Blunt for Into the Woods. Felicity Jones for Theory. I also put Patricia Arquette in here. But since she will win Supporting, you can choose between Rosamund Pike and Jennifer Aniston. I am a huge fan of Gugu Mbatha Raw from “Belle.”
Best Supporting Actor— JK Simmons for Whiplash, Ethan Hawke for Boyhood, Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, James Corden in Into the Woods, Edward Norton for Birdman. Again, very tough.
Best Supporting Actress— Arquette wins for Boyhood. She has to. Keira Knightley for Imitation Game. Carmen Ejogo is so good as Coretta Scott King in “Selma.” Meryl Streep for Into the Woods, Laura Dern in Wild.
Best Director— Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher; Morten Tyldum, Imitation Game; Richard Linklater, Boyhood; Alejandro Innaritu, Birdman; Ava Duvernay, Selma.
My heartbreaks— wanted more for Bill Murray and St. Vincent. I want a lot for Foxcatcher, a great film that suffered from timing. Ditto American Sniper.
Also, attention screenwriters: this year Sniper, Selma, Imitation Game each lacked showy Supporting male characters. That was a real disappointment. Luke Grimes (Sniper) , Matthew Goode and Charles Dance (Imitation Game), and Henry Sanders (Cager Lee in Selma) and Wendell Pierce (Rev Hosea Williams in Selma) were soooo close.
Special mention to Jessica Chastain, who did everything right in three or four movies, but the movies didn’t have the heft. And special mention to Sienna Miller, who was great in both Foxcatcher and American Sniper.