Neil Patrick Harris wasn’t brilliant for most of his first evening hosting the Oscars®, but when he picked his spots he definitely sparkled – his few comments on the lack of diversity in the Academy’s selections (‘…celebrating Hollywood’s best and whitest, sorry, brightest;’ Oh, sure ! You like them now!’) may not have been many, but they were perfect – making the point and then moving on (from that first dig right into a stunning eight-minute song and dance number that dropped him into classic movie scenes).
After careful consideration – and with some trepidation – I’ve finally put together my final list of my favorite movies from 2014. It was the first time in a long while that I saw more than 200 movies and a lot of them were incredibly good (a lot were incredibly bad, or boring, but I’ve already dealt with those).
As usual, these are the films that got me laughing, crying, engaged in conversations and generally made my brain fizz in a good way. As usual, anyone who says it was a crap year for movies just wasn’t paying attention.
Also note that two movies – Selma and Boyhood (despite their importance in terms of history and/or unique concepts) did not make my favorites list – not because they were bad films. They were not. They were very, very good ones. They just didn’t connect with me as much as these twenty did.
Some Oscar® wrongs were at least partially (and in two cases, totally) righted at the 2015 Critics’ Choice Awards. Selma, for example, at least got more nominations; The LEGO Movie won Best Animated Feature, and Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) won for Score (while being not being considered at all for that award by Oscar®).
Birdman wound up with seven awards – including two for Michael Keaton (Best Actor in a Comedy and Best Actor); Boyhood got four (Best Director, Best Young Actor, Supporting Actress and Best Picture), and The Grand Budapest Hotel got three (Best Comedy, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design).
This year’s Louis XIII Genius Award went to Ron Howard; the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Kevin Costner and the very first MVP Award (for the most prodigious body of work over the last year) went to Jessica Chastain.
Host Michael Stahan (Live with Kelly and Michael) struggled a bit with his opening monologue, but got stronger as the night went on. The complete list of winners follow the jump.
Once again, the Oscar® nominations are unveiled and, once, again, there are some moments of controversy. This year, more than most, the concept of a Best Film nominee apparently directing itself will spark a ton of controversy – making the argument that the nominee list for directors should be expanded to match that of Best Film.
Also once again, a lot of the nominees are films that haven’t been seen by anyone outside the academy and residents of Los Angeles and New York City who felt inclined to see them over the holiday crush.
For now, though, here are the nominees and a few thoughts that wandered lonely across my mind as I encountered them for the first time.
2015 Golden Globes: The Morning After The Night Before!
No one network or film dominated the 2015 Golden Globes last night, but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler went out on top with a satisfying mix of soft, hard and curveball pitches – and yes, their Cosby jokes landed pretty hard. Somehow, they managed to sting as hard as Ricky Gervais – without using his scattergun approach. The result was that their digs landed well and generally caught the audience off guard.
But the Golden Globes is about the drinking the awards, so let’s take a look at them.
The 2015 BAFTA Nominations have been released and there’s nary a blockbuster to be found in the Best Film Category. The closest we get is Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel with just over $174 million at the global box office. Other best Best Film nominees include: Birdman, Boyhood, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything.
The Grand Budapest Hotel garner a total of eleven noms; The Theory of Everything grabbed ten nominations and Birdman and The Imitation Game got nine.
The National Society of Film Critics has named Jean-Luc Goddard’s 3-D film Goodbye To Language as the best film of 2014. Boyhood and Birdman were runners up.
The Society also named their selections for Best Director (Richard Linklater, Boyhood), Best Non-Fiction Film (citizenfour), Best Screenplay (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Best Cinematography (Dick Pope, Mr. Turner), Best Actor (Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner), Best Actress (Marion Cotilliard, Two Days, One Night), Best Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons, whiplash) and Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette, Boyhood).
The National Society of Film Critics also lists runners up for all awards. For a complete list, follow the jump.