Boy, that was a boring and weird ceremony though, huh? Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were dreadful – an empty shell compared to their hosting success last year. That writing was laughably bad and it even got a little racist – all in all, it was a super odd night. So the winners are in, so how does this affect the Oscar race?
Best Motion Picture, Drama
This has to be the frontrunner, right? All the critics awards and now the biggest precursor honor, Richard Linklater’s 12-year bet is about to pay off big time in February. It got rewarded where I thought they would (Picture, Director, Best Supporting Actress) and all signs point to Boyhood becoming 2014’s Best Picture winner. For the last couple of weeks the only film to pick up steam has been Selma, and I’m sure that’s due to the Oprah Winfrey media machine. The only thing Selma came away with was Best Original Song, so it looks like at least the press isn’t too impressed with the Winfrey-produced drama.
Best Motion Picture, Comedy/Musical
The Grand Budapest Hotel
My lone mistake when predicting the major Globes categories this year (I went 8 for 9 which isn’t too bad), I should’ve never doubted how Wes Anderson’s films appeal to the actor-hungry Hollywood Foreign Press. I think this also firms up a Best Picture nomination for Anderson’s kitschy film – beating Birdman in this category is no small feat, so expect it to fill in one of the 6-10 slots on Thursday. It has zero shot to upset Boyhood at this point, so I think the HFPA was just letting loose in this category.
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
When I first saw Boyhood earlier this year, I remarked that even if the movie doesn’t get nominated in any major categories, it will absolutely net Richard Linklater a Best Director nod. Jack Black had a great line about the film’s protracted 12-year production actually taking twelve weeks in total on yesterday’s Globes broadcast (“Pump the brakes on the freak out”), but that kind of gimmick and commitment gets rewarded. If that’s the case, then they should just rename the Best Director Oscar the Paul Almond and Michael Apted Award (boom – Up series reference for the win).
Best Actor, Drama
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Eddie Redmayne seems like a nice guy, and I think he’ll blossom into a great actor at some point, but this is not going to be his year. He did an admirable job bringing Stephen Hawking to the screen, but he unfortunately ran into Michael Keaton just kicking all the asses in Birdman. Also, I cannot stress the importance of having a great Golden Globes speech and winning an Oscar in February. The Globes doesn’t affect the nominations as those are due before the Globes ceremony, but it for sure affects the voting process, especially in the categories that people don’t care about. So if you have phenomenal speech – heartfelt, funny, or just weird – then your stock actually goes up. Redmayne’s speech was absolutely adequate and cordial, but bored me to death. Whatever chances he had were extinguished by our next winner’s acceptance speech.
Best Actor, Comedy/Musical
Michael Keaton, Birdman
I genuinely like Michael Keaton and I always have. He was Beetlejuice and Batman for crying out loud. He deserved to win for Birdman here and it seems like his first Oscar is within arm’s length. The speech he delivered was the perfect mixture of biography, humor, and sincerity – and he gave it as if he was accepting the ultimate prize, which is all good in the minds of Oscar voters. I’d love to see that replicated in February, and I think there is a strong chance now of that happening.
Best Actress, Drama
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Sometimes you just have to give an actor an award for a body of work, and it appears that this year our beneficiary of that line of thinking is going to be Julianne Moore. Don’t get me wrong – she’s good in Still Alice and deserves to be in the conversation, but by no means is she the best this year amongst actresses (she’s not even the best performance in that movie). But she’s done her time and many of the performances she’s put in over the years were deserving of at least one Oscar, but alas, it has alluded her. Still Alice is the perfect role for her to finally put a little golden guy on her mantle and we can go back to nominating her when she actually deserves it. I’m okay with the Academy Awards being a popularity contest sometimes, and 2014 is a down year for actresses, so go for it.
Best Actress, Comedy/Musical
Amy Adams, Big Eyes
I think Amy Adams suffers from the same problem Anne Hathaway suffers from: they both come off as incredibly phony, and last night’s acceptance speech hit me in that way. She’s a great actress, don’t get me wrong, but anytime I see her at these things, and win, she does the whole faux-surprised routine and she’s obviously full of it. Every analyst and expert out there was predicting this, yet here she is, dumbstruck by the honor. Hathaway did this during her run towards the Best Supporting Actress statue back in 2012, and it was annoying then. With that being said, I don’t think this will help Amy’s chances at nabbing an Oscar nomination because the Drama shortlist is much stronger.
Best Supporting Actor
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
The shakiness of the Best Supporting Actor category has always left me uneasy calling certain performances locks, but then you get the rare Christoph Waltz or, in this case, J.K. Simmons. There is no one in this category that can compete with Simmons, minus a small contingent of Edward Norton supporters that will surely propel him to finishing second in voting. I’m about to call this locked down…but not yet.
Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
There was a slim possibility going into Sunday night that the HFPA might do something strange and throw a wrench into this race by giving their award to an A-list celebrity like Emma Stone, but instead they bestowed it on veteran Patricia Arquette, who has been the frontrunner in this category for months. It seems likely that she’s going to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in February, which is just a weird thing to think about. Patricia Arquette, Oscar winner. She will become the fourth person from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors to be nominated for an Oscar (Frank Darabont, Laurence Fishburne, and Robert Shaye have at least one nomination) and if she wins, she’ll join Shaye as the only winners from that movie (He won for executive producing Lord of the Rings: Return of the King). Why do I point this out? Because Dream Warriors rules. That’s all.