Monday, January 19, 2015

Dave's 2014 Movie Awards

It's a little later than usual, but my yearly movie watching is all about done. The only notable titles I'm yet to see are J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year and Mike Leigh's Mr. Turner. So just as I did for 2013, here are my own personal Oscar-like picks for the major categories. And here they are, my "best of" selections for 2014.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Honorable Mention: Guardians of the GalaxyThe Imitation Game and Kill the Messenger

#5. Wild

#4. American Sniper

#3. The Fault in Our Stars

#2. Whiplash

And the winner is ...

#1. Gillian Flynn - Gone Girl

Although I haven't read Flynn's best-selling book, all her twists and turns are beautifully translated to the big screen in one of the year's best thrillers. Her omission from the Oscars was an absolute snub.

Best Original Screenplay

Honorable Mention: Birdman. Interstellar and The Skeleton Twins

#5. Cheap Thrills

#4. Chef

#3. Nightcrawler

#2. Boyhood

And the winner is ...

#1. E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman - Foxcatcher

This pair of Oscar Nominated screenwriters develop a gripping story that escalates with such perfectly manufactured tension. Foxcatcher is unforgettable thanks largely in part to their script.

Best Supporting Actress

Honorable Mention: Camern Ejogo - Selma. Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game and Sienna Miller - American Sniper

#5. Laura Dern - Wild

#4. Carrie Coon - Gone Girl

#3. Patricia Arquette - Boyhood

#2. Rene Russo - Nightcrawler

And the winner is ...

#1. Emma Stone - Birdman

Emma Stone continues to prove she's a very gifted actress, maybe never better than she is in Alejandro Inarittu's Birdman. Her driving scene alongside Michael Keaton is the film's best and most honest onscreen moment ... just brilliant!

Best Supporting Actor

Honorable Mention: Ethan Hawke - BoyhoodMark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher and Zach Galifianakis - Birdman

#5. John Goodman - The Gambler

#4. Riz Ahmed - Nightcrawler

#3. Sam Rockwell - Laggies

#2. Edward Norton - Birdman

And the winner is ...

#1. J.K. Simmons - Whiplash

This is one category I expect the Oscars to get right. J.K. Simmons has always been an overlooked character actor, but he commands recognition with a rangy role in the Sundance winning, Whiplash.

Best Actress

Honorable Mention: Amy Adams - Big Eyes, Essie Davis - The Babadook and Kristen Wiig - The Skeleton Twins

#5. Julianne Moore - Still Alice

#4. Shailene Woodley - The Fault in Our Stars

#3. Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything

#2. Reese Witherspoon - Wild

And the winner is ...

Rosamund Pike exploded onto the scene with an unbelievable breakout performance in Gone Girl. She was electric, explosive and everything you wanted from the character of Amy Dunne. 

Best Actor

Honorable Mention: Bill Murray - St. Vincent, Jeremy Renner - Kill the Messenger and Miles Teller - Whiplash

#5. Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything

#4. Bradley Cooper - American Sniper

#3. Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler

#2. Michael Keaton - Birdman

And the winner is ...

#1. Steve Carell - Foxcatcher

In the year's best film, Steve Carell goes through a complete transformation to perfectly capture the manipulative wealthy tycoon, John E. du Pont. Foxcatcher's dark story is brought to life by Carell's eerily complex character.

Best Director

Honorable Mention: Clint Eastwood - American Sniper, Jon Favreau - Chef and Dan Gilroy - Nightcrawler

#5. Alejandro G. Inarittu - Birdman

#4. David Fincher - Gone Girl

#3. Christopher Nolan - Interstellar

#2. Bennett Miller - Foxcatcher

And the winner is ...

#1. Richard Linklater - Boyhood

Here's another race I suspect the Academy will get right. Linklater's groundbreaking cinematic achievement can't be overstated. Boyhood draws the audience into its story and connects with a character that grows up before our eyes, it's such a unique experience from a genius filmmaker.

Best Picture

Honorable Mention: Cheap Thrills, Interstellar and St. Vincent

#5. Chef

#4. Nightcrawler

#3. Gone Girl

#2. Boyhood

And the winner is ...

#1. Foxcatcher

I've spent the last three months putting my entire support behind Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher. I was infuriated by the perplexing Oscar results that found the film recognized in two acting categories, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, yet it missed out on a Best Picture nomination. Foxcatcher is a magnificent piece or filmmaking that masters the art of subtle storytelling and boasts elevated performances from Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and the equally impressive Channing Tatum.

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