Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Oscar forecast

LOVE IS STRANGE finally limped into town last week, the last of last year's big ones screened at the BFI's London Film Festival last October, and without any Oscar nominations to give it extra cachet. It is not even playing at my local multiplex, so if its still around next week I may have to catch it when uptown next, otherwise its wait for the dvd! The critics though regarded it as the perfect Valentine Day movie instead of that over-hyped FIFTY SHADES OF GREY ...
Timing it seems is everything in the Oscars race. Take 1950 - Bette Davis for ALL ABOUT EVE and Gloria Swanson in SUNSET BOULEVARD may either or both have won if they had appeared in different years, but clashed together thus paving the way for newcomer Judy Holliday to win. Apparently at the ceremony Swanson leaned over and said to Holliday: "For heavens sake, couldn't you have waited till next year?" - it being Gloria's final bid for Oscar glory. (Another point of view of course is that in 1950 both Bette and Gloria were seen as old timers and not as revered as they are now: Bette was all washed up having left Warners while Swanson was just a "silent star", and it seems Judy Garland was also seen as washed up and difficult as well in 1954 thus the vote went to the current golden girl Grace Kelly. THE COUNTRY GIRL may be largely forgotten now (I certainly don't like it), but the love for A STAR IS BORN just keeps on growing....).

Back to this year: THE IMITATION GAME boys must have thought they had it all sewn up. Posh boy Benedict as gay martyr Alan Turing (though we don't see him actually do anything like you know, gay...) who it seems single-handedly cracked the Enigma Code in a cracking period drama (Keira looks a picture in those 40s fashions) crammed with British talent. But then comes along an even posher boy (Benedict went to Harrow, Eddie is an Eton boy who was at school with Prince William) as the even more impressive Stephen Hawking, not only a genius but with that major disability card which Oscar so loves ..... so thats in the bag then. THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is a more feel-good picture too, and yes Redmayne is astonshing - the perfect mix of actor and role as he looks just right here. 

I am not enamoured with BOYHOOD, as per my review, but it too seems unstoppable now .... and Julianne Moore is certainly worthy and paid her dues, though her film is not opening here until March. Patricia Arquette is a worthy win too. We shall see ...


  1. I'm still not convinced that this year's Oscar for Best Picture will go to either BOYHOOD or BIRDMAN. The consensus of opinion now has shifted to BOYHOOD for Picture and BIRDMAN for direction but both these films are suitably 'off-the-wall' to alienate Academy voters, (as is THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL) so don't rule out (a) THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING or (b) THE IMITATION GAME just yet. If BOYHOOD or BIRDMAN do win, they will join that short list of Best Picture winners with very few other Oscars. I think the 4 acting prizes are in the bag (Redmayne, Moore, Simmons and Arquette), and there are bound to be the odd surprise here and there in the other categories (IDA not winning Best Foreign Language Film, for instance?). As usual, of course, the best pictures (MR TURNER, INHERENT VICE, A MOST VIOLENT YEAR) have been ignored.

  2. Enter LOVE IS STRANGE with lowered expectations and you'll enjoy it -- it was really over-hyped here and thus a bit of a disappointment. (Have you ever seen Leo McCary's MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW with Beulah Bondi and Victor Moore? Same premise, and just as farfetched and hard to buy into...)

    And I think you're right on the money as to Garland's A STAR IS BORN loss -- clearly the superior performance, but the voters were all wardrobe, hair, make-up, and tech people who'd been kept waiting once too often when Garland was ill, and Kelly's Oscar was their reprimand. (The same fate befell "shoe-in" Lauren Bacall when she was nominated for THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES -- a lot of inexcusable past treatment of her "inferiors" came back and bit her in the ass!)

  3. Hi Neely, I don't like MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW at all, as per my review, at my 1930s label. Its a hilariously dated view of what being old was like in the 1930s.

    Poor Lauren had to sit and lose to Binoche twice - at the London BAFTA awards and then at the Oscars! Boy, was she peeved ....