Academy Awards 2015

So as you might know the Academy Awards (aka The Oscars) were held last night in Hollywood and it was quite a show once again.

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I have tried to watch as many movies as I could before this event and just as last year, I’m going to compare my favorites to the people/ movies who actually won. I won’t be discussing every category as I’m not that much of a film connoisseur, and because I simply (and sadly) haven’t seen enough movies. I’ll just go over those categories in which I have an opinion about who should have won.

Best Picture

Who won: Birdman
My favorite: The Imitation Game

This was the most difficult one for me as the nominees were all so different in genre and I loved many of the movies. But as I enjoyed ‘The Imitation Game’ best, that one got my vote. It had the best plot and I simply adored that one most. So to say I’m disappointed that my least favorite one of the nominees won, would be an understatement. Of course, Birdman wasn’t a bad movie. It was a strong one performance-wize, but to me it wasn’t the best movie of them all. I guess I must have misunderstood certain things in this movie considering it did win many Oscars.

Best Actor

Who won: Eddie Redmayne
My favorite: 
Eddie Redmayne

To me, Eddie totally deserves this Oscar. His portrait of Stephan Hawking was spot on. Of course the other performances were great as well (even the performance of Miles Teller which should have been nominated as well!) but to me there was no doubt about Eddie being the best. So yup, happy about Eddie being able to take that little statue home.

Best Actress

Who won: Julianne Moore
My favorite: 
Julianne Moore

Although I haven’t seen ‘Still Alice’ yet, I still wanted Julianne to win so I’m dilirous to see that she won. I’ve seen many clips and trailers and she just blew me away in those little bits. I can’t wait to see the actual movie. I guess I’ll keep my kleenex within reach. Oh, and how adorable was she accepting the award? Such a sweet woman!

Best Supporting Actor

Who won: J.K Simmons
My favorite: J.K Simmons

I had hardly seen any of the movies for which the actors in this category were nominated, but as I was completely blown away by J.K. Simmons performance in Whiplash I just needed him to win this award.

Best Supporting Actress

Who won: Patricia Arquette
My favorite: 
Emma Stone

I’m just biased. I’ve always loved Emma Stone and I especially liked her rebel character in this movie which is why my vote goes to her. So yeah, I’m sad she didn’t win, but on the other hand Patricia deserved it as well.

Best Cinematography 

Who won: Birdman
My favorite: 
The Grand Budapest Hotel

This category winner upsets me most. To me, The Grand Budapest Hotel had the best cinematography by far. I get it, Birdman was a single-shot and that’s pretty hard to do, but I never liked those. So yeah, I definitely don’t agree with the academy on this one.

Best Original Score

Who won: The Grand Budapest Hotel
My favorite: 
The Theory of Everything

“The Theory of Everything’ has such a beautiful score. Why oh why didn’t it win? But on the other hand, The Grand Budapest Hotel would have probably been my second choice so it’s okay as well.

Film Editing

Who won: Whiplash
My favorite: Whiplash

There was no doubt for me about this one. Whiplash had the best editing and the last few minutes of this movie was just perfect. I’ve heard many people saying they wanted Boyhood to win this awards because it can’t be easy to edit 12 years of material into a two hour (or something) movie, but to me Whiplash deserved this win.

So that was it. A few disappointments for me, but many of my favorites won, so overall I’m happy with the outcome. Can’t wait to watch Still Alice – which I will finally see March 13th – and a few of the other Oscar-winning and nominated movies.

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

 

Whiplash

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What is this movie about?

A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential.

Director: Damien Ghazelle
Cast: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons
Genre: Drama, Music
Duration: 107 min

My rating? 4/5

What I thought of it?

Yes, yes yes! I have managed to squeeze in another Oscar movie! I hadn’t really heard much of this one yet, but from the remaining movies, this trailer’s movie spoke to me most.

While the plot at first seems quite uninteresting (I wasn’t very impressed after I had just read the summary), it turned out to be such a great story of a really ambitious guy and his brutal teacher. At certain points, it really made me want to pursue something – anything – and go for it.

There are so many powerful scenes in this movie, mostly when Nieman was just playing the drums and losing himself into the moment. But Fletcher’s outburst were pretty damn amazing as well. Plus, I can’t recall the last time I’ve heard that many swear words in so little time.

The performances of Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons were simply fan-tas-tic. The raw emotion that they showed was just giving me goose-bumps. They’re perfect in their roles and bring so much more to characters that might have been mediocre if it wasn’t for their performance. I really am amazed. They even made me love jazz music for a moment.

And the final cut; su-blime!

This movie will definitely stay with me for a few more days, at least.

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

The Grand Budapest Hotel

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What is this movie about?

The adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous hotel from the fictional Republic of Zubrowka between the first and second World Wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend.

Director: Wes Anderson
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori
Genre: Adventure, Comedy
Duration: 100 min

My rating? 3,5/5

What I thought of it?

Sadly, this will probably be the last Oscar nominated movie I’ll be able to see before the actual Oscars are held on the 22nd, althought I really want to try and squeeze in ‘Whiplash’ and ‘Selma’. But that’s for later. Back to ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ now.

When I first saw the trailer of this movie, I was immediateley amused by the entire thing. It seemed like a really amuzing, colorful and exciting movie. And it was. ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ is so different from all the other Oscar nominated movies. It’s a bit absurd but at the same time brilliant. I really enjoyed it.

The story itself is not all that spectacular, but it’s the way it’s being shown and told that makes this a really great movie. At certain points it reminded me of those old silent movies. The whole look and feel is just so amazingly executed. And the décor of the hotel; so beautiful!

As for the actors; they also did a great job, but I didn’t see anything that blew my mind. But what I did love where the witty one-lines and the sometimes dark humor.

It might not be my favorite story between the Oscar movies, but it’s definitely my favorite when it comes to the visuals.

Definite must see this season.

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

The Imitation Game

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What is this movie about?

During World War II, mathematician Alan Turing tries to crack the enigma code with help from fellow mathematicians.

Director: Morten Tyldum
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode
Genre: Biography
Duration: 114 min

My rating? 5/5

What I thought of it?

Guess what? Yes, another Oscar nominated movie! And damn, such a brilliant movie!

When I read the summary of this one, I was immediately sold. First of all, I love biographies, and secondly, World War II is a topic that has always interested me. I had heard of the enigma before but I didn’t really knew the specifics of it so this movie was a perfect way to learn more about it and about the life of Alan Turing.

The story was build up really nicely and it managed to keep my attention throughout the entire thing. I don’t think I’ve pressed ‘pauze’ one single time, which is a big thing for me. Of course, I knew the general outcome, but still, you’re so much in the moment with all of those people looking to solve the enigma.

The entire thing was just so on point. The acting, the music, the details; I loved it. I think of all the Oscar movies I’ve seen so far this is probably my favorite. There is nothing I can say about this movie that I didn’t like. So you should all go see it right now, especially if you don’t know about the enigma because it a really great way to get an understanding about certain aspects of World War II.

Until next time,

With love, Ellen

Boyhood

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What is this movie about?

The life of a young man, Mason, from age 5 to age 18.

Director: Richard Linklater
Cast: Ellar Coltraine, Patricia Arquette, Lorelei Linklater,…
Genre: Drama
Duration: 165 min

My rating? 4/5

What I thought of it?

Yes, I’m finally getting through most of the Oscar nominated movies. With only one week left before the Oscars, it was about time, don’t ya think?

But I’m sure that even if this one hadn’t been nominated, I would have picked it up one day or another anyway. Not because the plot is exactly unique (there are probably more movies out there who follow someone growing up) but because it has been filmed over twelve years with the same actors, which seems quite unique to me. You actually see the different characters growing up and changing throughout the years, which is sort of crazy to witness.

The story itself isn’t really all that impressive, but it’s a really good representation of growing up and the struggles one encounters at certain ages. I think nearly everyone will be able to recognize him- or herself in it at a certain point. I also enjoyed the whole picture of it, with the struggles Masen’s mom had to go through in her marriages and her life in general. It may be a long movie but it never really bores. I was afraid that it would drag a bit, but it’s like you’re always one step ahead and wondering what will happen to Masen and the people surrounding him in the next slot of his life.

The acting is also really amazing, and I mostly loved Patricia in this one. She was really convincing and certain scenes neary brought me to tears. And of course, Ellar was also really amazing, even in the early years.

And the soundtrack; wow. It really supported the movie and I just loved the songs they’ve used. I think I might even be in love with “Hero” by Family of the Year. Such a touching and brilliant song.

So yeah, this is definitely one of my favorite movies this season and I really hope it’ll get the recognition it deserves at the Oscars.

Until next time,

With love, Ellen