Where to begin? All of the surprises, the snubs, the stars, the scripts, everything should speak for itself, yet it is tough to tell where to start. In all, I felt as if the films of 2014 were dealt a bad hand, because the films of 2014 were the Rolling Stones to the films of 2013, which would be James Brown; 2013 was a year in film that was a tough act to follow. Some movies came close, some not-so-much and now that the awards season for 2014 is over, I’m left with a few observations.
The good: Effort for starters; even though last year in film had a difficult task in trying to stand on the same level as the films of 2013, there was significant effort in last year’s movies. Some of 2014’s most acclaimed pictures got the recognition they deserved. New Academy Award winners such as J.K. Simmons, Patricia Arquette and Julianne Moore were locks to win their categories and they deserved their success. I’ll even throw in my congratulations to Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne, even though I was pulling for Michael Keaton to win Best Actor, Redmayne deserves his win for an astonishing portrayal of Prof. Steven Hawking. I was thrilled to see Whiplash recognized for it’s editing, Selma and Interstellar got at least one Oscar while a bland and overrated film like Foxcatcher went home with nothing; there is at least something to be happy about last night. My highlight of last night had to be when John Legend and Common performed “Glory” and received a standing ovation; I saw that as the industry realizing their need for diversity and recognizing what they failed to initially see in the first place.
The bad: I will not lie, it was bittersweet watching Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) take home Best Director and Best Picture. I feel that Boyhood didn’t get the recognition it deserved from the Academy, it was a true cinematic labor of love to behold and though Birdman was a visionary accomplishment from Alejandro González Iñárritu, and his team of screenwriters, if a movie takes 12 years to make and makes cinematic history in the process it should be justifiably recognized and I was disappointed that it wasn’t. Also, Big Hero 6 was the WTF moment of last night. Whether the LEGO Movie was nominated for Best Animated Feature or not, How to Train Your Dragon 2 was the best animated movie of last year in my eyes and yet the Academy honored, what I felt was Disney’s weakest animated venture in years. Also, the effect of the snubs could still be felt. Birdman should have been recognized for it’s editing (I know what people might say about the editing, but if you ask me, the best editing is the editing anyone can hardly recognize) as well as the score.When Alexandre Desplat took home the Oscar for Best Score, I couldn’t stop thinking about how that should have been Antonio Sanchez’s moment to shine.
I did not expect Lady Gaga to pull off that performance, Neil Patrick Harris did a nice job hosting and what happened, happened. Like the films of 2013, the 86th Academy Awards turned out to be a tough act to follow. The films of 2014 and the 87th Academy Awards gave a good effort, but failed to measure up.