I think award shows are dumb. I am really sorry. I just think they’re pointless at best and incredibly insulting at worst. They last way too long, the hosts can sometimes be entertaining but, like the show, it just feels so artificial. These shows ruin a lot of the appeal of celebrities for me. Watching them in this environment make me realize just how much they’re all just, well, people. They’re kind of awkward, kind of cringe-inducing, kind of not funny and kind of petty. Actually, there’s a lot of that last part. I will put aside my bitterness over our obsession of celebrities (yes, I know that is slightly hypocritical) to say that I think “Boyhood” will win Best Picture. I don’t think it should since I think “The Imitation Game” should win””something about a gay mathematician being the lead of a movie (and of modern history) is exciting to me.
John Mendiola, A&E Writer
The Academy Awards are deeply-rooted in my sense of what is important. Every year, I participate in some sort of viewing party for them and get deeply and personally invested in the nominees. My favorite film this year has been Birdman. I hope that it essentially wins everything including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor in a Leading Role. It is one of the most well-made, moving pieces I have ever seen in my whole life. I’d also be down for Boyhood and Grand Budapest to snag some awards, but everything else can sorta fly away. (It’s a “Birdman” joke. Get it?)
Maddie Smith, A&E Writer
Awhile ago, my pop culture New Year’s Resolution was to become more literate in this year’s Oscar nominees. Well, unsurprisingly, I have utterly failed in this endeavor, but I do know enough to make some hazy commentary. First, I really, really want Wes Anderson to win Best Director for “Grand Budapest Hotel.” Anderson’s meticulous attention to detail is incredible, and his genius has yet to gain recognition. I also would like Benedict Cumberbatch to win Best Actor; I think his performance in “The Imitation Game” might be some of the best acting he’ll ever do. I have no sense of his competition, though. As for what I think will win? I’ll go with either “Boyhood” or “American Sniper” for Best Picture. The latter because I’ve read enough about it to make an educated guess, and the former because anything that makes Mason THIS indignant will probably win to spite him. Sorry, Mason.
Rachel Pauerstein, A&E Columnist
First, the objective prediction: J.K. Simmons and Julianne Moore are both shoo-ins. Both are long-time industry players, and both are essential components of small films that have made it into the Oscar spotlight (see page 19). Now, the subjective rantings and ravings: Like Maddie, I hope that “Birdman” take the big prize. The film, my favorite of last year, is an unforgettable paradox: it’s a flashy, dazzling mad-cap comedy that’s also a focused meditation on the human condition. “Boyhood,” on the other hand, was a meditation on how Apple computers looked different in 2003. If Rachel’s expert trolling wasn’t enough of an indication, I loathed the film, and I want it to lose almost as badly as I want “Birdman” to win. Other desires: a Supporting Actress honor for Meryl Streep, a Best Score Oscar for “Interstellar,” and something, please God, for Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” The man has made great films since I was crawling around in diapers. Attention must be paid.
Mason Walker, A&E Editor