Sunday, February 22, 2015

Dreek's Oscar Picks 2015

Welcome me back.

If you're friends with me on Facebook, you know I've been to the theater a lot lately.

All to help you get informed for the Oscar's this weekend (I've also come to the realization that I'd like to be a movie critic one day. Maybe for a website or a newspaper. When I apply for such positioning, I'll direct my potential employer to this blog).

I believe I get my movie bug from my grandfather. When I was a young'n, he'd take me to the movies and for some reason, I remember seeing "Fallen" with Denzel and John Goodman and "True Crime" with Arnold Schwarzenegger (thank God for spell check) & Jamie Lee Curtis  My father, is also a movie aficionado but he's more of the bootleg variety and you just cant really get a good movie experience when there is coughing, popcorn munching, and shadowboxing in the background of a movie


When I traveled with my previous job, instead of going to clubs and hooters (EVERY weekend), I typically would go the closest cinema to Womelsdorf, PA and check out a flick. Its sort of like an escape for me for a couple of hours.

Now, I have an eye to spot horrible actors that are wrapped up in a great script or a great actor illuminating in a horrible script, for example :

Nicholas Cage has been in some pretty epic movies from Speed to The Rock, but that man can't act worth a lick. It pays to be Francis Ford Coppola's nephew!

On the flipside, The Tree of Life is the worst movie that I've ever seen, but Brad Pitt was phenomenal in his 3 or 4 scenes .

These following Academy Award picks are mine and mine alone. My picks are usually not in line with the Academy's but they were pretty spot on last year.

Im not saying to NOT check out the other movies or actors / actresses, but if you disagree then your taste may be more inferior than mine (j/k...but seriously), and we can debate until our heart's content.

Let the picking begin...

Best Original Screenplay

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) written by Alejandro G Inarritu and a few other writers

Boyhood written by Richard Linklater

Foxcatcher written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman

The Grand Budapest Hotel written by Wes Anderson

Nightcrawler written by Dan Gilroy

Dreek's Analysis :

Now if you don't know what this category is, let me describe this and the adapted screenplay categories. Original screenplays come out of nowhere. A writer just dreamed up a story and wrote a movie about said dream. An adapted screenplay can come from a book or a short story in a Reader's Digest, or a play, etc. Basically, the story is not the screenwriter's original idea. Now let's take a pop quiz :

True or False : The Ten Commandments is an original screenplay

You got it?

The answer is False!

The Ten Commandments is based off of The Bible silly!

Aight, All of these movies were good. Birdman was definitely different.
Boyhood is a little overrated. Yeah, filming a movie over 13 years (or however many years) is a cool concept, but that doesn't make the story that intriguing. At least to me it wasn't. They may just win the Oscar because of their dedication to the film, and I wouldn't be too upset about it.

Side note : If you liked Boyhood, check out Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. Another project involving Ethan Hawke where they follow the same 2 characters every 9 years. Its pretty cool too.

Foxcatcher and Nightcrawler were cool but too dark and just lacked something, even though I loved Nightcrawler, I don't see these two winning best original screenplay.

Im giving it to Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel. It kept me intrigued from beginning to end and was very entertaining. The characters were well developed Had a little bit of everything for everybody.

Best Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper written by Jason Hall

The Imitation Game written by Graham Moore

Inherent Vice written by Paul Thomas Anderson

The Theory of Everything written by Anthony McCarten

Whiplash written by Damien Chazelle

Dreek's Analysis :

I have NOT seen Inherent Vice (which surprises me). I have not read any of the books from which these screenplays were adapted so I can't speak in that regards but the most entertaining of these movies TO ME was The Imitation Game and that's my pick. Graham Moore took a topic that was so complicated to my non-scientific mind and made it where I didn't really miss a beat, and that says a lot about his screenwriting skills.

Documentary Feature


Finding Vivian Maier

Last Days in Vietnam

The Salt of the Earth


Dreek's Analysis :

I have NOT seen The Salt of the Earth. I saw the trailer and it looked like Sean Penn portrayed this photographer in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. This one is a toss up for me. Virunga was intriguing and kept me on the edge of my seat, and really makes you look at things in a different perspective. CitizenFour took a lot of guts to make. Basically ousting the NSA will keep Laura Poitras on the run for a while. With Netflix backing Virunga, I give the nod to it, seeing that they may have lined a few pockets.

Best Director 

Alejandro G Inarritu for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Richard Linklater for Boyhood

Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

Dreek's Analysis :

This one isn't really up for debate. This trophy is going to Alejandro. Birdman was a brilliant piece of directing. Its definitely not my favorite movie in this category, but you have to separate your likes and the technicality of directing. The movie was filmed as one continuous shot, which has to be difficult and for that, Inarritu will win his 1st Oscar. I could see Wes Anderson upsetting Alejandro, but nahhhhhhh!


Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Robert Yeoman for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Lukasz Zai and Ryszard Lencxewski (Thank God for Copy & Paste) for Ida

Dick Pope for Mr. Turner

Roger Deakins for Unbroken

Dreek's Analysis :

Im going to be honest, I only saw 2 movies in this category, so Im going to leave this one to the academy. Between Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel, I'd give it to the latter. My girl TC, said that Unrboken was a great movie, but I haven't got around to seeing it, since it wasn't nominated for Best Film and none of the actors were nominated. Big ups to Angelina Jolie though!

Actress in a Supporting Role

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

Laura Dern in Wild

Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game

Emma Stone in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Meryl Street in Into the Woods

Dreek's Analysis :

This has to be the worst category in this year's Oscars.

I have no earthly idea on why Patricia Arquette has won so many awards for her role in Boyhood. Only one good scene comes to mind in the whole movie, and that wasn't even that great. I'd be upset if she won!

On the other hand, Emma Stone made Patricia Arquette look like the greatest actress on Earth with her performance in Birdman. I couldnt believe she was even nominated!! Her nomination should have went to Carmen Ejogo for her portrayal of Coretta Scott King in Selma!!

Im giving my pick to Keira Knightly in The Imitation Game. She was consistently good throughout the entire film.

Im not bringing myself to watch Into the Woods, so my pick isn't all the way accurate but I haven't heard much buzz about Meryl Streep's performance (besides the nomination) and she's won so much, I doubt the Academy would give her a trophy for a Disney movie (no offense).

Actor in a Supporting Role

Robert Duvall in The Judge

Ethan Hawke in Boyhood

Edward Norton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash 

Dreek's Analysis :

Edward Norton is unlucky. He would've won the Oscar for his performance in Birdman, BUT J.K. Simmons will win by a landslide. No Question. No Debate.

A side note about Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher. I felt that Channing Tatum should have been nominated and not Mark Ruffalo (as surprising as that sounds). Im taking Ruffalo's nomination away and giving it to Channing.

Robert Duvall is just playing the old guy in all of his movies lately. He should have won an Oscar for The Godfather (the best movie of all time), so maybe they will give him an Oscar for Supporting Role to make up for it (he already has a Best Actor Oscar for Tender Mercies)

Acress in a Leading Role

Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon in Wild

Dreek's Analysis :

I really wanted to see Two Days, One Night. I had plans to see it, but my kitchen sink was calling me. Out of the other four, I'd really have to give it to Julianne Moore in Still Alice. Playing an Alzheimer's patient seems a little more difficult to me than playing a handicap person (we'll get to that later). You really feel for her character and thats why I think she'll nab this category. Reese did a pretty good job as well. Roesamund Pike is just GONE girl!

Actor in a Leading Role

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper in American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Dreek's Analysis :

Im going to go ahead and strike out Steve Carell. It wasn't a bad performance, but he has too much competition this year.

God forbid that Michael Keaton wins this category. I just didn't see it! It was a decent role, but he got out-acted in every scene he performed with Edward Norton and I can't give my pick for that!

Now this Eddie Redmayne guy did a pretty good job as Stephen Hawking. I think being cruel in middle school when I first heard about him, I think I pulled off a pretty good impression myself. I don't like the Academy handing out awards just because you play someone who's handicapped.

Bradley Cooper (or as we call him in the hood, B Coop) was good as well, but I have to give my pick to Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game. To play a genius homosexual smart aleck was pretty impressive to me.

Anybody but Keaton, please!!

Best Picture 

American Sniper

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)


The Imitation Game


The Theory of Everything

The Grand Budapest Hotel


Dreek's Analysis :

Now its time for the kit and kaboodle. All of these movies were pretty great. I think Boyhood was overrated but I appreciate the experiment. I consider Birdman an experiment too, but it was a little more entertaining. The Theory of Everything was just TOO boring to me. I figured it would have been similar to The Imitation Game but it was nowhere close. The Grand Budapest Hotel was entertaining with great acting all around. Selma was a great surprise. Ava DuVernay did an excellent job, besides when Oprah fell (spoiler alert). Whiplash was probably my favorite out of all of these movies. A film about a jazz drummer sounded boring, but the one on one with JK Simmons and Miles Teller was genius. American Sniper was a good movie, but I think the actual character of Chris Kyle and his real life heroics made me like the film and not the actual movie itself. IT was good though!

Im giving my pick to the Imitation Game, even though Birdman will probably win because its so artsy! Artsy Fartsy is what I say! See yall next year. Same Oscars. Same Blog.

Signing Out,


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