I Saw Them All

I think this is the first year in a long time that I’d seen every single one of the nominees for best picture at the Academy awards.  I’ve already blogged about how I disturbed I was by American Sniper.  I certainly wasn’t rooting for it to win any awards and was glad when it only garnered one. 

I was disappointed though that Selma also won only a single  award. It tells such an important story about civil rights and the peaceful, perseverant, courageous women and men who sacrificed so much to win voting privileges for African Americans. The performance of Selma’s theme song Glory at the Oscars moved me to tears, just as the movie had.  I’ve also blogged about other things I appreciated about Selma. 

Seeing Patricia Arquette take home the Oscar for the role of the single mother in Boyhood was gratifying. Arquette interpreted her character so realistically and honestly, showing just how challenging parenting can be. Despite her faults and mistakes she loved her children desperately. Boyhood is the film I would have picked for best picture.

 I despised Oscar winner J.K. Simmons as the brutal, foul-mouthed teacher in Whiplash. His teaching philosophy ran contrary to everything I believe about education, but the fact that he repulsed me, probably means he did a good job of acting.

The Imitation Game was riveting and recorded a largely unknown but important part of World War II history. It also reminded viewers of how far we’ve come in regards to acceptance of the LGBT community. Its mantra has stayed with me. Sometimes it is the people who no one imagines anything of, who do the things that no one can imagine.

Eddie Redmayne deserved the best actor award for his performance as scientist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. Redmayne spent months studying Hawking’s life and did such a realistic job of his role that even Hawking acknowledged its authenticity.

Should Birdman have won four Academy Awards, including best picture? I found its characters far too self- absorbed but the film left me asking important questions which I wrote about in a previous post. 

The Grand Budapest Hotel was a beautiful film with an intriguing fairy tale like story but I wasn’t drawn to its characters the way I was in Boyhood, Selma, Imitation Game or The Theory of Everything.

Movies have become our society’s most popular story telling method. They deserve to be watched thoughtfully and critically. The 2015 Academy Award nominees prompted me to be both thoughtful and critical. In that sense they were winners whether I liked them or not.

Other posts about movies……

Winnipeg and Mennonites in Gone Girl

But He Wasn’t Unbroken

Love in a Lunchbox

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