I’ll run through the rest of my Oscar picks in the larger categories.
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
If I think that Boyhood is the best picture of the year, then I think I have to go with its pair of supporting nominees. Patricia Arquette was great. I’d be OK if Keira Knightley won; Emma Stone was not very good in Birdman and I can’t get past Meryl Streep’s hair in Into the Wild. Laura Dern in Wild? No idea, but I assume Reese Witherspoon is the only contender for an award from that movie (and I already decided she wasn’t going to get it).
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Didn’t see it, but I can read, and all signs are Simmons wins. I liked Ethan Hawk in Boyhood, and I thought Edward Norton was easily the best thing about Birdman. The movie crackled when he was in the frame, and really missed him when he wasn’t—which, unfortunately, included the last third of the film.
Animated Feature Film
How to Train a Dragon 2
No idea why, except some friends saw and liked it.
I saw it this weekend and have to say, technically, it’s not very good (is it this hard to keep Edward Snowden in focus?)—but it’s a world-changing, important story, and director Laura Poitras was right there.
People were really taken by the contrived nature of this shoot; I wasn’t, but I’m not going to argue it. I think it wins. Not sure why I’m not giving this to Interstellar, except I didn’t see it.
Grand Budapest Hotel
It’s gotta win for something and, after a second viewing, I have to say the costumes and look were absolutely perfect, and it was expertly paced. I think it was the best-executed Wes Anderson movie yet, though I liked the story behind Moonrise Kingdom more.
Nice and tightly put together, it deserves a win for something, and I’m not sure Bradley Cooper is going to get that win (though I’m pulling for him).