Academy Awards, Alejandro González Inárritu, Avatar, Best Animated Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Leading Actor, Best Make-Up, Birdman, Brave, Christopher Nolan, Cinema, Cinema article, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, Eddie Redmayne, Film, Film Article, Golden Globes, Gravity, How To Train Your Dragon 2, Interstellar, Jake Gyllenhaal, Life Of Pi, Michael Keaton, Movie article, Movies, Nightcrawler, Oscar snubs, Oscars, Stephen Hawking, The Lego Movie, The Theory Of Everything, Wreck-It Ralph
On Thursday 15th January 2015, the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards were announced. Many of the nominees were expected in various categories, some were pleasant surprises and some were shocks. That is the purpose of this article as there were a few contenders in categories that were overlooked for a nomination. So, here is a shortlist of the 5 biggest snubs:
- Best Animated Picture: The Lego Movie
Not in a long time have I been more shocked that a film has been snubbed in a category. The Lego Movie was a hit upon its release in February 2014 and its critical response indicated that it could be potentially the frontrunner for the Academy Award for Best Animated Picture. The film has also won other awards in the category, except the Golden Globe, in which How To Train Your Dragon 2 was triumphant. In this sense, that film has perhaps replaced The Lego Movie as the Best Animated Picture frontrunner. The film being awarded in this category would have initiated a sense of flexibility and originality in the Academy’s decision-making but instead, they maintain rather narrow-minded in the category and provide films with the award that possess same recycled standards within plot, characters and fandom. Brave winning Best Animated Picture ahead of Wreck-It Ralph is a prime example. A film that has recycled and no originality at all (Brave) being the “best” above the highly original and more creative Wreck-It Ralph? No. Nevertheless, without disputing How To Train Your Dragon 2 which, by the way, is a fantastic sequel to its predecessor, it seemed such a surprise that The Lego Movie was snubbed and Best Animated Picture at the Academy Awards is slowly heading downhill.
- Best Cinematography: Interstellar
On a visual level, the Academy snubbing Interstellar for Best Cinematography was a big surprise. Being arguably the most beautifully shot film of 2014, Interstellar utilises beautiful space shots through its arrays of colour and lighting to project a breath-taking scope of the universe beyond our world. In fact, I would compare the cinematography to Avatar, Life Of Pi and Gravity as many of the visuals and its use of colour symbolically represent a sense of spectacle and art. Similarly, the impressive shots of Earth farmlands were significant in portraying the planet as a broken atmosphere that needs reforming. So, although Interstellar will likely win Best Visual Effects (though I think it should be Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), it seemed a surprise that it missed out on a Best Cinematography nomination.
- Best Actor: Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler
Nightcrawler was met with unanimous critical acclaim upon its release. It perhaps follows in the footsteps of Drive back in 2011, another dark thriller that enhances artistic values, originality and dark performances. Jake Gyllenhaal, who still remains an underrated actor despite starring in successful films, has arguably delivered the role of his career thus far in Nightcrawler. However, the status for him to receive a Best Leading Actor nomination was difficult as the category is perhaps the most competitive this year. We had the locked nominees (Keaton, Redmayne and Cumberbatch) and others that were contenders but were mainly ones chosen to fill in the slots. Gyllenhaal was one of them along with Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper (who were both nominated in the end), David Oyelowo and Ralph Fiennes. Gyllenhaal has been snubbed for Best Leading Actor like Ryan Gosling was for Drive and Gyllenhaal’s roles in films should hopefully pay off, according to the Academy, and he’ll become an Oscar winning actor.
- Best Make-Up: The Theory Of Everything
This is another which surprised me. The make-up in The Theory Of Everything was impressive in not only Eddie Redmayne’s general transformation into Stephen Hawking as a young man but how the disease progressively gets worse with age. Redmayne perfectly blended into the role of Hawking, both physically and emotionally, and how the Academy overlooked The Theory Of Everything for Best Make-Up, I don’t fully understand. In fact, I can’t work out why the category has just three contenders when every other has at least five. There should be more contenders as make-up quality is more visual and noticeable than, say, editing which is more an invisible art. Still, the make-up in each of the three nominated films were all impressive but The Theory Of Everything was unfortunate to miss out on it, especially as the make-up and hairstyles were crucial in transforming actor into character.
- Best Film Editing: Birdman
Alejandro González Inárritu’s Birdman has perhaps the most impressive camerawork in any film of 2014. The film’s extensive takes and confined camerawork is crucial to its quality of directing, acting and writing. In some ways, the entire film appeared to have been shot in one long take, but it wasn’t. It is that art of editing between scenes that enhanced that art. It’s also vital to adding further audience involvement and justifies the idea of film editing as an invisible art. No, the film doesn’t entirely consist of constant cuts between shots but as I said, the use of edging between scenes through editing that is still unnoticable is something extraordinary and something that the Academy should have acknowledged.