Best Picture and Director 2014

What was the Best Picture and Director of the year?

American Sniper
1
2%
Birdman
7
14%
Boyhood
10
20%
The Grand Budapest Hotel
7
14%
The Imitation Game
0
No votes
The Theory of Everything
0
No votes
Selma
0
No votes
Whiplash
0
No votes
Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel
6
12%
Alejandro Gonzalez-Inarritu for Birdman
9
18%
Richard Linklater for Boyhood
10
20%
Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher
0
No votes
Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 50

FilmFan720
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2014

Postby FilmFan720 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:17 pm

Finally able to vote here, although my vote has been obvious for the past 6 months: Boyhood is so far above everything else on this list, as a movie, as a piece of art and as an overall achievement, that it is the only way I considered voting for both awards. What Linklater created, beyond just the sheer audacity of the piece, is as moving, entertaining and relatable as any film I have seen in the past half decade.

In the also-rans, The Grand Budapest Hotel would run second for me in both categories. I have always been a fan of Wes Anderson, and here he managed to apply his own unique voice to something that felt bigger than just his imagination, and turned out a funny, smart and exciting picture. The only other film I would put on a Top 10 list here would be Selma, the smartest of the historical recreations of the year.

In the middle are a lot of films that were fine enough for what they are, but highly overrated by their partisans: Whiplash started excitedly but fell apart in the third act, The Imiation Game and The Theory of Everything were all too familiar to be successful, Foxcatcher was a tonal misfire that couldn't get as deep into its world as it wanted to and American Sniper was a confused action film that thought it could be more, but wasn't.

Then we are left with the winner, Birdman, or the Unexcpected Virtue of Ignorance. Like that ridiculous title, everything about this film is drawn out and over blown: the third-rate philosophical ramblings, the shallow characters, the ridiculous ending. This may be the first movie I've ever seen with a superiority complex, and that isn't a compliment. What so many intelligent people saw in this movie is beyond me.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2014

Postby Kellens101 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 8:27 pm

The Original BJ, what did you think of Mr. Turner and Under the Skin?

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2014

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:07 pm

Risking redundancy at this point, but to at least quickly go through the motions...

Most deserving alternate in my book would have been Nightcrawler. I also think Wild and Ida are strong efforts as well.

The Theory of Everything is an old-fashioned great man biography that felt virtually indistinguishable to me from countless other movies that have touched on similar topics over the years.

I'm not going to blame American Sniper for the xenophobic right wing response any more than I would blame Taxi Driver for what happened to Ronald Reagan. But at the same time, I just don't see the complex take on America's role in the Middle East that some of the movie's more liberal fans do (and as I unquestionably did with Zero Dark Thirty). A lot of Sniper just felt politically vague to me, and lacking an interesting enough point of view on Chris Kyle's actions for me.

I thought The Imitation Game was the better of the two Brit biopics, just because I thought the material was a bit fresher. But it was still pretty vanilla across the board, willing to embrace Turing as a hero because he was "weird" (as Graham Moore liked to put it) but not because of the identity that caused him to suffer so greatly at the hands of institutionalized oppression. And while Morten Tyldum's earlier work may be more imaginative (I don't know, I haven't seen it), the direction here felt utterly anonymous.

Whiplash had exciting elements, mainly the full-force Simmons performance, but also a really energetic sense of style. But I remain baffled by the sheer level of enthusiasm so many had for such a little thing, especially one where, for me at least, the story just didn't hang together as believable narrative in some spots.

I find Foxcatcher a mixed success overall, but Bennett Miller's direction was one of the high points for me, with a chilly, oppressive tone and precisely framed images that feel foreboding from the opening frames. I don't feel that, in the end, the movie built to anything deeply compelling, but I admired Miller's craft along the way a great deal and in fact, think it's his strongest work as a director to date.

The Grand Budapest Hotel was a delight, and it was really nice for Wes Anderson to have such an across-the-board Oscar success. He's obviously an extremely skilled visual stylist, with a singular sense of humor, and an attention to detail that's nearly unrivaled among his peers. The movie didn't change my opinion that I often feel outside of his films -- with the exception of The Royal Tenenbaums, the one movie of his that really moves me emotionally as much as I admire it aesthetically -- but even though Budapest doesn't resonate as deeply for me as it does for some, its nominations in these categories were certainly merited.

Selma is easily my favorite of the many true-life efforts on the ballot, and I found it a richly detailed, thoughtful historical piece about how a momentous political movement deeply affected (and was greatly affected by) individual personal lives. It wasn't anything hugely innovative though, in either content or form, and despite wishing the movie had scored more nominations (DuVernay especially), I found some of the outrage a bit overblown for a movie that was quite well done but not especially boundary-pushing.

My top two would be Birdman and Boyhood, and I've opted to split the ticket, going with Alejandro G. Iñárritu under Director, for his dazzling technical feat, guiding a whole ensemble of actors to such pitch-perfect performances, juggling the humorous and poignant tones, finding such visual imagination in the fantasy sequences, and for making sure such a bravura sense of style served his narrative rather than the other way around. I've been a fan of Gonzalez Iñárritu's work in the past, but the sense of humor he showed here was completely unexpected from him, and I think it helped make Birdman his best film to date.

But I picked Boyhood for Best Picture, for the overwhelming sense of ambition Richard Linklater showed in mounting this project, for making it all seem so seamless and fully of a piece, and for crafting such a deeply moving and insightful portrait of growing up and getting older. I've been a fan of the Before Sunrise series, but this struck me as a pretty major step up for Linklater, using his passion for long-form storytelling to craft a single film that took the viewer on an epic journey of lives being lived in America at the turn of the millennium over several hours. I'd probably rate it the best movie of this now half-over decade.

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2014

Postby CalWilliam » Sat Mar 07, 2015 1:43 pm

Big Magilla wrote:Bennett Miller's inclusion makes sense if you look at it another way.

Foxcatcher received five nominations. One could argue that it was screwed out of a Best Picture nomination by less worthy fare.


Yes, and that's another evidence of the Academy's fight of bents nowadays.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2014

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:41 am

Bennett Miller's inclusion makes sense if you look at it another way.

Foxcatcher received five nominations. One could argue that it was screwed out of a Best Picture nomination by less worthy fare.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2014

Postby CalWilliam » Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:03 am

I voted for Birdman and Iñárritu without hesitation. A great achievement and a joy of a movie. And I can't still believe the Academy rewarded it. For me, the best Best Picture winner since 2000, alongside Million Dollar Baby & No Country for Old Men.

Nor Boyhood nor Linklater need award's recognition in my opinion. It's a movie that will always be remembered as a truly unique one, apart from personal tastes. And for those who dislake it, as I did the first time, my advise would be seeing it again, and ask your friends who love it why is it so good. I don't love it at all, but the second time was revelatory.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is enjoyable, it's intelligent, is wonderfully created, but it's also childish, naïf and hysterical. Anderson is definitely not for me. I'll try again some day, though.

And then the fillers, some of them very respectable and moving, as The Imitation Game, and others pointless, like American Sniper and The Theory of Everything. I mean, I even prefer A Beautiful Mind.

There's Selma, solid, powerful work, whose sad fate is being almost forgotten, and Whiplash, a decent film with some lack of subtext.

Regarding Bennett Miller, this lonely nomination doesn't make any sense, though it's more or less worthy, but my point is that the Academy is not as bold as it could seem. Yes, Birdman won, but there's Eddie Redmayne for the records as well. A sad lost chance.
"Rage, rage against the dying of the light". - Dylan Thomas

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Re: Best Picture and Director 2014

Postby Sabin » Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:07 am

The Grand Budapest Hotel and Wes Anderson. Good year. Fun race.
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Re: Best Picture and Director 2014

Postby mlrg » Wed Mar 04, 2015 12:23 pm

Birdman and Iñarritu

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Best Picture and Director 2014

Postby Kellens101 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:58 am

What was the Best Picture and Director of 2014?


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