The awards season has come to an end, the red carpet rolled up and the film critics put back to bed with a nil by mouth sign. The Academy Awards are the flagship event of the movie year and whilst their stupidly late/eary showing on a Monday morning (in the UK at least) and Sky TV deciding to screen them only through a paywall it is usually a bit a let down, spectacle wise. But there are almost always a few shocks in how the Academy vote, so lets rune the rule over their opinions and score their performance as the keymasters of the an industry…
Out of the 16 awards that I focused on, the result of 9 matched with my own choices (as can be seen above), so lets have a look at them in detail…
Grade A – Top of the class.
Receiving the top mark are obviously all of the films that matched my own choices. These include three of the four acting awards and all of the design awards. They also include one where my vote was so close between two options that I consider the Academy’s choice of Patricia Arquette as best supporting actress to be fully justified (especially as it was the only award that Boyhood received).
Grade B – Keep at it.
These ratings were reserved for those films that were either my second choice or where I could fully understand why they might be preferred (whilst still disagreeing). The Imitation game took best adapted screenplay and although I found Whiplash a lot more interesting, the historical significance of Alan Turing’s story probably justified choice. The Academy also followed BAFTAs lead by giving Grand Budapest Hotel the Original Music award when Hans Zimmer’s beautiful orchestral score to Interstellar was much more to my liking.
Grade C – Could do better.
This is where the choices start to disappoint me a little. Both of these ratings relate to awards that Birdman won. Birdman was always going to be a favourite of the Academy, but for it to take best picture over at least 3 more deserving films was a shock. However I found the decision to overlook Nightcrawler for best original screenplay to be the biggest shame as the fantastic film unjustly took home no awards.
Grade D – Detention
This is where the academy are just plain wrong. To make things worse, the category that this relates to is one of the big two awards. Best director is so often handcuffed to the best picture winner and was so again, but with outstanding work from both Richard Linklater with Boyhood and Wes Anderson on The Grand Budapest Hotel, I really can’t stomach the choice. I shouldn’t be surprised though, Birdman is an American film about the struggles of American actors, being voted for by (on the main) American actors.
OVERALL GRADE: B-