Oscars Alternative: The Scars 2015

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Scars are a bit ugly, but they are also a badge of honour. So are the The Scars, my interpretation of the Academy Awards. Using the Academy’s nominations, I have watched all 35 of the honoured films and chosen whom I believe should win in each of the non-technical, full length, English language movie categories.

You can catch my view of the British Academy’s awards here, or you can see who I honoured in my version The GAFAs.

Many of the results are the same due to both academies nominating the same films, but there are a few surprises, such as in the Best Picture category.


Best Picture

Nominees: American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, Grand Budapest Hotel, Imitation Game, Theory of Everything, Whiplash, Selma

Winner: Whiplash

This film came out of nowhere and I am sure that if you take the academy out of the Oscars then it would win hands down. It is a proper film with a proper story. No arty playing up to the critics like Birdman, no US jingoism like American Sniper and no grand directorial experiments like Boyhood. Just a great performances and an intriguing story.

Best Actor

Nominees: Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Michael Keaton (Birdman), Benedict Cumberbatch (Imitation Game), Eddie Redmayne (Theory of Everything), Steve Carrell (Foxcatcher)

Winner: Eddie Redmayne (Theory of Everything)

An absolute certainty. I would have loved to see Jake Gyllenhaal win for his amazing performance in Nightcrawler, but no one is going to take this away from Redmayne. Completely believable in all stages of Hawkin’s disability, this is the performance of his life.

Best Actress

Nominees: Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), Reese Witherspoon( Wild)

Winner: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)

Another certainty. Moore makes quite a dull film worth watching.

Supporting Actor

Nominees: Robert Duvall (The Judge), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Edward Norton (Birdman), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), J. K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Winner: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Robert Duvall runs Simmons close on this one, but his performance as a brutally single-minded music teacher is the difference between a very good film and an absolutely great film.

Supporting Actress

Nominees: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Laura Dern (Wild), Keira Knightley (Imitation Game), Emma Stone (Birdman), Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)

Winner: Laura Dern (Wild)

In a year when most of the supporting actress nominations seem to be more about the film than the performance, Dern stands out with her wonderful performance of a terminally positive character in a cruel word.

Best Directing

Nominees: Wes Anderson (Grand Budapest Hotel), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman), Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

 Winner: Wes Anderson (Grand Budapest Hotel)

Such a ‘grand’ film could only come from a director like Anderson. This feels like the film he was always destined to make. All the baby steps through his earlier films where for this, his masterpiece.


Nominees: Birdman, Grand Budapest Hotel, Ida, Mr. Turner, Unbroken

 Winner: Birdman

Unfortunately the film looks better than the script and performances are able to pull off.

Costume Design

Nominees: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Inherent Vice, Into the Woods, Maleficent, Mr. Turner

Winner: Grand Budapest Hotel

A quirky twist on stereotyped imagery.

Make Up and Hair

Nominees: Foxcatcher, Grand Budapest Hotel, Guardians of the Galaxy

Winner: Grand Budapest Hotel

Suits the film so perfectly you would be forgiven for missing its genius.

Original Score

Nominees: Grand Budapest Hotel, Imitation Game, Interstellar, Mr. Turner, Theory of Everything

Winner: Interstellar

A beautifully orchestral score that suits the loneliness of the film better than any other film this year.

Original Screenplay

Nominees: Birdman, Boyhood, Foxcatcher, Grand Budapest Hotel, Nightcrawler

Winner: Nightcrawler

A stunning film that should have received many more nominations. An eye opening story that creates one of the best characters of 2014.

Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: American Sniper, Imitation Game, Inherent Vice, Theory of Everything, Whiplash

Winner: Whiplash

Who could have expected a story of going to drumming school to be so enthralling?

Animated Feature

Nominees: Big Hero 6, The Boxtrolls, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Song of the Sea,The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Winner: Big Hero 6

A poor year for animated movies, but Big Hero 6 raises Disney’s stock again after a lean few years.

Original Song

Nominees: “Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie, “Glory” from Selma, “Grateful” from Beyond the Lights, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, “Lost Stars” from Begin Again

Winner: I’m Not Gonna Miss You (Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me)

It needed something big to beat Glory, but this is a  fantastically personal song that is as heartbreaking as it is beautiful.

Production Design

Nominees: Grand Budapest Hotel, Imitation Game, Interstellar, Into the Woods, Mr. Turner

Winner: Grand Budapest Hotel

The most ‘visual’ film of the year and another absolute certainty.

Visual Effects

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar, X-Men: Days of Future Past

Winner: Interstellar

Sci-fi will always hold an advantage in this field, but the grand by realistic scale of Interstellar outshines its more fantastical peers.

So there you have the results of this years SCARs. Ten different films receiving an imaginary statuette. Despite not being my favourite film of the year, The Grand Budapest Hotel is the big winner on the night with four awards, including Best Director. Whiplash is close behind with 3 awards and the title of Best Film.The 2015 SCARs for the best films in 2014 went to….
  • Grand Budapest Hotel (4): Director, Costume Design, Make-up/Hair, Production Design
  • Whiplash (3): Picture, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay
  • Interstellar (2): Original Score, Visual Effects
  • Nightcrawler (1): Original Screenplay
  • Big Hero 6 (1): Animated Feature
  • Birdman (1): Cinematography
  • Wild (1): Supporting Actress
  • Still Alice (1): Actress
  • The Theory of Everything (1): Actor
  • Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me (1): Original Song
Feel free to rubbish my choices in the comments below!

What do you think?

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