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My 4th Annual Film Awards: The Nominations

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Best Picture Drama 2014

Best Picture – Drama:

  • Calvary
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • Gone Girl
  • Interstellar
  • Locke
  • A Most Violent Year
  • Nightcrawler
  • Nymphomaniac
  • Selma
  • Snowpiercer

Best Picture Musical Comedy 2014

Best Picture – Musical/Comedy:

  • Birdman
  • The Dance of Reality
  • Dear White People
  • Force Majeure
  • Frank
  • Goodbye to Language 3D
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Inherent Vice
  • Whiplash 

Best Director – Drama:

  • Ana Lily Amirpour, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • Ava DuVernay, Selma
  • David Fincher, Gone Girl
  • Bong Joon-ho, Snowpiercer
  • Christopher Nolan, Interstellar

Best Director 2014

Best Director – Musical/Comedy:

  • Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
  • Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
  • Alejandro Jodorowsky, The Dance of Reality
  • Justin Simien, Dear White People

Best Actor – Drama:

  • Brendan Gleeson, Calvary
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
  • Tom Hardy, Locke
  • Oscar Isaac, A Most Violent Year
  • David Oyelowo, Selma

Best Actor 2014 lineup

Best Actor – Musical/Comedy:

  • Chadwick Boseman, Get On Up
  • Brontis Jodorowsky, The Dance of Reality
  • Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • Johannes Kuhnke, Force Majeure
  • Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice

Best Actress – Drama:

  • Essie Davis, The Babadook
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg, Nymphomaniac
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Agata Trzebuchowska, Ida

Best Actress 2014 lineup

Best Actress – Musical/Comedy:

  • Carla Juri, Wetlands
  • Lisa Loven Kongsli, Force Majeure
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Beyond the Lights
  • Teyonah Parris, Dear White People
  • Tessa Thompson, Dear White People

Best Supporting Actor – Drama:

  • Jamie Bell, Nymphomaniac
  • Neil Patrick Harris, Gone Girl
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
  • Stellan Skarsgård, Nymphomaniac
  • Noah Wiseman, The Babadook

Best Supporting Actor 2014

Best Supporting Actor – Musical/Comedy:

  • Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice
  • Michael Fassbender, Frank
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Randall Park, The Interview
  • J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress – Drama:

  • Kim Dickens, Gone Girl
  • Carmen Ejogo, Selma
  • Sarah Gadon, Belle
  • Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer
  • Uma Thurman, Nymphomaniac

Best Supporting Actress 2014

Best Supporting Actress – Musical/Comedy:

  • Minnie Driver, Beyond the Lights
  • Pamela Flores, The Dance of Reality
  • Emma Stone, Birdman
  • Mélanie Thierry, The Zero Theorem
  • Katherine Waterston, Inherent Vice

Best Original Screenplay – Drama:

  • Calvary
  • Locke
  • A Most Violent Year
  • Nightcrawler
  • Nymphomaniac

Best Original Screenplay – Musical/Comedy:

  • Birdman
  • Dear White People
  • Force Majeure
  • Frank
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Adapted Screenplay – Drama:

  • The Congress
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Enemy
  • Gone Girl
  • Snowpiercer

Best Adapted Screenplay – Musical/Comedy:

  • The Dance of Reality
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Inherent Vice
  • 22 Jump Street
  • Wetlands

best cinematography

Best Cinematography:

  • Birdman
  • Dear White People
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • Goodbye to Language 3D
  • Under the Skin

Best Editing:

  • Birdman
  • Gone Girl
  • Goodbye to Language 3D
  • Nymphomaniac
  • Whiplash

engine scene

Best Production Design:

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Inherent Vice
  • Interstellar
  • Snowpiercer
  • Space Station 76

Best Costume Design:

  • The Dance of Reality
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Immigrant
  • Inherent Vice
  • Space Station 76

Best Makeup:

  • The Dance of Reality
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Raid 2
  • Snowpiercer
  • Tusk

Best Score:

  • Gone Girl
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • Under the Skin
  • The Zero Theorem

Best Song:

  • “America For Me”, A Most Violent Year
  • “Everything is Awesome”, The Lego Movie
  • “Glory”, Selma
  • “I Love You All”, Frank
  • “Too Many Cooks”, Too Many Cooks

Best Sound Mixing:

  • Birdman
  • Get On Up
  • Goodbye to Language 3D
  • Interstellar
  • Whiplash

Best Visual Effects:

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Godzilla
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Interstellar
"Can you put your heads together?" *thunk* (Source)

“Can you put your heads together?”
*thunk* (Source)

Best Sound Effects:

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Force Majeure
  • Goodbye to Language 3D
  • Interstellar
  • Whiplash

Totals:

  • 9 nominations: Birdman
  • 8 nominations: Gone Girl, Inherent Vice
  • 7 nominations: The Dance of Reality, Interstellar, Nymphomaniac
  • 6 nominations: Dear White People, Snowpiercer, Whiplash
  • 5 nominations: Force Majeure, Goodbye to Language 3D, Selma
  • 4 nominations: Frank, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Guardians of the Galaxy, A Most Violent Year
  • 3 nominations: Calvary, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Locke, Nightcrawler
  • 2 nominations: The Babadook, Belle, Beyond the Lights, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Edge of Tomorrow, Get On Up, Space Station 76, Under the Skin, Wetlands, The Zero Theorem
  • 1 nomination: The Congress, Enemy, Foxcatcher, Godzilla, Ida, The Imitation Game, The Immigrant, The Interview, The Lego Movie, The Raid 2, Too Many Cooks, Tusk, 22 Jump Street

# of films nominated: 43

Thoughts on the Categories:

  • Picture – Drama: I swapped out Ida for A Most Violent Year. Maybe it was the right choice, maybe not. But I suspect Year will hold up a bit better.
  • Picture – Musical/Comedy: Pride was originally here, but I didn’t nominate it anywhere else, and rather than have an orphan nominee, I put Goodbye to Language on instead. I also had 22 Jump Street, but I felt The Grand Budapest Hotel was just as good or better, and made the change.
  • Director – Drama: This category was easy for me. I could see one making an argument for von Trier, but I covered him for Original Screenplay, so I don’t feel too bad.
  • Director – Musical/Comedy: Maybe I should’ve put Godard on here. But I gave the film 5 nominations, so I don’t think it’s an egregious oversight if I don’t.
  • Actor – Drama: I made a last-minute change here which I’ll explain when I contrast the final nominees with my predictions. It was a tough category, too; Eddie Redmayne and Ben Affleck came close to getting on. (This category was one of the main reasons I expanded my awards.)
  • Actor – Musical/Comedy: Bill Murray was my #6 here. And maybe if I saw Whiplash again Miles Teller would bump someone off. But I’m happy with the lineup.
  • Actress – Drama: I’m not totally sure if I should’ve gone with Agata Kulesza instead of Trzebuchowska (or if I should’ve pushed her Supporting, like several critic’s groups did). Still a hell of a category.
  • Actress – Musical/Comedy: I saw Wetlands fairly late in the game, but I’m glad I did; Carla Juri was incredible. (If I took her out of the equation Rosario Dawson from Top Five would get on instead.) Also, I know some consider Thompson and Parris Supporting; I say bullshit.
  • Supporting Actor – Drama: See Drama. And thank God I made that change, too, because it made the category much stronger.
  • Supporting Actor – Musical/Comedy: Fuck yeah, Randall Park! (This is actually a very strong lineup. I really like it.)
  • Supporting Actress – Drama: I decided at the last minute to swap out Stacy Martin in Nymphomaniac for Ejogo. Maybe I’ll switch it back at a later date, but I feel pretty happy with the category as-is. And if you’re wondering where Jessica Chastain is…I wasn’t blown away by her work, at least not on the first viewing. Second time around, who knows?
  • Supporting Actress – Musical/Comedy: I had Streep from Into the Woods here until I decided to put Thierry on instead–Thierry’s in a significantly weaker film, but she’s by far the best part of it, while Streep is very much part of an ensemble, and fun as she is, I don’t think she stands out enough to warrant the nomination.
  • Original Screenplay – Drama: I had Ida and Interstellar here, but given that my enthusiasm for Ida has cooled and the script for Interstellar is more uneven than I’d like, I put on the much stronger scripts of Locke and A Most Violent Year.
  • Original Screenplay – Musical/Comedy: I’ve toyed with swapping out one of these for Goodbye to Language or The Lego Movie, but I’ll leave it as-is for the time being.
  • Adapted Screenplay – Drama: Woof. Not a very good category. Two great films and three non-Best Picture nominees–all good films and good scripts, but still…the pickings were slim.
  • Adapted Screenplay – Musical/Comedy: I left 22 Jump Street here because it’s a funny script and there wasn’t much else. But if We Are the Best! is at all good, I’m switching it.
  • Cinematography: The Grand Budapest Hotel just missed a nomination. And I still haven’t seen Mr. Turner, which seems like it could get on pretty easily (though…what would I remove?).
  • Editing: Almost put Interstellar on. But this is a hell of a lineup even without it.
  • Production Design: The Immigrant was here until just the other day. But another, better film, with more interesting design, took its place.
  • Costume Design: I almost nominated Exodus: Gods and Kings here, but nominating one of my 10 worst films, especially when I didn’t have to, felt wrong. So I put Dance of Reality on, since it has great costumes (and is much, much better as a film).
  • Makeup: This category isn’t that strong outside of the top two, but I had the bizarre Japanese film R100 on here, almost exclusively for a character called “the Queen of Gobbling” (who has to be seen to be believed), and decided that Dance of Reality had stronger and more extensive makeup. So it got the nomination.
  • Score: I like the Birdman score, but I’m not as enamored of it as some are. Hence its absence (though if someone voted for it, I would completely understand).
  • Song: “I Can Fly” from Big Eyes was originally here, but then I saw A Most Violent Year and heard that great song (which really packs a punch in context), and knew I had to swap it on.
  • Sound Mixing: Sound categories are a pain in the ass, because 99.9% of soundscapes blur together in the memory after the fact. My rankings for this category are kind of a mess. But I think it turned out all right.
  • Visual Effects: Not that great a year for VFX outside of this lineup; the Academy picked Captain America and X-Men: DOFP instead of Edge and Godzilla, which is weird because Cap is a pretty standard Marvel VFX job, all things considered, and DOFP was also fairly unremarkable outside of the Quicksilver scene (which is by far the best part of the film). I’ll stick with my five.
  • Sound Effects: Yeah, I made some weird choices, but I remember the effects from Force Majeure and Goodbye to Language far better than anything in American Sniper or The Hobbit.

Trivia:

Longest nominated film: Nymphomaniac (241 minutes in the theatrical release, 325 minutes in the director’s cut which I have yet to see)

Shortest nominated film: Too Many Cooks (11 minutes); Goodbye to Language 3D (69-70 minutes; the shortest nominated feature)

Best film with no nominations: CitizenFour (only because I don’t have a Documentary category)

  • Best dramatic film with no nominations: Pride

Worst film with any nominations: The Zero Theorem (which barely makes the *** range but had a nomination-worthy score and performance from Mélanie Thierry)

Highest-grossing nominee: Guardians of the Galaxy ($333,176,600)

Lowest-grossing nominee: Wetlands ($59,478 – NOTE: Space Station 76 played in only three theaters in the country that I know and almost certainly grossed less, but I cannot find gross figures for it)

Total domestic gross of my Best Picture nominees, as of 2/6/2015: $895,595,797 ($446,114,045 Drama, $449,481,752 Musical/Comedy)

  • Highest-grossing nominee: Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Lowest-grossing nominee: Goodbye to Language 3D ($258,592)

Oscar nominees for Best Picture which I also nominate: Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Selma, Whiplash

Oscar nominees for Best Picture which I do not nominate for any awards: American Sniper, Boyhood, The Theory of Everything

# of nominations which match corresponding Oscar categories: 33

  • Best-matching category: I nominate 3/5 of the Academy’s nominees in Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects
  • Worst-matching category: I nominate only 1/5 of the Academy’s nominees in Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography (which is actually a solid category, I just don’t align with it), Editing, and Makeup (ditto for Cinematography). The same holds for Sound Effects/Sound Editing, but since they aren’t absolutely equivalent categories I won’t count it

Repeat acting nominees: Joaquin Phoenix (Best Actor 2012, Best Actor nominee 2013), Charlotte Gainsbourg (Best Supporting Actress nominee 2011), Michael Fassbender (Best Actor 2011, Best Supporting Actor nominee 2013)

Repeat directing nominees: Paul Thomas Anderson (nominated 2012), David Fincher (nominated 2011)

Average Rotten Tomatoes score of Best Picture nominees: 89% (88% Drama, 90% Musical/Comedy)

  • Highest-rated nominee: Selma (98%)
  • Lowest-rated nominee: Nymphomaniac (67% – 75% for Volume I, 59% for Volume II)

Best Picture nominees I saw multiple times in theaters: Birdman (3x), Dear White People, Gone Girl, Goodbye to Language 3D, Guardians of the Galaxy, Inherent Vice Interstellar, Snowpiercer – I plan on seeing A Most Violent Year again before the awards

Best Picture nominees I saw theatrically: all 20

  • Alone, counting the first viewing only: 12-13* (*I happened to see Goodbye to Language 3D at the same time as a couple of friends of mine)
  • With friends: 6-7 (see above)
  • With my dad: 1 (We went to Tulsa for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night)

Best Picture nominees my parents have seen: 5, I think – I believe Guardians of the Galaxy was the last film my mother saw in a theater

Comparing the nominees with my predictions:

Best Picture:

  • Birdman
  • The Dance of Reality
  • Dear White People
  • Foxcatcher
  • Gone Girl
  • Inherent Vice
  • Interstellar
  • Leviathan
  • Nightcrawler
  • A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

Foxcatcher is a very good film, but the competition for Picture – Drama was too strong, and if I’d stuck with one category, it’d have had no chance. Leviathan hasn’t come near me yet; it may factor into a future revision of these nominees. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch will be competing for my 2015 awards.

I predicted 7/10 correctly, and that before seeing most of these films–in fact, The Dance of Reality was the only nominee I’d seen to date. So not bad.

Best Director:

  • Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
  • Roy Andersson, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
  • Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, Birdman
  • Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
  • Andrey Zvyagintsev, Leviathan

Andersson and Zvyagintsev are off for the reasons mentioned above. Miller was my #6 in Drama.

2/5, but given the circumstances, not so bad.

Best Actor:

  • Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
  • Brontis Jodorowsky, The Dance of Reality
  • Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner

I still haven’t seen Mr. Turner (I hopefully will next weekend). Carell was in a very tough category, and although he’s quite good (my #15 overall, though my rankings are a bit of a mess), the competition was way too stiff. But the Academy chose him, so it evens out.

3/5.

Best Actress:

  • Amy Adams, Big Eyes
  • Jessica Chastain, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
  • Charlotte Gainsbourg, Nymphomaniac
  • Carla Juri, Wetlands
  • Tessa Thompson, Dear White People

Adams wasn’t that great. I haven’t seen Rigby, because I’m waiting until I can watch the full three-hour version–I didn’t want to bother with the shorter cut (and the reviews weren’t all that great to boot).

3/5, and this category perfectly mirrors Best Actor–one predicted nominee wasn’t good enough and I haven’t seen another.

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Jamie Bell, Nymphomaniac
  • Dennis Haysbert, Dear White People
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Joaquin Phoenix, The Immigrant
  • J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

I actually had Phoenix on my Supporting Actor – Drama list, but since he’s kinda-sorta a lead and since I didn’t really like the film (and because I was already nominating him for Inherent Vice), I swapped him out for Stellan Skarsgård, who also blurs the line between lead and supporting but who freed up room in Actor – Drama for Tom Hardy. As for Haysbert, he’s quite good, but it’s a fairly small role and he just didn’t make the cut.

3/5, almost 4/5.

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Pamela Flores, The Dance of Reality
  • Sarah Gadon, Belle
  • Vanessa Redgrave, Foxcatcher
  • Emma Stone, Birdman
  • Uma Thurman, Nymphomaniac

Redgrave has very little screentime–she’s virtually a cameo. And yes, I know Thurman is in only one scene of a very long film, but…that’s how good she is.

4/5.

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Birdman
  • Dear White People
  • Leviathan
  • Nymphomaniac
  • A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence

See Picture and Director.

3/5, but more because of bad luck than bad guessing.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • The Dance of Reality
  • Foxcatcher
  • Gone Girl
  • Inherent Vice
  • Men, Women & Children

Oh, man. That Men, Women & Children prediction is pretty embarrassing now. I really let that trailer sway me. Foxcatcher was moved to Original fairly late in the game, but either way it doesn’t get on (in part because it’s arguably the weakest element of the film).

3/5.

Best Cinematography:

  • Birdman
  • Inherent Vice
  • Mr. Turner
  • A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
  • Under the Skin

Pigeon was bumped, haven’t seen Turner (though I bet it’ll be good enough or close to it), and Vice was well-shot, but not that well-shot.

2/5.

Best Editing:

  • Birdman
  • Gone Girl
  • Interstellar
  • Nightcrawler
  • Winter Sleep

Never got to see Winter SleepNightcrawler is a fine editing job (it’s my #9), but it didn’t make the cut. Interstellar barely missed a nomination–it’s my #6, and I strongly considered putting it on over Goodbye to Language.

2/5. Almost 3.

Best Production Design:

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Inherent Vice
  • Mr. Turner
  • A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
  • The Zero Theorem

You know about Turner and PigeonZero Theorem wasn’t quite there–it had its good elements, but like the film itself was too messy and too derivative.

2/5.

Best Costume Design:

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Immigrant
  • Inherent Vice
  • A Little Chaos
  • Mr. Turner

A Little Chaos got pushed to 2015.

3/5.

Best Makeup:

  • Birdman
  • Foxcatcher
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Unbroken
  • The Zero Theorem

Birdman was my #16, Foxcatcher my #8 (they really do a good job on Carell, but that’s about it), Unbroken my #9, and Zero Theorem my #21. So I wasn’t that far off (and would’ve been better off if I’d gone with my idea of expanding all the categories), but I can only give myself…

1/5.

Best Score:

  • Gone Girl
  • Inherent Vice
  • Interstellar
  • Unbroken
  • Under the Skin

I did this one semi-blind and still did pretty well. Vice is my #6 (though I’m not 100% sure what was original score and what was vintage music there), and Unbroken is my #15. So I feel pretty good about it.

3/5.

(I didn’t predict Best Song. I guessed “Everything is Awesome”, but that wasn’t exactly a long shot.)

Best Sound Mixing:

  • Fury
  • Get On Up
  • Interstellar
  • Unbroken
  • Whiplash

Fury was my #13 (it’s good, but I expected a little more nuance), and Unbroken my #7.

3/5, but again, not too far off the mark.

Best Visual Effects:

  • Birdman
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Interstellar

Birdman is my #6, but there isn’t quite enough there to push it higher. The Hobbit looked surprisingly bad at times, and only made it to #17 on my list.

3/5.

Pretty consistently 3/5 across the board, mostly because of films that got released too late or were pushed to 2015. There was only one truly off-base prediction (Men, Women & Children for Adapted Screenplay), so on the whole, I still feel pretty good about the job I did.

Overall I got 47/90, which is 52.22%. And of the 43 I missed, 15 were for films that I didn’t get to see in time. So adjusting for that, my score rises to 62.7%. Not too shabby.

Looking at the first round of predictions, I see I was pretty bullish on some films that either didn’t get released in time, or that I didn’t end up liking so much–I predicted Boyhood for Picture and had it as a runner-up in Director, Actor (Ellar Coltrane), Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress. I also had pretty high hopes for Stand Clear of the Closing Doors, which I’ve never been able to see.

And we’re gonna do it all over again this year. But we’ll worry about that later.

Go forth and vote.

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5 thoughts on “My 4th Annual Film Awards: The Nominations

  1. Great choices. Your division comedy/drama allows for surprising inclusions. I like that.

  2. Pingback: My 4th Annual Awards Open Voting! | If you want the gravy...

  3. Pingback: 2016 Rising: Actus Primus | If you want the gravy...

  4. Pingback: 2016: The Year in Gravy | If you want the gravy...

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